Tim Layton Fine Art: Blog http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog en-us (C) Tim Layton & Associates | All Rights Reserved tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) Tue, 09 Jan 2018 17:25:00 GMT Tue, 09 Jan 2018 17:25:00 GMT http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/img/s/v-5/u131224912-o510457233-50.jpg Tim Layton Fine Art: Blog http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog 80 120 Jan 2018 Winter Landscapes Photo Contest Winner - Peter Campbell http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2018/1/jan-2018-winter-landscapes-photo-contest-winner It is my honor to announce the January 2018, Darkroom Underground photo contest winner. 

Peter Campbell's winter landscape of the Village of Nile in the Tsum Valley Nepal is the winner!  

Peter used his Mamiya 7 medium format camera for this spectacular image.  Peter used T-Max 100 film and he developed the film using D-76 1:1 in a Patterson daylight tank.

As the winner, Peter gets to choose between 1 package of any Hahnemühle Fine Art Inkjet Paper (8.5 x 11", 25 Sheets) or 1 package of Hahnemühle Platinum Rag Fine Art Paper (8 x 10", 25 Sheets), courtesy of Hahnemühle. 

You can connect with Peter on his website or via email to enjoy more of his work.  

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and/or my Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update again. Subscribe to my annual Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and receive all of my articles curated into a beautifully formatted PDF eBook every year.  View my Learning Materials for darkroom and large format photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2018/1/jan-2018-winter-landscapes-photo-contest-winner Wed, 03 Jan 2018 19:55:33 GMT
Platinum & Palladium Printmaking With Vellum - Master Series Video Workshop http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2018/1/platinum-palladium-printmaking-with-vellum---master-series I am excited to announce the release of my Platinum & Palladium Printmaking with Vellum - Master Series.  

In this video workshop, I walk you through the entire process of how to make high-quality platinum and palladium prints using translucent vellum as opposed to regular rag and cotton paper.  Using this technique, you can unlock a new level of creativity that isn't possible with normal opaque papers.  

Purchase Now & Get Immediate Access

This video workshop is part of my Master Series and I assume you are comfortable making traditional platinum and palladium prints or you have taken my Modern Platinum & Palladium Printmaking With Digital Negatives - Quick Start Guide.  

The print you are looking at is Platinum & Palladium printed on acid free vellum and then treated to be nearly transparent.  I create this print in the workshop and walk you through every step in the process.  

For this version of the print, I backed the vellum with a gold acid free paper to create this unique presentation of this lone walnut tree in Cades Cove, located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  

You could go in a number of different directions for presentation because of the translucent nature of this technique and this is what makes this method so powerful.  In this case, I went with gold because it reminded of that morning in the mountains with the warm morning light and fog breaking over the tree in the valley.  

I include 11 HD Videos detailing every part of the process starting with coating your vellum with the platinum and palladium sensitizer all the way through to making the vellum transparent for a unique and compelling final presentation. 

Movie 1 - Introduction & Materials Overview 

Movie 2 - Layout Considerations & Techniques 

Movie 3 - Demonstration of How to Effectively Coat Vellum With Your Pt/Pd Sensitizer 

Movie 4 - Drying & Exposing Your Sensitized Vellum Tips & Technique

Movie 5 - Developing Your Vellum Pt/Pd Print & Handling Tips

Movie 6 - Clearing & Archival Processing of Your Vellum Pt/Pd Print 

Movie 7 - Blotting & Beginning The Drying Process

Movie 8 - Flattening Your Dried Vellum Pt/Pd Print 

Movie 9 - Transforming Your Semi-Transparent Vellum Pt/Pd Print Into a Transparent Piece of Art

Movie 10 - Overview of Special Backing Techniques For Innovate Presentation Options

Movie 11 - Summary & Final Thoughts 

I also include documents detailing the materials needed and drop count formulas for coating your vellum. 

Purchase Now & Get Immediate Access

Purchase Now & Get Immediate Access

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and/or my Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update again.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) fine art palladium platinum platinum print platinum/palladium http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2018/1/platinum-palladium-printmaking-with-vellum---master-series Tue, 02 Jan 2018 17:31:33 GMT
Seeking Pathological Art Collectors! http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/seeking-pathological-art-collectors Have you ever thought about why people collect things? Some people collect fine art, while others collect everything from stamps to antiques.  

The act of "collecting", can simply be thought of as someone that consciously pursues a specific object and has the desire to add new subjects to their current inventory.  Collecting art is much more than this... 

The serious collectors that I talk to on a regular basis typically started collecting things like baseball cards or stamps as a child, and then moved on to more serious subjects like fine art, antique books, rare coins, and so on.  

Did you know that during the 16th and 17th centuries, a viewing cabinet was a symbolic display of the collector's power and wealth?  It was these early collectors who established the first museums in Europe, and to a lesser extent in America.

Are you familiar with Sigmund Freud? Freud shared his thoughts about the psychology of collecting and its motivation.  I had to read his thoughts more than once because I thought my eyes were doing something strange.  Am I psychoanalyzing myself right now? (Freud joke...) Freud thought that collecting tied back to a persons toilet training when they were a young child.  Of course he did... He suggested that the loss of control of what went down the toilet was traumatic for some people, and therefore, these people sought out to try and gain back control of possessions.  No disrespect Mr. Freud, but I think you may be full of shit.  (humor intended and your milage may vary...:) 

The Artist & Collector Connection

On a more serious note, I enjoy the relationships with my collectors as much as I do creating my artwork.  There is a special bond that is formed between artist and collector and I think it is very special.  Many people incorrectly believe that you have to be wealthy or influential in some way in order to be an avid art collector.  That simply isn't true and the vast majority of art is very affordable.  Those stories that make the evening news where an artist, usually a dead artist, just sold one of their pieces for an amazing amount of money is a distortion of the vast majority of art collecting transactions.  Most collectors are everyday people that have a special reason that drives their desire to collect.  

The Benefits of Collecting Art

The real benefits of collecting art may surprise you.  We have already cleared up the misconception about the need to be wealthy to collect art.  I actively collect fine art photography.  

In the last year I was able to acquire prints made by Fred Picker (1927-2002).  One of the prints was used in one of his video workshops that he produced, making it very special to me.  Fred was a black and white photographer who pioneered the “Zone VI” variation of the Zone System of B&W photography first perfected by Ansel Adams.  

I've also collected new work from Tim Rudman from his latest collection, Iceland, An Uneasy Calm.  Dr. Tim Rudman is well known as an accomplished photographer, master printer and authority on darkroom techniques as well as a regular writer and lecturer. I purchased several of Tim's books over the last three decades and I have always looked up to him as an authoritative resource in darkroom and analog photography techniques.  Tim's work has been widely exhibited in over 25 countries, receiving numerous international awards and is held in several permanent and private collections around the world.  And to think that photography is only part of what this great mind has to offer is simply amazing.

I have also purchased fine art prints from unknown photographers because their work moved me and spoke to me.  You don't have to be internationally known in order to create great things.  

Based on research and my own experiences as a collector and artist, I find that collecting art offers a wide variety of benefits to include:

  • Relaxation and stress reduction
  • Knowledge and opportunity to learn 
  • Competitive challenge 
  • Personal pleasure (appreciation of beauty)
  • Nostalgia and/or a connection to history 
  • Social interaction with artists and fellow collectors
  • Connect to a higher cause outside of one's self 
  • Recognition 
  • Altruism (ultimately donate art to museums and learning institutions)
  • Accumulation and diversification of wealth 
  • Freedom from self

If you are an avid art collector and your motivation isn't in my brief list above, send me an email and introduce yourself and I would like to know more about you.  

Seeking Pathological Art Collectors!

I made an attempt at sharing something different with you today and I hope that you maybe learned a little something and maybe even cracked a little smile.  On a serious note, I want to make authentic connections with avid collectors that value and appreciate the art and craft of making fine platinum and palladium prints. The history of platinum and palladium fine art goes beyond the elegant and timeless beauty of the medium.  I create because I am deeply passionate about the connection between nature and humanity and its positive impacts.  Send me a note and introduce yourself if you would like to begin a conversation.  

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and/or my Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update again. Subscribe to my annual Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and receive all of my articles curated into a beautifully formatted PDF eBook every year.  View my Learning Materials for darkroom and large format photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

 

 

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) art art collector fine art http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/seeking-pathological-art-collectors Wed, 27 Dec 2017 21:19:03 GMT
Modern Platinum & Palladium Printmaking With Digital Negatives - Quick Start Guide http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/modern-platinum-palladium-printmaking-with-digital-negatives-quick-start-guide Modern Platinum-Palladium Printmaking with Digital Negatives - Quick Start Guide

I created this special quick start guide to help you create Platinum & Palladium fine art prints in a fraction of the time if you had to research, test, and troubleshoot the process on your own.  The learning materials include the core book in PDF format and I have created several videos that help illustrate the concepts and steps in the book.  

Purchase Today & Get Immediate Access on January 31, 2018, When It is Released.  The price will increase to $99 after it is released.  

In order to help you make your first prints as quickly as possible using digital negatives, I have invested a lot of time in making a special Photoshop curve that you can use.  Creating the custom curve for platinum/palladium is one of the biggest hurdles in making high-quality prints.   By combing digital negatives with the Platinum Sodium Na2 solution, making Platinum/Palladium prints have never been easier.  

The curve is located in the resources library after you purchase the training materials.  You will be able to download the special curve file to a safe place on your computer and later in the book, I will walk you through how to load and apply it to your digital negative.

