Well, I finally got off my keyster and went out shooting tonight. I loaded up ten sheets of 5×12 in the Canham and went over to Dupont Circle to burn some long exposures onto film. This process always takes a lot longer than you think it should because inevitably setting up with a 5×12 (or any view camera for that matter) invites dozens of total strangers to approach you and ask questions. I always view it as an opportunity to educate people about the ongoing viability of film photography, and so I’m always happy to chat, even if the light is changing (fortunately after dark there’s no worry about the light changing – you only need to take one meter reading and stick with it for the rest of the shoot).
I’ve had this idea for a shot for a long time, and never quite got around to trying it until tonight. I did two versions of it – here’s hoping at least one works. The idea was a shot of a city bus pulling up to the bus stop, and loading/unloading passengers. Ideally it would be a 30-second or so exposure. I played a bit fast and loose with this one because the traffic pattern at the bus stop I was using resulted in a lot of stop-and-go and made it hard to get the shot in just 30 seconds. I’m going to develop the film tomorrow and we’ll see what came of it. If it worked as planned, I’ll have light trails leading up to the bus at the curb, and a fairly clear bus at the stop, along with the passengers and the interior. I did one version with my 240mm Apo-Germinar, which wasn’t wide enough to get the whole bus in at the bus stop. I switched to the 159 Wollensak Extreme Wide-Angle for the second shot, and stopped the lens down further to allow for the longer exposure time needed. I’m pretty sure I’ll get most if not all the bus in at the bus stop (I don’t mind if the roof gets a little cut off), but it’s hard to tell without watching the scene through the lens, and at that hour of the night it would mean waiting another half hour for the next bus to come around, and maybe nobody would be waiting to get on or wanting to get off at that stop, and I’d miss the shot. If this first try doesn’t work out, I’ve got other locations I can give a whirl that might work better.