Wind Power, Altamont, California

I made this photo in March or April of 2006; prior to acquiring a DSLR camera. I used color transparency film, then scanned to digital format. I since processed for monochrome.

I think I used ten or fifteen frames from the one location (stopped on the side of the road) and experimented with framing and selecting out various elements. I expected to get two or three good frames from a single roll of film (36 frames). Yes, that’s a lot of film to burn. But, if I got the one or two that make my heart sing, it was a good investment.

I visualize before shooting, as I’m instructed by The Ancient Ones, but usually find I’m getting nowhere with limited access to the whole field of view. These towers are on private property and I do have to get to other duties, so what I can do from the fence will have to do. Given those limits, I can still search for the interesting images by turning, looking up or down or shifting the view and focal length to see what presents itself. The process only got easier with digital because frames are cheap (like zero) and disposable; the new discipline is to hang on to the images long enough to view them on a good monitor.

Eventually, one must call on yet another discipline: the willingness to ruthlessly cull out the failures. I take my time, but the end result is I discard (delete, trash, deep-six, toss, send-to-oblivion) most of the frames I shoot. A 4GB memory card holds 240 frames on my D200 – a dozen keepers is about right. It’s not waste, it’s experimentation.


About Stephen Foster

I have been pressing a camera to my face since I was twelve years old; if you look closely, you can see the marks. View all posts by Stephen Foster

One response to “Wind Power, Altamont, California

  • Joesph Lose

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