Nash Point, Wales – Lighthouse and Rock Beach

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Last Sunday, I got up at 4a to ventured south 3 hours to Nash Point Lighthouse in south Wales. It was a “Bluebird Day”, i.e. Blue Skies, Puffy White Clouds and Sunny.  I wasn’t disappointed as the morning was full of images especially long exposures with the fast-moving clouds.

Kept my cameras busy yet shooting the 617 view camera is simply my favorite.  No stitching required for panoramics.

Digital Gallery – Fuji X-Pro2
Digital Gallery – iPhone w/Hipstamatic
Film Gallery – Shenhao 6×17 View Camera

Welcome Hasselblad 500CM w/80mm CF Lens

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

I’m hooked on medium format film as it’s fun to shoot and the final images can range in size from 6×4.5, 6×6, 6×7, 6×9, 6×12 or 6×17.  I find the 6×6 format (aspect ratio, 1:1) as the most challenging for composition and most satisfying when you nail it.  Are you thinking about giving analog photography a try?  If so, consider medium format as the equipment is reasonable and readily available, i.e. on eBay.

For those unfamiliar with medium format film, let me bring it back to a full-frame perspective, i.e. 35mm (or 135).

There is not a lot I can say that hasn’t been said numerous times before by many passionate film photographers.  For some, the “Hassey” is an iconic camera of times gone by.  Not familiar with a Hasselblad, let me share Matt Day‘s video on the Hasselblad 500CM: Click Here

The Featured Image above is a Hasselblad 500 CM c.1985

Hasselblad 500CM w/80mm and pop-up waist level viewfinder.  I’ve added a prism viewfinder, a 50mm CF lens and an extra film back for B&W.

Film Gallery

Carbon Transfer Print – My First

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

This week I heard the good news that Calvin Grier of Valencia, Spain completed my first ever Carbon Transfer Print- see the video of JDR.  I used my Shenhao 6×17 medium format,  negative size of  5.6 cm x 16.8cm.

I submitted a finished TIFF file 2 weeks ago to Calvin who then worked his magic.  The final image size is 18cm x 57 cm or 7″ by 22.5″ then add the white border to complete the print.

The Feature Image is the final print hung to dry.  Lovely work by Calvin, can’t wait to present it to JDR, get it framed and finally see it hung on our wall.

Video of the Print Having its Final Wash

The Carbon Transfer Print is considered by most persons who know it to be one of the most beautiful of all photographic processes. Carbon prints are capable of a wide range of image characteristics, they can be virtually any color or tone, and the final image can be placed on a wide variety of surfaces, including glass, metal, paper, as well as various kinds of synthetic surfaces.

Carbon is without question the most distinctive and stable of all photographic processes, capable of presenting images with a wide range of characteristics, of virtually any color or tone, on a wide variety of surfaces.

Finally, carbon transfer prints, which are made up of inert pigment(s) suspended in a hardened gelatin colloid, are the most stable of all photographic prints.

Calvin’s Grier Homepage – Stop By.

Here are the images showing the major process steps:

1) Negatives (3) From the Highlights, Mid-Tones, and Shadows

2) Exposing

3) Developing the 1st Layer

4) 1st Layer

5) Relief of the Wet Emulsion

6) Developing the 2nd Layer

7) Wet Relief

8) Wet Relief

9) Finished Print on Temporary Support

10) Cleaning Border

11) Removal of Light-Sensitive Salts

12) Transferring to Paper

13) Final Print

All About the Light

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

As my photography journey continues and believe me it is continuing as I evolve my taste for “light”, I’ve taken fewer photos while attempting to stalk the “light”.   I believe this is a by-product from shifting back to film while staying 50-50 with digital.

With medium format 120 film, images per roll range from 4 to 12:

  • Fuji GF670: at 10 – 6×7 or 12 – 6×6 images per roll
  • Mamiya C330: 12 – 6×6 images per roll
  • Hasselblad 500CM: 12 – 6×6 images per roll
  • Shenhao 6×17 View Camera: 4 images per roll
  • RSS Pinhole Camera: 4 images per roll

Given the limited number of images, you need to think each and every composition through while stalking the light.  Often, I catch myself rushing for the next image and say it’s not a digital experience I’m seeking.  So this gallery is my “Light Stalker” of both digital and film where the focus is to capture and process for the light, always the light.

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.

Featured Image Above: “Ganesh Immersion at Foreshore Beach, Chennai“. I took this image from atop the hand-lashed platform.

Light Stalker Gallery: Mamiya C330 Medium Format Film and Fuji X-Pro2 Digital


Edinburgh, Scotland

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

In short, our weekend trip (4-days) by train from Birmingham was most enjoyable, lovely.  I’d go back here again ahead of returning to London.  Nothing special to report other than acquiring a new medium format camera: Hasselblad 500CM (1985) w/80mm f/2.8  Just finished my first roll and now into Palm Labs for developing, scanning and uploading.

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.

Featured Image Above: “Balmoral Hotel” rainbow.

