I find the UK boring for landscape photography. Please change my mind!

Matt.

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#1
I live in South Wales and am primarily a landscape photographer. I find the UK very boring for this, and really think I am wrong and need my mind changing. I usually travel to the US, Canada and the alps for my photography as the big mountains and wide open spaces are what I enjoy. I don't think I can get that anywhere within a short distance of where I am (sub 4hr drive). Scotland is different, but it's cheaper to go to the alps. Snowdonia is really the only option I see that I have, it just about gives me mountains and a little of the open spaces. The Lake District is probably the other that's almost in reach, but again is getting close to being cheaper to fly to the alps!

Can anyone inspire me with locations that match my needs or should I just try and get Canadian citizenship already? :D
 
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#2
I live in South Wales and am primarily a landscape photographer. I find the UK very boring for this, and really think I am wrong and need my mind changing. I usually travel to the US, Canada and the alps for my photography as the big mountains and wide open spaces are what I enjoy. I don't think I can get that anywhere within a short distance of where I am (sub 4hr drive). Scotland is different, but it's cheaper to go to the alps. Snowdonia is really the only option I see that I have, it just about gives me mountains and a little of the open spaces. The Lake District is probably the other that's almost in reach, but again is getting close to being cheaper to fly to the alps!

Can anyone inspire me with locations that match my needs or should I just try and get Canadian citizenship already? :D
You obviously know what you like and if the UK doesn't do it for you the the UK doesn't do it for you. What might help as a challenge is to imagine you've been paid to produce some images of local scenes to spark some creativity in a different direction ?
 
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#3
You can't compare the Alps, Canada or the US to the UK landscape, they are just so different. The closest you'll get to the Alps in wide openness is like you say Scotland. If the big mountain ranges and vast open areas is what floats your boat the UK isn't going to cut it. You'd need a change in mind set. What about seascapes, we have some of the best coasts in the world, you're not far from Pembrokeshire, great rugged coast.
 
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Matt.

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What about seascapes, we have some of the best coasts in the world, you're not far from Pembrokeshire, great rugged coast.
Yes, this I do need to try as like you say the landscapes don't really do it for me anymore, do you know of any specific locations? I do really want to get to Scotland next year though and go to the Isle of Skye.
 
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#5
One advantage the UK has for mountain scenery is that you can get up our mountains much (much!) more easily than the European alps or the Rockies or other north and south American ranges. This gives much more choice of viewpoint (up, across, down) and of course much more open views the higher you are. Especially in Scotland, there are huge vistas to be had. And you can easily get away from the over-photographed roadside spots. But if you want steep and icy emerging from natural forest then it's overseas.
 
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Matt.

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One advantage the UK has for mountain scenery is that you can get up our mountains much (much!) more easily than the European alps or the Rockies or other north and south American ranges.
This is because our mountains are little more than medium sized hills! The alps does have lifts everywhere, so it’s normally not that hard and the mountain huts make hiking much easier! Not so easy in the US as it can get hugely more remote than anywhere in Europe.

I really need to get out to Scotland more as it’s definitely scenery I’d enjoy. It’s as easy to get to as the alps though, so I’ve often ended up just going to the alps!
 
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#8
I live in South Wales and am primarily a landscape photographer. I find the UK very boring for this, and really think I am wrong and need my mind changing. I usually travel to the US, Canada and the alps for my photography as the big mountains and wide open spaces are what I enjoy. I don't think I can get that anywhere within a short distance of where I am (sub 4hr drive). Scotland is different, but it's cheaper to go to the alps. Snowdonia is really the only option I see that I have, it just about gives me mountains and a little of the open spaces. The Lake District is probably the other that's almost in reach, but again is getting close to being cheaper to fly to the alps!

Can anyone inspire me with locations that match my needs or should I just try and get Canadian citizenship already? :D
I really cannot disagree with this. As nice as home is - it cannot and does not compare to the type of scenery you like. I'm just back from the Alps and Pyrenees and have found myself out of love with my country and lacking the motivation to shoot in it. Don't get me wrong, I love being British but I do wonder why god saw fit to give us this dump and the French/Swiss/italians/Spanish these wonderful places. It does feel unjust. I've never been to Canada but know it's like the Alps but not like here.

