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Exploring the sparse world of mountain bothies

By Matthew Oxley | 1 year ago

Nicholas White is a photographer based in the UK, specialising in long-term landscape and portrait projects of the British Isles. In 2016 he was shortlisted in the ZEISS Photography Award with his series 'Black Dots', an exploration of mountain bothies and bothy culture throughout the United Kingdom. 'Black Dots' is now published by Another Place Press, a small independent publisher based in the Scottish Highlands. 

The 2018 ZEISS Photography Award is currently accepting entries and is free for everyone.
€12k worth of ZEISS equipment and €3k worth of travel funds are up for grabs. 


Text by Nicholas White 

'Black Dots' is an exploration of mountain bothies and bothy culture throughout the United Kingdom. Far from civilisation and mostly accessible only by foot, bothies are secluded mountain shelters scattered across the British Isles and tirelessly maintained by volunteers from the Mountain Bothies Association. Unlocked and free to use, they provide a refuge from the vast terrain that surrounds them and have become an iconic feature of the British landscape over the past fifty years. Bothies are synonymous with the outdoor experience in the UK and from day trippers to mountaineers, the growing community of bothy-users is hugely diverse. 'Black Dots' is the result of almost three years spent traversing our most remote landscapes in an attempt to better understand what these buildings are, where they’re located and the culture that surrounds them. Drawn not only by the primitive beauty of the bothies and the landscapes they sit within, the work also investigates the human element to the bothy story, capturing the faces of those who trek for hours to temporarily inhabit these spaces, many miles from the nearest settlements.



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