Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Life on the edge. with story by harrietsfriend Life on the edge. with story by harrietsfriend
 This man, standing on the ledge, on the 4th floor of his building, is trying to fix the drainpipe problem.  It appears to have frozen, then clogged, so water instead is dripping out onto the street and the people passing by.  You might think he owns the building, but no, he just lives in one of the upstairs apartments.  He is single handed holding onto the window frame, balanced as he uses a propane torch to melt the ice, unsuccessfully.

I will often adapt an individual printing and cropping when the subject demands.  There was no way to correct the tilt in the verticals, which happens when the camera is pointing up, not level.  There was not enough room to back up and correct this distortion. Rather than have it work against me, I made it work for me.

I tilted the print easel as I printed the image to elongate the distortion, making the height appear taller than it actually was. To do this, I had to stop down the enlarging lens to cover depth of focus, then vary the amount of light hitting the paper to eliminate the variation in light between the closer paper, which would darken, to the lower section further away to lighten.  Done on Agfa Portriga III double weight paper, it took many tries to get the distortion correct and even more to even out the light values.  Not satisfied with these problems, I then created a cropping for the mat to work with this new effect. The next time around, I will change mat colors.

In my life I keep running into the strange, the unusual and their special solutions to today's problems.  In my day, some 40 years ago, I had to make an effort to always have a loaded camera ready, for whatever I might happen on.  More importantly I had to take the extra effort to first stop, then record what came my way.  I advanced from a simple 35mm camera, to an advanced 35mm, to ultimately a quality medium format outfit with prime lenses to select what was needed at the moment.  Quite a burden to carry, but it made this image possible.  In today's world most everyone has a smart phone, thus a ready camera for anything, and yet I still carry real cameras, as I know the differences.

Taken with my Hasselblad 500C, with a Zeiss 150mm F4.0 Sonnar, on Kodak Tri-X, 120, panchromatic roll film, in 1977.

To understand what I did, and how it might have appeared, I have enclosed the original untouched image, below.

img571 - full image by harrietsfriend  

My current problem is how to re-convey this idea in photoshop, with a similar cropping style.  My experience hasn't been enough, and the few experts that I have met, have not been able to solve this, yet.  I want the tilt the same, the trapezoid effect the same with a border to compliment the image.  Once I have digitized the negative, my tone range will be controlled more effectively than my original print offers.  I might just redo in a more conventional style for comparison.

eugene spiegel

Life on the edge of the ledge. img571, with story by harrietsfriend There have been some changes to this image, and now it looks like this, with story.
Add a Comment:
vanndra Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
asetix Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017
Awesome capture, right place at the right time......
robpolder Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
cool shot, eugene, great story! the old days of dark room work.. it is really strange that there's no way (as far as i know) to do this in software. take care, rob
CapscesDigitalInk Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2017  Professional General Artist
Very interesting image and story.
flamingodancer123 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2017
He has guts if not to smart! Thanks for submitting to the group, :iconsharpenededge: much appreciated.
LazyRayFinkle Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2017
Yeah, you're not catching me on any ledge any time soon. I guess sometimes you got tot do, what you got to do. 
dumpsterfiregypsy Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
this guy gets the crazy award in my book... if you don't own the place.... ya make the call and let someone with skin in the game balance on the ledge with a blowtorch IMHO.

but maybe that's just me.
I enjoy the commentary that so often accompanies your images.

Thanks for sharing.

Add a Comment:


Submitted on
February 17
Image Size
412 KB


41 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
1/40 second
Focal Length
11 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Feb 16, 2017, 3:55:39 PM
QuickTime 7.6.6