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September 5th, 2008 Great Falls, Maryland
It was 5:15am when the alarm went off. I am one of those photographers who is NOT a morning person. So to get up this early to take photographs was a rare event. On this date Hurricane Hanna was making landfall a few hundred miles to the south and the hope was to get some good early light and a few clouds. I was to meet up with Andrew a friend from Toycamera.com at 6:30 in the morning to share some good times and shoot some film.

It was still dark when I went outside and got into my car. I had driven down to my parents house in Maryland the night before from Pennsylvania, so groggy eyed I went out onto the Beltway with about 5 hours sleep. There was not much traffic and around 6:20 I arrived at my destination of Great Falls, Maryland and The C&O Canal National Park.

The sun was just starting to rise as I pulled into the empty parking lot. A few minutes later Andrew arrived and we were on our way. Our hope for good light quickly faded as the rising sun revealed not a single cloud and had no color at all. It was quite literally the calm before the storm. My goal was to take some shots with IR film in my Holgas and shoot some regular B&W film in a Diana. We hiked down the trail a bit and then moved over to the Potomac River. Despite the bad light we shoot a few frames here at our first stop and then moved along down the trail. I have been to this park many times over the years and I was amazed with the fact that we seemed to be the only ones there. Usually it is full of people, but on this day we had the place pretty much to ourselves.

As the morning moved along and the sun got higher and higher in the sky the light got worse and worse. I still managed to shoot a roll of IR in my holga and also fire off a roll in my newly acquired Windsor (Diana Clone). Around 10:30 with the light gone and the temps rising we decided to head back to the car and call it a day. Along the way we found a little ditch along the C&O Canal that was in the shade and out of the harsh light. We decided to shoot there and I burned through another roll of IR.

All in all we had a good day. While I am not sure I got any portfolio level photographs, I did get some pretty decent shots and I had a fun which makes it all worthwhile. You can see the results here in this page. All photos were taken with either a Holga 120N on Efke IR820 film, or a Windsor (Diana Clone) on Arista EDU 400.
  Holga Shots

  Windsor Shots

that is Andrew in the above shot


unless noted all content copyright 2006-2008 by Wallace Billingham all rights reserved