Menai View - A Personal Commission
22 April 2022
Last year I was privately commissioned to make a very personal and particular image in a place close to my heart and home, Porthaethwy. I was asked to photograph the Afon Menai (Menai Strait) with Telford’s suspension bridge, Ynys Tysilio (Church Island) and Eryri (Snowdonia)in view. Oh and the photograph was to be in monochrome.
Of course, this was a special commission for me as I got to make the image while staying with my father during the 2021 Northern Eye Festival (yes, that was last October so I’m well overdue writing about this).
One evening driving home from the festival the conditions looked perfect. The visibility of the mountains was crystal clear. The sun was setting behind me but not quite gone down too far. What seemed to be a foehn wind lipped clouds over the ridge and into a cwm. You can’t see it in the monochrome image but pastel colours were already appearing in the sky. I just had minutes, perhaps 20 at most, before the sun would have gone down so that the strait was thrown into shadow while the mountains were still lit, unbalancing the image.
As part of my efforts to lessen the impact of my photography practice on the environment I printed the image on Hahnemühle’s Natural Line bamboo paper. I’d begun researching this line of papers last year after previously using Canson’s Baryta paper.
The Hahnemühle Natural Line papers in bamboo, hemp and agave are matte papers and warmer in tone that the Canson I was used to. Each of the three has a slightly different textures and warmth, but they feel as close to darkroom fibre paper as I have come across in digital inkjet papers. The bamboo seems to hold deep blacks well and gives an excellent tonal range throughout the image. I’m very pleased with the result and so is the person who commissioned the print.
In fact, several other people liked the look of it when I showed them prior to delivery, and with the blessing of the person who commissioned it, that resulted in two more sales of the same print!
In addition to the photograph selected for the print I made several other photographs of the view from slightly different positions, the first of which is my own favourite from the set. If you are interested in a print of any of these images, please read this information about my prints and contact me directly to discuss sizing and pricing.
Or perhaps you might be interested in commissioning me to make a photograph and print for you. Maybe there’s a place close to your heart, somewhere you have been on Holiday or your family has close ties to.
As part of my process I discuss with you exactly what the place means to you or the person you want to gift the print to and the emotions that are part of it. We can do that in person, via video or a phone call. Once I have that information I can think about when might be best to make the photograph to bring out the aspects we’ve talked about and mark it in the calendar. We’ll also discuss printing options.
A slightly more bespoke service can be provided at a premium if you wish the image to be made using monochrome film and printed in the darkroom. Film still holds a certain emotional and physical connection for me and it may well do so for you too!
We can also discuss exclusivity within the terms of the commission. That would come with a special agreement, licence and premium pricing to reflect the nature of the terms.
As a special for Earth Day, I would like to offer 20% off prints and commissions until the end of April. Just contact me using the code:
I hope to hear from you soon.