The First Digital Negatives

You may have read in my first proper post, Remembering Ardnamurchan, a week or two ago that I plan to gradually release Platinum/Palladium Prints of my work over time.

Well, after so many years, it’s been wonderful working on my own photography once more.

I’ve now made the first set of Digital Negatives and handed them to my friend and colleague, Richard Freestone of 139 Printroom, to work his magic — I’ll keep you posted as to when they are ready…

What’s a Platinum/Palladium Print?

“What’s a Platinum/Palladium Print?” I hear you ask!

You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve made a new page that explains all — click here to learn more…

HP Digital Negative for Platinum/Palladium Printing

A Digital Negative, among the first of my photographs to be made into a Platinum/Palladium Print — 10 points if you can tell me the location (leave a comment)!

Remember, 10 points if you correctly guess the location of the above image — leave a comment!

The Lake District and I

Back in June (remember, when it was really raining?) we went camping with a bunch of friends in Dodgson Wood, on the banks of Coniston Water.

This weekend, I finally made the time to go through the photographs and collect a few of them together.

I thought I’d share a handful with you here as I reminded myself that, on this trip, I became more enchanted by the Lakes (I’m one of those people who prefers Scotland).

For the first time in years, I took a stroll alone on the hills for a few hours where my senses were treated to some extraordinary scenes.

Some held beauty in their dankness (think Crow Crag of Withnail and I fame) whereas others were much more classical in their approach — especially when crepuscular rays bathed the landscape in warm, glowing pools of light…

Old Stone Farmhouse, Near Coniston Water, The Lake District

This scene puts me in mind of Crow Crag — ever seen ‘Withnail and I’…?

Peel Island, Coniston Water, Swallows and Amazons, The Lake District

Looking over Peel Island on Coniston Water, focal point of ‘Swallows and Amazons’…

Crepuscular Rays over Coniston Water in The Lake District

Crepuscular rays shine upon some of the locals…

Camping in the rain, Dodgson Wood, Coniston Water, The Lake District

Camping’s often not so good in torrential rain…

To clarify the earlier Withnail and I reference, take a moment to sit back and enjoy this trailer I unearthed from YouTube…

Apple Meets Analogue

Yesterday, I drove the sixty miles or so north to meet up with my friend and client, Paul Kenny — he needed a hand (moving from the dark side) to install his first Apple computer.

Living in the wilds of Northumberland, Paul’s worked for many years as a photographer, now comfortably bridging his analogue craft with that of the modern digital era.

We often while away a pleasant few hours together here and there — this post is simply a collection of photographs of scenes I’ve observed at Paul’s home.

I hope you enjoy them…

Paul Kenny's Studio

Paul with some work in progress…

Paul Kenny's Noticeboard

Studio notices and a pair of vintage Volvo hubcaps…

Printmakers' Letterpress Tray at Paul Kenny's Home

Printers’ letterpress tray with knickknacks…

Paul Kenny's scanner

Lift the hood on Paul Kenny’s scanner and you’re sure to find interesting things…

Paul Kenny's Studio

Discarded hand-made negatives and a Heineken barrel…

The Cheviot Hills

On the way to lunch — the Cheviot Hills, a pylon and a tree…

Paul Kenny's new iMac

Apple meets Analogue…

Paul Kenny's Studio

Now comfortably installed…

Moss the Lurcher

Moss

Cloudscape between Lowick and Fenwick, Northumberland

On my way home — a cloudscape between Lowick and Fenwick, Northumberland

Paul will need no introduction to regular visitors of Jack Lowe Studio.

If you’d like to learn more about his incredible cameraless photography, do pay a visit where you’ll find material aplenty.

Ordnance Artworks

The Ordnance Survey maps I mentioned in my last post really are extraordinary.

We’re so fortunate to have such beautiful artworks made for us…

This photograph is taken from the Ordnance Survey Explorer Map No.398, a particularly fine example.

Have a Favourite…?

Do you have a favourite sheet number you like to pore over?

Leave a comment and let me know — I may have to add it to my small but growing collection!

North Morar, Scotland, Ordnance Survey Explorer Map No.398

North Morar, Scotland | Ordnance Survey Explorer Map No.398

Photograph of Ordnance Survey Explorer Map No.398:

Remembering Ardnamurchan

Recently, with our boys away, my wife and I set off on a small road trip. We headed north from our home in Newcastle, bound for the west coast of Scotland.

Back in our youth, before we knew each other, we were both very fond of Scotland — well, I was born there — and for years Kath has been keen to return to Camusdarach, the coastline where she enjoyed family holidays as a child.

Now, one of the things I love about human life is the infrastructure we build for ourselves. Not all of it, but some of it.

I love the machinations, how it all comes together in order to move people around. My friends and colleagues will know that railways tick the biggest box for me but I also got pretty excited when I learned that we were making use of the Corran Ferry on this little road trip of ours.

Waiting for the Corran Ferry at the Corran Narrows on Loch Linhe, Scotland

Waiting for the ferry to arrive at the Corran Narrows on Loch Linhe, Scotland

From the photograph above you can see that the crossing is very short but it’s certainly one of those wonderful pieces of infrastructure that I so enjoy.

I captured the scene on my iPhone and processed it using Nik’s fantastic Snapseed. You can see this image on my Instagram feed too, if you’d care to join me.

