One of my all-time favourite photographers James Ravilious, once while being interviewed by the BBC said about the colour Green in the Landscape :
“England is a very green country, and “greenness” creates a monotonal view, and one that it’s difficult to achieve much contrast or colour gradation in. Transposing to black and white allows you a richer tone palatte, and to draw attention to the subject more subtly. Black and white contains a bright silver to deep black tone range in landscape images and thus turns a green flat image into a wonderful tonal picture”
This monochrome effect in landscape images is something that has always interested me, Landscape photographers like Ravilious used Black and white film, which when developed correctly in the dark room produces the wonderful tones he talks about.
River Torridge at Sunrise © James Ravilious
I have worked for a long time to both find landscape subjects and black and white processes that can help in getting me close to the same results.
This blog contains many of the black and white landscape images I have taken and in the Gallery below I want to use some local Landscape images to show, how landscapes taken in colour can look when processed in Black and white.
I have placed the colour images first followed by the black and white images, have a good look at them, see what you think and comment if you like.
Some photographers don’t get black and white others love it and will only produce images in monochrome.
Green or Black and white Gallery
Who was James Ravilious ?
“James Ravilious was an English photographer born in Southern England in 1939. He was the son of the artist Eric Ravilious and studied art himself at St Martin’s School of Art in London. James Ravilious took up photography in the early 1970′s, teaching himself, and he is most famous for his work for the Beaford Archive. The Beaford Archive was started in 1971 by Roger Deakins and was built into a collection of more than 80,000 images by Ravilious between 1972 and 1989 documenting rural life in North Devon. Ravilious’ photographs feature many everyday activities over the seventeen year period and provide a very interesting historical documentary about disappearing ways of life in rural England. James Ravilious was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Photographic Society as recognition of his contribution to photography in 1997. Ravilious died in 1999. His images are largely black and white and taken on film. By spending so much time with the inhabitants of the area and over such a long period of time Ravilious has managed to capture very natural looking images, as though he weren’t there in many of them or with the subject looking comfortable. From a single photograph his images all tell a story. His photographs include little objects or daily events that build a picture of their way of life. From each one you can imaging the scenario and more than just the moment at time when the image was shot. By shooting all year round his images also capture the moods of the seasons and the traditions of the year.
Images such as the one of John Bennett the traveller. The image captures the warmth of the season, and by including all of his belongings within the frame tells you lots of things about Mr Bennett’s lifestyle. You can pick out his walking stick, his boots, his pans and this all creates images within your head of Mr Bennett walking along a country lane with his belongings on his back, or perhaps cooking at the side of a stream. The image tells much more than a man lying on the grass in the sun.”
I like James work very much, A photographers lifetime in his work….
You see a great video on James work here:
Offical Web site: