Although I shoot with a digital SLR, I put a considerable amount of time and effort into the making of every photograph and I like to think that my approach has something in common with that of large-format photography. All the images on this website are the result of a single exposure. I always aim to get the image right ‘in camera’ as far as possible, managing the exposure via the careful use of graduated neutral density filters.
I generally restrict post-production to minor adjustments to contrast (using the Curves tool in Lightroom) and try always to retain realistic colour saturation.
All of the images on this website were composed with the final aspect ratio in mind. I often make use of the 4 x 5 or 5 x 4 crop, as I find this aspect ratio to be the most satisfying. I will however crop an image square, or leave it in the original 2 x 3 or 3 x 2 aspect ratio where I feel that the subject demands this. With only one exception, the hi-resolution originals of the photos in the galleries are all at least 3744 pixels wide on their shortest side and can comfortably be printed to A3 size and beyond.
All of the images were composed in ‘Live View’ mode, with an on-screen grid (enabled via one of the menu functions) to indicate the borders of the intended crop (e.g. 4 x 5, square), or a 4 x 5 crop pre-applied, as desired. The camera features a mirror-lock-up facility; together with an electronic shutter release this avoids any loss of image sharpness through residual camera movement during exposure.
Camera and Lenses
Between early 2010 and mid-2017 I used a Canon EOS5D Mark II, with a 21MP sensor (5616 x 3744 pixels), and three Canon L-series lenses (17-40mm f/4, 24-105mm f/4 IS, 70-200mm f/4).
In mid-2017 I changed to a Nikon D810, with a 36MP sensor (7360 x 4912 pixels), with two Nikon lenses (24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200 f/4). The principal reason for the change was the superior dynamic range offered by the Nikon sensor, and the consequent reduced reliance on graduated neutral density filters.
I use the Lee Filters system. I have a range of graduated neutral density filters, from 1 to 3 stops in strength. I also have a Lee circular polarizer, which may serve as a 2-stop neutral density filter when ‘backed off’, for those situations where it is desirable to lengthen exposure time.
I use the polarizer function relatively rarely, primarily to reduce reflection from water or other surfaces.
I use a Gitzo Series 3 carbon-fibre tripod together with a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ball head and an L-plate camera attachment which permits the camera to remain directly above the ball head when mounted vertically.
I use an F-stop Tilopa rucsack. F-stop's modular system, with separate internal camera units, is extremely well thought-out. The 48-litre-capacity Tilopa is big enough to comfortably carry all of my camera equipment while leaving sufficient space for outdoor gear and food for a day on the hill.