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.

Last updated on 10 March 2020 by Jim Grey

Film Photography

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. Carole Grey says:

    Of all of the wonderful photos you have shared this year, this one is really the finest…and that’s saying a lot. Kudos!!

  4. 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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