On Monday night I was fortunate enough to attend the Landscape Photographer of the Year Award ceremony at Waterloo Station, London. I was extremely honoured to have two images in this years book and exhibition and seeing the unbelievably high standard of work this year made it that little bit more satisfying.
As you’re probably all aware in previous years the exhibition has been held at the National Theatre on London’s Southbank, so this years decision to stage it at Waterloo was a surprise to lots of people, myself being one. The exhibition space, on the mezzanine level of the station, benefits from an extremely high footfall so hopefully people who wouldn’t, in the past, have made a decision to go and see the exhibition will get to see it. The images are also planned to be run on the huge digital screen at the station, albeit between adverts for Sainsburys, but hey ho, someones got to pay the bills!
It was great to finally get to meet many of my Twitter friends in the flesh, who also had great success in this years competition – not always easy to recognise them as many of them have avatars of trees! I think generally there was a real feeling of optimism and renewed enthusiasm for the future of Landscape Photography in the UK and with growing support from wonderful publications such as Outdoor Photography and it’s enormously engaging Editor Steve Watkins I can only see the standard of work reaching higher echelons.
An enormous amount of gratitude also goes to Charlie Waite who’s brainchild this competition was and who puts a huge amount of work in to the competition each year.
I’d be interested to know what your thoughts are on competitions, are they motivational or do they have the opposite effect if you are unsuccessful? Personally I have to say that I’m not really (or haven’t been in the past) a serial competition enterer (is that a real word?). I’ve been lucky to have been in quite a few of the LPOTY books and also a catergory winner, but I have to say that isn’t really what motivates me to make images, sure it’s great to be recognised for what you do, but ultimately I make images for myself, I’m compelled by some unknown force to do it. I found it very difficult to find words to describe my passion as it goes beyond words, it’s more spiritual for me, not in a religious way but in a connection with the landscape, a case of feeding ones soul.
On a different, yet relevant level, I’m planning a small project called ‘Connection’ which explores various landscape photographers’ connections with the landscape, what draws them to certain locations & what motivates them to make images. The project will come in the form of a digital flip book publication (kind of like an ebook but a bit jazzier) and will feature landscape photographers that I find personally inspiring or ones that are offering a slightly unconventional approach to landscapes, whether it be locations or technical approach. This is where you lovely people come in! Anyone that feels they have an interesting take on landscapes or just feel they have a great portfolio of images then please get in touch with me and you may get featured. The book will consist of a small introduction, bio and interview with the photographer and then followed by a digital showcase of their portfolio. I’m hoping to feature three photographers per publication and it’s open to a global audience not just the UK.