Ireland, 1999

SEPTEMBER 1999 – After harvest, a farmer burns his field somewhere in the middle of Ireland. Photo © by Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

Over the decades there were a few (rather short) periods when I explored genuine black-and-white photography. For our Ireland trip in 1999 I took two or three Ilford b&w films (two FP4 and one HP5) to re-evaluate this style.

Of the two AE-1P bodies I had available I occasionally loaded one with b&w film, and the other with color slide film. But I realized that this really limited me as I tended to shoot way more often with slide film, while picking the b&w film only for a few very specific frames. So one camera would be resting in the bag for longer periods which was not really what I had planned.

This is one b&w image that works pretty well (for me): After having harvested the field, a farmer burns it somewhere in the middle of Ireland, most likely in Co. Kildare. The far and wide landscape comes across as beautiful and a bit boring at the same time. A certain tristesse is expressed by the b&w style. The white smoke adds drama.

I think the Ireland trip was the last time when I tried b&w photography in earnest. It did not work for me too well. Also I could turn any color shot into b&w using Photoshop. So I never really got the point of b&w photography anyway. 😉

The high resolution image

Capture DateSeptember 1999
CameraCanon AE-1 Program
Image SourceNegative Film
Digital Image SourceEPSON Perfection 4870 Photo
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions6893 x 4634 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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