I usually frame, focus, meter, and hope for the best. Practice has improved my odds considerably, making hope less a part of my photography strategy. But given that I shoot with whichever of my classic cameras feels right on a given day, it’s hard for me to know most of them deeply and be sure of what I’ll get from them.

But a well-designed, highly functional tool sometimes makes up for what I lack. I had one of my last rolls of discontinued Kodak Plus-X spooled into my Nikon F3HP and was driving through Crown Hill Cemetery looking for interesting subjects. The cemetery is bisected by 38th Street, but a grade separation featuring a concrete-arch bridge creates easy connection between the north and south portions of the enormous grounds. There was more light under that bridge than this film and my 50mm f/2 AI Nikkor lens captured — but didn’t the F3 do a great job of setting exposure to keep detail in both the light and dark areas? This might just be my favorite shot of the year.


Captured: Tunnel


21 thoughts on “Captured: Tunnel

  1. hmunro says:

    Rather than attempt to list the 129 reasons I love this image, I’ll just say this: You didn’t oversell it, Jim! Wish I’d shot this. :) Beautifully done.


  2. I can’t stop myself making a joke about doing a wonderful job capturing “the light at the end of the tunnel to the Other Side” here. Just too appropriate. :)

    Now with that out of the way, wow, yeah… what a fantastic job your skill and the properties of your selected film did to capture the detail in both shadow and direct sunlight. I really am deeply impressed. I would have thought that range of detail would have been next to impossible outside of an HDR composite of at least a couple of shots. Hey, but what do I know? I’m down to using my phone. :D


  3. James Thorpe says:

    Very nice! Just out of curiosity (because I’m currently putting an F3HP through its paces) … did you frame first to spot meter through the lens and then recompose? Or did you just compose and shoot?


    • I don’t remember for sure, but I remember wanting lots of depth of field, so I probably set exposure and then composed and shot.If I had to guess, I’d say I shot this at something like f/8.


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