Cars stream north out of Boulder. Were they aware of the spectacle behind them? (Shot on Fuji Velvia 120 transparency film, ISO 100, with a Mamiya C220 camera. A relatively low-resolution scan with very minimal post-processing — in other words, this is pretty much the way it looked right out of the camera. Copyright: Tom Yulsman)

6 thoughts on “Commute

  1. Very nice! I love the medium format and the courage it takes to shoot on transparency film. I’d be scared to death of blowing the exposure. I take it that this is looking south?

    • Yes indeed, looking south from a little shaley ridge at the intersection of Highway 36 and Neva Road. (A bit of trivia: The ridge is home to an incredibly rare plant that grows there and on a few other similar shaley outcrops along the Front Range.)

      As for being scared to blow the exposure, I reckon that the worst that can happen is that I’d waste a frame. No big deal. Also, I took a page out of fashion photographers for this shot (and others I’ve made with the Mamiya). They used to do test shots with a Polaroid and then adjust lighting and exposure accordingly. For this shot, I took a few images with a digital camera first and checked the exposure (including a look at the histograms). Then I set my exposure on the Mamiya. (Not that there was a big risk of any details getting over-exposed here. And I wasn’t terribly concerned about the shadows.)

      All of that said, without question, the challenge with the Mamiya is getting both the exposure and the composition right. Looking down at the ground glass is a far different experience than shooting through a viewfinder. Overall, it is a far more deliberative process. (A lot of fun too.)

  2. Damn, you guys are a pack of technerds. 🙂

    My response was “dang, ain’t that purty.” The great thing about Boulder, it seems, is that during the summer there’s a different light show over the Flatirons every evening. And this is just spectacular.

    Really nice shot, however it was accomplished….

  3. You’re so right about looking at the shot on ground glass. My Rollei TLR’s mirror has gotten very weak, so it’s damnably difficult to see a damn thing. Using a digital camera to get the exposure is a good idea, especially with the histogram. I’ve been doing that with the Rollei for some time whenever I feel like springing for 120 film and developing, but I’ve been using an old manual Fujica to get just a basic exposure. Which means, basically, that I’m an idiot.

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