Black and White Spider Awards 2014 - 3 Images Shortlisted

I am again delighted to say 3 out of my 4 entries in the 2014 Black and White Spider Awards have been nominated across 2 categories.

Cat Bells - a favourite location brought to life with black and white on this image.


I take real enjoyment from Black and White photography at the moment and I look forward to entering images into the Black and White Spider Awards competition.

I don't know a great deal about the origin of the awards, but the standard of images which end up in the shortlists is incredibly high.  I am therefore delighted to have 3 of my 4 entries nominated across 2 categories.

I expect many of the photographers entering the competition specialise in black and white images, and that is certainly an approach I have considered on several occasions. If in some unlikely situation I was forced to produce only monochrome or colour images for the rest of my days I would take the monochrome route.

Until that happens I don't think I will restrict myself for the sake of it as I find coming to every photograph with an open mind the most productive way to work.

For example I had sat on the above image of Cat Bells for perhaps 2-3 years staring at the colour version imported to my photo editing software and skipping past it regularly in my search for something new to work on.  When I finally decided I wanted to find my best shot of Cat Bells to hang on the wall I stopped on this one and as soon as it appeared in monochrome it really jumped out the screen at me.

The original image was interesting but the colours were fairly flat, there was no seasonal impact and the pathway was a mixture of dull tones which didn't give the desired effect of highlighting the path winding up to the summit.

For me self imposed restrictions on a style of photography wouldn't work, I am very fickle and lack discipline so I will always try several approaches to an image in the development stage and see what works best for the image and nothing greater.

On rare occasions an image will work well in both colour and monochrome and I don't feel it in some way lessens my work to publish both versions as they can highlight different parts of a good photograph and have enough interest to be viewed twice.

Black and White works beautifully looking down at the twisting ladder of the loch in Fort William.

The B&W Spider awards is an international competition dedicated to monochrome or black and white images and judged by some of the most influential parties in world photography. What has pleased me the most about the photos nominated this year is that I have more of an emotional tie with them, sometimes your emotional opinion of an image can cloud your judgement on it's appeal to others so to combine photo's I love with some recognition is a great feeling.