I think that is probably the most predictable post I've ever seen on here.
It's very funny.
Well one thing I can say about the UK is that sometimes the weather sucks for photography. We’ve had seemingly constant rain for over a week now here in the north east. Not changeable stuff with interesting light in between, just continuous wet ranging from drizzle to heavy with a cold wind chucked in for good measure. And looks like we’ve got another week if it still to come, yippee! I admit it can suit some photography, particularly coastal stuff but I’m really longing for crisp dry winter days.
No real problem with subject matter in the UK. I like the variety the uk offers with in relatively easy reach and I’m a long, long way off exhausting what the uk has to offer. Foreign lands are exciting too for all sorts of reasons but that takes nothing away from what the UK can offer. At least when it’s not p***ing it down!
A valid and pertinent concern! The overall tenor of the age is that of consumerism (and yes of course I'm a consumer too). But should we not try to moderate our profligate behaviours? In fact, being lucky enough to be able to afford something (including travel) doesn't actually give one the right to consume it. Might it even be decadent to make pretty (?) pictures of the very planet that the human race seems bent on destroying?
Not all of us like boring big pictures of clinical reflections in lochans, Steve! But there is space for many things, if they are genuine. Isn't the main thing to inform and to celebrate? There is certainly more in the gut and heart of things than aesthetic idealism might admit.
Imho that is one of the most sanctimonious piles of horse crap I’ve ever read.
Why might images of it p***ing down be undesirable? Is it not kosher to show things as they are? Could it not be a personal challenge to make meaningful images in bad weather?
It's a personal choice but generally speaking, they're not the kind of conditions I enjoy shooting in or enjoy the results from. There are exceptions. Biggest challenge/frustration is that in the weather that we've had recently (driving rain rather than stop start) is that there are occasions when you simply cannot keep water off the lens for long enough to get a usable image. I'm all for shooting to the conditions and that doesn't need to mean picture postcard stuff but I do have to enjoy it first and foremost.
I've got to agree with you about the UK weather. You should try living (and working) in wales!
You have your opinions and preferences but that doesn't mean that others agree with you.
I've followed this thread with interest while finding myself pretty much unable to comment as I can't get past the title, which I find more shocking than a VERY shocking thing
And many do. Hence the creation of this thread.
I'm guessing it's more the case that the UK doesn't have the same world reknown scapes such as The Grand Canyon, an Uluru, A table mountain, a mount fuji with cloud covered top, A horseshoe bend, Fjords Glaciers, Slat flats, Aztec or Egyptian pyramids. But i'm sure if you look hard enough you can find rolling hills shrouded in mist, Sunrays breaking over lush valleys etc....
There must be more ways to relate to the land than just seeing it as scenery ...
Well I live in not so sunny South Wales where today it is grey and raining somewhat BUT! I ventured out today, waterproofs on and camera in the dry sack rucksack. Travelled light but for me the main part was just getting out. I've been not great lately with a mental health battle which I'm glad to say I think I'm winning, well today I am at least, so I just wanted to get out of the house and walk, taking in the scenery along the way and find calm. If I didn't take a picture then so be it, if I did then all the better but the photography came second to just relaxing and enjoying myself. As said the weather isn't great at this time of the year then I suppose if we want to keep shooting outdoors then we just have to adapt our ideology of what we deem to be a good picture, or maybe just change what we would normally shoot.
This is what I shot today:
Fonty Steps by Gareth Williams, on Flickr
Not a bit of sun in the sky and not your typical amazing light sunset/sunrise, or foreground interest to draw your eye into some amazing distant interest but a more intimate piece of this landscape:
Fonty Steps by Gareth Williams, on Flickr
For me, I haven't even scratched the surface of what is around to me locally and then slightly further out in the Vale and then into South Wales etc. There is always something new to shoot, a new path I haven't been down or another subject I'm yet to discover. Yes, there are a lot of cliche images and once you've shot them then it's down to you as an individual to hunt out them new compositions.
Can't remember who but a famous photographer once said something along the lines that we never stop learning in photography so even though it's not the same, I don't think people can say they have shot every possible landscape/seascape/cityscape the UK in every possible original composition so how can you find it boring?! There's so much out there to explore here in the UK.
