I didn’t think the colour shot of Infiernos was very interesting. The colours for example are not particularly striking. I thought, as I often do, of one of my best black and white photographs which is of Ben Lui in Scotland. It worked very well because of the beautiful simple shape of the mountain in photogenic conditions. You have to sense or imagine if a shot will translate effectively into black and white. Ornithologists use the word jizz, the jizz of a bird, which apparently derives from a US Air Force slang term gis which means General Impression and Shape. It’s the feel or sense of a bird with no specific reference to its details. There’s a jizz in photography too, which is different from formalised composition. It was worth translating this to black and white but the scene is too complicated for an outstanding shot. Alternately, I would say it needs better light which would simplify and dramatise the scene. One big improvement would be light on Infiernos while the Grand Fache ridge is in darkness, or vice versa if it meant Infiernos were made attractive and dramatic as opposed to dull. Sometimes a shot is there for the taking, albeit with some understanding of why that is so. Other times you have to work at it and photograph the same place in different conditions. I worked this a little in Photoshop according to the term I use, aesthetic limits, which means that which you can produce in a darkroom. Ansel Adams referred to pre visualisation which needs some explanation. What he meant by this is artistic understanding, which is an interior imaginative process you have to develop for yourself.

 

Pyrenees Mountain Photography: Infiernos (BW)

Tuesday November 4, 2014