Shooting 4×5 is hard. Preparing one 4×5 image to publish each day is just as difficult I am learning. I had hoped to shoot one image per day but quickly learned that is not practical. Posting one image per day is nearly as difficult. I wish it was as easy as shooting the picture and sharing, but instead I have to load film, shoot the picture, unload the film, process the film, scan the film, then spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning dust and scratches in photoshop before finally posting.
So, I am realizing every image is not going to be a “stunner”. Far from it. With digital and even 35 mm film, I can fire away dozens of frames and then pick the best images from those frames. That is just not very practical with 4×5. There is just way too much work involved in just getting an image you can actually see, not to mention the prep time to get it posted on the internet. So each image I shoot with 4×5 is precious. I don’t shoot multiple exposures because I don’t want to process and deal with 2-3 sheets of film of the same darn thing. One setup, one exposure. If it is a person I might expose two sheets of film.
I shot this image late last week while driving around to survey the flood damage with my mother Billie Pratt. I kept looking for subjects worthy of my time but didn’t come across many that I thought were “great”. The sun was slipping on the horizon, we were driving muddy country roads just sightseeing, and I ran across this scene with the setting sun reflecting off the water. Not really one of my favorites but I gotta shoot SOMETHING, right? I wish it had a cowboy on a horse splashing through the water but alas, it only has a lone cow grazing in the background. I had to climb over a 6 strand barbed wire fence with a huge view camera and tripod, then hike 1/4 mile to the creek bottom and stand in water up to my ankles to get the shot. Mom waited patiently in my truck, watching her crazy son photograph a scene without a subject. Oh well.
So this is my image for the day. Nothing earth shattering. I like that it is quiet, the sun is going down on a cloudy day, and the water is reflecting the trees. And the lone cow is at least something.
Just like in life, not every day is a home run. But you just gotta make the best with what is given to you.