Just my 2p worth.
Cloudy can work in woodlands. Sometimes full sun would create contrast challenges.
I took this in Pembrokeshire on a completely overcast afternoon with only minor variations in the thickness of cloud. It's not everyone's idea of landscape photography but I was quite happy with it.
The location is unique, but not the easiest place to find. You have to first find Canolfan Woods car park and then navigate on foot from one lots of woods to another.
Stricken by David Hallett, on Flickr
I'm not particularly interested in landscape photography (my shots are just personal snaps) but have you thought about South Africa and Namibia? Superb climates, the Drakensberg/Maluti mountains, Mpumalanga (formerly the Eastern Transvaal and the escarpment), seascapes, the bushveld, deserts with some of the highest dunes in the world and amazing colours, dark skies...and all the wildlife you could wish for in the national parks if you fancy a change of subject!
This sounds great actually. I've been watching, totally off topic, Better call Saul and reckon New Mexico etc has some great photography shots. Not the obvious choice but the USA really has so much more variety than here.I'd love to go.
If you can't get excited about what the UK has to offer landscape photographers then that says much much more about the photographer than it does about the landscape.
And if you cannot appreciate the world and variety beyond the UK then it speaks to a very myopic mindset. Sure the UK has good things to offer, but elsewhere offers what we have and more.
I don't disagree with that and never said the UK is the best place ever but my comment still stands .
I wonder though that once you start really experiencing other places that home doesn't quite have the same wow. It's like a life time of burgers then discovering fillet mignon
For the experience then yes travelling will no doubt spoil you and home may seem a little bland in comparison. But your burger /fillet doesn't work . Your more like the chef , travelling may give you a few extra ingredients but if you cant
cook so well then the ingredients maybe of not much use . Where as an amazing chef can make great grub with even the most basic ingredients time and time again .
It's not a matter of being unable to appreciate what the rest of the world has to offer. To call that being "myopic" is insulting, really. The same adjective could equally be applied to someone who is unable to appreciate what lies more locally; and some might say more deservedly so.
I can cook fine with what’s here but I won’t lie - for me outwith the UK offers what’s here plus so much more and I aim to spend a bit more time shooting abroad and a bit less time shooting here.
Your Analogy reminds me of a TV show where celebrity chefs were given ingredients by the public. One person decided to present Anthony Warrol Thompson with a Pot Noodle, Can of lager and mars bar.
He got a lightly fried mars bar in beer batter and a pot noodle. There was only so much he could do
Sometimes more is just, well, more.
I am passionate about Britain's landscapes and more specifically those of Snowdonia, my home for the past five and a half years. It would take a photographer with very little imagination or vision to find what we have in these islands uninspiring.
Am I the only one who finds the concept of landscape photography tourism utterly crass? All that jet fuel spent visiting places to take the same photographs as everyone else in order to build up a body of work with no narrative beyond a disparate collection of images and no audience beyond the echo chamber that is the UK landscape photography community. How many photography tourists actually connect in any meaningful way with the landscapes they travel so far to shoot? Very few would be my guess.
You may as well be train spotting or stamp collecting, the mentality is the same, one of acquisition while the servers of the world groan under the weight another 1000.000 s***ty shots of a chunk of ice on an Icelandic beach!
So landscape photographers should only stay in their own patch and only Icelanders can have any real emotional attachment to shots of their beaches?
Whatever happened to engaging with something new?
You're putting words in my mouth, Steve. I merely offered my opinion without suggesting what others should or shouldn't do.
If the novelty of the new is what some crave in their 'work' then so be it. That said, I stand by my view that a truly meaningful connection with landscape can only be experience by those that spend quality time in it rather than indulging in whistle stop tours of big hitting classic locations. It's horses for courses. Personally, developing an intimate relationship with my locale has been extremely rewarding in a way that flitting here, there and everywhere never was.
I credit what success I have enjoyed as a landscape photographer to the fact that I have stayed true to my passion for Snowdonia.
Totally with you that other places can be better and its up to the photographer what they can or can't do with it but just to remind you that the title of the post is that they find the UK boring for photography so putting to one side that there are better places surely you can't agree with the title ?