Finished print on drying rack on second dayFinished print on drying rack on second dayI donate 20% of my art sale profits to non-profit organizations that have a proven track record of helping make our world a better place. After your purchase, I will email you asking you to select an organization for the donation.

Learn How to Make Platinum & Palladium Prints From Tim Layton.

Subscribe to my free Newsletter and never miss another update again.

Learn more about my Fine Art Platinum and Platinum/Palladium Printmaking.

View my platinum and palladium fine art prints and read exclusive articles in the Darkroom Underground Magazine.
I provide a detailed list of requirements and materials needed so that you can begin sourcing everything prior to starting the step-by-step process that I provide in the book.

In the spirit of quick start guides, I get directly to the point in the shortest amount of time without sacrificing necessary details.  

If you want an in-depth course on how to make platinum and palladium prints using large format film negatives, then you may want to check out my upcoming quick start guide, Traditional Platinum & Palladium Printmaking With Large Format Film - Quick Start Guide.  The benefit of using the method that I teach in this course is the ability to make pure platinum, pure palladium, or platinum/palladium prints with large format film.  The digital negatives quick start guide uses Na2 as the restrainer, so this forces you to make platinum/palladium prints.  The upside is this process is much easier than the traditional method and produces absolutely beautiful high-quality prints.  The traditional process is more complex and there are more variables to master, but if you want this level of control in your work, then this is a great tool to have in your bag.  

You can check out my main learning resources page for availability or subscribe to my Free Darkroom Newsletter for updates.  

Purchase Today & Get Immediate Access on January 31, 2018, When It is Released. The price will increase to $99 after it is released.

In Addition to the eBook, I also provide 10 HD videos demonstrating and highlighting the techniques described in the book.

  • Movie 1 - Introduction and Overview of Platinum Printmaking Work Environment 
  • Movie 2 - Print Layout Before Coating Sensitizer 
  • Movie 3 - Coating Sensitizer on Paper Technique 
  • Movie 4 - Loading Paper & Negative Into Printing Frame
  • Movie 5 - UV Printer & Timer Info
  • Movie 6 - Develop Print
  • Movie 7 - Post Development 
  • Movie 8 - Cold Tone Technique 
  • Movie 9 - Masking During Exposure Technique 
  • Movie 10 - Summary & Next Steps 

Purchase Today & Get Immediate Access on January 31, 2018, When It is Released. The price will increase to $99 after it is released.  

LEARNING OVERVIEW

Getting Ready to Make Some Platinum PrintsGetting Ready to Make Some Platinum PrintsSubscribe to my free Newsletter and never miss another article or update.

Read exclusive articles, both technical and creative, and view fine art portfolios in the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

Subscribe to the Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and get all of my articles in a beautifully curated eBook every year.


Explore my Learning Materials that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards.

Learn more about my Fine Art Platinum and Platinum/Palladium Printmaking.
You can use a digital camera or scan your film to create your digital negatives in Photoshop.  You will be editing and producing a finished positive image as your first step in the process before applying a custom curve that I have developed for you in Photoshop.  

Next, you will invert your image and use a custom set of printing controls that I walk you through in this book.  The result is a digital negative that you will use in your platinum/palladium printmaking process.

Before you can make a print, I walk you through how to establish your standard printing time for your specific paper, developer, and film combination in your local UV printer.  No one can give you this time; it is something you have to establish yourself. 

Once you have your standard printing time established, you can begin the printmaking process.  

Movie - Developing the Vintage Lily Platinum & Palladium Fine Art Print.I donate 20% of my art sale profits to non-profit organizations that have a proven track record of helping make our world a better place. After your purchase, I will email you asking you to select an organization for the donation.

Learn How to Make Platinum & Palladium Prints From Tim Layton.

Subscribe to my free Newsletter and never miss another update again.

Learn more about my Fine Art Platinum and Platinum/Palladium Printmaking.

View my platinum and palladium fine art prints and read exclusive articles in the Darkroom Underground Magazine.
I walk you through the entire process of mixing and coating your sensitizer to exposing, developing, clearing, and washing your first platinum/palladium print.  I describe the entire process in the book and also provide videos of me making a real print.  

Black Bear Cub - Platinum/Palladium Fine PrintBlack Bear Cub - Platinum/Palladium Fine PrintTitle: Black Bear Cub, Great Smoky Mountains
Limited Edition: Yes, edition of 10
Print Info: Platinum/Palladium Hand Coated Fine Print
Paper Info: Hahnemühle Platinum Rag, 11" x 15"
Image Area: 8" x 10" printed on 11" x 15" media
Price: 1/10 $499 USD


I donate 20% of my art sale profits to non-profit organizations that have a proven track record of helping make our world a better place. After your purchase, I will email you asking you to select an organization for the donation.

Contact Tim for purchase information or questions.
You can expect to invest a weekend making your first few prints after you have assembled all of the necessary materials.  I included the list of materials in the book description, so you could get them ordered right away while you start reading the book.  

I believe there is no other medium in photography that produces a timeliness and valuable piece of art like platinum and palladium fine prints.  The process from beginning to end is a true artisan process that you can master over time. 

I encourage you to visit your local museum and view some platinum and platinum/palladium prints from the greats that came before us.  You will probably be speechless, just like I was, and continue to be, every time I view these pieces of art.  

I am honored to help you on your journey, and I look forward to connecting with you.

Once you start producing prints that you are proud of, contact me, and we can discuss publishing your prints in an edition of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

I wish you the best as you get started, and I am excited to see what you create.

Purchase Today & Get Immediate Access on January 31, 2018, When It is Released. The price will increase to $99 after it is released.

MATERIALS OVERVIEW

The information in this quick start guide is optimized for the following materials.  While it is possible to use different materials, I cannot guarantee your results if you deviate from this list on the critical items such as chemicals, paper, and film.  I provide links to suggested items as a way to help you verify the materials.  I have no affiliation with any of these suppliers.  

MATERIALS LIST

To create platinum/palladium prints using the method outlined in this quick start guide, you will need the following:

  • Photoshop (any version from CS4 and later will work)
  • A High-Quality Inkjet Printer (I use an Epson 3880, and my step-by-step instructions are geared towards Epson printers)
  • UV Printer (You need a reliable UV light source.  I have a DIY video workshop to help you design and build your own printer for a significant savings over a commercial printer). 
  • Pictorico TPU Premium OHP Transparency Fim (8.5” x 11”) - B&H Link
  • Platinum/Palladium Chemicals (Na2 Platinum/Palladium Kit for Digital Negatives from Bostick & Sullivan) 
  • 5 Darkroom Trays (Development, Distilled Water Bath, Clearing Bath 1, Clearing Bath 2, Washing Tray) 
  • Paper - Souce a paper suitable for Platinum & Palladium Printing.  I use Hahnemühle Platinum Rag as my standard paper choice.  Other suitable papers would include Arches Platine and Bergge Cot 320.  
  • Nitrile Gloves - Amazon Link 
  • Small Clear Glass Shotglass for mixing chemicals - Amazon Link
  • High-Quality Coating Brush - I use the Richeson 9000 series brush - Amazon Link
  • Paper - You will want to start with a high-quality paper that is known to work with the platinum/palladium process.  I have standardized on Hahnemühle Platinum Rag, but Arches Platine also works well.  
  • Contact Printing Frame - You will want to have a contact printing frame, the style that has the spring/hinged back in the size or sizes that you plan on printing.  I like to print on paper a little larger than the image size.  For example, I use 8x10 paper for my 5x7 negatives, and I use 11x15 paper for my 8x10 negatives.  
  • Black Construction Paper - I often use a thin sheet of black construction paper the same size as my print media with a window cut out to mask the borders of my print during exposure.  You want the mask to be very thin and not interfere with your negative and sensitized paper "sandwich" during the exposure process. 
  • Print Drying Screens - I made my own from simple 1x2 pine and stretched screen over the opening.  You can also use old picture frames and stretch the screen over them.   
  • Distilled Water - All of your print processing, except for the final wash should use distilled water.
  • Archival Print Washing - You will need to wash your prints for at least 30 to 45 minutes in running tap water to complete your processing.  One of the cheapest ways to wash your prints is to just use a darkroom tray.  You will want to keep the print submerged below the surface of the water.  Another option is to invest in an archival print washer that allows you to wash several prints at one time.  When you are just starting out, a tray will work just fine.  
  • Timers - I like to keep at least two timers in my printmaking area (1 for coating and print drying and another for the wet processing.  
  • Temperature/Humidity Meter - Amazon Link
  • Digital Scale - used to measure your clearing bath powdered chemicals in grams.   
  • Prismacolor Pencils - used for spotting and touching up prints. I use the warm grey series and black.  Color and pencil numbers: Warm Grey 10% 1050, Warm Gray 20% 1051, Warm Grey 30% 1052, Warm Grey 50% 1054, Warm Grey 70% 1056, Warm Grey 90% 1058, Black 935. Dick Blick Art Link
  • Misc. Items - paper towels, lint-free towel for cleaning glass, old towels, blue painters tape, No 2 pencil, glass cleaner, a heater to warm chemicals, hair dryer, plexiglass used for coating your paper. 

Purchase Today & Get Immediate Access on January 31, 2018, When It is Released. The price will increase to $99 after it is released.

