Roadtrip 2014 – Part 1: Oil

I managed to carve a two week break into my hectic workload recently and took off up north with my truck, my tent and a Big Box of Film (you can tell I was travelling light as I only took 6 cameras).

First stop was Cromarty Firth near Inverness where they park North Sea oil rigs. Big rusty metal stuff, photographic gold.


First up was the magnificent Fuji GW690 and some Ilford FP4+ (because the sun was out, joy of joys!). I’ve been creative with the cropping here, so these are best ‘enjoyed’ by clicking through to the main image on Flickr.

Not having anything with a particularly big zoom on it I’ve cropped these into super paroram-o-vision from dramatic effect. Excluding the sky and foreground water has produced much tighter images and fits well with the experience of actually being there.


The Cromarty Firth is a natural harbour that has been put to many uses over the years. If you find it on Google maps you’ll see a line of oil rigs parked there, and while there were only a few present when I visited it was enough to make some nice images. I’d seen pictures before, and wanted to go there myself, so this is one ticked off the list.


I’m trying to figure out how best to print these. Scanning the negatives and playing around lead me to this 3:1 aspect ratio as a good size for them, which I can reproduce easily enough in the darkroom, but finding a frame to suit would be interesting. I think a 4:1 crop will give sufficient space to lay all three in a 16×12″ frame with a custom mount to array them vertically with a bit of white space between. It’s so easy to much about with image shapes digitally and so much faff to do it in the real.

Ah well, I will insist on shooting film and making silver gelatin prints!

For part 2 of the road trip I headed over to Ullapool. More to follow.


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