Edinburgh Gallery: Mamiya C330 Medium Format Film and Fuji X-Pro2 Digital

Black and White Conversions – Your Choice

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Over the last three years of image processing, I’ve settled on three main approaches after the “Basic”… adjustments in Lightroom for B&W conversions: Photoshop or ON1 Photo RAW.  I’ve inserted three videos that will take you thru the image processing, step by step.  Try one approach and expand your arsenal.  Good luck.

Note: I finish off each B&W conversion with two artistic effects, i.e. a subtle vignette plus dodging the highlights and burning the shadows at low flow rates.

1) Photoshop Using “Calculations” and “B&W Adjustments Layer

2) ON1 Photo RAW – Develop Filter – B&W

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.

Featured Image Above: Sir Winston Churchill statue near Westminster in London.

Digital – Fuji x-Pro2

Next Up – Mamiya C330 Pro F Medium Format Camera

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Here are my first images developed, scanned and processed from my new/old Mamiya C330 Pro F using 55m, 80mm (std lens) and 180mm lenses.  The techniques for focusing and finding the correct exposure is the same as using the Shenhao 6×17 view camera, i.e. ground glass with magnification for finding focus and Pentax Spotmeter for finding exposure (aperture and shutter speed) at the film’s box ISO.

Still have a roll of Fuji Velvia 100 to complete developing, i.e. Palm Labs runs this e6 slide film processing on Fridays only so will see the results next week.  Another three rolls to go in from our London Weekend Trip.

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.

Featured Image Above: Canal Boat looking back at Birmingham’s Library.

Film – Mamiya 6×6 TTL Medium Format – Kodak Ektar 100
Digital – Fuji x-Pro2 with 16mm and 23mm lenses in Stratford upon Avon, Warwick Castle, and London

Catchin’ Up

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

As I’ve continued to share my images on Instagram, my photo blog postings have dropped off.  Well, I’m back with an array of film and digital images from our trips east to Barmouth, Wales, Snowdonia National Park Train Ride, then south to Exmoor National Park, next southeast to the City of Oxford and of course the University of Oxford with its many historical Colleges and wonderful architecture.  Future posts will be short in coming and subject specific with a focus on my analog journey.

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.

Featured Image Above: This is a Shenhao 6×17 view camera image atop Snowdonia Mountain.  Once the train stopped on top, we had 30 minutes to get out, setup and shoot – way too fast for a view camera.

Film – Shenhao 6×17 Medium Format – Kodak Tri-X 400

Setup the view camera on the mile long train bridge/walkway to capture an image looking back at Barmouth.  JDR was a gracious model holding her pose while I focused in, took a spot meter reading, adjusted the shutter speed/aperture… and finally took the exposure.

Film – Fuji GF670 Medium Format – Fuji Velvia 100
Digital – Fuji X-Pro2 APS-C Format

2nd Roll Kodak Etkar Film w/Shenhao 617 View Camera

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

Reference this original POST covering my first Shenhao exposures.

Just a quick follow-up note on my next 4 exposures on the Shenhao 617 view camera two weeks ago, always an enjoyment with the lag of getting the film in for development then tiff scans back, i.e. like opening an X-mas gift.

Four Exposure Summary: 2 Exposures focused and well exposed.  1 Exposure well exposed but people movement (walking) causing a blurred motion look as LF lenses are slow, <1/500sec – maybe okay.  1 Exposure blown-out – no clue.

Still acquiring my cadence for a view camera yet find the exposure setting (SS and Aperture) with the Pentax Spot Meter V using Ektar 100 somewhat simple when spotting on Zone 3 for shadow details and shifting 2 stops to Zone 5 with the EV number.  This will change as I get challenged next up with Fujifilm Velvia 50 at four stops of light, low contrast scenes.   I’m ready to get out for more exposures this long weekend.  It’s a 617 weekend.

Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.
Note: Bold, Underlined Red highlighted text is an external link of interest.
Shenhao 6×17 Gallery (3) at the Base of Pen-Y-Fan Mountain in SW Wales

Long Exposure Workshop w/Craig Roberts of e6 YouTube

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

(Dashan Sheying –大山摄影)

This is my second time with Craig for a “1:1 teaching moment”.  This time the subject is “Long Exposures” under various conditions from full sun to full rain and everything in between, i.e. this is Britan.
Raining kittens and dogs were the cards we were dealt for the day so one must have an umbrella to cover the filters as you can’t use your air bulb blower fast enough to remove the raindrops.  Take Note: Need a tripod attachment to hold an umbrella as Craig wouldn’t be there next time in the rain.
The focus of this workshop was the use of  Neutral Density (ND) Filters, i.e. Polarizer 2 Stops, Little Stopper – 6 Stops, Big Stopper – 10 Stops and Super Stopper – 15 Stops in conjunction with 0.6 / 0.9 Graduated Filters to balance the light from the sky and the ground.
Note: Interesting to see how long exposure photography brought to the surface various camera functions unseen before.  Need to study up.

