Jefferson Hammond LRPS Monochrome Landscape Photographer

Pendragon Castle, Mallerstang, Westmorland.

This is one of the first black and white images I took in the 1980's that was simply more than a record shot of somewhere I had visited. I was already familiar with Westmorland through my interest in walking although this image was taken on a trip specifically to photograph the castle. This was in mark contrast to my earlier photography in which I simply photographed the places I visited. The image shows many of the elements that still define my style of photography today. The image is from a scan of a print developed in the darkroom.
I have been taking photographs since the early 1970's, initially simply as record shots of places visited whilst hill walking although during the 1980's my interest developed into a keen interest for black and white photography. I took a break from photography for several years only rediscovering my passion for monochrome landscape photography in 2005.

In the early 1980's I purchased my first "real" camera, a Zenith 12XP. This was a manual camera and as such it was very much up to the photographer to take the photograph and not the camera. At this time I felt that I crossed a Rubicon in my photographic career in that I started to look for things to photograph rather simply photographing what I saw. About this time I also joined the camera club at my local college and learnt how to process and develop my own prints in the dark room. Up to this point the majority of the photographs I had taken where colour although the move to developing my own prints lead to working almost exclusively with black and white film.

Even though I have now switched to digital capture and monochrome ink printing the early skills I developed in the darkroom producing black and white prints are still important and relevant to the black and white photographs I produce today. Despite the move to digital my approach to taking photographs remains the same, visualising the final image and getting the exposure right in camera are still of paramount importance. My time spent in the darkroom has given me a sound understanding of tonal values and relationships, the basis of any good photographic image and a prerequisite to being able to spend more time taking photographs and not being suck behind the computer.

Although since moving to digital capture and ink printing I have broadened my interests to include colour as well as black and white photography, my main interest still strongly remains with monochrome landscape photography. My more recent interests are reflected in the Portfolio and Gallery sections which show a wide range of subjects, both black and white and colour.

My hill walking has been one of the main inspirations driving my landscape photography although a keen interest in landscape history and a career that has involved significant landscape management work have also been important. I believe that my knowledge and understanding of how the landscapes of Britain have evolved over time greatly influences my photography. Rather than capturing images that reflect the traditional notions of scenic beauty I am more interested in capturing images that go beyond these traditional notions and produce images that reflect the often harsher side of nature and man's effects on the landscape. I am particularly interested in the transiency if time. Landscapes are often considered to be permanent although in fact they are always in a state of flux. It is the evidence of these changes and the progression of time that I often seek out in my images.

In 2008 I was successful in achieving my Licentiate Membership of The Royal Photographic Society and I am currently working towards my Associate membership of the Society.

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All content and images © Jefferson Hammond LRPS 2017