I tend to work very carefully. I was going to say slowly, but that really isn’t the right word. I tend to work methodically and steadily. This is one of three photographs that was a full day’s work, in the gorgeous misty Blue Mountains, on one lovely day.
Carefully. Yes, very carefully. In 1998, the 4 x 5 inch sheets of film I imported cost just over ten dollars a sheet, and another ten dollats to get it developed. So $20 to press the shutter. I used to purchase only a couple of boxes of ten sheets at a time. It would take months to work through just a few boxes.
I always considered myself extremely lucky, particularly if I had no wind, perfect weather, and the time to spend going out shooting.
I would walk into a location that I wanted to work on. Wander around and see if I could get one shot of something that stirred my emotions. On this day, I visited three seperate locations: Wentworth Falls, Katoomba Falls and Narrow Neck Plateau.
Each photograph is very special to me. Every one of them sold, interestingly, in increasing order, based on the time of day. The first shot of the day only sold a handful, this one a fair bit more. While the last one of the day was the best received. As I practiced during the day, I improved and my work got stronger.
I often think this is a process of relaxing and adjusting to the way the camera sees. Yes, I also often forgot to tighten every knob on the camera and regularly blew shots unless I was working methodically.
I now know I had blinkers on during that time. I walked past a book full of photographs that I have since seen in this beautiful location.
This is why I love to wander slowly, take lots of images and linger longer. The longer I stay, or the more I return to the same place, the better the work becomes.
Katoomba Falls. The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Photograph and text copyright © Len Metcalf 2018