Tales from the lens: Vinny Walsh

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Vinny Walsh – “Oneil Reeds”
Click on the image to view a larger image file

Photography is almost always a solo adventure for me even though I enjoy the company of other like-minded individuals. I spent most of my youth playing alone in the woods and waters of northern Michigan and I see things differently when all is quiet and no one else is around. I have a deep appreciation for the simple things that make up the scenery we often take for granted.

For this image, the light on the water was what kept me from putting my gear back in the car. Normally, with water, you have a glossy surface or reflection due to the sun or the angle at which it’s being viewed. This water was completely calm–no texture on the surface, no ripples–it was seamless. I figured I’d put on a longer lens and look for something interesting. The surface tension around the leaves and the bright reflection transitioning gradually into the lake bottom caught my eye. I had before me one of the most unique shots I’d lined up in a long time and the results would surely make a good print. I picked a film holder loaded with Tech Pan, which I thought would enhance the local contrast while letting the reflection of the sky go off the scale. Weeks later, pulling the sheet from the processor, it was apparent I was holding the best negative I’d made all year. This is why I make photographs!

Alas, no matter how careful I am, dust seems to find its way into the good negatives. This was no exception and the resulting darkroom efforts yield a print with all sorts of defects which are difficult to remove. Through modern methods, I plan to make a digital negative and contact print the results.

Chamonix 45n-2
305mm g claron
Kodak Tech Pan in Rodinal
9 seconds @f32.

This entry was posted in Large Format, Tales from the lens and tagged , , , , , , , .


  1. Peter de Graaff February 24, 2014 at 9:56 am #


  2. Amanda Tomlin February 25, 2014 at 12:58 am #

    This is an incredible image, and I am not easily wowed by landscape shots.

  3. Jeff Preston February 28, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    Beautiful! I love how you can see below the surface. Almost looks like you used a polarizer to reduce the reflections. May I ask how you metered this scene?

    Thanks, Jeff

    • vinny March 14, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

      I can’t recall exactly but since the areas I wanted to lack detail on the low end were too small to meter, I probably metered the surface of the water near the bottom and again at the top. I wanted the top of the image to be paper white.

  4. Jim Becia March 2, 2014 at 4:14 pm #


    Simple and elegant – two attributes I admire in a photograph.

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