Land and Light is fundamentally about showing Scotland at its best. In a world saturated with Photo-shopped images I like to present my vision of the Scottish landscape as faithfully as possible. I put extreme amounts of effort and commitment into my photography and therefore it is vitally important to me to retain the character and integrity of the scene I set out to capture.
Living and working in Glasgow, I am naturally drawn towards the wilderness of the Highlands and Islands. This extraordinarily varied environment combined with the notoriously unpredictable weather can produce real moments of magic that transform the landscape into something exceptional. These moments are rare but with a combined passion and knowledge I strive to capture them as authentically as possible.
The vast majority of the images you see on my website are premeditated, the end result of a process that begins with an idea or a preconceived image. Time of year, time of day, dusk or dawn, wind, tides, and weather windows all play vital roles in their creation. Ultimately the success of each image is down to all of these elements coming together in the right place and at the right time. To achieve this, ground work and foresight is mandatory but luck always plays an important role in the creation of every image.
I have always had an affinity with the panoramic format, I find it correlates a much more natural way of observing the landscape and works perfectly for recording the beauty of the Scottish landscape. My photographs are made exclusively with the Hasselblad XPan and Fujichome Velvia 50 emulsion. This combination allows me to produce genuine high quality panoramic images, there are no stitched panoramas making perspective bending vistas. They represent the landscape of Scotland exactly as experienced.
The XPan was the product of a close co-operation development between Hasselblad and Fuji to produce the world’s first 35mm dual-format camera platform. Designed as a coupled rangefinder camera, the concept behind the XPan was to provide medium format image quality with the convenience of 35mm film. The resulting X-System was capable of producing full frame panoramic images at 24 x 65 mm on standard 35mm film. With the addition of three high quality prime lenses (30mm, 45mm and 90mm) an extremely compact and powerful combination was complete.
By using film I’m employing an authentic approach to landscape photography that is disappearing fast. For my workflow this medium still has a number of significant advantages, primarily it allows me to capture a panoramic image within a single frame. This means there is no convoluted compositing of additional images in order to create the final panorama. Although this method can work it does have a number of subsequent problems associated with it such as perspective and distortion errors, fast changing light, moving objects or misaligned sequences, all of which contribute to a less than satisfactory end result.
I particularly enjoy the disciplined approach that working with film instils. The cost of associated processing and scanning increases annually so the impetus is always on quality rather than quantity. It is also an excellent catalyst for ensuring the technicalities of composition and exposure are executed correctly in the field. But more importantly I feel that film captures the nuances of colour and light extremely accurately, something that is exceptionally difficult to replicate in the digital age.