Jim Bailey’s black and white images from the series Respect take viewers to the extremes of climbing and ski mountaineering while merging artistry with a passion for adventure and science. The images were taken at a variety of locations including Washington and Alaska; Norway; the French, Swiss and Italian Alps; and Canada. The images portray the grand scale of the landscape in sharp contrast to the small scale of the mountaineers reiterating how vast, expansive and sometimes treacherous these remote landscapes can be.

‘I make these images on trips where the group objective is climbing a peak and skiing it, or traversing a mountain range. There is never a lot of time for capturing the image. All these images are handheld captures, most before any kind of image stabilisation was available. But all demand high resolution to display at large scale.’

Jim Bailey began making black and white images in 1980 when he learned basic darkroom skills as part of his graduate studies in experimental physics. Bailey works at the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico conducting laboratory astrophysics experiments with the Z machine. “The Z Facility is the largest pulsed electromagnetic wave generator in the world and he tackles a host of fascinating questions such as how the sun works and what the properties of matter are in the vicinity of a black hole. He says, ‘Photography and science are intertwined in my life and I don’t regard them as separate activities. They both tap the same creative necessity.’” – excerpt from Issue 271 ‘Black and White Photography Magazine’ by Susan Burnstine.

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