Hello! My name, as you’ve no doubt guessed by now, is Jonathan Woods. I have two core interests in life; physics and photography. Towards the former, I am studying towards a Ph.D at the University of Southampton in the UK, which is where I currently live. For the latter, well, this is where this website comes in.
I have had an outside interest in photography since I was about 16 years old, but it’s only really become a passion inside the last 4 – 5 years. Being a student for most of this has meant I’ve had neither the time nor money to plough into it, but I’ve taken every opportunity which has arisen to get out into the countryside and take landscapes. I absolutely love being in the outdoors, among the landscapes and by the sea. Meeting my girlfriend has only then enhanced this as we both share the same passion. She has also helped immeasurably in building this website – Thanks Nikki! It is my hope that through this website and my work within it I can show others my love for landscapes and the outdoors.
So that is what I love to photograph… but what do I photograph it all with? Well, I started out shooting film all those years ago. I did an A-Level in photography which, most usefully, taught me how to develop and enlarge film. Due mainly to cost for me at the time, photography moved slowly and so in the years to come, when digital started to show promise, I made the transition from my Nikon F80 to a Nikon D50. After a good few years, I made the (massive!) jump to a Nikon D700. Very soon after, I had the great opportunity to go on a week long trip to the Scottish highlands with my good friends, Gary Whittle and Spencer King. Spencer, a very talented Large Format photographer, was pivotal in how my photography developed since then. Film: Ahh yes, that stuff I used to shoot 5 or so years previously! People still shoot that? Well, yes, and thank goodness! This planted the seed in my mind that, while I loved my D700, digital wasn’t quite fulfilling what I wanted from photography. Principally, being out among the landscapes was the most important aspect – as it still is – it’s just that digital felt too easy for me. Not too safe as such, just that it all felt a little anticlimactic. Furthermore, I was taking a frankly ridiculous number of photographs and getting but a few frames actually worth showing anyone. I think it’s fair to say that, most fundamentally, digital felt like I was ‘taking an image’, whereas I longed for the feeling of ‘making a photograph’.
To try and scratch this itch, I bought a Nikon FM2n and used it side by side with digital. There wasn’t much to set this appart from digital in terms of when I used it, so it felt as if nothing had changed from before. It was then on the second Scottish highlands trip – with the same people, plus a few more – that I was introduced to Medium Format. I fell in love with the Mamiya RB67 and bought one very soon after. This was much more like it! To cut a long story short and arrive at the point of all this, and indeed this website, a few years later, I then made the move to Large Format, where I currently reside. Spencer helped massively in my move to LF, as there are no transferable bits of kit from MF to LF other than perhaps filters and a light meter. Finally I feel content. Large Format now dominates my photographic endeavors, and so we arrive at the salient point of this website. My mission is to make this website a platform on which my Large Format (and film in general) photography is shown.
Currently I shoot with an Ebony SV45TE folding field camera and Nikkor lenses. Film wise I tend to stick to Portra, Provia and Velvia 50 while I can still get it. Acros 100 and Adox films stock my freezer on the black and white side of things. I develope and scan my own B&W film, but I leave the colour developing to the professionals. Scanning is done on an Epson V700. I do edit the scans in post processing, but to the least invasive extent as possible. What editing I do do is usually there to make the scene look like how I remember it, fully sympathetic to the characteristics of the film I chose to use.
So there it is, that is who I am and what I love. It’s onwards and upwards from here. I take every opportunity I can get to take landsape and seascapes. Long term the plan is to get further into mountaineering and lug this heavy wooden beast everywhere in the process. The top of Mont Blanc with a Large Format camera? Yes please.
I very much hope you enjoy my work, feel free to get in touch!