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

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Nightmare
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#42
I live in South Wales
That is not as bad as the midlands at least. There are some good bits in Brecon Beacons, Pembrokeshire coast, and of course Snowdownia is well within reach. In my case min 3-4 hours to anywhere with a slight exception of Bristol.

Well why don't you relocate to the Alps, Canada or even Scotland? Or get a campervan and just take it easy across the continent in circles...
 
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Ben
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#43
I'm sure everyone feels like this sometimes. I live in the North West UK (Lancashire). We have the lake district, pennines and Yorkshire dales all in commuting distance, however I find our coast very uninspiring. No decent beaches and vast expanses of mud flats and brown water. I many a times wish I lived down in the South West with the rocky coast lines, golden sands and clear water. .......but then I would miss the lakes and hills.

I do have to admit the UK environment is much more subtle than some places abroad. We went to Tromso in Norway last year. The scenery was unreal. Snowy mountains, deep fijords and the northen lights twinkling accross the sky. Was amazing.

Off to New Zealand in February. Will see what that holds.
 
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#44
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!
I have travelled all over the world but still find the UK has lots of places left for me to visit, I guess the only answer for you is to go and live in another country.
 
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Matt.

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#45
... distinctive seasons...
I don’t see this myself. Yes it might change temperature but other than that it’s not much different. It rains all the time and is grey dark and gloomy very often. We also don’t have proper winter. Maybe a couple of days every few years, but it’s rare.

Sometimes I wonder if people leave this country and see what else this planet has to offer!
 
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Julian Elliott
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#46
I'm not sure the UK is necessarily boring as a landscape destination. What it could be is the deluge of images that we get as well as landscape photography being massively popular in the UK.

Now where I live in the Loire Valley in France you are hard pressed to see other photographers unless it's a touristic place such as a castle. There is a vineyard area I visit and in the 8 years I have been going I have seen maybe 2 photographers and that is no lie. It is an idyllic place the capture vineyards at their best yet no one is ever there!

 
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#47
I don’t see this myself. Yes it might change temperature but other than that it’s not much different. It rains all the time and is grey dark and gloomy very often. We also don’t have proper winter. Maybe a couple of days every few years, but it’s rare.

Sometimes I wonder if people leave this country and see what else this planet has to offer!
You ought to leave it!
 
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Steve
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#48
You ought to leave it!
As might you - you might well form an emotional attachment to somewhere new.

Seasons wise we don’t get strong seasons. Don’t get me wrong, I’m biased and I like summer so most places are more suited to me than Scotland. But autumn is beautiful in the Alps, Winter very good too. Summer is Completely different too.

If close up “intimate landscapes are your thing” you can do that beyond England too - but also see some of the worlds finest mountains (which just do not exist in the UK) and fascinating geological formations (eg Gavarnie and the Ordesa Valley)
 
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#49
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 think the problem here is much less about the landscape, but rather your perception of it and how you interpret it as a landscape photographer. What is landscape photography to you? Is it sunsets and sunrises of grand vistas all shot at f/11 with a 3 stop ND grad, or is it something more intricate or delicate? We have some of the most diverse landscape in the entire world, but if your preference is the former rather than the latter, then things can get VERY boring VERY quickly. Perhaps you need to explore that question first and seek inspiration from others rather than a location guide, before you dismiss the UK as "boring". Some of the most inspirational work I've seen in recent years comes from such benign places as muddy ponds, drainage ditches and the simple power of imagination.
 
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Mark
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#50
I think the problem here is much less about the landscape, but rather your perception of it and how you interpret it as a landscape photographer. What is landscape photography to you? Is it sunsets and sunrises of grand vistas all shot at f/11 with a 3 stop ND grad, or is it something more intricate or delicate? We have some of the most diverse landscape in the entire world, but if your preference is the former rather than the latter, then things can get VERY boring VERY quickly. Perhaps you need to explore that question first and seek inspiration from others rather than a location guide, before you dismiss the UK as "boring". Some of the most inspirational work I've seen in recent years comes from such benign places as muddy ponds, drainage ditches and the simple power of imagination.
I agree. I find the whole location guides thing very cringeworthy. Just trying to duplicate what’s already out there. Paint by numbers. Derivative work.
 
