My Blog

Back from Glen Etive - first developing batch

Loch Etive
Loch Etive


I got back from a brilliant week photographing in Glen Etive with Dave Tolcher on Saturday. Although we didn't get snow and ice (always favourite conditions) we made very good use of 2 days of rain with no wind (excellent conditions for photographing if you can manage the wet) and got some sublime light for two days running - the best I have experienced in this valley.

My decision to keep the developing in house this time - it was temping to send the standard stuff off to peak - means that I will have to develop weekly in batches and will therefore post the best of the images when they appear. However I know how aculux will add a certain magic to particular images and therefore I decided I wanted to use this developer for 60% of the images. The standard fx-39 queued stuff however may go to peak anyway for a dunk in Xtol. And my backlog of velvia images went also this morning.


The image at the top was the very last I made - at the end of Glen Etive at the end of the day. The contrast range dictated a 2 bath process and I selected Aculux for a softer feel that emphasises the beautiful tonality. Very pleasing.

The next image was made on the same day in the morning when it was fairly cloudy. We found a field of harvested trees that had begun to regenerate - though I suspect the damage done to the peat soil will be harder to recover.

I was hacked off. I was wet (fell in the bog), had the wrong camera (took out the mamyia and had to trudge a mile up the road to the car to recover my TK which was the only proper tool for the job.) and was fighting the urge to shoot Velvia. In fact I set up a fairly classic colour based image then had to question why I was making an image that would only be average in black and white. I packed up without making that image.

I hunted for something that would have genuine black and white potential and found this...

Stump Detail
Stump Detail


In many ways this is landmark image for me - the first time I have made a compelling black and white inner landscape image actively choosing black and white over the obvious safe velvia vision colour option. I was very pleased, though I hated the experience at the time - as Dave can testify given the choice language that was floating around at the time - from me I regretfully confess. It was a pig to setup.

Earlier in the week we spend a fair bit of time working the trees in Etive. These two images are the first to come out of this session. The first picks up on an idea I was playing with before Christmas and the second is an idea made with the 90m lens on the TK that I wished I had explored more.

Spooky Trees revisited
Spooky Trees revisited


Etive Trees
Etive Trees


That's it for now - will hopefully develop and post most some more images next weekend.