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Home » FADU Galleries » Exchange Galleries » Print Exchange Gallery » June 2012 Round 43 Photo Options
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Billy the GT gnome
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Photo Details
Terry S


Friend

Registered: December 2011
Location: Southend on Sea, Essex, England UK
Posts: 2,146
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Last week I took one of my Holga’s out to a gardening scheme where I volunteer twice a week, for people with Mental Illnesses (as I suffer from depression) = htttp://www.trustlinks.org


The garden is very much a working garden, which is open to the public, with vegetables being grown by the volunteers to sell to help with funds. The larger part of the garden is partly landscaped and partly wild as we have a ‘help nature and it’s creatures’ ethos. With the sun very high in the sky just now, there can be some very contrasty lighting through out the day, which is how I like my light.


On the day I took my camera in, loaded with Rollei 200, I took a few pictures of some of the people there, some more of plants and some of other structures.


Now the thing about the Holga is getting the focus sharp as it only has symbols above the lens to help you, so it is very touch and go. It is one of the quirks that people seem to like about the camera but to me there is sharp, then artistic and then totally out of focus! Well, about a third of my negs were totally out of focus, so no good for anything.


I tried printing one of the ‘artistic’ negs but it didn’t print how I saw it in my minds eye and so I printed this print, thinking it might be a bit of fun if nothing else.


But I was totally surprised, as I had forgotten that part of, or even the main reason that I took it, was the way the light came through the planting around the subject at a very particular time of day and no other. I loved the way it gave the subject a dark backdrop. I only had to burn in a small area of a lighter plant that came through as a veiled highlight. A small biscuit box at the front, which is used as a small pond, I decided to crop out to give the subject more
prominence.


Going to develop the film, I realised that I only had a dribble of Rodinal left in the bottle but just enough to use the higher dilution than I normally do, so 1 + 50 it was. Stop and fix were as usual and the film was then rinsed in water put through a professional filtering system that I recently bought, which now guarantees me perfectly clean negatives after years of problems - hurrah!!! Undoing the film from the reel, I found that I had left the 6 x 4.5 mask in the camera but had set my window counter to 6x6 negs, so I had heavily spaced negs and I was a bit worried that I might have inadvertently cropped some of the negs in camera, as I had composed for the square format, but for this neg at least, the composition was fine.


As usual, I printed it slightly darker than my RH analyzer recommended along with ½ stop harder grade of paper as well. It was printed on Ilford MG RC pearl paper using Ilford chemicals in a Nova slot tank and then washed and air dried, with a tiny amount of spotting of some rather bright highlights.


Although I thought that the subject would be a bit whimsical if taken straight, I am very pleased with the final print, mostly down to the lighting. My partner even said it was ‘kind of creepy!’, so I was happy that it created some form of response. Comments of any sort are always welcome.
· Date: Fri, 3, August, 2012 · Views: 2594
· Filesize: 22.3kb, 53.2kb · Dimensions: 849 x 999 ·
Additional Info
Keywords: Holga, gnome, Rollei 200
Film make, size & rating:: Rollei. 120, 200
Film developer & temp:: Rodinal @ 1+50 @ 20C
Lens Focal Length, aperture & speed:: Holga = fixed lens and aperture
Tripod used Y or N:: No
Paper:: Ilford RC Pearl
Paper developer & temp:: Ilford MG 20C

Author
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Mike O'Pray
Friend

Registered: October 2008
Location: Daventry, Northants
Posts: 7,515
Fri, 3, August, 2012 9:19pm

Fabulous black background. Very well taken and printed. Creepy is right. You wouldn't want him to appear out of the bushes on a moonlight night


Mike
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Kat Barnett
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Registered: March 2012
Location: Durham, UK
Posts: 34
Mon, 13, August, 2012 12:04am

Terry, I've looked at 'Billy the GT gnome' lots of times, trying to work out what was the right adjective to describe him: creepy, yes. Intense? Humorous? (I'll have to work on it).


Does anybody else think his eyes follow you :D ?
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Reuben
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Registered: December 2011
Posts: 53
Wed, 15, August, 2012 10:51am

The central composition really work for this subject - and I love the way it's printed, the bold black and slightly 'hard' feel to the print, but with tonality in the stonework yet still with the inky black between them; it all just adds.
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Terry S
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Registered: December 2011
Location: Southend on Sea, Essex, England UK
Posts: 2,146
Wed, 15, August, 2012 1:07pm

Many thanks for all the comments peeps! Smile It's these that keep us all going and doing what we enjoy doing so much, so please keep them coming for all the pictures on this site.


As stated, it was mostly down to the light on the day, rather than anything else that makes this picture, giving me that lovely black background and eerie lighting. I have walked past and looked at Billy so many times, each time carrying a camera, but it was one of those days where it all just came together for just a few minutes whilst I was there. Compose and click and it was done!


Apparently, one shouldn't put things dead central, so we're constantly told, but I like a bit of symmetry and quite often do it anyway! And in this case, it is a case of a very simple, but to my eyes an effective composition that works really well.


Many thanks for the comments once more.


Terry S
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Adrian
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Registered: May 2012
Location: Yateley in Hampshire
Posts: 204
Thu, 16, August, 2012 1:09pm

What a fabulous picture Terry! He does look a bit scary. I particularly like the feeling of depth that the velvity background gives - what lies just beyond that plant lurking in the shadows? Maybe you should come back and take a long exposure of him on a full-moonlit night.
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