The river has a silver string that runs its length,
holds it to a source in the mountains.
The river cradles its corded muscles of water
between high banks, giving the banks no thought
as it bites them with eddies,
eroding their lower flanks.
River thinks it is only water and the gristle
of currents, hay stacking surfaces
and deep, bellowing falls
running for the sea, though
it does not know it is there.
River should take more care of its banks.
Banks are what hold it a river, give
direction, keep it mitering downward.
Without banks, river loses its way,
becomes a swamp and stills.
All my life I have chafed at river banks,
fighting to spread my currents
in whatever turn needed exploring.
The high song of freedom seemed
to be a music of ‘no banks’,
and yet the whole joy of rivers is pushing,
etching the banks to join the flow,
but having them hold.
I march this year I treated myself to a new Panasonic gx80, micro four thirds camera with an Olympus 17mm f1.8 lens. This kit is my first M/43 kit and so far I have been very pleased with the results produced by this little gem of a camera.
I have a long history of working with black and white photography going way back to using Ilford XP2 and HP5 film, loaded into a Nikon FM2. This medium sized sensor camera is the first digital compact camera I have owned that can and does reproduce the look and feel of these black and white films with its MONO-L shooting profiles.
This image of a barn on the land owned by some friends of ours, during a stay at the start of April, was taken in the early morning sunlight and is taken using a Cokin-P ND4 gradient filter to darken the sky so that the foreground of the image could be exposed as I wanted it to be. I also used this filter system to help me make as few adjustments as possible in post processing.
They say that some animals see the world in black and white , I would love to be able to switch this ability on and off when out and about with my Nikon, you can see the results of taking a shot in black and white very quickly on the back of the camera but having the ability to view the world in-front of you in monochrome would be a perfect gift for many photographers, even more so if you love the light that can be captured using only the shades from white to black.
This image was taken a while back, one early spring morning while out for a walk, up a lane that passed through a local community of special needs people near Callan, county Kilkenny. It was a foggy morning but by the time of this shot a lot of the mist had lifted. the atmosphere was wonderful.
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