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#51
I agree. I find the whole location guides thing very cringeworthy. Just trying to duplicate what’s already out there. Paint by numbers. Derivative work.
And close up "woodland type shots" or "intimate" style landscape's aren't - they are literally everywhere on social media. Some may like them, others, well are like me and find them very boring and in every level they are as derivative as anything else out there. I prefer the "destination style" shot much more pleasing on every level.
 
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Jeremy Moore
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#53
I could quote my late mother and say that only boring people get bored. If you do not see interesting pictures every time you open your eyes, you probably have no place in the image making business.

That's a bit harsh, John. I challenge you to walk out of your front door and take a great photograph of a scene that you see every day.
 
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David
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#54
I think the problem here is much less about the landscape, but rather your perception of it and how you interpret it as a landscape photographer. What is landscape photography to you? Is it sunsets and sunrises of grand vistas all shot at f/11 with a 3 stop ND grad, or is it something more intricate or delicate? We have some of the most diverse landscape in the entire world, but if your preference is the former rather than the latter, then things can get VERY boring VERY quickly. Perhaps you need to explore that question first and seek inspiration from others rather than a location guide, before you dismiss the UK as "boring". Some of the most inspirational work I've seen in recent years comes from such benign places as muddy ponds, drainage ditches and the simple power of imagination.
There's a very good point here. The fact that it's a cliché about tripod shooters taking 10 stop ND shots of water to make it seem smooth when it wasn't (although I once or twice did it, what the hell is the point?) and taking landscapes with only w/a lenses and then over-processing contrast, sharpness and colour, doesn't make it any less infuriating, especially as the majority of successful landscape photographers seem to go for this approach. The (relatively few it seems to me these days) genuinely outstanding ones in this category will stick out in the end as there will nearly always be at least some element of taste and originality with them. But maybe I'm just jealous as I'm seldom able to do as much with muddy ponds as a genuinely creative photographer.
 
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#55
That's a bit harsh, John. I challenge you to walk out of your front door and take a great photograph of a scene that you see every day.
Trouble is, if I do that and post it here (I live in the centre of Lincoln), there will be no mountains, no lakes and no reflections and I will be told it is a boring image.

I do do that and do not post them here and I have many interesting pictures taken within a hundred yards of here.
 
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Stuart McGlennon
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#57
I think the problem here is much less about the landscape, but rather your perception of it and how you interpret it as a landscape photographer. What is landscape photography to you? Is it sunsets and sunrises of grand vistas all shot at f/11 with a 3 stop ND grad, or is it something more intricate or delicate? We have some of the most diverse landscape in the entire world, but if your preference is the former rather than the latter, then things can get VERY boring VERY quickly. Perhaps you need to explore that question first and seek inspiration from others rather than a location guide, before you dismiss the UK as "boring". Some of the most inspirational work I've seen in recent years comes from such benign places as muddy ponds, drainage ditches and the simple power of imagination.
This, pretty much. There will always be bigger, grander vistas etc but no matter what you do the grass will always be greener somewhere else, wherever you go.
 
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Graham
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#58
Stop whinging man, You have the green grass, great weather conditions and some outstanding scenery to photograph, Yes you have to travel a bit but even in Wales you still have some lovely places, If you want to lose your real interest in landscape come to the south east of France where I am living, it`s s***E here with the exception of a few areas like the Pre-Alps and the lavender fields but other than that there`s not alot here.
For landscape I wish I was in the UK, it`s LUSH.
 
