Landscape photography is traditionally static. You have your big camera, heavy tripod, several lenses, and install yourself at one location which you may previously have scouted. It may be a high mountain outlook where you wild camp and if so, you begin to limit your equipment. In the valley you can use a car or campervan and might – as Joe Cornish does – carry a ladder to give you an elevated viewpoint. Walking photography is different. You can’t carry ten kilos of gear for two weeks. Writer Nan Shepherd used the term “going into the mountains” evoking the experience as opposed to the achievement which hopefully translates into your photography. Back from the Pyrenees my imagination is filled with experiential memories not those of attainment. The two often coincide, as they do in Scotland, whereby a summit gives superlative views. In the Pyrenees: Le Taillon, Grande Fache, Petit Vignemale, and one of my best moments was climbing the second highest peak of Posets. Calberides is not especially high. The views however were some of the best I’ve seen. I spent over an hour photographing here (video too) then had to return to the Estos refuge, followed by a two hour walk down to the Esera valley, where I fortunately hitched a lift up the road to the camp site. I think it was about eight o’clock. I’d set off from the refuge around nine o’clock. The dismal road would have taken me another hour or two to climb. I don’t like false mystique and nonsense. The myths that photographers sometimes deliberately generate. Let us deal in facts. The facts of the mountains.


Pyrenees Mountains: Lake To Aneto BW

Monday January 27, 2014