I think it is ike a pair of boobs, the UK might have be akin nice pair of B's but once you held a pair of double DD's a B seems a bit flat chested and boring and ultimately not worth getting up for.

The vista's in Scotland are remarkable uninteresting compared to what you can see in the Vallee Blanche, Ossau Valley, Gavarnie Valley, Tena Valley etc.I wouldn't if I were you waste my time and money coming to Scotland - put it towards going to the Alps, Canada etc.

The post about seacapes is very true - the UK does arguable have the best coastal stuff in the world, bar maybe Norway.
 
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#9
This is because our mountains are little more than medium sized hills! The alps does have lifts everywhere, so it’s normally not that hard and the mountain huts make hiking much easier! Not so easy in the US as it can get hugely more remote than anywhere in Europe.

I really need to get out to Scotland more as it’s definitely scenery I’d enjoy. It’s as easy to get to as the alps though, so I’ve often ended up just going to the alps!
Plus the ground is drier. Although the Alps are bigger, I found walking in them far easier than home. Better weather, more inspiring views and good path ways if you are not confident mountaineering. You can stay in a refuge or take a bivy with you and go rough. In the summer it is warm enough to.
 
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#10
I really cannot disagree with this. As nice as home is - it cannot and does not compare to the type of scenery you like. I'm just back from the Alps and Pyrenees and have found myself out of love with my country and lacking the motivation to shoot in it. Don't get me wrong, I love being British but I do wonder why god saw fit to give us this dump and the French/Swiss/italians/Spanish these wonderful places. It does feel unjust. I've never been to Canada but know it's like the Alps but not like here.

I think it is ike a pair of boobs, the UK might have be akin nice pair of B's but once you held a pair of double DD's a B seems a bit flat chested and boring and ultimately not worth getting up for.

The vista's in Scotland are remarkable uninteresting compared to what you can see in the Vallee Blanche, Ossau Valley, Gavarnie Valley, Tena Valley etc.I wouldn't if I were you waste my time and money coming to Scotland - put it towards going to the Alps, Canada etc.

The post about seacapes is very true - the UK does arguable have the best coastal stuff in the world, bar maybe Norway.
I'll take pinkie and perky over knee-warmers any day. :) Were you saying something about the seaside? ;)
 
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#11
I'll take pinkie and perky over knee-warmers any day. :) Were you saying something about the seaside? ;)
Coast here is good, properly. I am not a big seascape fan but the best coastal photography in the world comes out of the UK. The changeable weather, eroded coastline (Little mountains too at Elgol), castles etc make this a really good coast to shoot. The sea is something I am not interested in but the work of Jennifer Bunnett (the best coastal photographer in the UK https://www.jeniferbunnett.com ) goes to show what you can get from this god forsaken little Island.

Just drool - https://www.jeniferbunnett.com/portfolio400790.html

Seriously there are not many photographers I would pay my own money out to shoot with, but she is one of them.
 
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#12
Seriously there are not many photographers I would pay my own money out to shoot with, but she is one of them.
OK, I can see why that would be, and I probably agree with you.

Having now had a browse to look & possibly learn a little, some work incredibly well, while others I'd probably not be so fussed about. Her style is very strong but almost too dominant, so that many images look very similar, and where she shoots outside that it almost jars when moving through her gallery. Thanks for posting the links.
 
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#13
This is so personal. I've been lucky enough to travel widely (before climate change guilt took over) - Alps, Pyrenees,Canadian Rockies, Wind Rivers, Californian Sierra, New Zealand, Himalayas. Yes they are fantastic. Yet I've long felt, coming home to north Wales, that here is as beautiful as anywhere - not as dramatic, but beautiful. And there is a view (sic) that you take your best pictures in the area close to home that you know the best. But that's just me.
 