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) digital negatives palladium platinum platinum & palladium platinum print platinum/palladium http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/modern-platinum-palladium-printmaking-with-digital-negatives-quick-start-guide Sun, 24 Dec 2017 19:17:21 GMT
New Platinum/Palladium Print - Tiger Lily, Limited Edition of 10 http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/new-platinum/palladium-print---tiger-lily I am excited to bring you a brand new platinum and palladium fine art print. Tiger Lily, Great Smoky Mountains, is a delicate and timeliness fine art print in a limited edition that I hope brings you a sense of peace and joy.  Printed on Hahnemühle Platinum Rag 11" x 15" media, 8" x 10" Image.  

You can view the behind the scenes photos and videos of me creating this print, and you can purchase the limited edition of 10.

If you are not familiar with Platinum & Palladium fine art prints, you may want to read my essay describing this historic form of fine art. You can view a variety of resources on my Platinum Printmaking page if you want to know more about my creative process.  

If you are a photographer and want to learn how to create Platinum & Palladium Fine Art prints, you can purchase my Modern Platinum & Palladium Printmaking With Digital Negatives - Quick Start Guide.  

STORY BEHIND THE PRINT

 I was in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this summer (2017) to view and photograph black bears.  Since the best time to view and photograph wildlife is early morning at dawn and in the evenings right before sunset, I have time in-between to scout, hike, and explore.  

On this particular day, it was overcast and very calm.  Bears are usually in the lower elevations, so I decided I wanted to go up and check out the higher elevations near the summit at Clingman's Dome.  

I was hiking and found this beautiful Tiger Lily near the very beginning of the trail to Andrews Bald.  I paused, and I doubled checked my vision because it was in such perfect condition.  

I sat down and enjoyed the flower.  I relaxed and soaked in the positive effects of this ethereal piece of natures best artwork.  I wondered when it bloomed and how long it would stay in this perfect condition.  With the constant weather changes and variables in nature, I knew that this flower wouldn't remain like this for long.

It was slightly overcast, and there were some fog and mist at this elevation.  The Great Smoky Mountains are famous for their "smoke" (mist and fog).  I took my time and photographed the flower from several different perspectives and a variety of compositions.  I purposely used a lens that would soften the background and allow the flower to be the main subject.  The background that you see in this fine print are the layers of the mountains and the mist and fog that covered them on this morning.  

If you are looking to add a timeless piece of original art to your collection, I think this limited edition platinum/palladium fine print is worth considering.  Platinum/Palladium prints have a proven track record of being valuable pieces of artwork that started in the late 19th century.  If you have never seen a handmade platinum/palladium fine art print in person, I encourage you to visit your local museum or art gallery and ask to see some in person.  Digital images on a computer screen cannot convey the three-dimensional nature of the viewing experience or the soft and subtle gradation of tone that only the human eye can detect.  Art is made to be experienced in person, not via a computer screen.  

If you have any questions or would like more information, contact me, and I will be delighted to connect with you. 

 

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and/or my Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update again. Subscribe to my annual Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and receive all of my articles curated into a beautifully formatted PDF eBook every year.  View my Learning Materials for darkroom and large format photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM
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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) fine art platinum platinum print platinum/palladium print smokies tiger lily wildflower http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/new-platinum/palladium-print---tiger-lily Sat, 23 Dec 2017 16:19:00 GMT
New Platinum/Palladium Print - Black Bear Cub, Limited Edition of 10 http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/new-platinum/palladium-print---black-bear-cub Black Bear Cub - Platinum/Palladium Fine PrintBlack Bear Cub - Platinum/Palladium Fine PrintTitle: Black Bear Cub, Great Smoky Mountains
Limited Edition: Yes, edition of 10
Print Info: Platinum/Palladium Hand Coated Fine Print
Paper Info: Hahnemühle Platinum Rag, 11" x 15"
Image Area: 8" x 10" printed on 11" x 15" media
Price: 1/10 $499 USD


I donate 20% of my art sale profits to non-profit organizations that have a proven track record of helping make our world a better place. After your purchase, I will email you asking you to select an organization for the donation.

Contact Tim for purchase information or questions.
I am excited to release a brand new limited edition of 10, platinum/palladium print of a black bear cub that I photographed in the Great Smoky Mountains in the summer of 2017.  

Printed on Hahnemühle Platinum Rag 11" x 15" media, 8" x 10" Image.  

You can view the behind the scenes photos and videos of me making this print and purchase it here.  

If you are not familiar with Platinum & Palladium fine art prints, you may want to read my essay describing this historic form of fine art. You can view a variety of resources on my Platinum Printmaking page if you want to know more about my creative process.  

If you are a photographer and want to learn how to create Platinum & Palladium Fine Art prints, you can purchase my Modern Platinum & Palladium Printmaking With Digital Negatives - Quick Start Guide.  

STORY BEHIND THE PRINT

I regularly explore the mountain country in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennennesse and North Carolina.  In late summer, I made a trip to the mountains to focus on watching black bears.  

Of all the wildlife that I love to watch and photograph, bears are at the top of my list.  The adrenalin rush when I first spot the bears is really amazing.  I feel like I am in a time warp and I forget about everything else.  I become part of the scene and time is frozen.  

I had been tracking a family of black bears, a sow, and her three cubs for over a week. This effectively means that I get up before sunrise and get into a position where I hope the bears might be looking for food and spend the next several hours hiking and exploring.  Around noon, I take a break and eat some lunch and try and rest for an hour or so.  Then I start back up again about 2 hours before sunset and run through to the last light of the day.  It can be physically and mentally exhausting at times, but it is what I love to do.  

I was fortunate enough on the last day of my trip to find the sow (mother) and her three cubs in an open forest area.  I slowly made my way closer to them in hopes of being able to photograph them in their natural environment without disturbing them.  I got myself into a good position, and the bears, unfortunately, discovered me as well.  Two of the cubs climbed a tree, and the other one stayed close to its mom.

My heart started pounding because I have wanted to photograph a bear cub in a tree for years, but I never had the opportunity until now.  I was excited, nervous, and happy, all at the same time.  I was amazed at the keen sense of the young cubs.  You can see the emotion in the little cub's eyes that I photographed.  He/she was watching every single move that I made.  

I lost myself in the scene watching this young black bear cub and forgot about keeping an eye out for the mother.  I was twice the recommended distance from the bears as directed by the national park.  As I was focused on the cub, I heard what sounded like heavy footsteps and branches or twigs breaking in the forest.  I took my eyes off the cub to find the sow (mother bear) walking towards me.  At that moment, I thought I was in real trouble and was probably in danger.  I didn't plan on getting that close to the bears for their safety as well as mine because I value and protect their safety and wellbeing, just as I do people and the environment.  I never want to harm or have my presence negatively effect wildlife in any way.  

The sow stood up on her hind legs and made a hissing sound, clearly directed towards me that I will never forget.  She was telling me to get away from her cubs or she was going to take care of this situation.  I slowly stood up, looked at her and slowly moved backward out of the area towards safety.  You never want to look scared or run from a bear because they will think you are prey.  

I will never forget this experience, and I hope you enjoy this special limited edition fine art platinum/palladium handmade print.  

Later this same morning, I went up the summit near Clingman's Dome and photographed this Tiger Lily and made a platinum/palladium fine print of this ethereal wildflower. 

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and/or my Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update again. Subscribe to my annual Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and receive all of my articles curated into a beautifully formatted PDF eBook every year.  View my Learning Materials for darkroom and large format photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) black bear fine art fine art print great smoky mountains national park platinum platinum print http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/new-platinum/palladium-print---black-bear-cub Sat, 23 Dec 2017 14:15:26 GMT
Film Gear 20% OFF at KEH Through 12/10/17 http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/film-gear-20-off-at-keh-through-12/10/17 The folks at KEH are running a sale on all film gear.  They are offering a 20% discount on their inventory on all film gear through 12/10/17 11:59 PM ET.  

Their ad says to enter promo code FILM12E at checkout to receive the discount.  

I have no affiliation with KEH other than being a customer.  I have been buying used camera gear from KEH for many years and so when I see the rare sale of 20% pop up, I want to let you know about it.  

Twenty percent off certain items can make a huge difference.  Especially camera bodies and lenses.  I picked up one of my favorite large format lenses last year with this discount.  

I am not sure how frequent they run this 20% off sale for film gear, but I don't think it is more than once or twice a year.  

If you pick up something you want or need because of this reminder, send me a note and let me know what you got. 

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and/or my Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update again. Subscribe to my annual Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and receive all of my articles curated into a beautifully formatted PDF eBook every year.  View my Learning Materials for darkroom and large format photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) analog photography black and white darkroom film fine art large format photography http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/film-gear-20-off-at-keh-through-12/10/17 Sat, 09 Dec 2017 12:54:36 GMT
January 2018 - Paper Negatives Month at Darkroom Underground http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/january-2018-paper-negatives-month-at-darkroom-underground All limited edition darkroom black and white gelatin silver gallery prints are sold out.


If you would like a reproduction print, please emailinfo@timlaytonfineart.com or call +1.314.972.4900 to discuss your requirements and pricing.


All reproduction prints are scans of the original negatives and printed with archival quality pigment inks and papers on a large format printer. The same care and attention to detail is applied to these prints.


Reproduction prints are a great way to own a beautiful gallery quality piece of art at an affordable price. Because Tim works in large format, very large mural prints are possible.
In 2018, I thought it would be fun to get the darkroom and large format community involved in sharing our passion and love of classic analog photography. I will be sharing themes during 2018 for you to consider and create some new photographs.  I will be announcing all of this via my Free Darkroom Photography Newsletter.  

The winner will be published in the next edition of the Darkroom Underground Magazine and receive a free package of 25 count 8x10/8.5x11 Hahnemühle Fine Art paper!

