22nd Jan – white out
There has been so much snow this past month that we’ve almost become blasé about it, but back in January when there had been a lot of it and a thaw on the way I took the opportunity of a sunny few hours and got out in the snow with Vlad.
An overnight snowfall had obliterated all human footprints. There was evidence of birds, a few paw prints where mountain hares had hopped and foxes had followed, but no people had been this way.
In the shot below, the footprints are all mine as I went back and forth between stile and tripod. The skittering tracks on the left, the traces of an animal that had scooted under a gap in the dry-stone wall long before I was on the scene. The snow was thick and drifting in places and coupled with the glorious blue skies and clouds streaming in, a one hour walk soon turned to a half a day’s outing and this is about as far as I got.
Photographing in the snow is pretty easy when you know how. I simply meter at the sky, pointing away from the sun. I was trying out my first roll of Ilford Pan F, at 50 iso I needed my tripod for every shot, which mean everything took a bit longer. And it’s always slower in the cold, when fingers won’t work so fast but though I only took 3 shots in the space of an hour, I was pretty pleased with how they turned out.
I spent last Sunday in the darkroom, and as I’d suspected the film is so devilishly fine-grained it’s hard to get the focus perfect when you’re printing – you focus on the grain when you’re setting up a print, and if the grain is so fine you can barely see it… well, you know the rest. But once it was set up and I made my first prints I was blown away by the quality.
More from the roll and the contact prints later this week.