Turning Point – Olivier Du Tré Returns to Film and Never Looks Back

by on Jun 17, 2013 in Turning Point | 2 Comments
©Olivier Du Tré

©Olivier Du Tré

Olivier Du Tré tells us of his Turning Point:

2012 was an interesting year for me. After playing around with the idea of photographing on film –again– for 6 months in 2011, I made the decision to move back 100% to film for my work last year.

Since then I haven’t photographed anything digital anymore.At first I was moderately successful translating tones and colours to Ansel’s zone system.
But soon I found out that making a perfect exposure wasn’t the tricky part of the whole proces. The problem was that I wasn’t able to translate my vision of a scene to the negative all that well.Until the morning I saw this scene. A beautiful row of gnarly looking trees just NE of Calgary (somewhere along Highway 9 I believe). The heavy fog had created a beautiful layer of hoar frost. I was racing back and forth on this country road to find the perfect looking tree as ‘center piece’ of my composition. I had just set up my camera and decided on the focal length of the lens when the sun came out and the fog started to lift. I knew I had to be swift because the fog was disappearing very quickly.And then I made the decision to screw on the red filter to add some drama. Zone placement was pretty simple. I placed the tree trunks on zone IV (with the red filter I knew they where going to fall a little lower so that was good). The foreground snow fell on Zone VI and the illuminated tree branches on VII and VIII. Also with the red filter I knew the contrast in the sky, which was now just fog and clear blue sky would be enhanced.

After developing the negative in my kitchen a few days later I was very excited to see this negative. It turned out perfect and very little adjustments had to be made. Just a little burning on the edges and a contrast adjustment.

This image is the very first image I created where everything fell into place. It’s one of my favourites images of last winter. Since then I have a far better understanding of the creative usage of Ansel’s zone system.

About the Author

I am a Canadian landscape and outdoor photographer who loves long hikes in the woods, yummy food, hairy dogs, good company and a good guitar jam.


  1. Marion Faria
    June 18, 2013

    This is lovely…it almost has an infrared feel. Everything about the composition is contained and balanced.

  2. nate parker
    June 22, 2013

    Oli’s the Man!


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