Merced River, Yosemite NP, California, USA by Gevork Mosesi

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Picture Story

I have been working with large format photography for the past 10 years, slowly weaning myself off of digital photography. Using this medium has slowed down my photography, allowing me to connect with the scene, as often one single exposure may take 30-40 minutes.

This photo was made one August morning a few years back at sunrise at Merced River at Yosemite National Park. For this trip, I limited myself to only work with film, thereby forcing myself to be very selective with the scene and the films I utilized. As the sun rose, it painted the oak trees a golden color which gave it the look of autumn leaves. Fortunately, this time of the year the water flow in the Merced river is much smaller than spring, which resulted in the beautiful reflection.

For this scene I used two different films, Kodak Ektar 100 and Fuji velvia 50. The Kodak handled the high contrast scene with the bright highlights very well. The colors turned out much richer than the Fuji Velvia.

At the time, when I set up the camera I wasn’t expecting the golden colors, but as I saw hints of the golden colors on the green leaves, my goal was to capture the contrast of the golden color with the intense greens. A few minutes after the exposure, the sunrise completely lit up the scene. On this day I also made a few photos using black and white film, which are also unique in their own way, but merely do not convey the feeling of sunrise.


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