Early Morning Light – Mont Blanc Massif

I finally acquired a second hand Nikon Coolscan V a couple of months ago. I had dithered about buying one of these for a year or three, and while I dithered Nikon discontinued them. Brilliant! I can’t quite understand their reasoning because I would have thought that there are a lot of people like me – who for many years worked with analog equipment – who have accumulated drawers full of Transparencies and Negatives and are now wanting to breathe new digital life into their back catalogues.

Scanning is time consuming and the processing more so. Some of my Transparencies go back more that 40 years and I’m learning that you really do need to look after your old media. The first one I scanned (one of my favourites) took 2 hours work – dealing with dust and minute scratches. Aaargh!

I have three B&W images of early morning light over the Mont Blanc massif for you all today. Two are scanned from Kodachrome transparencies and one is an original digital image. But which is which – can you guess? Answers later in the post – no cheating!

Plateau du Trient - click to enlarge

The first image is of the Plateau du Trient on the long descent to Praz de Fort in the Val Ferret  – a valley on the NE side of the Mont Blanc Massif.

The climb up to Col superieur du Tour - click to enlarge

Half an hour earlier we had climbed up to and crossed the Col superieur  du Tour, seen in this second image.

Crepuscular Rays - click to enlarge

And for the non-mountaineers, a welcome sight confirming that you don’t necessarily have to climb high to get the occasional magical sight. This is early morning light funneling through the gaps between the Chamonix Aiguilles – projecting stunning Crepuscular Rays into the sky overhead. Image taken from the safety of the valley floor!

So – which are the scanned ones?  Images One and Three are the scanned ones. They are the grainier ones – perhaps not surprising – but especially in the final image the grain in the rays I think rather detracts from the subtleties of the pale blues that I see in the original colour Transparency.  It may be my processing – I am on another learning curve. If anyone reading this has experience of using a Coolscan and has some useful tips for the best settings on the scanner then do please get in touch or leave a comment.

I you’re a UK resident and want anything Nikon, including Coolscans, check out Grays of Westminster in London. A highly regarded flagship Nikon dealer especially in second hand stock. I recommend them.

If you liked this, you might also like a previous post: ‘The Chamonix Aiguilles

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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13 Responses to Early Morning Light – Mont Blanc Massif

  1. Andy Gimino says:

    Nice b+w’s Andy..Im guessing that the second image is the digital one!

  2. myallegro31 says:

    Andy, I was going to say 2, but mostly because it seemed like something related to a previous post. Since I am such a new photog, I know absolutely NOTHING about film, but did notice the grainyness on the third. Nice shots and have fun with that new toy!

  3. Len Saltiel says:

    That’s a lot of work Andy but the results were worth it. I don’t have too many negatives left that are worth saving as my skills back in the day were not the best. There may be one or two decent shots and maybe I will start looking for them.

  4. Eden says:

    Really cool rays in that last shot 🙂

  5. Dave DiCello says:

    That lost shot is just out of this WORLD! Stunning light for sure. I started on an old Pentax film camera years ago, but that was before I was really into photography. Maybe I should dig it back out!

  6. Curt Fleenor says:

    I love the third image, the lighting is amazing!

  7. Jimi Jones says:

    I agree with the others, that 3rd shot is really cool. But the composition of the 2nd one really gets my vote as the favorite among the group. The people hiking really give this tremendous scale and it’s an outstanding composition.

    Now for my guess; I think the 2nd image is the one digital in the group.

  8. A.Barlow says:

    Those are just awesome man! That last one is a real winner.

  9. Interesting piece. I just did the same recently, that is scanned a few of my enourmous amount of BW-negatives from the Old Age. I could not get my Nikon Scan work with my new computer, so I had to pay and old-fashioned photographic business to do it. So just a few unntil now.. 😉

  10. theaterwiz says:

    Great series, that last one is killer!

  11. This is an absolutely wonderful post! I am with the Wiz on this one, that last shot there Andy is absolutely breathtaking!

  12. Beautiful images Andy. Ok I’ll say the first one is the digital.

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