Resurrecting Shorelines

By Saturday, August 9, 2014grafphoto
Driftwood at Whitefish Point beach at sunset, Michigan | Nikon F5, Tokina 20-35 f/2.8, Fuji Velvia 50 film

Driftwood at Whitefish Point beach at sunset, Michigan | May 1999 | Nikon F5, Tokina 20-35 f/2.8, Fuji Velvia 50 film, repro by Nikon D800

Shorelines have been one of my favorite areas to photograph for as long as I can remember.  So it seemed natural for me to gravitate to my “Shorelines” folder in my cabinet to see if I could resurrect a few slides via my D800 method.   I picked a few from pretty far back in 1999 that cover shores in the Great Lakes to the shores of the Caribbean island of Cayman Brac.

I had a funny thought when working with these images that were originally captured on film.   “Boy, this film has a lot of noise!”  🙂  Even for a fine grained film known to be the go to standard at the time for nature – Fuji Velvia.

It is amazing how much our expectations change with the current technology of cameras that can deliver such  clarity in photographs to ISO’s never thought possible in the film days.   I imagined a generation of nature photographers or photo editors that might see some film images and wonder how any photograph got published prior to digital.   A nightmare that hopefully will never come true.

Within a few pages of slides I also pulled up some photographs from a diving trip to Cayman Brac.   I had completely forgotten about the high cliff shoreline bluffs there.  I only had this one photograph and don’t quite remember why just one.  This looked like an awesome shoreline area to explore.   I only have vague memories of venturing out to find some caves in the area, and perhaps there was a timeline for us to get back for some more diving.   A typical conflict when you want to photograph both on land and underwater.

Cayman Brac bluffs

Cayman Brac shoreline bluffs, Cayman Islands Nov 1999 | Nikon F5, Tokina 20-35 f/2.8, Fuji Velvia 50 film, repro by Nikon D800


These nostalgic trips through my slide archives are probably signs of a desire to go on a trip soon.  But they are also reminders and appreciation of how many places I have been, and some photographs that get to see the light of day again.

Cayman Brac coral

Coral Beach at West End Point, Cayman Brac | Nikon F5, Tokina 20-35 f/2.8, Fuji Velvia 50 film, repro by Nikon D800

Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • Pat Ulrich says:

    These are awesome, Mark. The colors in the Whitefish Point driftwood are terrific. There is something so special about shorelines — they pull me in too.

  • Paul Grecian says:

    Mark, I had a similar reaction as you when “resurrecting” even some 645 slides using a Canon 5D MII. But I too found it a useful way to reproduce previous work without a scanner.


  • Earl says:

    Late to the party again — well, at least I don’t have to vote now. 🙂

    Mark, you’ve done a great job resurrecting each of these older images. If you didn’t told most probably wouldn’t have know, or at least been sure, they were as old as they are and from film.

    After recently watching a documentary about the huge (Texas size) trash islands which now exist in the middle of most of the oceans, I wonder how much longer there will be any non-polluted/non-trashed shorelines left.

  • Mark says:

    Haha, serves me right for posting more than one image, it ends up in an election. 🙂

    Thank you for the comments everyone. I am glad you liked the first one the best… well, I sorta do also. 🙂

  • Paul says:

    I’m glad that you’re going through your slides. I enjoy your landscapes and your rockscapes. 🙂 It seems to me that people won’t be going for the ultra-clean glorious digital anytime soon as there is software to add back in some of that character that you seen in film, the grain, the uniqueness. I see this as sort of like audiophiles shunning digital CDs, etc, and preferring the warmer tonalities of analog to the crisp, clean “sameness” of digital, but it’s really each to his or her own, isn’t it?

  • That first image is special and definitely has that Mark Graf look as Anita so aptly pointed out. With it’s pastel tones and the curved lines from the driftwood repeated in the sand and the clouds, it is a real pleasure to look at.

  • Anita Jesse says:

    Okay, I will join the voting. No. 1 sticks with me the longest. It excels in that “Mark Graf look” that I love. I certainly hope you have more time to dig through those old folders.

  • All fine images, but I have to agree with Tom and Monte that the first is the prize winner….if winning has any meaning.
    I envy your proximity to your lake in MI. I am close to a large body of water, but it is man-made and the shoreline does not offer much compared to the more natural settings.

  • I’ll vote on the first one. A couple days ago I was thinking about some slides I need to scan. Here you are looking back at ones you’ve scanned and sharing them. It would be interesting to see what I have in those carousels and slide boxes. Some family stuff and some nature stuff. That is now a task for today.

  • Shorelines provide many interesting features for both large and small compositions. I like all the shades of brown and forms in the top image, Mark. Great you can retrieve your film images this way and get such fine results.

  • Tom Whelan says:

    Fine images all, though I prefer the first for delicate pastel hues and the last for the diverse textures and patterns in this group. Take that trip soon…

Recent Posts