Scott Hillman’s Monochrome Landscape Images

8710 Drift Log, Dungeness Spit-3

All images by Scott Hillman. Used with permission.

Photographer Scott Hillman is a General and Vascular surgeon with a practice in Phoenix, Arizona. This advantageous location puts him close to the American Southwest, which comprises much of his incredible monochrome work. We found his photography on Behance, and were amazed with the timeless look of the images. However, I do appreciate other landscapes and travel to interesting locations as much as possible.

Scott says his influences are with the greats like Ansel Adams and Richard Strand. He’s also still captivated by Charles Cramer’s images of Yosemite.

His work has come a far way from his humble start with a Kodak Instamatic 110 camera.

Phoblographer: How did you get into photography?

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Scott: Like so many people I started with a Kodak Instamatic camera, which used 110 film. As a teenager I was able to travel around the country and record my experiences with snapshots. I still have those grainy black and white images and a few color shots as well. Gradually I realized the pictures evoked memories which were coupled with an emotional response. Years passed and digital photography allowed me to rekindle the excitement. I have been refining my work for the last 15 years.

6620 Monument Valley, View from Hunt's Mesa-2

Phoblographer: What attracted you to landscape photography?

Scott: I prefer the outdoors to more sedentary activities and I enjoy the challenge of finding a landscape scene that will evoke a response in the viewer. I know I have captured the essence of a scene when a non-photographer will go back and take a second look at a print. It’s the second look that makes me go out and shoot some more.

Phoblographer: What motivates you to capture a scene in black and white?

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Scott: It is helpful to think about a scene in black and white, but that’s not where I start. Yes, it must have contrast and texture and shadows but more importantly, I know it will be a successful image if after excluding the extraneous it tells a story or evokes an emotional response. In some cases this means removing the color if it detracts from the story or the emotional impact of the image.

Phoblographer: Talk to us about your workflow.

Scott: All images are captured in RAW. I am using a Nikon D800e with excellent resolution and dynamic range, which helps when trying to capture a high contrast scene. Files are imported into Lightroom. Global adjustments are made in Lightroom then exported to Silver Efex Pro or Tonality for black and white conversion. Then they are tweaked for relative luminance and tonality in specific areas. Print worthy images are output to an Epson 4800 driven by Image Print RIP or to an Epson 7900 using the monochrome driver.

4753 Nordaustlandet Ice Shelf

2967 Naked, Kaibab Plateau

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2217 Winter, Tree and Canyon Wall

8903 Mono Lake Tufa

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.