White Sands National Monument on Film

Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar, Rollei 80s, Red Filter, EV -3, Rodinal 1+50
Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar, Rollei 80s, Red Filter, EV -3, Rodinal 1+50

Four friends, three hours, eighteen exposures, one Hasselblad 500C/M, White Sands National Monument.

It could be a book title, but instead describes a portion of a trip to New Mexico this January. During the trip our band of four visited Bosque del Apache, the Very Large Array, and White Sands National Monument.

I’m primarily known for my color street photography, but I’m also in pursuit of learning myself B&W film photography, both street work and nature work. This is what I was doing hanging out in the land of the birders and landscape photographers with a medium format film camera and some rolls of Fuji Neopan Acros 100 and Rollei 80s.

We arrived at White Sands National Monument in time for the late afternoon sun and hoping to catch the moon rise before they kicked us out of the park. I had half a roll of Neopan Acros in the Hassy, but was really looking forward to shooting a roll of the Rollei 80s. Acros is known for its smooth tones and the Rollei 80s is known as a high contrast film – quite different. In addition I shot the Acros with a yellow filter – add just a bit of contrast, but the Rollei with a red filter. The Rollei is already red-sensitive, so adding a red filter should really create deep dark skies and bring out the ripples in the sand.

It was late afternoon, and the sand at White Sands is, as one might expect, white. The light was definitely had a nice blue cast, but I’d be lying if I told you that I understood how the light and color would effect my shots. I’m still quite much hiking my way up the learning curve.

Starting with the images on Neopan Acros. How classic is this film? It is so classic that I though I was looking at a 1950’s guide book. The images that were most striking to me were on the roll of Rollei 80s. I think for two reasons, I was getting warmed up and more creative and the film really picked up on that creativity.

Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar, Neopan Acros 100, Yellow Filter, Rodinal 1+50
Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar, Neopan Acros 100, Yellow Filter, Rodinal 1+50
Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar, Neopan Acros 100, Yellow Filter, Rodinal 1+50
Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar, Neopan Acros 100, Yellow Filter, Rodinal 1+50
Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar, Rollei 80s, Red Filter, EV -3, Rodinal 1+50
Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar, Rollei 80s, Red Filter, EV -3, Rodinal 1+50
Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar, Rollei 80s, Red Filter, EV -3, Rodinal 1+50
Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar, Rollei 80s, Red Filter, EV -3, Rodinal 1+50
Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar, Rollei 80s, Red Filter, EV -3, Rodinal 1+50
Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar, Rollei 80s, Red Filter, EV -3, Rodinal 1+50
Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar, Rollei 80s, Red Filter, EV -3, Rodinal 1+50
Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar, Rollei 80s, Red Filter, EV -3, Rodinal 1+50

On a Foggy Morning

Sepulveda Basin 1 Hasselblad 500 C/M, Fuji Neopan 100 Acros, Rodinal 1+50

This is one of those hidden treasures in the middle of the great urban expanse we lovingly call LA. In the middle of the San Fernando Valley, within a few blocks from the congested interchange of the 405 and the 101 freeways, lies the Sepulveda Basin. On a cold morning, mist rises from the warm waters. Birds roost in this unlikely desert oasis only in the winter months.

These three images continue my exploration of B&W film photography. The last image was taken with a high-contrast, red-sensitive film and a red filter.

Sepulveda Basin 2 Hasselblad 500 C/M, Fuji Neopan 100 Acros, Rodinal 1+50

Sepulveda Basin 3 Hasselblad 500 C/M, Rollei 80s + Red filter, Clayton F76+