More pruning of the portfolio. Fewer galleries, fewer images. Hopefully a bit more cohesive. Black and white seems to be coming to the fore, once again. Something I spent seemingly unending darkoom hours pursuing in the 2000s, now pursued through this screen.
In short, read this.
New work has made its way to the portfolio.
Having spent 15 years attempting to make photographs, I seem to finally understand the value in manageable projects. Small, focussed bodies of work that somehow function as a whole. Something akin to cultivating a small garden. Ongoing, ones own sense of what is important, trying to grow new ideas, attempting to shape the `whole’ into something cohesive.
Forth explores the southern edges of the Firth of Forth. The North Sea somewhere out there, town lights lining the horizon and lighting up the drifting clouds, and geese passing overhead. I know these places well.
Sìos feels less familiar, but also like the start of something for which I’ve been waiting as many years. Having finally spent several days in the Outer Hebrides in summer 2017, it is under my skin.
River is in some ways a story that has slowly taken form over 20 years. Many evenings spent stumbling through the gloaming, on long summer evenings, looking for rings on the water. Now looking for something interesting to accumulate in my viewfinder.
I thought I would follow Magnus Lindbom‘s idea and start a wee photo of the month blog series to give a little background to a few of my personal favourite images. It’s February 2013, here goes…
Wild horses heading for water, Mongolia, June 2012
In June of 2012 my wife and I travelled by the Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. The train journey lasted 5 and a half days, and we did it in one go. It is a long trip, but we quickly fell into the meditative pace needed to happily pass hours spent watching birch trees and huge expanses of sky. Arriving in Mongolia, we joined up with a great guide who accompanied us during the next three weeks as we travelled across stepp, mountain valley and desert.
I made this image in the first week of our trip across Mongolia, as we were coming up away from the valley of the Orhon Gol, which is one of the largest rivers in Mongolia. Peering out the front window of our Russian 4-wheel drive minivan, I spotted a line of horses (there are lots of them in Mongolia…) in the distance heading straight towards us.
I asked the driver to stop, and we all got out and watched as the troop cantered steadily past us and down towards the river valley below. Despite the views of horses at every turn in Mongolia, this felt like a special moment, something about the softly patterned hills in the background that mirrored some of the beautiful patterns of fur on the horses themselves. The early morning clouds and blue sky behind framed the scene beautifully, and I frantically took photographs with a range of lenses to try and find the simplest flowing composition that matched the simple flowing beauty of the horses passing in front of us.
This was my favourite image, and I’m still quite happy with it several months on. It puts me straight back in the moment whenever I look at it, and I can immediately recall the distant sound of padding hooves.
For those interested, I made this image on a Panasonic GH2 with a 45mm Olympus prime lens.
The rest of my Mongolia photographs are in the portfolio.