2 Weeks In Utah.

A few pictures from Richard’s road trip around the stunningly beautiful National and State Parks of Southern Utah.

Bristlecone Pine in the Kodachrome Basin

Bristlecone Pine in the Kodachrome Basin


In the Kodachrome Basin at sunset


Seen in a dried up river bed near Tropic.


The Devils Garden.


The road between Escalante and Boulder.


Desert Road.


Dead Bristlecone Pines above Bryce Canyon.

Bryce 2

In Bryce Canyon.


Clapboard in Cannonville.


The Dark Challenge

To photograph a deep red dahlia in monochrome against an almost black background.

Even with a careful blend of natural and artificial light this is still a challenging proposition. The obvious choice of printing method to reveal the subtle tonality of this image is the Platinum/Palladium process.

Here is Richard’s finished result.

Dahlia 1. A  Platinum/Palladium Print by Richard Freestone

Dahlia 1. A Platinum/Palladium Print.


Jack on the Beeb

After many years working in front of a computer as one of the best digital printers in the business, my good friend and colleague Jack Lowe from Newcastle has returned to the 19th Century to find his future. With an original half plate camera and a decommissioned ambulance he is producing Ambrotypes and Tintypes, both wet plate processes on location.

The BBC got to hear about him and produced this lovely little film of him at work.




This is a magical time of year. You never quite know what the next morning has to offer. Will it be damp and misty or clear and bright with a sharp frost? Whichever it is there will be photographs to be made. Here is a selection I made over the last few days. They were all shot on my trusty old Canon 1ds mk11. Some of them I’m sure will go off to my friend and colleague Jack Lowe to have large format negatives made, so that I can print them in Platinum.

Tree in the mist.   tree shadow

tree skeleton




tree shadow2


A Walk In The Park

I’m very lucky to live in Derbyshire. It is a truly beautiful county and a lot of my spare time has been spent exploring the Peak District National Park. Millions of people visit each year to enjoy the great outdoors, so I thought I’d share with you one of my favourite areas for a good walk.

Running north-south along the eastern edge of the Peak District is an escarpment of Millstone Grit. It isn’t continuous -it is truncated by the odd road and valley- but each section is named. Known locally as “The Edges” they make a great location for a walk.

The photographs below run south to north in order. They start at Birchens Edge near to Chatsworth and finish at Stanage Edge just above Hathersage.

The view from Birchen's Edge.

Nelson’s monument and the view south-west from Birchens Edge towards Chatsworth.

Battleship Stones

Directly behind Nelson’s monument are these 3 large rocks. Each has the name of one of Admiral Nelson’s battleships carved into them. Victory, Defiance and Royal Soverin.

Two climbers on Curbar Edge in the Peak District National Park Derbyshire

Two climbers on a classic Derbyshire gritstone route on Curbar Edge high above the Derwent Valley.

A group of walkers take the footpath south on top of Froggatt Edge.

The path along the top of Froggatt Edge is well trodden and ideal for walkers of all ages.

Carl Wark and Higger Tor from Burbage Edge

Burbage Rocks runs along the southern edge of the Burbage Valley. This is the view from Burbage South, across the valley to the outcrops of Carl Wark and Higger Tor.

Remnants of the millstone industry at Burbage Edge.

Some of the edges were quarried to make millstones.

Millstones left after the industry died

The millstone quarrying industry died overnight and unwanted millstones can be seen lying where they were left generations ago.

A walker approaching Stanage Edge

My partner Sheila on the path up to Stanage Edge.

North Lees Hall. A great place to stay. Just below Stanage Edge.

A great place to stay is North Lees Hall. Reckoned to be the inspiration for Thornfield Hall in Charlotte Bronte’s, Jane Eyre. Just below Stanage Edge and above Hathersage it can be let from the Vivat trust.

All you’ll need then is some decent  footwear, waterproofs just in case, a packet of cheese and tomato sandwiches, a flask of tea and the Ordnance Survey maps to the White and Dark Peak.


Platinum/Palladium Printing

I’ve always enjoyed the craft element to photography. No matter how the image was captured, on film or digitally, it is in the darkroom, crafting the print that I’m happiest.

The printing method that I use almost exclusively for my monochrome prints nowadays is the Platinum/Palladium process. If you would like to know more about this 19th Century process, please have a look at my website and blog that deal exclusively with Platinum/Palladium printing.

Although they are quite expensive to make, they have a number of advantages over other printing methods. Primarily they are so stable they will outlast the paper they are printed on. Secondly they display more information than any other monochrome printing method. They are quite simply the most beautiful prints you will ever see.

Here are a few of my own Platinum/Palladium prints and yes they do come from my garden. A place where you might gather I get a lot of inspiration.

dried acer seeds

Dried Acer Seeds

leaf from a fatsia tree

Fatsia Leaf

dried sunflower heaads

Dried Sunflower Heads

japanese anemone seed pods

Japanese Anemone Seed Pods

And here is a print we made recently for Magnum Photos. It is an early (1966) photograph of Muhammad Ali by Thomas Hoepker.

Muhammad Ali By Thomas Hoepker

Muhammad Ali By Thomas Hoepker

A Few Images To Start With.

This first image is of some Honesty Seed Pods  that I found in a friends garden. Once the outer layers of the pods have come away they reveal a lustrous membrane.

Honesty seed pods

This image was created by manipulating a photograph of a fragment of Poppy leaf in Photoshop.

Abstract image of a manipulated leaf fragment

The poppy is one of my favourite flowers and our garden is full of them. These were grown in a pot so they could be taken into the studio to be very gently lit.

Monochrome image of 2 poppies

A Peak District landscape. One of my old climbing haunts, Lawrencefield Quarry above Hathersage. These stunted Birch trees have sprung up in the quarry bed.

Gnarled Silver Birch trees at Lawrencefield.

All of these images have been beautifully printed for me by my good friend and collaborator Jack Lowe on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag.

Next time I will share with you some Platinum/Palladium prints. In the mean time please have a look at my other website 139printroom which is all about Platinum/Palladium printing.