Gallery: staring up at the steps
There have been many times when travelling that I’ve stared up at some steps. I’m not the best at climbing stairs, but the incentives to do so are often great. A wonderful view, an interesting building, a slice of history … Any of these is likely to entice me to climb.
Steps and staircases have an inherent contrast built into them, with the angles creating slices of shadow and light. That makes them perfect for monochrome photography. So I’ve trawled the archives for Cee’s Black and White challenge theme of steps or ladders and found some of the flights of steps or stairs I’ve climbed in the past, as well as a few that I haven’t. I’m sharing these also for Leanne’s Monochrome Madness.
My feature photo has been used before in a gallery devoted just to that one staircase. But it was too fitting for this theme not to share again. That one is in London while the remainder will take you to Newcastle, Italy, China, Morocco, Cambodia, India, Guatemala, France and the US!
As always I have used Silver Efex for all my edits.
The Tulip Stairs at the Queen’s House in Greenwich, London: the first unsupported spiral staircase in Britain
Looking up at the climb in front of us, Cape May Lighthouse, New Jersey
Looking down this time, in the tower of the Misericordia church, Tavira, Portugal
Inside Rocca Roveresca, a fortress in Senigalia, Italy
Climbing the stairs of the Torre Guinigi in Lucca, Italy
In the small hilltop town of Serra San Quirico, Marche, Italy
One of several flights of steps leading up from Newcastle upon Tyne’s Quayside
The Lost World pyramid at Tikal, Guatemala
Steps at Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Steps at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing
Tiled stairs in the Musee Tiskiwin, Marrakesh
Stairs to the lower floor of the Jeu de Paume gallery in Paris
Fire escape, Meatpackers District, New York City
At the Jama Masjid, Old Delhi, India
Ceremonial khiva ladder at Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico
Thank you. I will now look at stairs in a different way…
Those stairs in Newcastle are fab’. So worn down. Can you imagine how many thousands and thousands and thousands of people have gone up and down those stairs?
You’re so right about those steps in Newcastle, and this is just one of a number of such flights, although some have been rebuilt more recently than these. The city started life down by the river which is in a sort of gorge and it was really only in the 18th century that it expanded outwards and upwards. But these steps probably pre-date that, as people would have needed to climb up from the river with some of the goods that were delivered there. It’s a fascinating city!
One of so many cities I should visit in the UK… sigh…😉
This is a great series, Sarah, and all the better in black and white. Naturally, the NY fire escape caught my eye because it’s just so familiar. I love the variety here!
Thanks so much, I’m pleased you liked the variety of steps and stairs 😊 As you can imagine, I had a number of NYC fire escape shots to choose from but I like the fact that there’s someone on this one 🙂
Quite the eclectic collection of stairs! Maggie
Thanks so much Maggie, glad you liked them 😀
I had no idea you were a professional photographer. These photographs are so good. They could be on a book cover, calendar or wallpaper. I find the first two pictures a little dizzying to look at but the rest, make me want to keep looking.
I am very definitely NOT a professional 😆 Just a keen amateur who has had lots of practice! But thank you for thinking so 😊
You can definitely give professionals serious competition. You’re being modest.
Staircases/steps are beautiful (and sometimes necessary – if there is no elevator) … but when I walk long distances, they are usually the last thing I want to see on my way 😉. Great photo of The Tulip Stairs and love the steps in Italy (makes me want to go there and see what’s up there)!
Haha yes, I know what you mean 😆 Glad you liked the Tulip Stairs, they’re real favourites of mine. As for the ones in Italy, if you mean in Serra San Quirico (rather than the Lucca tower), it’s a beautiful small village. I think we found a rather lovely little church just round that bend, if i remember rightly!
I always love spiral staircases! 🙂
Me too – I can never resist photographing them!
Impressive absolutely amazing photos of stairs and their steps. Wow! And the fact that you have chosen to display them all in black and white makes your amazing collection even more interesting and exciting.
