Landscapes present excellent opportunities for creating special images. With each turn in the road, new opportunities exists (an abandoned vehicle, a crashing wave, a broken fence, a frigid winter scene, a colourful fallscape, etc.). Dale readily recognizes these opportunities through her keen photographer's eye. Her skills, to combine the use of light, shadows, textures and the environment, create very dramatic black and white images.
One of Dale's signature photographs, Road to the Sky was created on a bright sunny summer afternoon in Nova Scotia. She used the angle of the road and the effects of the clouds, enhanced by a red filter, to draw your eye to the point where the road meets the sky. A lot of people look at this picture and say that they feel as if they are falling into the road. There is mystery to the picture. It evokes such questions as:
- What is on the other side of the hill?
- Where does the road lead to?
This photograph provides a good example to show the complexities of printing in a darkroom. Because of the different textures and shades of green, she had to use different light intensities on different parts of the picture. This is called dodging and burning.
- To maintain the detail of the trees and grass areas, she had to apply different reduced amounts of light to each of the various tree and grass areas to maintain the detail.
- To bring out the detail of the gravel road, she had to significantly increase the light applied and in particular to where the road meets the sky.
- To further enhance the effects of the clouds, she applied more light to the sky.
She can spend many hours in the darkroom to attain the right effect and at the same time use several sheets of photographic paper. In some cases, it may take an entire darkroom session of 6 to 8 hours for her to get the right effect out of one photograph.
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