Stockton Fog Picture, JFC, circa 1970

I’ve mentioned before that the main reason for Joel to get into 4×5″ “Large Format Photography”, was most likely driven by his desire to be taken “serious” as a photographer.

He had resigned into not being a professional photographer, this is, making a living out of it. But that didn’t take away Joel’s desire to be the best photographer he could be, and submit images to publishing houses at times, and to participate in photography exhibits and contests.

The negatives I scanned few days ago out of Jessica Fong’s Collection are a testament to this. They are in 4×5″ format, a single subject, carefully printed in various tones and gradations. Joel was clearly looking for an image that popped.

The negative sleeve reads “Stockton Fog Picture”. Based on the Interstate 5 background in this imagery, I believe this is sometime in the 1970’s.

First things first, none of the images below are the original negative, that has not been found yet. Joel uses a numbering system in the corner to identify what he did. Most likely Joel kept a notebook (missing) with all his development and toning formulas. On the other hand, I’ve seen this number scheme repeat, so it is quite possible Joel didn’t use it consistently.

Second, the image may be flipped from the original scene. Without the original negative, or an intimate knowledge about the landscape, hard for me to tell.

Stockton Fog Picture as seen from levee, circa 1970 (No toning, simple B&W negative)
Stockton Fog Picture as seen from levee, circa 1970 (Sepia toned negative)
Stockton Fog Picture as seen from levee, circa 1970 (Selenium toned negative)
Stockton Fog Picture as seen from levee, circa 1970 (Selenium toned negative)

Which image Joel would have printed from, is unclear. But he experimented in search of visual impact.

In the two top images, the fog is clearly visible in all its layers while in the last two images, the fog is less prominent, the skies flatter and the overall image is more contrasty with a quite different mood.

Personally, I would print the first image in the series for display on a wall.

Cheers !


2 responses to “Stockton Fog Picture, JFC, circa 1970”

  1. I think the first photo is the proper orientation: looking west through the I5 bridge to grain elevators on the south shore. The floating docks in the foreground on the left were part of the downtown marina.

    Liked by 1 person

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