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Coast here is good, properly. I am not a big seascape fan but the best coastal photography in the world comes out of the UK. The changeable weather, eroded coastline (Little mountains too at Elgol), castles etc make this a really good coast to shoot. The sea is something I am not interested in but the work of Jennifer Bunnett (the best coastal photographer in the UK https://www.jeniferbunnett.com ) goes to show what you can get from this god forsaken little Island.

Just drool - https://www.jeniferbunnett.com/portfolio400790.html

Seriously there are not many photographers I would pay my own money out to shoot with, but she is one of them.

There is some good stuff on her site, but looking at her bio she seems to come from Surrey. She has to travel quite some distance to get to her locations; it looks to me as if some of them are from the Outer Hebs. And dig those sloping horizons......:D
 
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#16
Yes, this I do need to try as like you say the landscapes don't really do it for me anymore, do you know of any specific locations? I do really want to get to Scotland next year though and go to the Isle of Skye.

The thing is with asking other photographers for good locations, you'll only get the same pictures that they do. Get yourself some decent maps, learn how to read them (if you can't already:)) and find your own.

I agree that some of the places Steve mentions are just knockout compared to more or less anything in the UK, but we do have a little bit more subtlety. That is why the seasons are so important here, for example.
 
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#17
I really cannot disagree with this. As nice as home is - it cannot and does not compare to the type of scenery you like. I'm just back from the Alps and Pyrenees and have found myself out of love with my country and lacking the motivation to shoot in it. Don't get me wrong, I love being British but I do wonder why god saw fit to give us this dump and the French/Swiss/italians/Spanish these wonderful places. It does feel unjust. I've never been to Canada but know it's like the Alps but not like here.

I think it is ike a pair of boobs, the UK might have be akin nice pair of B's but once you held a pair of double DD's a B seems a bit flat chested and boring and ultimately not worth getting up for.

The vista's in Scotland are remarkable uninteresting compared to what you can see in the Vallee Blanche, Ossau Valley, Gavarnie Valley, Tena Valley etc.I wouldn't if I were you waste my time and money coming to Scotland - put it towards going to the Alps, Canada etc.

The post about seacapes is very true - the UK does arguable have the best coastal stuff in the world, bar maybe Norway.
Just chip in here and perhaps defend my homeland. What is most interesting in Scotland is not particularly the vistas -- though there are some fine ones - but the light which can change frequently and dramatically with the weather. I currently live in Stuttgart from where the Allgäu Alps are reachable in around 3 hrs. There are higher mountains and more breathtaking views but the light, though it can be spectacular, not so often reaches the spooky mystery of the Scottish Highlands. Or perhaps that's another way of saying the weather is better.....
 
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#20
Just chip in here and perhaps defend my homeland. What is most interesting in Scotland is not particularly the vistas -- though there are some fine ones - but the light which can change frequently and dramatically with the weather. I currently live in Stuttgart from where the Allgäu Alps are reachable in around 3 hrs. There are higher mountains and more breathtaking views but the light, though it can be spectacular, not so often reaches the spooky mystery of the Scottish Highlands. Or perhaps that's another way of saying the weather is better.....
I’ve found you get the duff weather abroad too, and the seasons are spectacular. Autumn in the Alps, the winters are actually nice and the summers good too.

You get plenty of changeable conditions too. Some of the best light and shadow plays happen over there
 
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#21
There is some good stuff on her site, but looking at her bio she seems to come from Surrey. She has to travel quite some distance to get to her locations; it looks to me as if some of them are from the Outer Hebs. And dig those sloping horizons......:D
That’s dedication for you :)

I just like the compositions and processing. Maybe it’s because if I did coastal photography that would be the sort of pictures I’d want to leave with. Straight horizons though ;)

As good as Rachel Talibarts stuff is I find it too abstract for me - they’re good pictures but I wouldn’t want any of them in my own collection but if I found myself living by the sea I’d look at Jennifer’s for inspiration.

As it were I like lakes and mountains - I just don’t have the same affinity with the sea.
 
