With Idleness Filled

We camped at the Spiral Jetty, and I wanted to get a photo of it in the morning sun. Specifically, I wanted to capture it with the Conley 4×5 box camera using Vericolor 4111 film. There are two reasons this was going to be an issue.

First, the camera. This is a regular old box camera. The most common ones are Kodak Brownies which shoot 120 film. This is basically that but bigger. It doesn’t take roll film but was originally made for glass plates in plate holders. Fortunately, modern 4″x5″ film holders fit just fine.

Second, the film. Vericolor 4111 film is weird to use. It seems that almost nobody has fully figured out how best to use it – myself very much included.

Because the film is tungsten balanced, it requires an 85B filter for shooting outside. On top of this, the speed of the film is incredibly slow. I normally shoot it around 6iso, but decided to give it a bit more light by metering at 3iso.

This required a ten second exposure.

After mounting the box onto the tripod, I tested it a bit. With a flick of a selector switch, the push of the shutter button holds the shutter open until the button is pushed again, closing it.

With a breath, I held the filter in front of the lens and pushed the shutter button. One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Three… And finally, after a count of ten, I released it.

This was the result.

Vericolor 4111 is almost always surreal. It loves light and you can’t really predict how it will come out. More than likely, you will get something, but just what that something is will be a mystery until you develop it.

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‘With Idleness Filled’

Camera: Conley Senior 4×5 Box Camera (1900)
Film: Kodak Vericolor 4111; x-06/2004; 3iso
Ten second exposure.
Process: C-41

Spiral Jetty, Utah

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