Long Exposure Location – The City of Manchester (Recognize the Manchester United Stadium above?)

Given the architectural shapes, textures, leading lines… combined with the water and clouds, The Lowery area at Salford Quays was an ideal location.

Craig has great insight to understand what you should consider, no matter what your skill level.

Previous Post on Cityscapes in Birmingham          

Website: Craig Roberts Photography – e6

YouTube Channel: e6 Vlogs

Lee Filters Phone App


In short, we learn thru doing and regretfully experiencing errors, i.e. Things Gone Wrong.  We then turnaround with proper actions to mitigate errors in the future.  I look forward to my future w/o errors.

My Long Exposure Check List – Work in Progress  (Critical in Bold)


  • Ensure the tripod is level
  • Mount your camera for the horizontal or vertical shot


  • Change to Manual focus.
  • Stay in AF in Aperture Priority for now
  • Turn off the Long Exposure Noise Reduction as it doubles your exposure time.  Can address noise later if an issue or get a better body/sensor.


  • Determine composition using a 1×1 Square format (RAW still at 3:2 and JPEG at 1:1)
  • Lock down the panning knob on tripod

Focus/Initial Exposure

  • Set lowest ISO allowed
  • Set Aperture Sweet Spot:  For me f/8, maybe f/11
  • Manually focus with Focus Peaking while zoomed in.
  • Focus 1/3 into the composition in the single point focusing mode
  • Take your base shot noting the SS, shutter speed
  • Check histogram for use of ND Grads
  • Write down the SS as you will forget once you add the ND Filter (6S-10S-15S)

ND Grads

  • Base Guideline:
    • Sun is behind you, 1 stop (polarizer is 2 stops)
    • Sun is to your left or right, 2 stops (0.6 Grad)
    • Sun is in front of you, 3 stops (0.9 Grad)
    • (Can always check exposure for SS on foreground to background (sky) to compare stops of difference)
  • Soft or Hard:  Plain unobstructed horizon = Hard, obstructed with vertical objects = Soft

Placing ND Grads in Filter Holder

  • With the filter holder off the camera, place the ND Grad on the front slot pushing 1//4 of the way down.
  • Go to the front of the camera to place the holder on the adapter.  Why to ensure proper placement and full engagement of both the fixed side and spring-loaded wedge.Will position using the live view in the camera.
  • Slide the Grad up/down watching the clouds and histogram change.  Tilt left or right for the proper horizon line
  • Carefully set aside

ND Filters (2-Stop, 6-Stop, 10-Stop and 15-Stop)

  • Base Guideline:
    • Little Stopper to blur people and movement at 1-3s
    • Big Stopper to blur water and/or clouds for 30s to 1min
    • Super Stopper to blur clouds w/o water for 2-4min
  • Use Lee Filters Little-Big-Super Stopper App setting the SS that you wrote down to determine what the long exposure time is against the 3 options.
  • Given what exposure time you desire, select the proper Stopper, i.e. 6S, 10S, or 15S.

Placing the ND & Stopper in the Filter Holder

  • First, check your composition and SS for the base exposure.  Still the same.
  • If not, will need to use the app for the long exposure time.
  • Slide the Stopper of choice in the front slot (usually a hard push) until the foam in centered for sealing against light

Placing the Holder with Filters on the Camera’s Adapter Ring

  • First, switch to the full-manual mode to avoid the Auto-Focus hunting.
  • Go to the front of the camera to place the holder on the adapter. with Grad & ND.  Why to ensure proper placement and full engagement of both the fixed side and spring-loaded wedge.

When the filter holder is partially engaged with the adapter as placed from the rear of the camera, you have a false sense of security.  When you tip the camera with the holder on, off it goes to the ground.  Not pretty.


  • Recall the base exposure SS.  Did you write it down?
  • The Lee Filters App provide the long exposure time vs. which Stopper.  What is the long exposure time?  (Note: Can be off +- 2/3 of a Stop)
  • Install your remote control cable or mechanical shutter release
  • Change to “Bulb – B” mode for your shutter speed
  • Did you switch to full manual to avoid AF hunting?
  • Press and hold (or slide up) the remote watching the time count up in seconds… to your chosen long exposure time.
  • Release when the long exposure targeted time is reached.
  • Look at the JPEG preview’s “Histogram,
    • Any right-hand clipping of the Highlights?  If yes, a shorter time is required.
    • Is histogram pushed to the edge of the Highlights (RD Side)?  If not, a longer time is required.
    • Experiment with various times as the Lee Filters App is directional in nature and you must flavor to taste.

Removing the ND & Stopper in the Filter Holder

  • Again, go to the front of the camera and remove filter holder / filter set.
  • Pull out the filters and replace in your holder one by one.
  • Fingerprints and/or rain drops – Need to address later with a proper cleaning.


Patronage: Please “Follow” along as our adventure continues in the UK and EU  Comments, Likes, … always welcomed here.

Note: Bold, Underlined Red highlighted text is an external link of interest.

My First Long Exposure Gallery