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#22
No how you feel about the UK, total lack of deserts! Not sure I will ever be able to travel the North African states and Middle East like I did. On the other hand you have the Brecon Beacons, Pembroke Coast which I think can sometimes be best enjoyed in the winter where the wild stormy weather can create a great impact on it's own.
 
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#23
Have to say my knowledge outside the UK is very limited so I cannot comment many of the non-UK locations mentioned above but I have seen photos, videos, TV programmes from many places and loads are spectacular, eg Grand Teton, Faroe Islands.

However, is part of drawing the best out a landscape (or any other subject) getting to know it? Is it akin to wildlife photographers where, I think, the best ones know their subject really well. I also think there is a strong element of feeling an association to an area.

Have a look at the work of Ian Cameron who in my opinion is one of the best landscape photographers around today. He has photographed all over the world but I would not say his non-UK photos are better than home grown ones.

Dave
 
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This is so personal. I've been lucky enough to travel widely (before climate change guilt took over) - Alps, Pyrenees,Canadian Rockies, Wind Rivers, Californian Sierra, New Zealand, Himalayas. Yes they are fantastic. Yet I've long felt, coming home to north Wales, that here is as beautiful as anywhere - not as dramatic, but beautiful.
This!
 
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#25
No how you feel about the UK, total lack of deserts! Not sure I will ever be able to travel the North African states and Middle East like I did. On the other hand you have the Brecon Beacons, Pembroke Coast which I think can sometimes be best enjoyed in the winter where the wild stormy weather can create a great impact on it's own.
I agree about the lack of deserts, but whilst most of the nearer ones are a bit out of bounds these days, probably parts of the Moroccan Sahel are ok, and maybe down towards the Mali border with a Tuareg guide (they run trade caravans there still to the best of my knowledge). However probably the most accessible deserts now are in North America and NW India perhaps.

Within the UK I tend to agree with much of the above - there are nice landscapes especially off the beaten track in the Lakes and Scottish Highlands; seascapes certainly do it for me too though, my favourites being North coast of Cornwall, Scottish Western Isles, and the best ones Cork and Kerry in Eire, but also I've seen many around the coast of both southern and northern Ireland.
 
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Matt.

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#26
...On the other hand you have the Brecon Beacons...
I go walking here most weekends. I find the landscape boring, but go there as they’re the closest hills of any size for walking up. There are also size of humans everywhere. I find it a real shame that in the UK our parks are filled with housing and signs of human activity. You can of course get good photos in the beacons, but for me it’s just somewhere to get some exercise and fresh air. However I might try getting up there for astro photography soon, that could be fun.

I think I’ve been ruined by travelling a little and seeing what else is out there!
 
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#27
And there is a view (sic) that you take your best pictures in the area close to home that you know the best. But that's just me.
No, it's not just you, John ...

Matt, it could be that that your photographic attention is one that is matter-of-factly to do with 'scenery'. That's how many people seem to operate. Many look for glamour, or for what seems striking, or huge in scale.

But that's not the only way. If you immerse yourself in a place, and see it in a range of seasons and lights, you might find that detail can represent it, and build up a mosaic of aspects. First, I think, you have to truly love a place, not just admire it for its vistas.

That's with 'straight' photography. Or you could be more interpretive, and maybe think of mono ...

In that vein, here's a 'neighbour' of yours, Rob Hudson ... http://www.robhudsonlandscape.net/
 
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#28
The thing about taking pictures in the place you live is that it can become familiar to the point where you stop seeing things. I love travelling, because it lets me see new scenes as they are, rather than as I know them to be, and I try to take pictures as soon as I arrive somewhere because after a few days it's all familiar and I stop seeing things. It's very hard to open your eyes to see new aspects of the everyday stuff... every day.
 
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#29
I agree with Toni :agree:

I think we all feel like this on our home patch.
I live by the banks of the River Don in Aberdeen.
I walk the dog there a few times a day - its beautiful!!
These days, I rarely take a camera with me as its too familiar - I've walking the same route for nearly 50 years.
Occasionally, I take photographers on a walk along the river and they get snap happy and its amazing seeing their take on the location, seeing things that I walk past every day.
 
