Black and White Photography


Birthday Picture, Fernook Falls 2009 picture story

Feb 17th, 2019 • Stories

This picture of foam on the Deep River in the south west of Western Australia was one of the best birthday presents I have ever had.  It was made on a beautiful spring day, one of the great things about Australia is that my birthday is now in the spring.

John Patterson, Rae and myself went to Mt Frankland for a day.  At Fernhook Falls, on the way, we stopped for a moment to see the height of the Deep River.  While Rae and John were walking back to the car I was sprinting, as sprinting as I could with a full Linhof kit, back to the head of the falls with camera to record the patterns of foam on the water.  Setting up the camera I dropped the lens, which almost went over the edge.  It landed on a corner of the lens panel, which I flattened with a stone.  Apart from the cable release socket being knocked out the lens was, and still is, fine.

The picture here is the first negative I made, and the one I like the best.  It has been printed to 16 x 20 and 20 x 24 inches.

Deep River is 120 Km long, and starts at Lake Muir (waiting to find its real name) to the east of us, and exits to the sea at Nornalup Inlet.  It is considered to be the cleanest river in Western australia, traveling its whole length through forest areas.  The foam, a common occurence in local rivers, is due to the tannin leached from tree roots in the river.

Camera, Linhof Super Technika V, lens 210mm Schneider Xenar, film was Ilford Delta 100 developed in replenished D78d.

The Xenar is an ancient one in a Compound pneumatic shutter.  I have had various 210mm lenses in my carreer, but this antiquity has yieled more printed and enjoyed negatives from this focal length than any other.  Printing is not easy, the surrounding bush is contrasty and needs a soft gradation filter, while the foam needs all the contrast I can get into it.  Printed on Foma paper  developed in Ilford ID20 and Dr Beer's B as a two bath solution to extend the toenail range.



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