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Radeka Photography

Horseshoe Canyon, 1985. Canyonlands National Park, Utah


This image was shot along the hike to the Great Gallery Pictographs. In this scene, I was impressed with a sense of visual irony. The photograph shows a number of "opposites" - contradiction of size (small tree versus towering cliff), textures (delicacy versus boldness and harshness), shapes (roundish-quality of the tree versus the straight edge monolith cliff face) and values (the brightness of the tree versus the deep emptiness of the background shadow). I gave the 4x5 Kodak Tri-X negative ample exposure and Normal -1 development with the intention of printing on a higher grade paper. This maintained an increased depth and separation in the shadow values while preserving well-textured highlights. This image is particularly effective if toned substantially in Selenium to obtain a "warm selenium brown" image color with certain papers. In the past I have used Kodak Elite paper and Forte Polygrade paper very effectively to achieve the right degree of selenium color and visual depth. I have also used Ilford Multigrade paper in the past, but this paper does not allow the beautiful selenium color shift that Elite and Forte were capable of. For me, the ideal printing paper would allow for a substantial but controllable color shift to reddish-brown when toned in dilute selenium toner and have a very neutral or slightly warm white base. Most cold tone papers today are not capable of good selenium color shifts and some have a white base that I would consider too cold.


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