GRAYnomad Nature Photography :: #00301 :: Tree Fern

Tree Fern :: Carnarvon Gorge, QLD

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Tree Fern
Carnarvon Gorge, QLD

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Image #00301

The Carnarvon Gorge National Park must be one of the jewels in Queensland's national park crown.

I've been there three times now and on each occasion stayed for around a week, so I would expect to have made several good images from the spectacular landscape. Not so.

This is the only image I like from all that time. It seems that the Gorge is just one of those places that's visually stunning and great to experience, but not very photogenic (at least not to my eyes).

This fern was growing right next to a trail that descends from one of the gorge's cliff tops. I noticed the composition as I returned from the rim, but only part of the fern was brightly lit. I had time, so set up the camera and waited.

After half an hour or so of explaining to passing tourists what I was doing, the light was right and I let some of it through onto the film.

With traditional darkroom techniques such as burning and dodging, even using a little ferri, it's next to impossible to bring the fern out from it's background, and in fact I only printed the negative a few times before giving up.

These days I use Photoshop and print digitally, I still "burn" and "dodge" but I do it with a precision that's obviously not possible under an enlarger. It's still difficult to get the right affect, but at least it's now practical.

Camera::Tachihara 5x4 field camera
Lens::90mm f4.5 Nikkor
Focal length::90mm
Other details::Horseman 6x12 RFH
Image size::5406 x 6618 pixels (36Mpx)

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