In my opinion, Velvia sings in soft, low contrast light, and that had been the only light I worked with for over a decade.
In an attempt to open a more synergistic dialogue with the landscape, I started carrying 2 additional films in my bag. Fuji Pro 400H and Ilford FP4. If the landscape was dark, monochromatic, and moody, I would meet the scene halfway with Ilford B&W film. Soft light and rich pastel colors? Velvia 50. If the light was bright and breathy, out came the Pro-400.
An amazing thing has happened since I adopted this approach; I have absolutely no expectations when I go out and shoot. I simply show up with an open mind, see what the landscape is showing me, and try and meet her halfway. And let me tell you, the conversations have been incredibly illuminating, captivating and liberating.
On this particular morning we went out to shoot the sunrise at Observation Point in Zion. I started with the B&W Ilford film in my camera, not much color in the sky and I thought the B&W would be a fitting choice. Then not long after when the sun was rising, we had some fantastic reds and purples coming out, so I grabbed my other camera body that was loaded with Velvia 50 and made some images of that fleeting color. When that was done, back to the Ilford again 🙂 This essay was in part published on RucksackMag.com I highly recommend you check out their website, tons of great stories and essays by some very talented photographers.