Repairing The Switchback

One of the essences of creativity is that you have to reconstruct your ideas when you’re not happy with them.  And another part of creativity is knowing when to ask for help when you can’t get something to look the way you want it to.

Case in point.  My 2016 multi-image shot, The Switchback.  This was the picture I took with my Krasnogorsk ФT-2 Russian ultrawide camera “Raskolnikov” last fall.  You know … the one where I angled the camera in three different positions, shot the picture, then layered the developed images together in a bowtie-effect final image.

The Switchback. Krasknogorsk FT-2 camera, Kodak Ektar 100 film (three strips). Photo by Chuck Miller.

The Switchback. Krasknogorsk FT-2 camera, Kodak Ektar 100 film (three strips). Photo by Chuck Miller.

I liked the image … I really did … but I didn’t like it as much on second view as I did at first view.

So I decided to keep the center panel, and re-scan the film strip to include the film’s control numbers.  You know, to make it look more “authentic” as a single shot panorama that shows Beaver Dam Road in the Thacher Park area in all its winding glory.

And I came up with this.

The Switchback 2017. Krasnogorsk ФT-2 camera, Kodak Ektar 100 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

The Switchback 2017. Krasnogorsk ФT-2 camera, Kodak Ektar 100 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Yeah.  Much better.  Sometimes less truly is more.

I can crop this picture to enter it in competition, especially in any competition where a panoramic entry is accepted …

Yeah … something’s still bothering me about this picture.

And you’ve probably noticed it, too.

Look halfway between the center and left of the photo.  That vertical light line.

That line occurred because of the design of my Raskolnikov ultrawide camera.  To take a picture, the camera lens swings from right to left to instantly capture the image on film.  Unfortunately, at some point in the camera lens’ capture, the lens swing “hesitated” on its journey from right to left – and that instantaneous, minute hesitation showed up as a distracting light streak in the photo.

Urgh.  And once you see that line, you can’t un-see it.

Yeah.  You see it now, don’tcha?

And although I do have Adobe PhotoShop CS6, I didn’t have the technical acumen to remove that streak.

At that point in time, I had three options.  I could either:

(A) Try to re-scan the image and hope that the light leak would disappear.
(B) Print the picture and hope nobody will notice.
(C) Hobble back up to Beaver Dam Road and re-take the photo.

And in the end, I chose Option D.

And Option D involved a phone call to my film processing lab, McGreevy Pro Lab in downtown Albany.  I sent them the digital file and asked if they had any ability to remove the light streak.

“We can do it,” was the response.

A day later, I received word that the file was fixed and I could come in and pay for the completed and repaired file the next time I needed to drop film off.

Nah, didn’t feel like waiting.

“I did some digital burning to get the light streak removed,” said Lisa, the McGreevy Pro Lab tech who fixed my digital file.  “I also had to clone out some of the streak, but I think I got everything fixed.”

Yep.  She did.

Take a look.

The Switchback 2017 (repaired). Krasnogorsk ФT-2 camera, Kodak Ektar 100 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

The Switchback 2017 (repaired). Krasnogorsk ФT-2 camera, Kodak Ektar 100 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Holy hairpin turn, Batman…

It’s fixed.

Much thanks to McGreevy Pro Lab for all their efforts in getting this picture fixed for me.

And now The Switchback can go back into the short pile for future competitions.

Aces all around.

FTC Disclaimer and Notice: At no time did I receive or request any special compensation or financial remuneration for mentioning McGreevy Pro Lab’s services in this blog.  This blog contains honest and unsolicited testimony of McGreevy Pro Lab’s services regarding my photography and film development.

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