Towards Emmitsburg, Maryland

I’m not normally a landscape photographer. In a conversation on Facebook, I had posted this image and said that I didn’t normally think of the Rolleiflex as a landscape camera, mostly because that’s not the way I use it (street scenes, portraiture and architecture are what I shoot 99% of the time). Several people responded that it is a great landscape camera, and they’re right- no general-purpose camera is defined by/limited to one specific genre. I wouldn’t try and shoot landscapes with a Yashica Dental Eye, but it’s an extreme example of a specialist camera built to do one thing and one thing only. A Rolleiflex is NOT a Dental Eye, so it can, and does, do perfectly serviceable landscapes. In fact, as with most things photographic, the limiter is the operator of the camera, not the device itself.

This is a winter landscape, looking from a rest stop along Route 15 toward Emmitsburg, Maryland. If you look carefully, you’ll see two church steeples peeking over the tree line in the middle distant background. While I don’t know that those specific churches were there at the time of the Civil War, the landscape still looks and feels much as it would have in 1863 as soldiers marched to and from the Battle of Gettysburg, a scant 14 miles away.

Towards Thurmont
Towards Emmitsburg

I had someone else comment that the image looks “washed out”, and asked if I was using outdated film. No, I’m using in-date film, properly processed. It’s a winter landscape, with just a few tones in the scene, and a color palette of grays and browns. That’s pretty much exactly how it looked that evening.

Winter Thistles
Winter Thistles

These thistles were part of the field you can see on the near edge of the pond. I saw the sun backlighting them and got up close to give them that silhouetted rim-light, with the lens flare from the sun coming directly into the lens. It would have been nice to actually get MORE lens flare, but that’s a testament to the lens design that it doesn’t.

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