Share this announcement with your darkroom and large format friends so they can get involved too. 

The print in this article is my best-selling print of all time and it was created with a paper negative (Ilford MGIV Grade # 2) and a yellow filter on my 8x10 large format camera.  

January will be paper negatives month.  

If you are not familiar with using darkroom paper as a negative medium, you are missing out on a lot of creative opportunities.  My Exploring Paper Negatives with Large Format Video Workshop is one of my most popular courses, and for good reason. Paper negatives can open up some new opportunities whether you are completely analog in your entire process, or if you use a hybrid approach and capture with the paper negative and print via inkjet.  

DETAILS

Submit your newly created paper negative photographs to the Darkroom Underground Facebook Group and include the hashtag #JAN18PAPERNEG.  If you are not already a member, just request access and I will get you approved.  

The photograph must be something new that you created during the months of December 2017 through January 31, 2018.  The idea behind the monthly themes during 2018 is to get you to try new things and to create something new.  I find it very inspirational to see the work of my peers and it opens up new creative possibilities that I otherwise would have probably never considered.   

You can use any format (120, 4x5, 5x7, 8x10, etc.).  The only requirement is that you use darkroom paper as your negative medium.  

You can make a traditional wet darkroom print from your paper negative, or you can scan it and create a digital file for making a digital print.  

I will select a winning photograph from the photos submitted to the Facebook Group and announce the winner in February.  The winning photograph will be published in the next edition of the Darkroom Underground Magazine and you will also receive a free 25-count 8x10/8.5x11 package of Hahnemühle Fine Art Paper.  You get to choose the paper that you want!  

I am working on some new still life and I plan to make a large format silver gelatin contact print and also scan one of the negatives to make an inkjet print on some new Hahnemühle Photo Rag Paper.  I am excited to try this paper and see how it compares to my traditional platinum prints on Hahnemühle Platinum Rag Paper.  

I will be sharing my two prints in the January 2018 edition of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.  The January edition will be available on January 1st.  If you are not already a subscriber to my Free Darkroom Photography Newsletter, you can subscribe today and get a notice when the magazine is published.  

You can scan or photograph your print and post it along with the following information to the Darkroom Underground Group.  

TEMPLATE FOR POSTING YOUR PHOTO

Darkroom Paper: <enter the darkroom paper you used as your negative>

Format: <4x5, 8x10, 120, etc>

Print Type: <Silver Gelatin, Inkjet, etc.>

Print Paper: <Ilford MGIV, Hahnemühle Photo Rag, etc.>

#JAN18PAPERNEG

I look forward to seeing your new prints posted on the Darkroom Underground Facebook Group

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and/or my Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update again. Subscribe to my annual Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and receive all of my articles curated into a beautifully formatted PDF eBook every year.  View my Learning Materials for darkroom and large format photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

 

 

 

 

 

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) analog photography black and white darkroom fine art large format paper negative photography http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/january-2018-paper-negatives-month-at-darkroom-underground Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:21:53 GMT
Follow The Eagles at Norfolk Lake This Winter http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/follow-the-eagles-at-norfolk-lake-this-winter Do something different this winter and follow the Eagles that nest at Norfolk Lake in Mountain Home Arkansas.  You can follow along with me on this adventure from anywhere in the world.  I am watching the Eagles from December 1st, 2017 until March 1st, 2018.  I am producing and sharing video updates, photographs, and short stories as the adventure unfolds this winter.  You can follow along for free on my Norfolk Eagles Update Page.  

In a world that is drowning in material "things", I am offering you the opportunity to experience something that money can't buy.  You will get the opportunity to learn about America's iconic national treasure and connect with nature in an authentic and meaningful way.  The fierce beauty and proud independence of this great bird aptly symbolizes the strength and freedom of America.

I hope to inspire you to think more about the worlds limited natural resources and get closer to nature.  You can join my free Wildlife Photography Newsletter to receive my latest updates on the Norfolk Lake Bald Eagles.  

If you appreciate and value what I am doing with this project, you can become an Eagle Insider by sponsoring me this winter. You can make a donation of any amount via my PayPal page.  In addition to all of the free updates via the Norfolk Eagles Update Page, if you donate $99 or more, you will get to pick your favorite fine art photograph from this seasons Norfolk Eagles Gallery.  

I will personally make a fine art print of your choice from the special gallery of Norfolk Lake Bald Eagle images in any size you wish from 4"x6" to 11"x14".  You will be able to select your favorite photograph after the season closes on March 1st, 2018.  All of my Norfolk Eagle fine art prints are limited edition of 250 collectibles that are created with premium Hahnemühle Photo Rag Paper.  This genuine artist paper is made of 100 % cotton and creates a piece of art with an impressive pictorial depth. This special paper complies with the highest archival standards available today ensuring your beautiful print will last for generations. 

Join my free Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update on the Eagles again or become an Eagle Insider and join me on this adventure.  

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) arkansas bald eagle eagle migration norfolk lake ozark's winter http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/follow-the-eagles-at-norfolk-lake-this-winter Tue, 05 Dec 2017 22:23:52 GMT
Photo Contest For Jan 2018 Edition of Darkroom Underground - Winter Landscapes http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/photo-contest-for-jan-2018-edition-of-darkroom-underground--winter-landscapes I am excited to announce the photo contest for the January 2018 edition of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.  We want to publish your single best analog photograph of a winter landscape.  

Any analog format is allowed (35mm, 120 Medium Format, Large Format) using any analog medium (film, paper negatives, wet plate, dry plate, etc.).  

The winner will be published in the January edition of the magazine and receive one package of Hahnemühle Fine Art Photo Paper.  As the winner, you will get to choose between 1 package of any Hahnemühle Fine Art Inkjet Paper (8.5 x 11", 25 Sheets) or 1 package of Hahnemühle Platinum Rag Fine Art Paper (8 x 10", 25 Sheets)!

Your single submission must have been exposed on an analog medium and your photograph can be scanned or you can take a photograph of it.  

Only submit one image for review (see details below). 

We will be judging your winter landscape photograph based on technical skill and creative expression.  I will personally review all entries and pick the top 10 for a panel review by our board of advisors.  The winner will be selected by a blind panel review.  No names will be provided to the Darkroom Underground advisory board, only your photograph. I will ask each advisor to select their absolute favorite image and share why they made their selection.  I will be providing their feedback to the winner via a private email.   

I have included the relevant information in the text below for your review:

Deadline For Submission: 12/15/2017

File Format: JPG at 300 DPI and 3000 pixels on long side 

Information You Must Include With Your Submission To Be Considered: 

Name:

Email Address You Want Published:

Website You Want Published:

Film or Medium Used (film, paper negative, glass, etc.): 

Format (i.e., 35mm, 120, 4x5, 8x10, etc): 

Developer Used:

Development Method (e.g., trays, daylight tank, Jobo, etc): 

Location of Photo: 

Brief Bio or Artist Statement:

If you include a portrait with your email, I will include it in the magazine.  (JPG, 300 DPI, 2000 pixels on long side). 

Please send your submission to me via email by no later than December 15, 2017, to be considered for this contest.  

I am excited to review your single best winter landscape photograph. 

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and/or my Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update again.

View my Learning Materials for darkroom and large format photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) analog photography contest darkroom photo contest photography http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/12/photo-contest-for-jan-2018-edition-of-darkroom-underground--winter-landscapes Sun, 03 Dec 2017 11:53:00 GMT
My New Used Nikon 300mm F2.8 Lens May Be My Most Versatile Lens in My Wildlife Kit http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/11/my-new-used-nikon-300mm-f2-8-lens-may-be-my-most-versatile-lens-in-my-wildlife-kit Early morning in the blindEarly morning in the blindGet my free Darkroom & Fine Art Newsletter and never miss another article again. Over this last year, I have been using a Nikon D500 (crop sensor) and D5 (full frame camera) for my wildlife photography along with four core prime lenses (300 F4, 400 F2.8, 500 F4, 600 F4). In a previous article, I discussed my plans for 2018 where I am bringing together my love of classic platinum printmaking and my newfound love of wildlife photography.  I've had to master creating digital negatives for my new platinum and platinum/palladium prints because I won't be able to use my large format film cameras for these adventures.  I am really excited about exploring all of this more deeply in the coming years.  All of this has taken me on a journey, exploring a variety of equipment (cameras, lenses, tools) and my latest lens, the Nikon 300mm F2.8 is an amazing tool that I am really excited about.  

THE JOURNEY TO THE 300

The photo to the left is my outdoor cat, Fluffy.  It is the very first exposure I created with the new lens.  I mounted the lens on the D500 and went outside at the end of the day before the last bit of remaining light was gone.  I created this exposure wide open and handheld the lens with no difficulty. This image is a screen capture from my Mac and isn't processed in any way.  I knew when I saw this image that I was going to love this lens.   

I originally anticipated that I would need a 600mm F4 lens for my wildlife photography and I would be good to go!  I was wrong....I discovered very quickly that 600mm was too much lens or it was simply too big and heavy for my current situation. However, when you need the long reach, you need it.  This is when I started exploring shorter prime lenses, so I got the 400mm F2.8 lens and a new world revealed itself to me.  The 400mm F2.8 is probably the single best lens I own in terms of optical quality, although I think anyone would be hard-pressed to pick out a photo made with the 400 F2.8 vs. the 300 F2.8.  The only downside to the 400 F2.8 lens is the physical size and weight, and hence the reason for my exploration of the 300mm F2.8 lens.  There are many times when I simply want or need to handhold my lens for my style of wildlife photography.  I can manage the 400 F2.8 for limited episodes in this context and I think the 300 F2.8 lens is going to open up those type of opportunities for me.  

