This morning I was invited by Race and Ashton, my local buddies, to go fishing at the old San Diego Mission Dam. I’m by no means a fisherman, especially being allergic to seafood of any kind, but I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to finally take the box I made for Europe Trip a couple of months ago for its first test on home soil. The 203 year old dam is now surrounded by Mission Trails Park, great place to hike by the way, and, though water barely flows this time of the year, there’s still some great little nature vignettes, which one can find if they get off the beaten path far enough. The over-the-shoulder dark box setup is perfect for such excursions.
I got very lucky, and all day the low marine layer clouds kept the sun at bay, while still providing plenty of UV for collodion. Race and Ashton cast their poles into the murky pond waters, and I set up my operation under a small tree upon gravel of a dry river wash. Here’s my first plate and the darkroom setup.
Meanwhile, Race knocked off his hat into the water while swinging his pole, leading to a lively rescue operation that saw the biggest catch of the day as the result. Here, the target is being zeroed in on by Ashton.
They continued to exert efforts of hooking a fish for a while, which gave me an opportunity to make a total of 7 plates including the one you see above. All of the plates were secured on first try, except for one of the compositions, the ‘up the river shot’. I really wanted to use a Petzval with wider aperture to get the certain look, and thee scene was so bright that I had to try a few times before I got my lens cap shutter technique down to yield an approximately 1/4sec exposure.
By the way, today’s images are all 4x5 in and were made with either of the following two lenses – Wide Angle RR Dallmeyer 1aa (4in focus) and a 7in Voigtlander Petzvla (stopped down for all exposures to 5.6). They were copied after varnishing using a Canon 5DII, and color and tone adjusted in Lightroom to match the final look as close as possible.