Nether Moor Images – Rod Smallwood

Moonrise from the Refuge de La Valette (2590m), Parc National de la Vanoise

I started taking photographs in 1959 with a Kodak Brownie 127. It could not have been a much simpler camera – a plastic body with a meniscus lens, aperture f/14, focal length 65mm and a single shutter speed of 1/50 s. In 1964, when I was a student, I bought my first good camera – a very-well used pre-war Leica III with an uncoated 5cm Summarit lens – it was less than half the price of the recently introduced Pentax SLR with a 50mm lens. Since then, a camera has accompanied me almost everywhere – up rock climbs and mountains, on a motorbike, on the sea in a kayak, on trains, around cities – and I have taken tens of thousands of photographs.

I bought my first digital camera in 2003. There was very little software for photography, so I wrote my own software in html to provide a web site for my images. I did not have time to write scripts to populate web pages, so had to manually resize all the images and create each web page. In hindsight, this was maybe a good thing, as it limited the number of images I could post, so I had to be selective.

Ten years later Lightroom was available and relatively mature, and I purchased a plugin from The Turning Gate which could take images and captions from Lightroom and produce a good website. Uploading hundreds of images was now easy, and although I posted only a few percent of my images, the website still grew rapidly.

A few years ago I realised that this no longer really represented what I wanted to do with photography. I still kept all my edited images on a server at home, but stopped publicly posting images and closed down

I have been pursuing a variety of photography projects for some time, but none of the projects had got beyond the concept stage, each with a collection of image files. In October 2021 I went to a photography workshop (Open Studio Workshops) lead by Eddie Ephraums (Envisage Photo Books), which had the target of producing a portfolio of prints. For a week on Raasay I edited several hundred images, with Eddie’s guidance, down to a handful for printing – a concentrated selection process that I had never done before. The result, having added text, is Raasay: a Landscape of Memories.

I am now applying the same process to my other projects, and have resurrected Nether Moor Images so that I have a means of viewing the finished products. I hope you also enjoy looking at them.

Fairly obviously, this a work in progress, and I am learning as I go.