This is one of my favourite photographs after more than ten years of mountain photography. The light was clear which allowed for exquisite pastel colour conditions. I took several shots at this point along Maiden Moor. This was the simplest. I like the others too and may change my mind. My first impression is I like this the best. There’s an old and rather tedious discussion about art, photography, and their differences. From today painting is dead is a famous remark attributed to Paul Delaroche when he saw the Daguerrotype, which was the beginning of photography. David Hockney and others have expressed contempt for photography because it lacks the imaginative and interpretive moulding evident in a painting. The two matters are separate. Photography does indeed lack that dimension but it’s value is otherwise. A shot like this is a moment of reality testifying to the beauty of mountains, nature, and light, not artistic process as such. Nor is it achieved easily or without effort. The effort derives from hill walking and all that entails, spliced onto technical photographic skills and artistic judgement on a mountain. Hockney stands, chain smoking, in a studio. The two situations are opposite.

I further differentiate between walking photography, which is what you see here, and static photography undertaken to achieve a particular shot. You might camp in the hills for a commissioned work. Or you might wait in a valley with a tripod which is relatively easy. This was part of a walk. I was interviewed on local radio a few years ago and the presenter said one of my photographs was like a painting. It was a naive remark in some respects but not so in regard to the above. This shot is painterly, and yet it’s not edited. The other part of this shot I like is the abstraction. If I didn’t tell you it was Maiden Moor you probably wouldn’t know.


Maiden Moor Beauty

Thursday February 19, 2015