My love of the 400 F2.8 lens made me realize the value of a fast F2.8 lens for wildlife photography.  Based on many lessons and adventures, I decided to start exploring the idea of the 300 F2.8 lens because it was only 100mm shorter in focal length, but substantially smaller and lighter.  

I was able to acquire a used copy of the lens at an excellent price, so I made the investment.  It has been everything I had hoped it would be based on my experience with the 400, and even more.  My first sets of test images have simply blown me away in terms of quality and the smaller size and less weight is going to open up new options for me.  

VERSATILITY OF THE 300

The photo to the left is my second exposure with the new lens on the D500. Again, this image was created handheld wide open at F2.8 and I placed the focus point on her right eye and she was walking around.  This image was also just a screen capture from my Mac and not edited in any way.  It could benefit from a slight increase in exposure and some custom vignetting, however, I think you can see the potential with this very simple image.  

Since I use both full frame and crop sensor cameras, my 300 right out of the gate is a very versatile lens.  On my full frame D5, I get an amazing setup at 300mm and F2.8. When you combine this with the state of the art AF system of the D5, low-light performance, and frame rate, this is one amazing wildlife photography tool.  The 300 on the crop sensor D500 gets a 1.5X boost for field of view, providing the illusion of a longer focal length, so the 300 mounted on the D500 effectively becomes a 450mm F2.8 lens.  I say effectively because it really isn't 450mm, it is the same field of view if you cropped the full frame image (minus the pixels).  In my Wildlife Photography Newsletter, I go into the specifics behind all of this in case you are interested.  

I tested my new/used 300 lens with all three of Nikon's teleconverters (1.4X, 1.7X, and 2.0X) and the images and AF performance exceeded my exceptions so far.  Further use in the field in demanding conditions will reveal more of an opinion in this area.  

I performed AF Fine Tuning with the bare lens on each of my camera bodies, and then with each teleconverter so that I would be able to achieve maximum sharpness.  On a side note, I cover the LensAlign AF fine tuning process in my 2018 Wildlife Photography Bundle and my Wildlife Newsletter Subscribers receive my step-by-step notes for free on how to use Nikon's Automatic AF Fine Tune process that is included on their most recent cameras (e.g., D5, D500, D7500, D850, D750, etc). I can't emphasize enough how important it is to AF fine tune your lenses for wildlife photography because each lens and camera is manufactured within certain tolerances and until you pair you specific camera and lens together, you don't know how much calibration they may need for optimum performance.

As you can see from the listing directly below, I have a wide range of options with this single lens from 300mm at F2.8 to 840mm at F5.6.  For many wildlife photographers, this single lens when paired with a full or crop sensor camera and the teleconverters may be the only telephoto lens needed making the investment a little easier and justifiable.  

Full Frame D5 with 300mm F2.8 Lens
Bare lens = 300mm F2.8 
+1.4 TC = 420mm F4
+1.7 TC = 510mm F4.8
+2.0 TC = 600mm F5.6

1.5X Crop Sensor D500 with 300mm F2.8 Lens
Bare Lens = 450mm F2.8
+1.4 TC = 630mm F4
+1.7 TC = 765mm F4.8 
+2.0 TC = 840mm F5.6

APPLICATION / USES FOR THE 300

One of the most exciting opportunities that I have planned for the new 300 is when photographing black bears in the mountains.  I learned this last year that my longer primes (600mm, 500mm) are often too much lens.  I plan to use the 300 wide open at F2.8 on my full frame camera and I think this will be a very solid setup based on experience.  The 300, as well as the 400 primes are sharp edge to edge, even wide open.  This is critical for my style of photography.  I frequently find the bears in the forest understory where the lighting is very poor.  The extra 2 stops of light will make a huge difference in my range of opportunities next spring.  

This past year, I ended up switching from my long primes to the Nikon 200-500 F5.6 lens for many of the black bear photos and the F5.6 aperture cost me a lot of opportunities.  The new 300 at F2.8 lets in four times the light as the F5.6 lens and when coupling this with the benefits of the D5, I should be really happy with the results.  

I could have used the 300 several times this year when photographing wild herds of elk.  I started with my 500, then stepped down to my 400 and still found myself needing to back up to get the composition I wanted.  By keeping both full and crop sensor cameras in my pack, as well as the three teleconverters, I suspect the 300 lens will become a staple in my setup moving forward.  

I would not be covering one of my primary motivations regarding the 300 F2.8 lens if I didn't mention the creamy bokeh.  The ability to isolate your wildlife subjects in very messy natural environments is a real advantage and can make a huge impact on the overall success of the image.  I look forward to using this to my advantage in the smaller and lighter package this next year.  

LESSONS LEARNED

I've learned a lot of valuable technical lessons this year, along with confirming the subjects that I really love to photograph, and also, letting go of some things that I thought I would like to pursue.  In the end, the ability to create good wildlife photographs is a balance of many factors which include being present at the right time, knowing the capabilities of your gear inside and out, and a love for the animals that you are photographing, among many others.  Because of wildlife photography is frequently best in low or minimal lighting conditions, I learned the value of faster lenses (e.g., F2.8) really quickly.  

Because of the challenging lighting conditions, I have been forced to take my post processing to a new level because I am pushing the envelope of the current technology (ISO performance, AF performance, etc.) and its impact on the images that I want to create.  Selective noise management and selective sharpening have been the two biggest areas that has taken my images to a higher level. I include both of these skills/concepts in my 2018 Wildlife Photography Bundle because I learned first hand, how important they are. 

NEW PHYSICAL FRONTIER

I was able to push myself to new levels physically that I didn't think was possible this year.  Because of my love of the outdoors and wildlife, I set out on a mission to get in better shape so that I could enjoy my time even more and pursue some more difficult venues in the future.  My sights are set on Yellowstone/Grand Tetons in the spring!  I have lost over 30 pounds so far and I am in the range of my ideal body weight for optimum health.  Now, I am starting to focus on strength training and endurance so that I am better able to pursue more demanding wildlife photography adventures.  I didn't think it was possible in my 50's, but I have learned the body is an amazing machine that wants to be worked.  

If you enjoy or value articles like this, consider becoming a supporter of my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  It takes a lot of time and effort to continue to write and publish meaningful information and the expenses that go along with that.  Hopefully, $2 a month is an extreme value for you.  I also provide exclusive content for my supporters that you won't see anywhere else.  

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and/or my Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update again. View my Learning Materials for darkroom and large format photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) nature nikon nikon 1.4 tc nikon 1.7 tc nikon 2.0 tc nikon 300mm f2.8 nikon d5 nikon d500 wildlife wildlife photography http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/11/my-new-used-nikon-300mm-f2-8-lens-may-be-my-most-versatile-lens-in-my-wildlife-kit Wed, 29 Nov 2017 15:44:43 GMT
How to Create Digital Negatives for Alternative Printing eBook http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/how-to-create-digital-negatives-for-alternative-printing-ebook In my 30 page How to Create Digital Negatives for Alternative Printing eBook, I walk you through the entire process of how to create digital negatives for your alternative analog printmaking (platinum, palladium, salt, van dyke, silver gelatin, etc.) using Photoshop.  The eBook is in PDF format. 

Get Immediate Access Now and start making your digital negatives today.

I provide detailed instructions on how to create digital negatives using Photoshop.  Any modern version of photoshop in the last ten years will work.  I walk you through how to scan your analog printed step tablet, so a scanner of some type will allow you to reconcile the variances between the analog process and the digital negative creation.  I use Picorico Premium OHP transparency film for my digital negative medium and I print with an Epson 3880.  

Digital Negative Overview

A digital negative is a film-based negative that was edited and printed on a computer and printed on an inkjet printer for the purpose of making an analog contact print.  

Photographers arrive at using digital negatives for different reasons.  A lot of photographers have moved to the digital medium, but they love alternative analog printmaking so they need a way to create a negative from their digital file so they can make the contact prints.  A traditional film photographer may elect to make all of their edits (crops, contrast, dodging, burning, etc.) inside of Photoshop and make contact prints from the digital negative as opposed to making all of those edits in the darkroom.  The possibilities are endless, and the reasons that you want to pursue making a digital negative will depend on you and your goals.  I walk you through the entire process of how to create digital negatives for the type of prints you want to make.  

The basic idea behind a digital negative is to capture the image on a camera (digital or film) and then process the digitized image (RAW or scanned) and leverage the power of Photoshop to print the negative.  The hard part is in the creation of the custom curves required for contrast and densities corrections resulting from the distortion between what you see on your monitor and the chemical-based printing process.  Not to worry, I walk you through the entire process.  

To make a high-quality digital negative, you will need to create a customized correction curve in Photoshop, which ultimately allows your analog print to be made.  Once all of the variables are accounted for in your environment and processes the correction curves can be calculated and then saved in Photoshop as .acv files so that you can apply them to future prints that use the same process.  

Get Immediate Access Now and start making your digital negatives today.  

You should know that analog photographic printing processes are not linear because they are based on chemistry.  This simply means that the density of your print is not same as the inverse negative that you create when scanning your film or inverting a digital file. The way that plays out is that your highlights are brighter than expected and your shadows are darker than the values on the source negative.  This is where your custom correction curve comes to the rescue and why they must be customized for your processes and specific environment.  I could give you my curves, but it wouldn’t do you much good.  I do something even better.  I teach you how to create your own custom curves that are specific to your environment.  I also show you how to create a layer mask that imitates the UV blocking capabilities like a staining developer (Pyrocat HD) and regular film negatives.  

