Monday, 24 May 2010

David Ward

I mentioned here on the 27th April that I had become interested in the work of David Ward and that I was reading his book Landscape Within. I have since started reading  his latest book Landscape Beyond and am becoming totally wrapped up with his work. I confess however to being a quality junkie, and love the output from  5x4 Fuji Velvia 50. I am aware that with our top of the range DSLR cameras we cannot match the detail and tonal range from film at this resolution, and we cannot of course have full movements that a field camera has. So, maybe "flattery deceives" and I am being won over by the technical style of the images rather their substance. I hope not, maybe they hold my attention longer, but it is without doubt the simplicity of Ward's work that I find so interesting. He is not alone in his ability to create outstandingly detailed images. Many others including Ansel Adams and Edward Weston were able to isolate the landscape and see the micro landscape as well as the vista. I have a gradual lack of interest in the grand vista and am spending more time looking at the area around my feet and not looking up.
My affection with this style of landscape photography may be detrimental to my coursework as I am spending far too much time "off course" tinkering with this genre and not working on the Projects. It did start to get in the way last week in Cumbria. Up there to catch up on some projects I did spend too much time looking at and thinking of Wards words.
  • Simplicity
  • Mystery
  • Beauty
It is clear that not even Ward understands how these words are used and how they convert into every image we take as photographers. I understand what he is trying to tell me, although when in the field and shooting there are doubts at almost every stage. How simple, perhaps this is too simple, etc. etc. and while trying to overcome these issues we rely upon our instinct to intervene and save the moment. I say save the moment, because that is exactly what we are up against. Time is not on our side to enter into an endless mental debate about these issues. The light is changing and if missed is gone forever.

Where possible I enjoy thinking "Ward" when out shooting but for the immediate future I need to think "Freeman" and work on his tasks. 
So, I have to do Project and Assignment photography to finish this module and perhaps enjoy my photography later.

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