Author Archives: Iain Gilmour

About Iain Gilmour

I take photographs for the pure pleasure of it, a chance to express myself artistically and to try and convey something of the connection I have with the subject. I work mainly in monochrome – I like the inherently surreal nature of black and white photography and the artistic process involved from the taking of the initial photograph through to the final print. In the digital world, photography has increasingly become influenced by social media so, while my photostreams contain a somewhat random walk through my photographs, my website is an attempt to bring some of my work together as a series of portfolios and photo essays.

Light and Space

Some of the earliest and most famous photographs of Ely Cathedral are those of Frederick H. Evans. He was profoundly dedicated to pure photography, not altering the printing of negatives for aesthetic effects; rather using his ability to capture an image at the most telling moment of light and shadow. In keeping, these are ACROS film simulation jpegs shot with my FujiFilm X-PRO2 with no further processing.

The spaces inside cathedrals are vast and an intrinsic part of both their architectural design and function. Capturing them in a two dimensional medium is immensly challenging, space is hard to see, and I find that the third dimension is hinted at most strongly by light.

Yesterday’s News

Strolling around the Beamish Museum in the north of England, I’m always curious to see some of the less visited corners. Upstairs above the newspaper office, is a recreation of an old print shop. Much of the machinery was sourced from the print works of Jack Ascough’s in Barnard Castle, one can only imagine the leaflets, posters and stories these letters and presses printed over the years.

Lode Water Mill

I first tried to photograph the interior of this wonderful old water mill 10 years ago. At that time, a 50mm f/1.4 lens at maximum aperture just about let enough light in to enable a few handheld shots without excessive noise. Now, low noise sensors and image stabilisation mean so much more is feasible, including wide angle.

The project was shot with a Fujifilm X-T3 and Acros film simulation using ambient light and minimal post processing. My aim being to make use of my time exploring the light inside the old mill with my camera, rather than sat at a computer with Lightroom.

The present mill dates from the 18th century and is now in the care of the National Trust and has been restored to full working order.

Nigella orientialis Study

Nigella orientalis seed heads make for a fascinating subject, reflecting light off their flat surfaces and with exquisite patterns. This is a follow-on study from an earlier project on a variety of seed heads, this time the focus is purely on this single species. Given the common name ‘transformer’ to reflect the transformation that takes place from flower to seed head.

This is a study inspired by the work of Karl Blossfeldt who included natural ageing, wilting and drying out as part of his isolated plant universe. Blossfeldt apparently would trim and tweak his specimens until they seemed, to him, to look their best. He often made extensive use of repetition to lead the viewer into a more perceptive appreciation of the image presenting his specimens in a way that emphasised their rhythmic forms to the extreme and the enabling the plants to take on new and exotic characteristics.

Part of the fun of making these images has been shooting them as JPEGs in-camera, making full use of FujiFilm’s Acros film simulation. Aside from the obvious difference of not having to do any post-processing, I’ve found it incredibly rewarding to create the final image at the time the shutter is pressed, much more akin to film.

Nigella orientalis, 2019
Nigella orientalis, 2019
Nigella orientalis, 2019
Nigella orientalis, 2019
Nigella orientalis, 2019
Nigella orientalis, 2019