You will need to use a step table (a.k.a. step tablet) to measure the changes that occur between your negative and final print (non-linear distortion).  I have included a step table TIFF file for you.  The step table has known densities, and your job is to determine the relationship between the source values and the printed values so that you can create a custom correction curve.  This is where you will need to scan your step tablet prints and work through the process of creating the correction curves and mask. 

I walk you through every step in the dilative negative workflow process as outlined below.  

Digital Negative Workflow:  

1 – Decide on your printing process (silver gelatin, platinum, salt, etc.)  
2 – Select your variables (paper, chemicals, etc.) and determine base exposure
2 – Create a custom correction curve for your specific printing method
3 – Create a soft proofing file in Photoshop
4 – Edit your photograph in Photoshop for creative and artistic purposes
5 – Apply the correction curve, Invert photo to make it a negative and flip it
6 – Print the digital negative on Pictorico OHP transparency film
7 – Make the analog contact print by hand

Get Immediate Access Now and start making your digital negatives today.  

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and/or my Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update again. Subscribe to my annual Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and receive all of my articles curated into a beautifully formatted PDF eBook every year.  View my Learning Materials for darkroom and large format photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) digital negatives http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/how-to-create-digital-negatives-for-alternative-printing-ebook Tue, 31 Oct 2017 11:06:45 GMT
New Wildlife Fine Art Platinum Histograph Limited Edition Miniature Collectibles in 2018 http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/new-wildlife-fine-art-platinum-histograph-limited-edition-collectibles-in-2018 Tim Sr with the Nikon 600mm PrimeTim Sr with the Nikon 600mm PrimeGet my free Darkroom & Fine Art Newsletter and never miss another article again. I have been working hard over the last few years creating some amazing wildlife photos.  You most likely know me from my analog large format platinum printmaking, however, I have been an avid wildlife photographer for many years too. Until now, I haven't created any artwork of wildlife available for sale.   

If you are interested in viewing or photographing wildlife, then join my free Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update or behind the scenes tip again. 

I am deeply passionate about protecting nature and wildlife.  You can read more about the importance of wildlife in my "Why Nature Matters" article.

I am going to be offering limited edition wildlife Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM in 2018.  These are fine art collectibles in ACEO format making them easy and fun to collect like other cards that you may be already familiar with.  The miniatures are still limited edition collectibles, but affordable enough for many people.  

You can learn how I create my digital negatives for my Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM in my new eBook "How to Create Digital Negatives for Alternative Printing".

I am in the process of curating some of my best wildlife images into collections and I will be announcing more details on this via my Wildlife Photography Newsletter in the near future.  I am currently reviewing several candidates in the following categories: bears, elk, birds, and butterflies.

Platinum Histograph Heirloom Miniature is the most archival of all art mediums because of the inherent stability of platinum and they exhibit a tonal scale and rendering of tonal values that are described by many as ethereal and three-dimensional.  

I am excited to be making handcrafted collectibles in limited editions for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.  I wanted to open up the world of fine art collectibles to the general public by making them affordable, but also rare and collectible too.  You don't need any previous experience buying artwork to get started and with a limited edition of only 250, you get the exclusivity that is often very important for long-term value.  The Platinum Histograph Heirloom Miniatures are created in the same way, using the same care and diligence, that I employ in my larger Platinum Histograph Heirloom Fine Art Gallery PrintsTM.

I am passionate about bringing a new and innovate style of collectible art to nature and wildlife lovers around the world.  Your Platinum Histograph Heirloom MiniaturesTM can last for thousands of years, making them something valuable that you can pass down to your family generation after generation.  

You can read more about the gear that I use for my wildlife photography.  

I would love to hear what you think about all of this.  Send me an email to share your thoughts and say hello.  

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and/or my Wildlife Photography Newsletter and never miss an update again. Subscribe to my annual Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and receive all of my articles curated into a beautifully formatted PDF eBook every year.  View my Learning Materials for darkroom and large format photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) fine art palladium platinum wildlife http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/new-wildlife-fine-art-platinum-histograph-limited-edition-collectibles-in-2018 Sun, 29 Oct 2017 14:11:15 GMT
Beginning The Testing Process With Kodak Ektascan B/RA X-Ray Film & D-23 Split Bath Dev http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/beginning-the-testing-process-with-kodak-ektascan-b/ra-x-ray-film-d-23-split-bath-dev I have been testing Kodak Ektascan B/RA X-Ray film over the last couple of years with a variety of developers (Rodinal, Pyrocat HD, D-76) for the purpose of finding a developer and a method to consistently tame the naturally high contrast of the film, but still find a working balance for my platinum and platinum/palladium printmaking. 

I have written about my detailed development process with D-23 and Ilford FP4+ previously, and in these next series of tests, I will be focused on Ektascan B/RA X-Ray film. 

FIRST SET OF TESTS

In my initial tests, I will be cutting down some 8x10 X-Ray film for my whole plate camera (6.5 x 8.5).  I love this format, and I would much rather cut the less expensive X-Ray film vs. the more expensive black and white sheet film.  Plus, I think the X-Ray film is aesthetically a good choice for the classic whole plate format.  I have a 11x14 view camera that I would like to use X-Ray film in as well for my platinum printing. 

My goal is to be able to consistently produce negatives suitable for my style of platinum and platinum/palladium printing when I want the classic orthochromatic type look.  I have a good idea of how I am going to try and control the inherent contrast of the X-Ray film, but also get enough density for my platinum printing needs.  If you read my previous article on D-23, you can probably figure out which variables I am going to be manipulating to try and achieve my goal.  

I will keep you posted on my progress.  You can subscribe to my newsletter so you don't have to worry about missing a new article.  

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I also send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) analog photography black and white black and white photography d-23 darkroom film fine art large format http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/beginning-the-testing-process-with-kodak-ektascan-b/ra-x-ray-film-d-23-split-bath-dev Sat, 14 Oct 2017 12:45:00 GMT
Get Connected To Nature - It May Save Your Life http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/get-connected-to-nature---it-may-save-your-life Smoky Mountain - Morton's OverlookSmoky Mountain - Morton's OverlookSelect the "Buy" button in the upper right corner to purchase over 175 different products to include: fine art prints, greeting cards, calendars, canvas gallery wraps, metal ornaments, coasters, mugs, mouse pad, postage stamps, and more!

Become a Smokies Insider. As an insider, you help protect the historic architecture in the national park AND maximize your Smokies getaway with our insider guides. As a thank you, you also receive a limited-edition, platinum, archival plate commemorating your devotion to one of our greatest national treasures.
In a new article by Dan Buettner (National Geographic researcher of Blue Zones), Dan lays out some very compelling evidence that modern people need more physical activity than just going to the gym a few times a week and then heading back to their desk for 8+ hours per day, only to go home and lay on the couch and watch TV or play video games.  These modern lifestyles are literally killing us and causing chronic illnesses.   

You might be wondering why a nature photographer is writing about "Blue Zones" and the global health crisis.  Humor me for 5 minutes, and read this article.  It just might save your life or someone that you care about.  

"If you look at how humans have evolved over time they didn’t sit down at a desk or on their couch for eight hours and then hope to make it up for a half hour or 45 minutes in the gym. Blue Zones is an extension of how people have lived forever. They live in environments that nudge them into moving every 20 minutes or so. It’s a natural inclination because humans have worked too hard for most of the history of our species that now we have technology mechanized – combustion engines do a lot of work for us. The sad byproduct is the work our bodies were engineered to do no longer gets done; our bodies don’t get the regular low-intensity movement they need to thrive."

Based on national statistics, it is likely that two out of three people reading this article in America is overweight and placing themselves at significant risk of diabetes, heart disease, strokes, heart attacks, and more.  If you want to know if you are over weight, use the online BMI calculator supplied by the Centers for Disease Control.  Did you know that the CDC estimates that 100 million Americans have prediabetes and 70% don't even know it! Want some good news?  Read this article to get inspired to get outside and start making a positive investment in your health retirement account.  

HOW DOES NATURE COME INTO PLAY?

It is a scientific fact that our bodies need regular exercise to thrive, not just a few short sessions per week at the local gym and following the next fad diet for a few weeks.  

Did you know that your body has an internal pharmacy?  When we exercise, our bodies release nitric oxide, which in turn releases specialized medicine that we need to be lean and avoid chronic diseases.  I explain more in the sections below, so hang in there and keep going. 

Based on the obesity crisis in America, it is clear that the majority of people no longer know how to eat properly and people don't get enough physical activity.  A large majority of "food" in modern grocery stores aren't even food, so it is easy to understand how the health crisis has gotten to this stage.  The "requirement" for regular physical activity and exercise has been replaced with technology and modern conveniences.  

Our bodies were designed to move, serve us, and thrive when they are treated well.  Between the lack of quality fuel (eating real food as part of our lifestyle) and not getting enough physical activity, it is clear why there is a health crisis in America, and it is spreading globally too.  Read more to learn what you can do to improve your health and wellbeing. 

WHAT CAN I DO FOR BETTER HEALTH?

There are many ways to make the right kinds of investments to ensure you have better health and avoid the chronic diseases that are associated with poor eating habits and lack of physical activity.  One of the best ways that I believe anyone can start making better investments in themselves is to spend more time in nature.  Take frequent walks in your neighborhood, hike or find an outdoor activity that requires you to move more.  These suggestions aren't just my personal opinion; it is a scientific fact that with increased exercise, your body opens up its internal pharmacy for you.  Read on to learn more.   Once you have this part of your daily routine, get more educated about basic nutrition and start making better choices in your diet.  

