The Alabama Hills, just east of Lone Pine at the base of Mt. Whitney, is one of my very favorite places to photograph — and I am not alone! Ansel Adams made many photographs in the area, and there have been so many movies filmed here that the main road in (and the road in this photograph) is named Movie Road!
It was my last night out on a wonderful two-week adventure through the Southwest. Heading down Movie Road towards a favorite off-road camp spot, this wonderful rock, which years earlier I had photographed and dubbed Triangle Rock, was near silhouetted against an amazing sky and incredible lenticular clouds.
I screeched to a halt, got out the 8x10, and made the adjustment for a bit of forward lens tilt to help keep rocks and mountains sharp. I placed Triangle Rock on Zone III, calculated my exposure and loaded a sheet of Tri-X film in the camera. But it was WINDY! I couldn't afford a slow enough shutter-speed to use as small an aperture as I wanted, so a compromise had to be made. I don’t recall the exact setting, because I generally do not make field notes unless I am testing something, but I let the extreme near road and bushes go a bit soft in sharpness so I could use a fast enough shutter speed to not have wind-shake, which would ruin everything!
Arriving home the next day to my San Francisco studio, I processed the film, and it looked beautiful! Except for a scratch right in the middle of the curve at the end of the road! Arrrgh! Then I looked again. That’s not a scratch — it’s a jackrabbit staring at me in the middle of the road! I hadn’t noticed it because when I made the exposure, I was staring at the camera in the wind, waiting for it to quiet in a lull!
Silver gelatin print