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Beauty in anonymity, harmony in solitude...

...Creativity in isolation. Or, without wishing to appear at all pretentious, Zen and the Art of Landscaping.

Above image: Littlehampton West Beach

Nikon D810, 14-24mm f2.8 Nikkor at 24mm, ISO 64, 1/4 second at f13

17th December 2015

I have written before about the when, where and how of photography. I believe when trumps where pretty much every time. But I would like to say a little about place and how it can affect us.

Travel to an iconic location and it is inevitable your path will, more often than not, intersect with the paths of others. Unless we are completely immune to the proximity of other humans and especially fellow togs, this intersection usually leads to interaction and, therefore, diversion. Not that I am averse to making new contacts or that I always do my best to avoid communication (quite the opposite, in fact) but in this sense, location takes on an elemental importance.

When you are landscaping somewhere remote and unremarkable, as opposed to popular and iconic, you are unlikely to be disturbed, distracted or diverted. Your involvement with place becomes a singular meditation on preparation, expectation and execution. My best personal work is always, without exception, acquired when I have been alone with just my gear and my thoughts for hours on end.

Time spent on location, studying the landscape, becoming aware of what it is offering and creating fresh material for my portfolio is an immensely fulfilling part of the photography process. It is the essence that I crave. It has all the elements that bring me fulfilment. It is the core that defines me as a creative earthling.

It is mindfulness in solitude and isolation.

If I have not been out for a few days I start to go stir crazy. And, much as I relish the post-processing, image interpretation engagement with my work on the computer, producing and presenting my vision, it is the actual acquisition of the raw material that excites me so much that the anticipation literally gets me out of bed at 5AM every day.

Above image: Littlehampton West Beach

Nikon D810, 50mm f1.4 Nikkor, ISO 64, 20 seconds at f8, 10-stop ND, hand-held

17th December 2015


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