As a nature photographer, I am outside every day.  In fact, I start my day with a hike at sunrise because it is good for my body, and it clears my mind.  I understand the quality of food that I put in my body every day now and over time, I have learned how to make informed choices when at the grocery store.  You can do all this too.  

An exciting field of research, called the neuroscience of nature, validates why movement is the best medicine for our bodies.

On your way to your nature walk or hike, suppose you stopped by your neighborhood neurologist and got wired with cameras (called functional MRIs) that peer inside your brain to reveal what’s going on in there as you are walking outside.

Here’s a list of some of the fascinating health effects neuroscientists have discovered from a simple walk in nature:

  • Decreased heart rate
  • More relaxed blood pressure
  • Increased happy hormones
  • Decreased stress hormones
  • Mellower moods
  • Stronger immune system
  • Fewer fearful thoughts

Neuroscientists dub the beauties of nature “visual valium.”  The insightful statement “It’s pleasing to the eyes” also applies to the brain since the eye is simply an extension of the brain.  

Imagine inside your body and brain you have command centers full of dials, which are turned up and down and set just right for your physical and mental well-being.  These dials are interconnected by chemical emails – hormones – that enable each system to talk to the other.  When you walk outside the eye-brain dial says to the heart dial: “Relax, you don’t need to beat so hard and fast.”  Then it says to the intestinal dials, “Gut feel good!” Movement helps every organ of the body work more efficiently.

Brisk movement causes blood to flow faster over the surface of the endothelium (blood vessels).  The endothelium is your body’s largest endocrine organ.  If you open all your blood vessels and spread them out flat, your endothelium would cover the surface area of several tennis courts.  Each cell of the endothelium is its own endocrine organ, filled with “microscopic medicine bottles” that release health-promoting substances into the bloodstream at just the right time, in the right amount, with no harmful side effects – and they’re free.  

The fast-moving blood creates an energy field called shear force, which releases a natural biochemical called nitric oxide.  Nitric oxide (NO) acts as a biochemical key to open your pharmacy and dispense the medicines you need.  The more you exercise, the more your endothelium gets used to the extra blood flow.

Please, get outside today and take a walk in nature. Find ways to incorporate walks and hikes into your normal routine as a positive investment for your future.  Invite a family member or friend and be a source of inspiration for them.  After you are moving on a regular basis, start learning more about nutrition and how to make better food choices.  I hope to inspire you to take action for your own health and then help others.  Without health, you have nothing.  

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) diet health hiking nature obesity walking http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/get-connected-to-nature---it-may-save-your-life Thu, 12 Oct 2017 12:33:47 GMT
Getting Geared Up For Some New Floral Still Life Platinum Prints - Part 1 http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/getting-geared-up-for-some-new-floral-still-life-platinum-prints Vintage Large Format Lenses for my Platinum PrintmakingVintage Large Format Lenses for my Platinum PrintmakingSubscribe to my free Newsletter and never miss another article or update.

Read exclusive articles, both technical and creative, and view fine art portfolios in the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

Subscribe to the Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and get all of my articles in a beautifully curated eBook every year.

Explore my Learning Materials that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards.

Learn more about my Fine Art Platinum and Platinum/Palladium Printmaking.
I am getting ready to work on a special project for a collector where I will be making some fine art platinum prints of some rare flowers.  

While the details are getting worked out on the project, I thought I would get my daylight studio in working order and also get all of my darkroom processes finely tuned for platinum printing as well.  

I am going to make a few prints over the next week or so and so I turned to my garden to select some fresh flowers.  

I walked around my gardens today and I found a few flowers that I really appreciated.  I especially loved the Dahlia that you see below and I can't wait to photograph it tomorrow morning in the soft northern light.

I will be using my 8x10 Chamonix large format view camera with my 5x7 reducing back because I want to make 5x7 platinum prints of this Dahlia, and possibly some roses that look to be in prime condition as well.  

Fresh Dahlia From My Garden For New Platinum PrintFresh Dahlia From My Garden For New Platinum PrintSubscribe to my free Newsletter and never miss another article or update.

Read exclusive articles, both technical and creative, and view fine art portfolios in the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

Subscribe to the Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Photography Chronicle and get all of my articles in a beautifully curated eBook every year.

Explore my Learning Materials that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards.

Learn more about my Fine Art Platinum and Platinum/Palladium Printmaking.
I use large format original film negatives when I create my platinum prints vs. printing a digital negative via Photoshop like some contemporary printmakers do.  Quality is my top priority for my collectors and so I continue to use large format original film negatives for all of my platinum and platinum/palladium prints. My entire platinum workflow is completely analog.  If you are interested in reading more articles about platinum printmaking, you can visit my platinum informational webpage.  

I will be using some vintage brass lenses for these new prints and if you look at the photo at the top of this article, you will see a 19th-century Cooke soft focus lens to the left and a Rodenstock Mornar to the right.  The optical signatures of these lenses are unmistakable.  I hand-selected both of these lenses many years ago and they have become part of my brand.  

I will be printing on Hahnemühle Platinum Rag for all of these prints.  I have standardized on this paper for all of my platinum and platinum/palladium printmaking.  

For the super geeks, I will be using Ilford FP4+ film and developing in Pyrocat HD.  

I will write a new article after I create the platinum print of the Dahlia tomorrow and share it with you.  

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) analog photography black and white dahlia darkroom fine art floral still life flowers large format photography platinum platinum print platinum/palladium http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/getting-geared-up-for-some-new-floral-still-life-platinum-prints Wed, 11 Oct 2017 20:48:19 GMT
Why Photographing What Matters Unleashes Your Full Creative Potential http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/why-photographing-what-matters-unleashes-your-full-creative-potential I have been going through an interesting time in my creative journey, and I thought sharing some of my personal thoughts with you may help you too and provide an opportunity to reflect on the idea of why photographing what matters is so important.  

PHOTOGRAPHING WHAT MATTERS

Anytime you have been doing something for a very long time; it is easy to get bored, distracted, off track, or even disinterested.  I have experienced all of the above over the last 30 years as a fine art darkroom printmaker. 

As I have been reflecting on the fall season and thinking about winter, I realized that continuing to photograph the subjects that matter to me has been the key to all of my success on every level.  

Setting aside the financial aspects for a moment, I have always photographed my ideas and passions versus trying to create a product that was marketable.  While this hasn't always lead to financial success, it is the one thing that keeps me creating new work and moving forward after 30 years.  I call it failing forward for all the right reasons.  I started to wonder how many other photographers are experiencing the same type of thoughts, feelings, and emotions?

In regards to financial success, no one can define that metric for you.  If you are a full time professional, then you may be more likely pressured to do things for income versus for other more noble reasons, however, if you let the financial drivers dictate your photography, only bad things will happen in the long run.  

UNLOCK YOUR FULL CREATIVE POTENTIAL

I can only photograph subjects and scenes that have a deeper meaning and purpose to me.  I find it very difficult and undesirable to just go out and photograph "pretty things" and make prints for sale.  I believe that I am at my best when I have a purpose in my work and it is aligned to something bigger than myself.  

For example, I have been creating platinum prints of the historic architecture in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this year.  It has been an interesting and also very disappointing experience for me.  I was originally motivated to create the archival platinum prints because wildfires swept through the park last year and came very close to destroying a lot of the historic buildings and cabins.  I thought this was a good wakeup call and I needed to do something before the history was lost forever. 

I have been shocked at the amount of defacement to the historic buildings and I wasn't prepared for that.  It is beyond my ability to reason why someone would take the time to visit a national park and then deface the very thing they went to see.  I am now standing back to think if I want to include these horrible defacements in my prints or if I want to let the project go.  I am not sure what I am going to do at this point.  

I believe that photographing what matters is the key to unlocking my full potential.  The magic happens by "doing" things.  So many times,  I have unlocked something magical by just staying in the game and creating.  If I weren't inspired to create the prints in the first place, my interest would fall to the side and I wouldn't actively stay engaged.  

Send me a note or submit a comment below and tell me about your thoughts and experiences.  

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) smokies fine art mountains" photography platinum prints http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/why-photographing-what-matters-unleashes-your-full-creative-potential Tue, 10 Oct 2017 17:16:49 GMT
Smoky Mountains Newfound Gap Photography & Travel Guide http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/smoky-mountains-newfound-gap-photography-travel-guide Panorama - Great Smoky Mountains Scenic Vista Along Newfound Gap. The 33-mile scenic drive along Newfound Gap Road (US-441) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Gatlinburg to Cherokee North Carolina is the only route that completely traverses the park that allows you to take in and experience the best of the Smokies.  

Purchase Now & Get Immediate Access.  I give you FREE Updates for Life!  I am in the Smoky Mountains several times per year and if I decide to update or add new information to make the guide even better, you will get a notification to go download the updated guide for FREE! 

Based on years of experience, I created a detailed 30-page Newfound Gap Travel & Photography Guidebook detailing 11 prime locations for you to enjoy along the iconic Newfound Gap Road from Gatlinburg, Tennessee to Cherokee, North Carolina.  

The drive along Newfound Gap offers a unique opportunity for you to enjoy everything the Smokies has to offer, without necessarily trekking far from your automobile.You will experience everything from awe-inspiring vistas to wildlife.

After many years of being frustrated with incorrect or missing information, I created detailed navigation instructions to each of the locations for you because there is nothing more frustrating or irritating than being in a beautiful place and being lost or missing golden opportunities to enrich your life.