The ferry powers against the current (ferry glides) to reach each side and I noticed that the loading ramp is specially angled so that it can sit against the flow while vehicles drive on and off.

As I watched the water boiling past, herons flew up and down, seemingly so close to touching the surface; I relaxed when I realised they probably knew what they were doing.

Memories also started to flood back of the last time I was at the Corran Ferry. It was with my Dad, Step-mother and Sister (then a toddler). We were travelling to spend Christmas with friends on Ardnamurchan way back in the winter of 1995.

On my return, I knew that I would have to dig out the photographs from my archive. I did that, loved what I found and I’ve scanned the prints to share them here with you.

Here’s how the Corran Ferry looked in that freezing winter of ’95, as captured by my Dad…

Waiting for the Corran Ferry at the Corran Narrows on Loch Linhe, Scotland

Waiting with my Dad’s old Saab 95 to board the Corran Ferry, Christmas 1995

Waiting for the Corran Ferry at the Corran Narrows on Loch Linhe, Scotland

Like a film set, the water steams with cold at the Corran Narrows, Loch Linhe, Scotland, 1995

Once we’d made the icy crossing, we headed along the A861 from the ferry and then the B8007 to our friends’ home.

My lasting memories are of the snow, the ice, the cold, the starry nights and the magical climb of Ben Hiant on Christmas Day.

And let’s not forget the lovely sounds of my trusty old Nikon F3HP, which is now resigned to simply looking handsome on my studio shelves…

Nina and collie dog, Ardnamurchan, 1995

My Sister (two years old at the time), Ardnamurchan, 1995

Climbing Ben Hiant, Ardnamurchan, Christmas Day 1995

Climbing Ben Hiant, Ardnamurchan, Christmas Day 1995

Climbing Ben Hiant, Ardnamurchan, Christmas Day 1995

The climb as captured by my Dad…

Time to Print…

Both my trips to this area in 1995 and last week have been perfect. We plan to go back again and again.

Perhaps most of all, I enjoyed making the time to nurture my own photography. This week, I have been collating the images and making digital negatives of a selected few in readiness for creating Platinum/Palladium Prints, which I will show you once they are ready.

Not sure what I’m talking about?

Don’t worry, all will become clear in time as I beef out the pages of this new blog with photographs and descriptions of the processes involved.

Our Route to Camusdarach…

The journey we planned worked well for us. If you think you’d like to pay a visit, you might find the following helpful…

We drove north from Newcastle on the A68 via Jedburgh (narrowly dodging horrendous rain storms and flash floods as it transpired), eventually making our way to the epic scenery of Glencoe on the A82.

Of course, we then took the Corran Ferry (£7.00 for a single) and joined the A861, breaking our journey at The Strontian Hotel on Loch Sunart.

Beyond Strontian, we stopped off for a few short walks (there are many dotted along the route) on our way to Camusdarach campsite.

Our return journey was similar but we took the faster route via Fort William, avoiding the Corran Ferry, breaking the journey at the beautiful Knockderry House.

I’m a little addicted to TripAdvisor (particularly the 1 Star reviews!) and you can see my reviews of these locations there…!

Many Britons have yet to discover the truly stunning locations we have right here on our doorstep, so let’s not talk about it too much, eh?

Helpful Publications…

We found these publications helped enhance our travels…

As I mentioned on Twitter recently, we’re so fortunate in the UK to have the Ordnance Survey making such detailed maps for us. We used these three on our trip — the Explorer range are particularly detailed for fans of the great outdoors:

The short walks I mentioned?  We found those in Walks Mallaig and Ardnamurchan (Hallewell Pocket Walking Guides):

Dreaming of the Future…

For idle moments, I took this book from my shelves at home in the hope that I might rekindle another side of my life, kayaking.

I had a good read of this whilst lying in the tent and dreamed of the future:

Welcome to my Latest Creation…

Jack Lowe, Photography, Photographer, Travel

I bid you a warm welcome to this, my newest creation — my newest creation?  Yes, there are others…

You might like to visit them — Jack Lowe Studio documents some of the day-to-day work from my photographic printmaking studio and DigitalBasics shares tutorials on the basics of digital photography.

So, what’s different about this one and why Mr Jack Lowe?

Well, at heart, I consider myself to be a photographer.  With the distractions of life and in the plight to earn a crust, one’s roots can sometimes get left behind or even forgotten in this fast-paced life of ours.

I always said that I would return to my own photography at some point and, after twelve years of dedicating my life to the work of other photographers, I feel the time has come to embrace my own work once more.

To that end, this blog will be my forum and I hope you enjoy it.

Jack Lowe, 9 years old at York

A photographer for as long as I can remember…

What to Expect…

Mainly I will share my own work in progress with you, culminating in the periodic release of specially selected images — either as sumptuous Digital Archival Pigment prints or the finest Platinum/Palladium prints, which you will be able acquire and collect if you wish.

Also, expect to see posts on matters that interest me and that I think might be of interest to you too, usually with a photographic slant or connection but perhaps not!

Let me know if there’s anything you like, don’t like or would like to see more — I’m all ears on this new journey…

Mr Jack Lowe…?

Finally, why the formality of Mr Jack Lowe?

This is purely a consequence of the availability of domain names.  It’s happened quite a bit recently with Twitter, Instagram and now this WordPress blog.

With jacklowe already taken, I’ve been opting for mrjacklowe instead — I’ve grown to quite like it and so decided to run with it a little…