When I was attending art school I shared a house on Morgan street in Santa Rosa with one of my best friends, Mark. We were both photography students, and aside from working to pay the rent, we did little else other than attend class and attempt to push ourselves creatively using a camera and a darkroom. Ideas for images and new processes were always being discussed and feedback on works in progress was always a room away. My daily experience was one of motivation and inspiration. I once purchased a month long membership to a tanning salon so I could finish a cyanotype project that required ultraviolet light. The sun would have normally been used to expose the emulsion, but it was winter and no sun was expected anytime soon. Another time, the living room was cleared out into the entry way and front porch for about a week. Mark created a studio set that replicated a Mediterranean ocean scene complete with medieval ship and a setting moon. It was impressive, as was the image it resulted. I miss the creative energy that time of my life provided, and am grateful for the experimental spirit I took away from it.
For some time now, I have been wanting to explore the hiking trails around San Pablo Bay near Vallejo. Last week I finally got there, and with my Ihagee plate camera in tow (for more information on this camera, please see my previous post at www.ronpetersonphotography.com/blog/2015/5/3/ihagee-luxus-duplex). My original intention was to hike to an old shack that is viewable on the northeast side of the bay, however after a couple of miles I realized it was much further than I thought. I was also freezing cold and rain was to start falling soon. I stopped all of six times to set up a shot. It takes a few minutes to prepare, having the camera on a tripod, focussing the plate camera using a loupe, attaching the lens shade, getting under the dark cloth, manual focus my Sony A6000 to the ground glass, and then finally hitting the shutter. It's a time consuming process, and one that really makes you focus on composition. Its also a very relaxing process, I think because you can't over think it. You work out a composition, and work to create that image. Very different from the many slightly different compositions of the same thing you can shoot with a handheld DSLR. A few of the images are below.
I am becoming quite fond of this camera, and the process involved in creating images with it. This experience hiking San Pablo Bay brought me back to those early days on Morgan Street, and the inspiration and excitement of experimenting with a new camera. Life truly is all about the journey, and every so often you're reminded of the path you have taken, and realize how perfect it has been, and how perfect it will be.