In many cases, there is limited or no mobile phone service in the park.  I published the Newfound Gap Photography & Travel Guide in PDF format so that you can download it to any of your electronic devices and also print it for your trips.  

By having the guide on your phone or tablet and having the option for a printed version too, you will have all the information you need to make your trip successful and enjoyable.

If you are a photographer, you will appreciate Tim's detailed notes that remove all of the planning and guesswork for you.  As a full-time professional nature and wildlife photographer, Tim Layton knows exactly what type of information you are looking for and he delivers it with detailed instructions for each location.

SUBSCRIBE today and receive FREE UPDATES FOR LIFE.

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) great smoky mountains national park newfound gap smokies smoky mountains http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/10/smoky-mountains-newfound-gap-photography-travel-guide Wed, 04 Oct 2017 14:28:01 GMT
Scouting Trip Update For Eden Falls in the Arkansas Ozark's - Part 2 http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/8/scouting-trip-update-for-eden-falls-in-the-arkansas-ozarks---part-2 In the first article, I discussed the location and hiking information for Eden Falls and my plans to expose some large format color films.  Today, I share my experiences post the hike and my plans in the future when I return in prime conditions.  

The trip to get to the Lost Valley Trailhead was easy and straightforward with good roads the entire way.  I made a pit stop in Harrison, Arkansas to get a few supplies at the local Walmart Supercenter.  Harrison is a sizable town with a full range of supplies and amenities, so if you need something for your trip, you should not have any issue locating it in Harrison.  The drive from the Walmart parking lot to the trailhead took about 40 minutes.  I was driving in total darkness at around 5 AM with fog and rain, so the drive should take considerably less time in better conditions. 

Upon arriving at the trailhead, which has ample parking for many vehicles, I checked out the facilities.  There were very clean restrooms with running water and flushable toilets.  I was a bit surprised to find running water at the facilities, and the restrooms were also very clean.  There is a picnic table near the trailhead that is tucked back under the forest understory that would make for a peaceful and relaxing time.  

The trailhead is at the end of the parking lot.  There is a map of Lost Valley Trail and the four waterfalls that you can explore.  The creek runs right next to the parking area and right in front of the starting point for the trail.  At times when the water levels are high, it may be challenging to park and gain access to this location.  

The hike took about 40 minutes to reach the base of Eden Falls. I took frequent stops along the way to explore areas of interest.  The total hike is approximately 1.15 miles from the trailhead to the base of Eden Falls, so the round trip hike is about 2.3 miles.  The first 75% of the hike has a well maintained and flat surface which I would rate very easy and accessible for small children, older adults, and even handicapped persons as well.  Once you start getting closer to the canyons, the trail changes drastically and I would rate the last section of the hike as moderate.  Meaning, it probably isn't suitable for most small children, older adults that may have balance or mobility challenges, and it definitely is not handicap accessible.  There are series of rock stairs that you have to climb to get access to the canyon and falls.  However, even if the first 3/4 mile of the hike is all that you can do, it is still a worthwhile and very peaceful hike where you are surrounded by the forest.  The trees should be absolutely stunning in the fall season, making the hike even better.  I had light rain during my hike and I barely got any water on me at all because of the dense understory of the trees.  

LARGE FORMAT PHOTOGRAPHY UPDATE

The conditions were not suitable for me to expose any film on this trip, however, I gained valuable information for when I return in ideal conditions.  Using the Viewfinder II application on my iPhone, I was able to hike around the base of the falls providing me with many different perspectives and focal length renderings.  I now have a very solid plan on where I want to expose some sheets of film and which lenses I want to use.  The information alone was worth the scouting trip. 

While I was a little disappointed to not be able to expose any film, I now know that I want to expose some E-6 slide film for sure.  I went into the hike thinking that I would probably be exposing some Ektar color negative film, but after I experienced the area first hand, I plan to return with some 8x10 Velvia 50.  I have a case of Velvia 50 in my freezer and I treat it like gold because it is so expensive and difficult to acquire.  The 8x10 Velvia 50 large format sheet film is only available from Japan and it is very expensive.  This scene is ideal for Velvia 50 and I can see the slide film in my mind right now laying on the light table  The hike is suitable for lugging 8x10 gear to the waterfall making this location even better.  For the more difficult locations, I always hike with my 4x5 kit first because the pack is only 20 lbs vs 45 lbs.  Some of the weight can be trimmed from the 8x10 kit if I bring only one lens and a couple film holders, reducing the weight to the mid 30's.  

Because of the height of the canyon walls around the falls, the entire scene is under very ideal lighting conditions in the mornings in particular.  The biggest challenge will be finding a time when the wind is very minimal because I found a small tree at the base of the falls that is going to add that special X factor if I can be there when the tree is in full autumn colors and the water is flowing.  This small tree will likely shake in the wind, so I need a time when things are relatively still so I can create my exposures.  It could take several years to get the ideal conditions on film.  This is something the average person probably doesn't understand.  We often work for years to find and wait for ideal conditions to create our photographs.  It takes a lot of time, money, and patience to make some of these photos happen.  

Join thousands of photographers and fine art collectors from around the world and receive my exclusive Newsletter and never worry about missing a new article or update again. 

You can support my writing for only $2 per month or $24 per year.  I have been writing and sharing articles on all things darkroom photography and large format for nearly a decade now.  Feel free to search my blog for topics of interest by entering your search phrase in the upper right corner.  I send exclusive updates to my supporters.  

-Tim Layton 

Check out my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks, Guides)

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Video Workshops/eBooks/Guides: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) 4x5 chamonix chamonix view camera ektar landscape photography large format photography provia velvia http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/8/scouting-trip-update-for-eden-falls-in-the-arkansas-ozarks---part-2 Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:07:39 GMT
Scouting Fall Color at Eden Falls in the Arkansas Ozark's - Part 1 http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/8/scouting-fall-color-at-eden-falls-in-the-arkansas-ozarks---part-1 It is hard to believe that is mid-August already and time to start doing some scouting for fall colors in the Ozark Mountains. On the trip today, I am headed to the Buffalo River Region in Northwestern Arkansas to hike Lost Valley Trail and photograph the canyons, cliffs, and waterfall at Eden Falls.  I am hiking with my 4x5 large format camera today because this is the first time to hike this location.  If the location is worth the extra effort, I will return with my 8x10 large format camera during prime fall colors.  

Lost Valley Trail is located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, near the Boxley Valley Historic District on Hwy. 43 and is one of the most popular trails within the Buffalo National River area. It is a beautiful hike along a creek bed. It has cliffs, waterfalls, a natural bridge, and a small cave at the top of the trail. Trailhead coordinates are Lat:36.0101739, Long:-93.3745693. 

Tip - bring a headlamp if you intend to go into the cave, and wear clothes that you won't mind getting dirty so you can explore the waterfall inside the cave!

LARGE FORMAT PHOTOGRAPHY INFO

This is my first fall season scouting hike this year, so I am excited.  It is still summertime in the Ozarks, so I wanted to pick a day when it would be overcast, and even a chance for light showers.  I use the Weather Underground application on my iPhone to research local weather conditions (temperature, humidity, dew point, cloud cover, etc.).  

I am hiking with my Chamonix 4x5 large format camera, and I am taking two lenses with me.  Based on research and experience, I decided to hike with my 72mm F5.6 Schnieder Super-Angulon XL and my 150mm Rodenstock APO Sironar F5.6 lenses.  The 72mm lens with a 35mm focal length equivalent of about 21mm will provide me with the wide angle perspective that I plan on using, and the 150mm lens is close to a normal perspective, which I like to keep with me at all times.  I will be using a polarizing filter for the waterfall and I plan to expose a couple sheets of Kodak Ektar color negative film and a couple sheets of Fuji Provia 100 slide film.  I expect the Ektar to perform really well in this location, but I will have to wait and see how the film looks after I develop them.  

My Burton backpack weighed in at 19.5 lbs (8.84kg) fully loaded.  This is a very manageable weight for any type of hike, thanks to the lightweight of my Chamonix 45-F1 view camera (3.4 lbs/1550 g).  

In the second article, I will share more details about my experience, and I will show you the films that I exposed and developed.  

LOST VALLEY TRAIL TO EDEN FALLS HIKING INFO

Lost Valley Trail leaves the parking area and gently winds up the box canyon passing beneath groves of American beech trees. The trail leads you to an emerald-blue pool of water with an 8-ft waterfall flowing out of a small opening in the bluff, known as the Natural Bridge. The trail continues up stone steps, winding along the Clark Creek drainage giving way to a massive 200-ft bluff shelter, known as Cob Cave.

The gem of the hike is Eden Falls. The picturesque Eden Falls cascade's 53 ft over towering cliffs offering visitors a firsthand view of what the Ozark Mountains have to offer. Visitors can either loop back around to the main trail or continue on a spur trail to the peak of Eden Falls. The trail leading to the peak of Eden falls is rugged and steep; visitors should use extreme caution when taking this route. The trail winds up the bluff line to a 200-ft cave and then gives way to a 25-ft waterfall inside. A flashlight and some agility will be needed to view the waterfall in the cave. The trail ends here at the mouth of the cave.

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-Tim Layton 

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© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

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tim@timlaytonfineart.com (Tim Layton Fine Art) 4x5 chamonix chamonix view camera ektar landscape photography large format photography provia http://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blog/2017/8/scouting-fall-color-at-eden-falls-in-the-arkansas-ozarks---part-1 Sat, 12 Aug 2017 17:22:39 GMT