Challenging Panoramic

OlympicNationalPark_001

By Will Landon

Olympic National Parks seashore has a dramatic line of sea stacks that is also most difficult to capture in a photography that limits its content to meaningful elements. Too much foreground or sky was the problem in most formats. I finally settled for a unique custom built camera with a 6×36 format which actually has a 7 to 1 length to width ratio. As you might guess it was beastly heavy to pack in the five miles to the location. I planned the photograph for a sunset and a low tide, in order to get the maximum glow off the sand.

Three six inch square pieces of wood with a center dimple were placed on the sand to support and protect the tripod from the soft, salt sand. Plastic was laid down to protect the camera equipment. A 360mm Fujinon A lens was used at f32 with a 2 second exposure on 120 Ektar film. The Ektar was chosen not only for its sharpness but for its low ASA setting and good sunset renditions. I wanted a dreamy wispy effect on the low rolling surf, which the slow exposure gave me. I get only one shot on a roll with this camera but I was able to get several exposures, including some on transparency film.

The negative has been blown up to 12 feet for a mural and is still extremely sharp. We camped overnight with the gear that Pat hauled in and made it out two days later. Ocean light is so blue in character that we found that only the very early and very late photographs gave this scenic seashore its proper due.


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