Flashback “Friday:” The Sentinel

Yes, I know it’s no longer Friday. In order to compensate for my having published a Silly Saturday post yesterday, I’m presenting this one today to balance out the dichotomy and to appease the Fates of Chronology.

I’ve been searching for an appropriate Flashback offering ever since I realized my oversight (with CD’s help), and my inspiration finally came an hour or so ago when I read the new post (here) by photo-friend Jeff Sinon, in which he shared what apparently are his first-ever monochrome images. I reviewed a folder that I’ve maintained of favorite black-and-whites, and this one immediately volunteered.

The Sentinel 23-Z-23

I made the shot in April 1996 on a wonderful beach near the town of Wanganui (wahng-ah-NOO-ee) on the southwest coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Strong onshore winds are typical there, and one can find veritable forests of driftwood near the base of the impressive dunes. I’d found this standing stump during a previous visit and took the time to set up my tripod and the camera loaded with Kodak Tri-Max 125, waiting for enough of a lull that I could get reasonable detail in at least some of the lovely sea grasses. I clearly remember spending a couple of hours in my darkroom, upon my return, developing the image to what I had envisioned (visualized) when I made the original exposure. This digital version is from a scan that I made of my original 8×10-inch fine print.

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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17 Responses to Flashback “Friday:” The Sentinel

  1. Jeff Sinon says:

    Outstanding photo Gary, and thanks for the shout-out. I do however have to correct you on one point. The images in the post your were so kind to link to are not my first monochrome images, I actually have a few. The difference between these and earlier B&Ws is that most all of my earlier ones were accidental discoveries. By accidental I mean that in earlier versions of Nik’s Color Efex Pro the image opened as a black and white conversion by default. Quite a few looked so good converted to B&W that I would then run a copy through Silver Efex.

    However, the photos in the recent post were conceived from the start as B&W. Which is a whole new thing for me. :-)

    • krikitarts says:

      I sit corrected, Jeff, but am happy to know that you are finally on the right non-accidental concept track. Looking forward to more!

      • Jeff Sinon says:

        Lucky for you I’m planning to broaden my horizons this year. Including more B&W.

      • krikitarts says:

        I’d say lucky for everyone who follows you!

      • Jeff Sinon says:

        I hope so. As much as I love photographing my normal subject matter, I’m planning to put some more effort into some things a little different. Architecture, B&W, possibly more city/street photography. Still no people though, I don’t ever foresee a desire for trying my hand at that ;-)

  2. Beautiful image Gary. The texture in the grass is wonderful especially with the rigidity of the driftwood.

    • krikitarts says:

      This one really is all about textures. I love the inherent grain of the old films. This one had a finer grain than others that I used regularly (TMax 400, Tri-x, Ilford HP-5, etc.), but still noticeable, and very nostalgic for me. Did you start out on film, too?

  3. Vicki says:

    Great shot, Gary.
    The composition is just perfect (and nice to see the grass details in the foreground too. If that had been me making the photo I would have just scored shadows).

    • krikitarts says:

      Don’t give up so easily! This was actually a 4-second exposure, and the grass heads were stationary for the vast majority of that time. When they were bobbing around, the bright sky behind them burned their blurry images out and left only the impression that they were unmoving. The key is experimentation and multiple tries.

      • Vicki says:

        Mutiple photos is what I’m all about, Gary.

        I’m often amazed that I get so many in focus these days, but sometimes, shots I don’t think will turn out, do. I can never tell until I download them onto the large screen. I keep vowing to only take 20 photos, but alas, my finger is trigger happy and keeps pressing the shutter button – lol.

        Went for a walk with my elderly Father around a lake near his home today. He kept asking what on earth I was photographing, as the walk, while very rustic & beautiful to my eyes, looked kind of ordinary to him. Still, it gave me an excuse to ensure he didn’t walk too fast & get exhausted (he’s 88 this year).

  4. Meanderer says:

    A wonderful image, Gary. I love the detail and softness in the grasses which contrasts fabulously with the solid sculptural driftwood. Really beautiful. One of my very favourites of yours – maybe THE favourite.

  5. Adrian Lewis says:

    Very striking shot, with a perfect title. A

    • krikitarts says:

      I was stirred by the resemblance of the right part of the old stump to a slightly-hunched figure, keeping watch over this particular section of the dunes, and was always delighted to see it still standing. I think that, the next time I had the chance to go again, it had fallen, and I was very thankful that I’d invested the effort to make this image.

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