Welcome to uttleysnaturephotos.com !
I make Decorative photographs of Wildlife such as World Record Trophy Bighorn Sheep, Deer, Bear, Elk, Waterfowl, Birds, other animals, plus Wildflowers Rare and Common, Native Wild Orchids, Native Plants, landscapes, mountain rivers and waterfalls, items and places of History, the Oilfield, and whatever other treasures I might find to decorate walls with Decorative Photographs. Wildlife, Hunting and other Stories, are found in the Story section along with many photographs.
In my day job I operate the world's smallest oil production company. In 1977 I started a night job wandering around North America using a Mamya RB 60mm x 70 mm medium format camera to photograph wild subjects and places. In 2010 the RB 6X7's 127 mm lens shutter failed with no repair parts available, and with regret the 6x7 was replaced by a Cannon 5D Mark 2. In some ways the 5D is better for me, but in some ways it is not. With the Cannon Digital Noise is a first example of problems, and simplified digital printing is a first example of improvement. I feel the 60 x 70 gave me a better portrait style due to many lens, viewfinder and feel differences. Hard to explain that.
I spent my young life on a dairy farm in rural Ontario, Canada. It was an old style operation typical of the period, were the cows had names and were treated as friends. By the time I was five I was fluent in English, Cow and Dog. When the chores were finished I was in the field and swamp stalking frogs and dragonflies. Being the only kid in the area meant you had to find your own friends or play alone, so I played games with the groundhogs, ducks and turtles. Caught my first Red-Tailed hawk barehanded at age eight. Dumped it out of the burlap potato bag onto the living room floor to show my Dad, and that resulted in the new "Can do, Can't do" rules being drawn up. "Whoa", that's an undamaged live Red-Tail Dad, ... I expected the Gold Achievement Award?
It was a major setback for the boy, and a disappointment. It was the beginning of a long line of failures by the Establishment to recognize my accomplishments as being "Of Considerable Merrit". Looking back to those days I might have been a bit ahead of my time. Perhaps now and again Dad was right. One day I found us getting me out of a corral for a trip to the hospital and he said "This is a dairy farm Son, we don't wrestle them, we raise and milk them".
In art classes I couldn't draw a stick but our house was full of lithographic copies of paintings and photographs by the Old Masters, so I tried making pictures with Dad's old Brownie Box camera. He had an eye for classic lighting and taught me to use sunlight, Shadows of Form, and picture composition (By looking at those Old Masters and viewing outdoor subjects through the Brownie Box). But the Brownie Box wasn't much good for dragonflies or wildflowers (parallax Problem). Years later I Moved to Alberta Canada, sort of, had problems with busy feet and very often found my hat somewhere in British Columbia.
Almost 40 years ago there were only film type cameras. I bought the Mamya RB 6X7, the Rolls-Royce of SLR cameras back then. It was ordered with a 127 mm portrait lens, several spare film backs, prism finder, and a 2X tele-converter. It had no batteries as all functions were manual. A hand held Luna Six-3 incident light meter was purchased for light reading and a Metz 402 was purchased to light up the wildflowers and bugs.
The RB67, or the "Professional's Better Camera" was used by many studio, portrait and wedding photographers. Today in 2016, the RB67 is considered too difficult to use, although it is still used by some commercial studios and fans. Fitted with the 127 portrait lens, the RB6x7 is a perfect match for portrait photographers as it does not distort subject size and provides an image that can be enlarged to 100 inches and more. The lens glass is flawless. Having several film backs allowed you to shoot different film types or ISO speeds without having to remove an unfinished roll from a film holder. The film backs revolved to enable landscape or portrait photographs without tilting the camera. It was a dream machine for shooting double exposures.
It's unusual to use a studio camera like the RB 6x7 when hunting pictures in the swamps, mountains and forests. Almost all of my best pictures of wildflowers, animals and landscapes were made using that camera and it's 127 mm lens. Sometimes the 2X tele-converter was added to provide a focal length of 254 mm, but you lost 2 full F stops and gained the perspective distortion that comes with telephoto lens use. I commonly pushed film in the developer to ISO 3600 or more. Many of the RB 6x7's images can be sharply printed to 100 inches and greater. My current and modern digital printer, an Epson 7900 UltraChrome, limits me to 24 x 48 inch prints. I might need to buy a bigger printer.
In the 70's and 80's I printed 16 x 20 and 20 x 24 inch Cibachrome prints using an Omega enlarger for positive film, and it had a dichoric color head to print the occasional negative film. I still have it and all the wet equipment, although I have not used it in years.
Today all my images are printed on the Epson 7900 using Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper 260 and Epson's Ultra Chrome HDR pigment type ink, and that won't change without notice. This ink and paper is expected to last 100 years behind glass, out of direct sunlight, and properly framed to protect it from moisture and cleaning vapors or other chemicals that linger in the air. Only the Time Traveller knows for sure. I hope you enjoy looking through the photographs and reading the stories. Feel welcome to purchase one or two if you have room on the wall. If you don't buy one, enjoy using the site and come back often with the kids, thier grandmother, and your hunting buddies. There will always be new photographs and stories added. Don't miss "uttleysnaturephotos.com Wildlife Stories" at the bottom of the left menu.
uttleysnaturephotos.com, Dennis Uttley
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