The Photograph Explained: Mount Agony by Bob Kersey
Platinum Palladium Photograph
Primeval, in a word, is what might be described as the artistic intention. In a political sense, it is my intention to direct the viewer’s sensibility, not towards rape and devastation (others do that far better) but towards the thin end of a time warp stretching back through years of growth rings numbering millions.
I tend always to adopt an inventive approach to my subjects.
The flat lighting supported the theme by allowing more control of the image in terms of exposure, development and printing. Sunlight (as opposed to sky light) would have dictated the terms too much for my liking.
The exposure was made on HP5+ 12 x 20 inch sheet film. The camera was a Korona field and the lens, 355 mm G Claron. The aperture was set to f128, the shutter exposure I forgot but was probably around 30 seconds to a minute. The reciprocity failure also worked to my advantage by crushing the blacks. The HP5+ sheet was developed in double strength HC110 (1:20). It was important to get that curve to stand up because right from the start I intended to print in platinum which requires a larger dynamic range that would be appropriate for silver.
The platinum palladium process always begins with an investigation of suitable papers. Not only can one type of paper interact differently in terms of chemistry but a totally different emotional context can evolve from various papers.
The final paper of choice was a Japanese gampi which tended to collect the shadows together to send out a subtle sub textural message that might or might not infer the passage of time.