Whitby Abbey

Originally designed to cower and overawe the local populace, the abbey ruin still dominates the skyline above the harbour of Whitby. It draws tourists to Yorkshire from all over the world and it remains a special place.

This is a scan of a print made on Ilford multigrade warm tone silver gelatin paper developed in Eukobrom @ 1:10. This version was cropped to remove some foreground but mainly to remove a blank expanse of sky and better emphasise the building although it has been reproduced full frame in square format elsewhere.

It was captured with a Mamiya 330s medium format twin lens reflex camera fitted with a 55mm lens mounted on a Manfrotto tripod. Film was 120 Maco Infrared used with an IR820 opaque filter and developed in Rodinal 1+50 developer.

I remember that I was fortunate that it was a warm bright although hazy afternoon as I had to wait more than two hours for the tourists to finally clear from the scene although a stray head has to be spotted out of this frame. The bright light meant that the exposure would not have been too long, around two seconds at f22 although I did shoot a number of frames between one and 32 seconds at one stop intervals just to be sure.

Extensive dodging and burning was required during the split grade printing process, burning of the cloud highlights for example was carried out at grade 0 whilst the building was held back to preserve detail using a mask made with acetate sheet. Cropped for impact.

This particular version was developed in Agfa Neutol WA paper developer.

I still find it one of my most satisfying pictures.

Reproduced in:
Best of Friends 12
Best of Friends: Silver Medal 2010
Mono Magazine: issue 51
Advanced Photographer: 2014


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