Horizon I
Durham, North Carolina
29x36 inch plexi-mounted C-print

I took this image on one of my first forays into shooting with an 8x10 bellows camera. The camera was magnitudes larger than the 4x5 cameras I was accustomed to, and unfortunately, I wasn't completely adept at handling it or the hulking tripod that went with it. Still, I managed to maneuver it into position for the first shot, pointing it at the horizon. I focussed it, loaded the film, and began the exposure. I then went roaming the area looking for other promising compositions. When I came back mid-way through the forty-minute exposure, the camera was staring up at the heavens. Apparently, I hadn't locked down a key part of the tripod, and the camera had spent the last twenty minutes incrementally tracking the scene from it's original position to its present one.
8x10 film is not cheap, and I was resolute to make something useful come out of the situation. Since the composition was lost, the only thing left to me was to make it an exposure test. In the same manner one would correct an errant dog, I pointed the camera back at the horizon. "Stay!" I said, and left it there for the remaining twenty minutes.Unfortunately, I now understand how to work the tripod, and, my innocence lost, I have never been to able to replicate this effect.


©MJ Sharp / www.mjsharp.com


Next image

Back to image index