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

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Stuart McGlennon
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I can see a scenario where anyone could find any Landscape in the world 'boring' if spent looking at it long enough and shooting it in the same manner repeatedly.

The subject itself is a bit of a minefield so I hope I can articulate this well, but I think the original question in the context it was meant is quite easy to answer - if you're finding the UK landscape 'boring' it says more about what you're trying to achieve with your photography by even asking the question in the first place. The bog standard answer is visit the Dolomites, Iceland, Alps, Canadian Rockies etc they're all much grander places in terms of scale and to look at purely as a tourist, but as @Nick Livesey says you're never going to produce anything beyond very superficial level images which don't really have much meaning, this method might eventually become 'boring' too (I know it would for me) if you do it long enough. Shooting big grand scenes from the roadside and well worn spots is beginner-level stuff for the most part and not at all challenging - give any landscape photographer who knows a grain about what they're doing and they'll come back with something half-decent. Personally-speaking the 'exciting' part of landscape photography is trying to produce work which I can connect with and that challenges me, the subject matter is only maybe 50% of the process and becomes less and less important to me over time. But that's how I view it - you may have completely different aims and goals for what you want to get out of your own photography. Ultimately all you have to do with photography is please yourself.
 
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Very well put @Stuart Mc, I agree with every word ;)

By the way, I did visit your gallery to say hello on my recent trip to Lakeland but, of course, it was a Monday! I was really disappointed but had a good look through the window, fantastic :)
 
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Stuart McGlennon
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Very well put @Stuart Mc, I agree with every word ;)

By the way, I did visit your gallery to say hello on my recent trip to Lakeland but, of course, it was a Monday! I was really disappointed but had a good look through the window, fantastic :)
Ah bugger yeah closed Mon/Tue - down with the gang in Jan in Snowdonia will say hello again then, congrats on the book mate
 
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Jamesev
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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'.
I'm kinda reading the responses less as adversarial, more trying to grasp what is making these landscapes boring and aiming to either, change the perspective, or understand that anyones local environment will become somewhat boring if you have been immersed in it for a vast number of years. After all isn't it human nature to want to travel to experience cultures and other ways of living?
 
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Jeremy Moore
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I'm kinda reading the responses less as adversarial, more trying to grasp what is making these landscapes boring and aiming to either, change the perspective, or understand that anyones local environment will become somewhat boring if you have been immersed in it for a vast number of years. After all isn't it human nature to want to travel to experience cultures and other ways of living?
My own experience is that I can find even the most spectacular parts of Wales " a bit boring" after living here for 40 years and photographing here for about 35 of those. There's no doubt in my mind that familiarity does breed something like contempt, in the sense that one just stops seeing what is there after a while. I tend to follow the same thought patterns and go to the same locations because I know they work, and increasingly, for me anyway, because they're easy to get to. When I started I'd go out with the camera and take photographs just for the joy of it and the excitement of seeing something on film. That's a lot more difficult now; I need a reason to take photographs in an area I largely know quite well; or a project to work on which means I can see the same things with slightly different eyes, or the new perspective that you talk about. There are far fewer places with the "wow factor" in Wales than there used to be.

Travel certainly does open one's eyes and mind to new locations, there's no doubt about that. I've been to a couple of the places that Steve mentions - Chamonix and Gavarnie - and they both really do have the wow factor . But after spending half a lifetime in either of them would we still feel the same? I doubt it. We might instead crave the gentler, green and rounded hills of mid-Wales, or the coastline of Pembrokeshire. As a visitor i've taken some good photographs in both Chamonix and Gavarnie but will I ever use them for anything? Will they ever see the light of day....probably not.

I think there's something of an addiction in landscape appreciation (and photography). A location that at first gives us a really satisfying experience becomes more mundane and we need to find something bigger and better to get the same hit. And so it goes. After a while ONLY a Gavarnie or a Chamonix will do it for us. it is a real challemge to see new things and relationships in the locations we have become accustomed to. For my part I developed my appreciation of landscape to include the wildlife that lives there, and the aspects of that landscape that photographers would leave out of their images because they don't fit the romantic ideal.
 
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Ben
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One thing that is beginning to really bug me about the UK is the amount of people. Its so crowded, its very hard to get away from it all and have a place to yourself!

The Lake District is is extremely popular these days with the main areas bursting with people. Its hard to find any places that havent already been photographed to death or result in having to edit out crowds of people in the distance.
 
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One thing that is beginning to really bug me about the UK is the amount of people. Its so crowded, its very hard to get away from it all and have a place to yourself!

The Lake District is is extremely popular these days with the main areas bursting with people. Its hard to find any places that havent already been photographed to death or result in having to edit out crowds of people in the distance.
I don't think that's unique to UK photography hotspots. There was a post here last week showing a queue of people lining up to photograph a particular spot abroad somewhere, so if you're going to places that have crowds of people, you're part of that and someone somewhere is probably editing you out of a picture they've taken.
 
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Toni
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I don't think that's unique to UK photography hotspots. There was a post here last week showing a queue of people lining up to photograph a particular spot abroad somewhere, so if you're going to places that have crowds of people, you're part of that and someone somewhere is probably editing you out of a picture they've taken.
That's very true. I barely managed to get a parking space at Lake Moraine in Canada despite arriving about 40min before the sun was due to rise, and was lucky to be able to claim a spot on a rock overlooking the lake a few minutes later. 4 years ago then we tried to stop at Lake Louise for a quick shufty before driving on we couldn't even get into a car park. TBH this time we found Canada becoming crowded in the better know beauty spots, and the roads were surprisingly congested compared to our last visit.
 
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Dave
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One thing that is beginning to really bug me about the UK is the amount of people. Its so crowded, its very hard to get away from it all and have a place to yourself!
I recommend NW Scotland - lots of open empty space.

Dave
 
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Matt
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Most Insta-ers will hold their huawei p20 pros (cuz you know, it takes studio quality photos)
In defence of the P20 Pro it does make taking half decent pictures a lot easier for those not photographically inclined :)

My wife uses one to take shots for her business social media account, and I no longer find myself wincing when I see them. Her Samsung was awful ha

On topic though I agree with the OP, but I do realise that for me it's a mixture of the familiarity and the genre itself. I only have a vague interest in taking landscapes at the best of times, so the UK doesn't float my boat.

I love looking at landscape images, just not taking them.
 
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Jamesev
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Could the same not be said for portrait photography though as there can't be many 1,2,3,4 light lighting configurations that haven't been done now.

I suspect 17-20 light lighting systems are harder to find?
 

simon ess

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Surely the most important element in portraiture is the sitter, as well as the photographer's interaction with the sitter and his or her ability to capture the essence of the character of the sitter.
 
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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!
I would say the weather goes both ways, its unpredictability means that planned trips on specific dates can often fail but equally I think the shear variety of it can definitely work in your favour if you have time on your side. I mean I'v been taking pictures for sale in the Stroud area for 5-6 years now and I'm not having any trouble coming up with something new and a large part of that is the weather.
 
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