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Half of What Lies Within  © 2004

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Magnolia Grandiflora, June 3,  ©1973   Caroline Vaughan  BT


Several of the images to the left are classified as still life, something that does not move. If you want to create more tension in your images, pair something that does not move with something that has forceful movement as depicted in the water and rock images below. Sationary objects in the midst of moving objects create increased force in the image. I slow down the shutter speed from what the light meter reads. I watch the repeating pattern of where the water flows to pre-visualize how long an exposure I need in order to smooth out the water. This will also depend on the speed and amount of water flowing.

The eye can see 120 tones; however photographic paper can only reproduce 10 tones. The Zone System, developed by Ansel Adams and interpreted by Minor White, helps the photographer choose how to meter the light so that he is aware that only five tones are going to print on the photographic paper commercially made. Knowing this, a photographer can expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights. You can never go back into the field and pick up the shadows. You can reduce the contrast of the printed image by reducing the time you develop the film, i.e. Normal -1. Normal-2, as the shadows develop first, then the highlights develop second, allowing you to stop the development, retain the shadows and curtail the highlights.



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Great Smokey Mountains, NC  (Comet Rocks) 
©1974  Caroline Vaughan  BT         


Orange County,

© 2020 Caroline Vaughan

Thread Waterfall, TN   ©1974  BT


Persona, Orange County, NC   

© 2004  Caroline Vaughan       

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Chimayo, New Mexico  ©1995  Caroline Vaughan

Often when you arrive at your destination and plan to photograph with no one in the foreground or background, you find hordes of people coming and going. You can erase all the people without their knowledge and gain the scene you hoped

In the church at Chimayo as well as at the waterfall, tourists were coming and going in a public place over which I had no control. By making exposures longer than the people walking to and from the church and counting how many seconds it took for them to make that journey I set my parametrs 12x the time of their walk which was about 15 seconds. In that time, no one recorded more than 1/25 of a second and therefore disappeared, leaving me with a vacant church which is what I had imagined when I made my travel plans. In the waterfall below, the situation was more complex. I observed the weather, clouds, temperature and prepared to make the shot if it rained while we hid the gear under a huge rock. Everyone left, but as the sun returned all headed back. We had executed a provisional plan that worked perfectly and were dressed and not wet when they returned to frolick in the river.

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Diana's Bath, White Mountains, NH    © 1975 Caroline Vaughan           Borowed Time, Duke Press, 1996

 Below, right, is a Polaroid P/N made in the field and developed with sodium sulfite until I could reach a darkroom, where I could use hypo or fixer, wash it and dry it. The Polaroid 4x5 PN prints either made a perfect print but would render a paper negative that could not  be used. Another type of Polaroid film made a great negative but the print was underexposed and useless. I decided to reverse this and am showing a negative print. This iris is crimson and yellow and yet appears light because of the reversal. Remember that you have every technique at your disposal. Once you learn the rules you should break them when necessary. The image on the left (below) shows movement and stillness. The shutter speed stops the splashes of water revealing them as discrete pebbles while water moving faster reveals their trails.

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Stationary objects in the midst of moving objects create increased tension in the image.

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Mother's Iris, Polaroid Type 57, negative print,

© 2007 Caroline Hickman Vaughan

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