I grew up walking my dog in the Lake District’s woodlands and fells. I’ve never lost that love of nature but only more recently used photography as a way of capturing the images I see. Photography has been a wonderful creative outlet for me and I find the more I have moved into the intimate landscape genre the more enjoyment I have taken from it.
What attracts me to Intimate landscapes?
Photography is a great escape for me. From a chaotic life filled will jobs and chores rushed through, before starting the next one. My photography is all about mindfulness - being present and slowing down to appreciate the details around us. When I’m out in nature taking pictures of the little scenes I find a sense of peace. It is through intimate landscape photography that I’ve learned to see in an artistic way.
In intimate landscapes, I have enjoyed moving away from the loud social media images we’re often bombarded with. Images are much more personal and surely that’s an essential aspect of creativity and making art. There’s certainly nothing wrong with shooting those well trodden images and I’ll still do so. But I find locating an original small scene then using all the tools of composition and camera techniques to get the most out of it more rewarding.
Gallery of some Intimate Scapes by Simon:
A tip from Simon....
Slow down. I’m a great believer in images presenting themselves to us - we just need to be open and receptive enough to see them. I’ll often walk fairly aimlessly in my local woods and wait for something to catch my eye. Light falling on some distant leaves perhaps. Or the way moss seems to glow in even the dullest of conditions. Once something materialises it’s vitally important to slow down in taking the shot - making careful choices on composition, exposure and aperture. I’ll take my time in working that scene to capture an image. All this takes time and can’t be rushed. I’ll take very few shots on my meanderings but each one will be given the proper attention it deserves.
I’m fortunate to live on the edge of Ashridge Forest in Hertfordshire with my wife and two young boys. I’ve always had a passion for nature and being outdoors in all conditions but it was only in about 2016 that I realised I was lacking a creative outlet in my life. I decided to throw myself into photography. Through landscape photography I was able to combine being outdoors, nature and creativity - it was a perfect mix for me.
As my photography developed I realised it was becoming more about mindfulness and trying to move away from the traditional landscape scenes. I didn’t really want to make images taken before which lost that personal appeal. Abstract and intimate landscapes has worked nicely for me.
I joined the Royal Photographic Society and achieved the licentiate, associate and finally fellowship distinctions in 2018, 2019 and 2020. I really enjoyed the process of putting together panels of pictures that would be assessed by expert photographers. Working in projects is an area I find extremely rewarding - taking themed pictures then curating those images into a series adds a nice dimension. I also enjoy the writing side and have published a number of articles and contributed pieces to Amateur Photographer and ICM Magazine. In 2022 I won Landscape Photographer of the Year 'Your View' category for my intimate landscape shot, “Oh! Limpet Games”. It was certainly great to see an intimate landscape image receiving such recognition in the UK’s premier landscape competition.
I run local workshops around Ashridge, often in conjunction with the Royal Photographic Society. I really enjoy the teaching side - the moment a client starts to see those details makes it all worthwhile. They’ll often lose themselves in the moment, taking shots of tree bark details or such like. Terrific stuff. I’ve also been presenting to camera clubs on mindfulness and intimate landscapes which has been great fun. It resonates with lots of people and I give as many tips as I can on how they can develop that side to their photography.
The content and images on this page are the copyright of Simon Turnbull