It is my pleasure to introduce our newest guest contributor to Monochromia – James Elkington. I have been following James for a long time and many of you may have followed his previous blog – Walking With A Smacked Pentax. His current blog is named Mountains, Myths and Moorlands and can be viewed by clicking the above link. He also has a professional photography website named James Elkington Photography which can also be accessed via the provided link.
The shot is of Mastiles Lane in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Mastiles Lane is an old drovers road, used by the monks at Fountains Abbey to take their sheep for shearing and to market at Brimham, many miles away. There are remains of a Roman Marching camp along the way which is 2000 years old.
My name is James Elkington and I am a professional landscape and nature photographer. Although I have just qualified for my ‘old age pension’ I still work hard and this hasn’t stopped me for doing what I love – walking the moorlands and mountains and taking photographs.
I live in a little village next to the moors and 10 minutes away from the Yorkshire Dales National Park – an area of ‘outstanding beauty’. The moors are so diverse, rich in wildlife and ever changing with the seasons. They are wild and beautiful and full of legends – I live 15 minutes away from the famous Haworth moor – famed for the Bronte sisters and their books ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘Jane Eyre’ and others.
When not in my home county of Yorkshire I spend time in the Scottish Highlands – I am currently working with a well known author on a coffee table book of William Wallace (Braveheart) and this takes me all over Scotland.
I started taking photographs with a Praktica in the late ’70’s and I gradually built a darkroom, processing FP4 and Tri-x films, and later on moved to Cibachromes. I worked freelance for the local papers and also took portraits and weddings.
My partner at the time who was insanely jealous accused me of having an affair – I wasn’t, but one day after a particulary bad argument I returned home to find that she had smashed up my cameras and studio, burnt my negatives and destroyed my darkroom – effectively ruining my business and livelihood. It was the end of the relationship and I also didn’t pick up a camera again for many years.
Then in 2008 an old friend asked if I would like to buy his Pentax K10D. I had never used digital before and although at first I wasn’t interested he lent me it for a couple of weeks to try it out. After letting it sit in it’s box for a few days I took it out and was instantly blown away by what it could do. That was the moment that rekindled my love of photography !