Much of my photographic endeavours over the years have been devoted to producing black and white landscape images. The early influences of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, followed by Fay Godwin and John Blakemore led to the disciplines of using a tripod, having everything in focus and taking precise exposure readings from a hand held meter.
I had my own darkroom and loved the whole process of producing Fine Art prints. It took a long time for me to be persuaded to move to digital but at last it happened and I even discovered colour! In fact, I really enjoy the ease of using digital (too easy?), with the knowledge that I can use Photoshop to fine tune and enhance my images. For digital photography I tend to use my Fujifilm X100F compact and iPhone now instead of my DSLR, especially when travelling but I’ve been lured back to film after buying the camera I had desired for so many years – a 5 x 4 large format camera.
I relish the fact that it slows down the whole process of picture making and forces you to consider so much more about the image itself and the mechanics of taking it. I have no darkroom now, so am happy to embrace the hybrid approach of creating negatives then scanning and producing digital prints. A great compromise!
Recently I have started making Palladium prints. They are valued for their permanence and have a delicate long tonal range which is greater than silver prints. In this digital age, this also satisfies my desire to produce a beautiful hand crafted photograph linking back to the early days of photography. I have also taken this a stage further by taking up Wet Plate Collodion photography. Not a journey for the faint hearted but the satisfaction of creating a glass or tin plate using the same process from the 1860s, is enormous.
For me, the end result of photography is to produce a tangible piece of artwork – something to hold in your hand. From a glass plate to a finely detailed print, both are a joy to behold.