Introduction

As an artist we have certain tools at our disposal with which we can try to 'connect' with others or offer suggestions about what our art means to us and what we are aiming to convey.

In music there are seven notes in the musical scale. There are of course variations of these notes but ultimately it is these seven definitive points that are the musicians tools. In monochrome photography there are infinite variations of grey in the tonal scale from black to white but once again seven definitive points that can contain visual detail presented by the light we experienced.

The art of the monochrome photographer, as with the musician, is to not only understand these seven gradations but also to understand their relationships in the image, and, when they are finely adjusted in harmony with each other then, as with music, the piece of art comes to life.

A photographic journey

I am in awe of the beauty and serenity in the landscape. The emotional turmoil of day-to-day life is reduced from chaos to calm. These quiet moments quickly accumulate and I can lose hours contemplating nature, only being reminded of the time by the position of the sun (or the emptiness of my stomach!). The photographs that result from these journeys into nature each have a personal memory for me; each records a particular experience and a unique moment.

This book was never intended as a technical book; it is simply a selection of work that explores subjects I have encountered with my camera. Photographers should not be concerned only with the arrangement of objects in the composition, but also with the description of light that these objects reflect and modulate. Photography is constantly changing and we are frequently presented with new styles and approaches. I approach the medium through the exploration of black and white, or more accurately, the range of greys between these two points.

The photographer

Paul Gallagher has been dedicated to the pursuit of the fine black and white image for over twenty-five years. His main passion is the landscapes of Northern England and particularly the remote Scottish highlands and islands.

He is a master large format photographer and printer and every image is hand crafted by Paul himself.

He is consummate photographic teacher and lecturer regularly commissioned to write articles about the physical and mental processes involved in creating the expressive photograph. As such, he is widely published in photographic journals and the press. He lectures extensively and is the author of 'Aspects of Vision' an exploration of monochrome photography, published in 2008.

Paul is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS).

Acknowledgments

This book has been brought about by the collaboration of many people. It has been a project 18 months in the making and has drawn upon the following key people and organizations:

Michael Pilkington who shares a love of photography and who commissioned and made this project come to life.

Eddie Ephraums for his creativity, advice and inspiration in designing and producing this book.

Epson (UK) for their continued support and for making the best printing equipment used.

Peter Hogan of monochromephotography.com for his expertise and the chemistry that bring these films to life.

Lastly, the family who have continued to provide the support and encouragement to help make this happen