Silver Efex ?! Never heard of that but I’ll use Google to find out more, I rarely convert my photos to b/w, they never turn out well 😀
Thanks so much 😊 Silver Efex is part of the Nik effects collection which works as a plug-in for Photoshop (even my basic Photoshop Elements). It’s my go-to for B&W conversion and I love Color Efex for creative editing
I see, thank you Sarah for your explanation.
Love these Sarah and the angles you have used. They make such great photos.
Thank you Alison, I’m pleased you liked them 😀
Fabulous choice of images, brilliantly executed as always – and all lend themselves to black& white. Great stuff Sarah.
Thanks so much Malcolm, I really appreciate that 😊
These are all incredible Sarah, I love them.
Aw, thanks so much Leanne 😊
a stare at stairs…
lovely thematic collection
Thank you Graham 😀
A great selection. And that’s quite the best photo of the Tulip Stairs I’ve seen. It ain’t easy!
Aw, thank you Margaret 😊 I love that staircase and had a few shots to choose from but this is probably my favourite. A shame in a way to lose the beautiful shade of blue on the banisters, but monochrome brings out other aspects.
Yep, I think this is a win for monochrome too.
Staircases are symbolic – and therefore attractive to photographers – in the same way that doorways are. They speak of movement to a different place, a passage to somewhere new, a little bit of the unknown. All very atmospheric shots in this collection.
Thank you Phil, you make very good points there 😀 I think it’s a bit of both – they do carry that symbolism, yes, but they can also be beautiful / aesthetically interesting etc. For monochrome in particular, they have a strong sense of form and quite often texture too.
I did mean to add something like that to my comment!
I do love a good staircase, Sarah! Though much less enthusiastic about climbing them than I once was. Some cracking shots here! Have a good weekend!
Oh yes, I’m with you there Jo 😏 Enjoy your weekend too!
Amazing views of different steps! A real eye-opener! Thanks 😊
Thank you, so glad you liked them, and I appreciate you stopping by and commenting 🙂
You’re most welcome.
You’re most welcome. You can visit my blog too 😊
Wow, these are beautiful! I will never look at stairs the same now and will want to stop and take a photo! 😄
Thanks so much Lisa 😊 Stairs can be really photogenic, I find!
The stairs all look so elegant in black and white.
Thank you Rose, I do think B&W shows them off well 😀
I enjoy your monochrome images, Sarah. I lost count of the aged women we saw heading up steep stairs with groceries and long skirts. Amazing stamina. Personally I enjoy going up steps than heading down with no rail to hang onto 🙂
Thank you Suzanne 😊 I guess people who live in places dominated by steep hills and stairs develop that stamina naturally over time. I was astounded by some of the women we saw in the mountain town of Bandipur in Nepal, carrying heavy loads up the hillside! And I take your point about going down, although for me it’s the pressure on my aging knees that makes that unpleasant at times 🙄
Mike and Kellye Hefner
These are so great, Sarah! I love that you presented them in monochrome – absolutely gorgeous.
Thanks so much Kellye, I’m happy you liked them 😀
Great stair collection. I love the angles of spiral staircases and you photographed the well.
Thank you Anne – it’s hard to resist taking a photo of a spiral staircase in particular!
Superb shots perfectly composed, Sarah. I thought the spiral staircases looked like amonites! The use of mono really shows them off to their best too. Well done again! 🙂
Thank you again Alli 😊 I see what you mean about ammonites!
I like the geometry and repeating patterns of the steps, especially in black & white.
Yes, they really do suit B&W photography – thank you Brad 🙂
Some of these steps are sure intimidating. What an excellent gallery of steps you have shared with us. Thanks 😀
Thank you Cee 🙂 Yes, there are some steps here I wouldn’t dream of tackling, and several where it’s not even allowed!
Really gorgeous views, I love steps
Thank you 🙂