Black & White

Unlike the change from film, or strictly speaking, 'chemical' photography, to digital or 'electronic', the change from Black and White to Colour photography took many decades. From the first experiments in the 1840s, to the 1970s at which point colour film was accepted as the norm for 'snapshot' use, Black and White retained many qualities that colour film or transparencies never quite replaced. To my mind, it retains many qualities over both colour and digital photography.
The simplistic beauty of high quality black and white images can be breathtaking; whilst I have no illusions about the quality of my own images, I did enjoy a brief flirtation with Black and White film.
Looking through some old images, I feel inspired to try again...
This image of Blea Tarn with the Langdale Pikes in the background was taken on an early summer morning, not a breath of wind to disturb the mirror image, not a sound to break the still silence. One of my favourites.
A self portrait taken whilst on a belay stance, high on the granite cliffs of Bregaglia, Switzerland. Not a technically great image, but for me, it captures the moment well: the mist shrouded cliffs, the vertical environment, the distinctive coarse granite, ropes, slings, carabiners...
Taken at dawn whilst walking through the arable farmland of Aberdeenshire, the temperature had fallen to -16c overnight, the frozen grasses sparkling in the early morning sun.
Within a disused slate quarry in Cumbria, the distinctive supporting column was once popular with 'sport' climbers, the routes in question a far cry from many of the well protected limestone sport routes today.
This birch woodland caught my eye whilst climbing in the Peak District and afforded a modicum of shelter on a cold winter's afternoon whilst nursing frozen fingers and numb toes.
Dawn on the edge of the Cairngorm park and the first weak rays of sun reach a freezing bivvy; it took several hours to thaw sufficiently before I could face shouldering the pack and continuing up into the mountains.
It may break all the rules of climbing photography but I like this shot which shows Simon leading a Very Severe (VS) at Twistleton; perhaps it is the interaction between climber and photographer, my shadow looming above as he stretches for the thin finger crack which offers the first positive holds and protection on the route.
I have never really given any serious thought to Black and White for sea kayaking photography and have seen very little from other paddlers and / or photographers...a new project perhaps...

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