Hard to drive there though Steve....
I think that maybe it depends on what we want to do with our photography. On what our images mean to ourselves and might to others.
I tend to the view that for a photographer of land, which is the topic in question, depth comes from long acquaintance. This would seem to mirror the nature of life itself. Neither, in this current context of land, might an image or two of a place be able to even start to approach a definitive portrait of that place - I said approach, because definitive is impossible anyway, It's all relative and will fall short.
A striking image might be a superficial one. Is it just style we want?
We need to look and we need to feel. Some of that is commmunicable, but communication depends on the nature & experience of the viewer as much as that of the photographer.
But having a craft skill (judgements of light, composition and exposure, let's say, in this case) isn't entirely what produces a meaningful image.
Maybe that mischievous old codger Henri was right. The 'secret' is love ...
Familiarity breeds, if not contempt, then frequently an inability to see - which is what the thread is about. An an image that was created out of comfortable experience could well be extremely dull and uninspiring - is that a style we want?
But in the context of other places, which the first post references, I cannot help but think the OP has a point that’s worth considering.
But if you spend many years in a particular country then after a while it becomes just normal to you. You just need to look at how Americans perceive a trip to Europe and rave about European Countries. It seems that part of the attraction of other countries landscape is novelty it includes the travel outside ones home country
Possibly. I had a workshop client from the US (Washington state so a nice mountainous one) come to Skye. She was extremely enthusiastic about the Quairaing for our sunrise shoot.
I asked her, why Scotland given the proximity of the Canadian Rockies and the amazing national parks etc so much closer to home which are in an altogether more stunning landscape.
Her answer, something different. So maybe you’re right but I doubt if I lived there I’d bother with here.
I guess thats perspective. you may think that what is on others doorstep is stunning and vice versa.
Not sure your thought on the British Monarchy but I suspect most in the UK just accept them as part of the UK furniture, yet people abroad are wowed at idea of having a Monarchy because they don't have one.
How many times does someone in the UK that lives near a place of interest (POI) that is featured in something like Lonely Planet or Trip Adviser say they have never been to that POI because they have always considered it "just there" and they can visit any time. Yet they go to a foreign country (that's maybe only a 4 hr flight away) and cram visiting 100 sites into a 14 day holiday.
I don't want to sound critical Steve but are you engaging with something new when you visit the same Scottish locations time and again? You already have so many great pictures of those it's hard to see what you're getting out of repeated visits. If you're bored I'd say you're only scratching the surface of what Scotland offers, visit new places and get up on the hills, find spectacular views which Scotland (and other areas of the UK) has in abundance. Of course visit other countries too and enjoy what they have to offer, but in no way is the UK boring.
Every day is different with light, shadows etc. There is a comfort to going back to the same places but there is a joy of going somewhere new and returning to that "new place" again.
The Peak District (I've been) doesn't do it for me, and the Lake District is just too busy and not as exciting as here. England, as far as I am concerned, is something you drive through as quickly as possible to get to France The flatter parts of England just bore me, sorry. Wales is good, but I reckon if I am going to the effort of driving all that way, I might as well go further and get to the Alps or Pyrenees (personally my favourite)
I could try different subjects but I have to shoot what appeals to me a) visually b) emotionally. I shoot what I shoot because it is what resonates for me and in this game you have to be true to yourself rather than emulate something else just because it works for someone else.
This somewhat links to the other thread on Instagram holidays where tourists queue in places that they have seen on Insta to replicate the shot. I suspect there are few places in easy reach that haven't been "snapped". However the differentiation being how well the image is composed. Most Insta-ers will hold their huawei p20 pros (cuz you know, it takes studio quality photos) at arms length and snap. When you have to hike 5k to find that perfect mix of scenery, and light eg https://andyrouse.co.uk/products/32/i/cover.jpg
It's a shame this thread has become somewhat adversarial. Much better to appreciate the different universes people reveal in their shots, whether travel or local, than to denigrate what those with different tastes shoot as 'boring' or 'shallow'.
It's also perhaps worth pointing out that the OP said "change my mind", not "argue about whether I'm right"...