"Valley Oaks"
by Paul Roark

Valley oaks, here shrouded in morning fog, are a typical scene throughout the Santa Ynez Valley. In the area we refer to our two most common species as the "Valley Oaks" (deciduous and large) and the "Live Oak" (evergreen and smaller). The Valley Oaks (quercus lobata) can grow into the largest oaks in North America and can live up to 600 years. The specimen in front of Gallery Los Olivos is an outstanding example of the species. The trees in this photograph were behind my parent's home in Solvang.

The photo was taken with a Rollei SL66 and 150 mm Zeiss Sonnar lens. Kodak Tmax 100 was used. This was my standard film for most of my Rollei shooting. Keeping film flat in medium format cameras was one of the primary challenges of that format. Tmax 100, when used carefully, could hold the film plane very well, this was particularly the case where I quickly wound past one blank frame to the next and allowed it to "relax" onto the pressure plate for at least 30 seconds (1 - 2 minutes were ideal). This was my normal procedure. It worked well, but I must say I appreciate the modern digital sensor's flatness.

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