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#31
You can take a selection of boring little pictures in your own back yard or jump in the car and head down to the Alps and take interesting and exciting pictures.

What’s it gonna be :)
That simply turns a person into a chauffeur for their own camera, transporting it from one beauty spot to another. IMO the art of photography is about finding beauty/interest in even the mundane.
 
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#32
To be honest if you find the UK boring for landscape photography you're not looking at properly, it's some of the most stunning and diverse landscape in the world. Not only does the UK have great scenery it's intermingled with wonderful heritage such as abandoned quarries/mines, ancient castles, heritage railways, endless historical architecture... the list goes on. Big isn't always better either, there's lots of interest in the detail, you just have to use your eyes differently

Simon
 
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#33
Give me a Rhinog over an Alp any day! I'm exaggerating - I'd love to go to the Alps. But there are things in some of our UK landscapes that the Alps lack. If you're focussed on grand scale, of course you're going to prefer the Alps though.
 
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#34
Much as I'd love to explore some of the far flung places mentioned above, I think it's most likely that if I did, all I'd accomplish would be inferior versions of photos others have already taken. Exploring your local area though, providing you don't live somewhere really popular already, you're far more likely to get something unique. And with it being local you can go whenever you like, or whenever the light is looking to be good, without too much planning involved.
 
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#35
Coast here is good, properly. I am not a big seascape fan but the best coastal photography in the world comes out of the UK. The changeable weather, eroded coastline (Little mountains too at Elgol), castles etc make this a really good coast to shoot. The sea is something I am not interested in but the work of Jennifer Bunnett (the best coastal photographer in the UK https://www.jeniferbunnett.com ) goes to show what you can get from this god forsaken little Island.

Just drool - https://www.jeniferbunnett.com/portfolio400790.html

Seriously there are not many photographers I would pay my own money out to shoot with, but she is one of them.
Great stuff, I love a seascape. I'd not heard of her, so thanks for the tip.
 
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#36
There's an interesting take on this in David Ward's excellent book, Landscape Beyond. He like several of the suggestions above argues for getting away from the usual places, and exploring to find the photo. Immerse yourself in the place and learn to really see it. He doesn't restrict himself to the UK, but plenty of his pictures are from here (and they're very good!).
 
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#37
There's an interesting take on this in David Ward's excellent book, Landscape Beyond. He like several of the suggestions above argues for getting away from the usual places, and exploring to find the photo. Immerse yourself in the place and learn to really see it. He doesn't restrict himself to the UK, but plenty of his pictures are from here (and they're very good!).
David Ward is about one of the few big name landscape photographers who's pictures I find utterly uninspiring. Whilst his work is unique it does nothing whatsoever for me.
 
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#38
I almost feel some of you in this thread are trolling. This really isn’t a boring country to photograph, we have such a wide variety of stunning landscapes in a fairly small area, varied weather and distinctive seasons. I’m currently in the Lake District and am blown away by how beautiful it is every time I come. Some people have no appreciation for what we have.
 
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#39
I almost feel some of you in this thread are trolling. This really isn’t a boring country to photograph, we have such a wide variety of stunning landscapes in a fairly small area, varied weather and distinctive seasons. I’m currently in the Lake District and am blown away by how beautiful it is every time I come. Some people have no appreciation for what we have.
You see, compared to others, I think it is. It’s just an opinion and was posted in response to the original post. It’s not without merit but I do think there’s better overseas.

I’m glad you’re enjoying the Lake District though.
 
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#40
You can take a selection of boring little pictures in your own back yard or jump in the car and head down to the Alps and take interesting and exciting pictures.

What’s it gonna be :)
In all honesty your Scottish pictures are far better than your Alpine ones Steve. It’s interesting I’ve seen countless spectacular pictures from the UK but rarely any from the Alps.
 
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