Following the torrential rain of the Tuesday, Wednesday was cold and frosty. At -4* I knew I would get quite a different look from the past excursion.
My plan was to head onto the ridge of Creag Nam Ban, ideally making it to the top, to the series of cairns the mark the summits of the ridge. I wanted to document the change in the path to these points, as I was aware there was a wide array of different types of paths that make up the route, from landrover, to singletrack, to areas of no path at all.

f22, 1/2 second, Fomapan 100, Fujinon 180mm lens 

With the frost providing a sharp layer on top of the undergrowth, I was conscious that I wanted to emphasise this within the photographs, opting to move back to the lens imagery, and away from the softer look of pinhole. 
I found more intimate elements upon the path itself that captured my interest, like these mushrooms that grew upon it. I feel that there is an interesting contradiction to what we expect a path to be. Often it is the most worn down element of the landscape, and in the case of many paved paths there is little growth within it. In contrast these mushrooms are afforded an area to thrive, as the lack of heather provides space for them. The relative lack of travel on this path means that there is a reduced risk of trampling or picking. 

f32, 2 seconds, fomapan 100, Nikon 300mm lens

As well as the intimate aspects of the landscape I wanted to take some wider images that would give scale to juxtapose the images with. 
I opted for the 300mm lens to compress some of the layers within the landscape, and focus predominantly on the slightly off centre solitary tree. 
I did find this a difficult image to make, as unfortunately the strength of the sun within the scene, was not reflected in any of the immediate area surrounding me, which did hamper my ability to zone meter. In zone metering, I am looking for an equivalent tone within my area with those in the scene to give me a reading for each value to then work out the optimised settings. Without these equivalent values, I was having to roughly judge the exposure and hope. Thankfully the image has worked relatively well, although it does suggest a spot meter reader may be on my shopping list, as this would allow me to overcome this obstacle. This is something I have been looking to buy for a while, but I am trying to find an affordable option.
The negative may suit a warmtone based paper to evoke the glow of the sun that was evident on the day, perhaps some post print toning could also achieve this.

f22, 1/4 second, Fomapan 100, Nikon 90mm Lens

After the wider perspective image, I returned to documenting the more intimate details, and after seeing a large herd of deer the previous day, when I came across some hoof marks, I felt it would be a key image in showing the occupants of the wild land areas, or at least traces visible within the landscape. 
The contrast in the digital edit lacks the feel of a darkroom print, which I am hoping to get a richer black tone, in the shadows. I will look to try this on some of the paper bases to see how the image would work with different textures and finishes. I think a high gloss look would highlight the frost, however a subtle matt (possibly with bromoil) print could bring out the darker areas and make the highlights less dominant. 

f11, 1 second, fomapan 100, Fujinon 180mm lens

This was a departure from the previous approaches I had been taking, and an image i am drawn to. There was a glow coming from the icicles on this large tree, and although I wanted to document the scale of the tree, being easily 5 arm-spans wide, I felt that the intimate perspective of a close up of the single icicle and the bark was a stronger image. 
This will lend itself well to a textured print, and ideally one for display encouraging interaction. Once back in the darkroom I will look to make some prints, at different scales, as I feel a small print may be preferable to something larger, and then look to try with different post print techniques. A silver tone to the print could give quite a different look to that of a warmer tone. I feel there could also be an opportunity with the bromoil approach to allow me to work upon the dark tones, building up the ink, whist keeping the highlights quite subtle.

f16, 1/8 second, fomapan 100, Nikon 300mm lens

Although taken as the light was fading, this image looks to be one of the brightest in the day of shooting. This was due to the exposure reaching into the minutes to bring out the movement of the water, and working at the low iso range. 
I think it adds a strong comparison to the icicle and the tree trunk, due the contrasting tones, and lack of confines within the frame. I will look to print this through the darkroom too, to see how the different papers work with these comparisons. 
I do feel that the image is somewhat out of place in my initial plan for producing a series of images around the walked path, although I do feel that there is an interesting concept to be explored further around the paths taken by water within the wild land areas, as sometimes these are managed as much as the built trails, but this can escape our perception. I feel that this could add to the project aims to document the walked line, although I need to be careful that I am not losing focus by trying to expand the concept further, having just spent a longtime trying to rein it in to make it concise and let the unrelated threads of research go.  

f32, 12 seconds exposure, fomapan 100, Fujinon 180mm lens

Back to Top