San Juan Mountains, Colorado
On a rare overcast morning in southwest Colorado, a rancher rounds up the last stray cattle just before daybreak. Having set out to shoot landscapes that morning, I was carrying only very slow, 50 speed film. To keep my shutter speed high enough to freeze the rider in the low light, I intentionally underexposed the film by two stops. Back in the lab, I then overdeveloped the film to correct the underexposure. This process, called “pushing” increases grain and contrast, often to undesirable levels. However, certain compositions like this can benefit from the gritty, painterly qualities the process imparts.
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