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#59
Stop whinging man, You have the green grass, great weather conditions and some outstanding scenery to photograph, Yes you have to travel a bit but even in Wales you still have some lovely places, If you want to lose your real interest in landscape come to the south east of France where I am living, it`s s***E here with the exception of a few areas like the Pre-Alps and the lavender fields but other than that there`s not alot here.
For landscape I wish I was in the UK, it`s LUSH.
My heart bleeds - you are a couple of hours from the Vallee Blanche - yes it has it's downsides (read all about them here - http://www.sftphotography.co.uk/september-2018-landscape-photography-chamonix/ ) but I would swap places as you can get come heart breakingly good conditions and shots there.
 
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#60
My heart bleeds - you are a couple of hours from the Vallee Blanche - yes it has it's downsides (read all about them here - http://www.sftphotography.co.uk/september-2018-landscape-photography-chamonix/ ) but I would swap places as you can get come heart breakingly good conditions and shots there.
Yes the alps are a great place but i just simply couldn't go there every weekend even if they are close ish to me. But snow is now on them alps now so ill be there soon.
 
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#61
And close up "woodland type shots" or "intimate" style landscape's aren't - they are literally everywhere on social media. Some may like them, others, well are like me and find them very boring and in every level they are as derivative as anything else out there. I prefer the "destination style" shot much more pleasing on every level.
I’m not sure I can comment as I didn’t mention close up woodland style shots or intimate style landscapes but I’m sure your right.

I stay away from social media (I just do forums!) Im one of those minority of people who believes we’ve barely scratched the surface of original photography and whilst I’ve done it myself (we all have!) I’m starting to move away from repeating what’s already been done.

I’m being flippant now but for some photographers they may as well just take a photocopy of the image they are trying to recreate, rather than wasting fossil fuels driving to a destination.
 
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#63
I’m not sure I can comment as I didn’t mention close up woodland style shots or intimate style landscapes but I’m sure your right.

I stay away from social media (I just do forums!) Im one of those minority of people who believes we’ve barely scratched the surface of original photography and whilst I’ve done it myself (we all have!) I’m starting to move away from repeating what’s already been done.

I’m being flippant now but for some photographers they may as well just take a photocopy of the image they are trying to recreate, rather than wasting fossil fuels driving to a destination.
Tell me - do you think an image has to be original to be worthwhile and if so; why?
 
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Jeremy Moore
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#64
Change your mind? Move to Denmark and you won't find UK landscapes boring
Ha! I don't know Denmark at all but we should think ourselves lucky for what is close to our doorsteps - for some closer than others, I admit. But knowing Wales as well I do there must be some great location close to the OP's home which he could explore.
 
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Soeren
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#66
Yes. One weekend and you're done.
 
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Steve
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#69
I think to stand out it needs a degree of originality. If everyone kept painting the same pose of Mona Lisa, I wouldn’t think #432 was that worthwhile no.
But in the terms of landscape photography every day at a cliched location (think these falls in Glencoe or Durdle door) will look different, the way the light will fall, the clouds in the sky, never mind the photographers composition and processing.

It's not the same thing as direct replication. I have no qualms in placing my tripod where one has been before - I'll do my best to make my own composition/crop and the light etc will be unique to me.
 
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#70
But in the terms of landscape photography every day at a cliched location (think these falls in Glencoe or Durdle door) will look different, the way the light will fall, the clouds in the sky, never mind the photographers composition and processing.

It's not the same thing as direct replication. I have no qualms in placing my tripod where one has been before - I'll do my best to make my own composition/crop and the light etc will be unique to me.
No harm in that. I remember our dearly beloved Pookeyhead complaining that all the photographs of St Michaels Mount on google were the same. Nonsense! They may have been taken from roughly the same location but there was a wide variety of different conditions (light, tide etc.) on display. I suppose that's originality in a rather limited sense.

I'm not sure that any one single photograph could these days be described as original. There's just so many of them around.
 

Mick Ryan

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Michael Ryan
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#71
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
Ha-ha, a good troll.

