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Lake District 2015 – The Hidden Stories and Discovered Compositions

Throughout the week’s stay, I had the constant feeling that the Lake District had been taken out of a film. As if someone somewhere was holding a film clapperboard and triggered the film sequence, the Lake District for the first time, click, click…

Perhaps it was only my impression brought about by excessive attempts to find hidden stories in the landscape. Maybe this is the direction of my next quest in the field of landscape photography. How much do a camera and a film camera have in common?

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Lake District 2015 – The Unavoidable Closeness of the Sea

Connecting the local landscape of lakes and the nearby sea is obvious. They are directly linked by the high sky and open spaces. Backlit shots by the sea also led me to capture similar images towards the end of the week in the Lake District.

When taking photos in low evening light on seaside beaches, you once again realise the strength of its large surfaces, reflections and sharp changes in contrast. Technically precise work is a necessity, but it is worthwhile. The results are emotionally powerful photos, the opportunity to play with anticipated silhouettes and the chance to add a hidden story to the landscape.

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Lake District 2015 – Water reflections

From the second half of the week the photographs took on a different character. The sky had totally engulfed me and, as a result, so had its reflections in the water. And the ever present gleam and backlighting. Backlighting itself helps to broaden the shot, to conceal themes in the shadows from where the viewer must actively pull them out and, with the choice of a suitable diaphragm, even brings the opportunity to create impressionistic surfaces.

It also plays its role close to the sea, where it simply cannot be avoided. In comparison with a normal landscape, where light comes primarily from above, near the water’s surface it comes at you from all directions.

Water conceals enormous potential within itself, beginning with axial reflectance and finishing with scattered colourful patterns between small waves. Thanks to its striking contrasts, the surface can easily be bound together with the contrasts of the surrounding landscapes.

Initially, mainly axial symmetry and an overall emphasis on the graphics of a shot worked for me.

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Lake District 2015 – The Landscape of the Sky

I initially went to the Lake District with the intention of practicing composition principles.

First impressions are almost always the same: yes, it’s a nice landscape, but what can I do with it? My own emotions “caught up” somewhere around the middle of the week. Suddenly it clicked. I crouched down just beside the water’s surface so nothing remained but to point my camera upwards towards the sky… Above me were the branches of a pine tree, like the arched vault of a temple with fluffy clouds, all of which was reflected in the water.

With the passing days I began to make use of the landscape more and more as a lower foundation and turned the lens towards the sky and into the backlighting. Put simply, The Lake District is a combination of land relief and a dominant sky.

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Lake District 2015 – Small, intimate region

The Lake District is a small, intimate region. Areas of water are enclosed between undulating hills and at a first glance everything appears tidy and sleepy. The dynamics and drama of William Turner’s paintings remain hidden somewhere on canvases in a gallery. The bright sun from the early morning practises photographic torture.

After a while the hidden, at first unseen, inner proportions of the area start to take effect. The landscape is dominated by a magnificent sky, and thanks to reflections on the water, a vertical plane opens up, bringing an unexpected depth to the peaceful countenance of the surfaces around you. The borders between the water’s surface and the air, between the seen and the sensed, gradually disappear. The shimmering surface sways with regular ripples and in the shadows stones on the water’s bed vaguely appear. Waves, flashes, contours of stones and reflections of clouds merge into a seamless surface as though agitated by brushstrokes in multi-coloured layers.

Reflections in the water, backlighting, stone reliefs, submerged images, forgotten stories. So much peace and quiet, and yet dormant dynamics.

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