Edits: Landscapes

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have recently started to develop an edit of my location shoots. For this, I have highlighted the examples that I felt were the strongest representations of each place I’ve visited, each forming a part of my ongoing portfolio.

Within this, I intend to discuss my landscape edits.

Salford Quays:

During my visit to South Bay, one of the most distinctive features was that of interaction; the unusual sight of large dredger collecting and releasing sediment into the canal bed, the resident birds demonstrating their interest in this process as well as nearby canoeists regularly approaching the ship with little concern. From this, I have chosen the examples that best represented this discussion both aesthetically and contextually, especially those featuring signs of water-sports as I found this to be more unusual occurrences that had visual impact.

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Upon my visit to Perth, I found myself in unfortunate lighting and weather conditions which left me very little time to explore or photograph a wider range of subjects. However, it was this aspect that was one of the most distinct elements of this location’s aesthetics. As a result, I produced a series of edits that generally represented this suggestion, gradually becoming more ominous in its warning signs of the coming storm as well as reflecting the issues with flooding still occurring during this time. I found that this was often best represented through skyline images that showed this gradual change into gloomy, premature darkness.

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Whilst staying in Scotland in Auchterarder, there were significant alterations between snow, hail storms and heavy rain. This during one of the few calm periods between this in which I found greater flexibility to explore the area without risking the well being of my equipment. The most distinct aspect of this was looking far into the distance hills and forests at the layers of painterly landscape features. Thus, I created a selection that best represented this picturesque scene between storms.

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Within this visit, I also considered the nearby town of Stirling which was taken upon one of the brightest stages. There were clear indicators of its suburban status varying from local rugby clubs to construction works to large scale monuments of its heritage. There I emphasised this sense of place within my edits. Also, once again, one of most interesting sights was within its skyline, this time focusing upon gentle features as well as the examples of close ups of nearby passing planes.

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Falkirk Wheel/Union Canal:

During this location shoot, I aimed to represent different aspects of the site that felt would distinguish; the way the waterways were managed, the scale, design and movement of the wheel itself from varying positions as well as its usage. From this, I created an edit that featured this contextual significance with a strong aesthetic representation. As such, this including nearby dredging, the most defined examples of the wheel from both sides and the activity of the canal boats using the wheel to connect both canals.

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Wet Sleddale Reservoir/Shap Falls:

Whilst visiting this location upon two separate occasions, I experimented with a variety of compositions of the reservoir and its connecting overflow, as well documenting it relation to its surrounding areas. The second shoot had the advantage of greater awareness and reasonable conditions from which to explore the site in detail. From this, I produced an edit that best represented; a sense of scale, design and physical power in this overflow (as well the interest this gained from fellow visitors), the visual qualities of its geological surroundings and other elements of nearby industry and heritage that all served to formulate a sense of place.

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Haweswater Reservoir:

During my visit to Haweswater Reservoir, I was able to identify different compositions of the areas ecological and aesthetic features. Haweswater is a huge catchment area, which left a great deal of scope when trying to represent the scale and flow of the water within its rural surroundings. This was aided further from the excellent lighting conditions that were available, illuminating the landscape and enriching the colours and tones of the area. From this, I have produced an edit of some of the strongest examples (both aesthetically and contextually) that represented these features.

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Whilst visiting this area, I experienced similar conditions to that of Haweswater, although later in the day which provided less concentrated light but more selective illuminations of particular points. There were also patches of tree cover that added definition to the lake surroundings. For this, I highlighted the examples that best represented the geology and ecology of the area whilst reinforcing a pastoral aesthetic.

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During my visit to Morecambe, I sought to produce a series of landscapes that represented the characteristics of a coastal area. One of the most distinctive elements of this was the variation of ships within the area, most of which following vibrant, primary colours that distinguished them from the surrounding waters. From this, I highlighted the landscapes that best represented this juxtapositions, including other features associated with marine areas; derelict wood, anchors, buoys and interaction (kites, families).

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Lytham St Annes:

Whilst visiting Lytham St Annes, I found that one of the most definitive features of this area was the visual contrast between the mud flats and the surrounding coastal waters. This was complemented further through the clear sky, offering a significant amount of light to illuminate the water and the submerged areas of mud. As a result, I produced a series of edits that represented this visual harmony and emphasised the shape and geological features of the area.

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During my shoot in Cleveleys, I found that the local architectural features and the visual colours and tones of the marine waters worked together to create a very complementary aesthetic. Once again, I was fortunate to have a clear sky from which to offer a significant amount of available light. A large, distinctive and metallic source of debris was also highlighted through this, all which created a strong composition. From this, I produced an edit of the strongest landscapes images that I felt represented these elements successfully.

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Knotts End:

From my visit to Knotts End, I found that most definitive visual elements were from source of debris and the interaction of  local para gliders with passing ships. Of the debris edits, I identified objects that were associated with coastal area but visual distinct enough to draw attention; an old abandoned ship and the bow of boat submerged in the near waters. For my other wide views of the surrounding areas, I found the strongest examples that created this visual cohesion successfully.

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Pilling Sands:

Whilst visiting this area, I noted a distinct silhouetted view of Heysham across the water. The landscapes I produced aimed to represent different compositions with varying perspectives of this. There was a reasonable level of light but there was a significant amount of cloud cover, however this served to create a more abstract, faded view which added to its softened visual impact. From this, I produced an edit of the successful compositions that balanced contextual features and complementary depth of field.

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Upon visiting Heysham Half Moon Bay, it was very apparent that this was a coastal town with distinct signs of its industrial usage/heritage. Most interesting compositions were those that represented different visual icons of this aspect; nearby cargo ships, port, aerial towers, unusual warning sign posts and debris washed up on the beach. I also tried to juxtapose this against the aesthetic often associated with a pebble beach. As a result, I produced an edit of the landscape I felt best represented these features.

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Red Bank:

Although my visit to Red Bank was unplanned, it still provided an interest subject matter for landscape imagery. The area provide beautiful views of the coast with a colourful and gentle silhouettes of the surrounding environment. There was still a significant level of cloud cover with definitive light source behind them, providing significant breaks in the clouds, offering concentrated light sources that reinforced the visual impact of the compositions. From this, I produced an edit of the landscapes that were the most aesthetically pleasing whilst representing the physical characteristics of this area.

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Upon reflection of this series, I feel as though I have been to produce a variety of landscapes (some more aesthetic, others more environmental) that demonstrate a sense of place and perspective, representing each locations iconography/characteristics in a way tells a story be it the aesthetic qualities of its visual experience or the signs of human interference (direct or indirect).

Although, I feel more confident in exploring landscape subjects, I still feel as though my continued development and experiences refine this approach further. There is still a great deal more still to learn within the photographic process both technically and contextually.

This has also served to reaffirm my interest in water based landscapes, especially those in coastal/marine areas. There is certain visual quality within the element of water and the influences has upon its surrounding environments. It is also an organic and distinct life source to all organisms on earth, reinforcing its ecological and hydrological significance as a subject.

This all serve to form a part of my ongoing environmental/landscape photography portfolio.



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