The UK is as interesting for landscape photography as anywhere—I lived for ten years in Bishop, California, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, Galen Rowell and Ansel Adams country. I can get as much pleasure photographing Blackpool tower as I do from Lone Pine and Mount Whitney.

Get yourself some decent books that will open your eyes.... https://www.fotovue.com/shop/

All the best,

Mick
 
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Jamesev
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#72
have a look at Nigel Dansons stuff hes lived in San Fran and now lives back here and does a lot of peak district stuff, Mist and Fog and sun rays helps
 
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Lindsay
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#74
This topic makes me think of my annoyance with my ex-wife - no, not for the obvious reasons! I funded her through A Level togging, HND then a degree in Media Production (Photography), took her along with me to some great locations (Namibia being the most amazing). She produced some very good images and even sold one from her exhibition at the end of the degree course. But she wanted to be a pro travel photographer, she thought she could take loads of holidays to exotic locations and earn a living from NatGeo. When I pointed out that people also travel to Yorkshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, where many superb images have been shot, she wasn't interested. All she could see was big landscape, dark skin, temples and wild animals in her imagination.
What I'm saying is that it is preconceived notions that are/were blinding her and the OP to the opportunities that are available nearer home. Of course there are fantastic things to be seen and photographed in exotic or extreme locations, but what strikes the viewer often more forcibly is a new way of seeing the commonplace. That is art.
 
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Jeremy Moore
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#75
This topic makes me think of my annoyance with my ex-wife - no, not for the obvious reasons! I funded her through A Level togging, HND then a degree in Media Production (Photography), took her along with me to some great locations (Namibia being the most amazing). She produced some very good images and even sold one from her exhibition at the end of the degree course. But she wanted to be a pro travel photographer, she thought she could take loads of holidays to exotic locations and earn a living from NatGeo. When I pointed out that people also travel to Yorkshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, where many superb images have been shot, she wasn't interested. All she could see was big landscape, dark skin, temples and wild animals in her imagination.
What I'm saying is that it is preconceived notions that are/were blinding her and the OP to the opportunities that are available nearer home. Of course there are fantastic things to be seen and photographed in exotic or extreme locations, but what strikes the viewer often more forcibly is a new way of seeing the commonplace. That is art.

Yes, the OP only as to look at the winners of (for example) the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition to see how misguided his thinking is.
 
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#77
It's kind of a bizarre argument to stir the pot over. If we were talking about the sorts of models you preferred to shoot as a studio photographer, people would just accept you have different preferences according to your style. No one would say to Mapplethorpe "Oi, Mapplethorpe! What are you doing shooting all those athletic black dudes! You're wasting your time if you're not shooting voluptuous female models in 1950s vintage clothing!"
 

simon ess

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#78
Just a thought...

If you find the landscape around you boring, maybe it's landscape photography you find boring. Try something else.

Or perhaps you've been sucked into the mountain reflected in lake at golden hour type of stuff.

I don't know. Just a thought.
 
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Dave
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#79
Seems odd to me. I go to some trouble to visit Pembrokeshire, as I think it has the most interesting set of beach locations within a short distance of each other in the UK (except maybe Harris, but that's a lot further away). And there's some good woodland too.

Then again, it depends what you like. As someone else observed, you won't find a lot of deserts in Wales.

These three are all from my last trip back in October. I'm sure I could do better if I lived nearby.


Manorbier Gothic IV (Explored)
by David Hallett, on Flickr


Incoming tide IV
by David Hallett, on Flickr


Rain or shine
by David Hallett, on Flickr
 
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Steve
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#80
Just a thought...

If you find the landscape around you boring, maybe it's landscape photography you find boring. Try something else.

Or perhaps you've been sucked into the mountain reflected in lake at golden hour type of stuff.

I don't know. Just a thought.
Not all of us like boring little pictures of leaves on the ground. Not all of us have thankfully being sucked into that.
 
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