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Photo essay Landscape

The Mountain Becomes a Monstrous Place

In his latest project photographer Carl Bigmore explores the highlands of Scotland, to create amazing mysterious and solomn landscape pictures.

Can you tell me a little about your background – what path led you to becoming a photographer, and to doing what you’re doing today?

I came to photography through a curiosity at a fairly young age. My granddad and other family members had a keen interest and captured some lovely family photographs, so I had an awareness I guess of how photography held this power to try and distill time. Then as I got older it evolved into seeing how you could use the camera to capture the wider world around you. 

I pursued photography throughout my twenties whilst also working and then in 2014 undertook an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography. During the MA I created my first substantial body of work, ‘Between Two Mysteries’, which would go on to be published by Another Place Press in 2020. Since 2015 I have worked on long term personal projects alongside commissioned work and lecturing in Photography at the University of Hertfordshire.

Can you tell me a bit more about the project?

The photographs from The Mountain Becomes a Monstrous Place have all been made in the highlands of Scotland. But the exact location is not really so relevant. The project is as much as possible an attempt to explore the heightened sense of being one gets when connecting deeply with nature and the elements. It’s about being in the infinite moment and not being occupied with tracking distances on your phone or thinking about the peaks you wish to reach. It’s influenced by René Daumal’s allegorical mountaineering novel 'Mount Analogue’ and the writing of Nan Shepherd, particularly this quote:

“So simply to look on anything, such as a mountain, with the love that penetrates to its essence, is to widen the domain of being in the vastness of non-being. Man has no other reason for his existence.”

Who is your photography hero and why?

This question would probably elicit a different answer depending on which day I was asked. But recently I have been revisiting the work of Rinko Kawauchi, particularly Cui Cui. That complete immersion in everyday moments I find so refreshing and inspiring at the moment.

© Pictures by Carl Bigmore