on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

David Ward – 10 Photographs

Part Two

Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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We're continuing with the second part of our interview with David Ward

Virgin River

virgin river 001

T: This is an older picture.

D: Yeah. Quite an old picture really. Virgin river reflections. Probably the first reflection photograph or water flow photograph, that I was pleased with and I think it would have been 2000, or something like that. Quite a long time ago. First time I’d been to Zion. I was with Joe. We were leading a tour there. It was the last couple of days of the tour. We’d started off in Moab and gone to Arches and Canyonlands and Monument Valley and Page and Antelope and all of those places on route. And then ended up at Zion for the last couple of days. And it was the first time I’d seen these kind of conditions. So the colour is actually sunlight on a cottonwood tree, out of frame.

T: Was this Spring or ..?

D: Autumn. So it’s actually kind of a yellowy green. It’s just turning. So that’s where the reflected colour comes from. And it’s always intensified if the surface is in the shade. So this is in the shade and it’s lit by a blue sky overhead hence the blues in what would normally be neutral, in the white flowing water. I tried to go for a fairly short shutter speed. From memory, I think it’s half a second or a second, something like that because I wanted to retain the structure in the water. And I figured that if I made it too long, then I would lose that. It’s not really stopped down a huge amount. But it was quite easy to lay the plane of focus. The important thing to keep sharp in this, I suppose, would be the boulder. However, as I mentioned to you a little while ago, I’m not sure I’d shoot it now with the boulder. I think I would probably try and pick a portion of water more like the bottom half where you’ve got submerged boulders and flow rather than having the solid object as a punctuation mark.

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  • stewart mckeown

    Thanks guys, really enjoyed reading these interviews. Inspirational stuff.

    • Hi Stewart,

      I’m glad you enjoyed our ramblings.

  • Hi David, great to read you and Tim picking through your photographs in such depth like this. Did you really go to college with David Bate? He is one of my favourite writers on photography. The ‘off-topic’ discussion you and Tim have about the reputation and promotion of photographers in the right circles is very interesting (Gusrky and the Bechers etc.).

    • Hi Tom,

      Yes, I did go to college with David. He was a very nice chap, quiet and thoughtful and (if I recall rightly) one of only two students who got a “First” in my year. You can always trust Tim and I to go “off piste”! ;-)

  • Jim Robertson

    Great read thanks.
    David I really like how the lichen covered rock in Vikspollen seems to hover. It’s a photograph full of mystery I think and certainly not a photograph that would ever be glanced over. I really like it.

  • Giles Stokoe

    Hahaha. Love the conversation David. Like the pics too. Had you noticed how similar the boat and the snowy valley compositions are?

    As a (mildly dangerous) aside: do you think men are evolutionarily more likely to get into a flow state than women? I’m thinking following the wounded prey animal despite the bloody great thorn sticking out of your foot. If this is not the case then men and women should make very similar types of images.

    • Hi Giles,

      I hadn’t noticed any similarity between those images until you pointed it out but I’m not too surprised as I think we develop subconscious patterns in our compositions that repeat themselves – memes, if you like!

      Not sure about the hunting analogy. As far as I understand both men and women are equally likely to enter the flow state. You studied psychology, is this the case? I can see an evolutionary advantage to becoming lost in a process – making sure that you complete something without distractions – but I can also see disadvantages where tunnel vision might prevent one from seeing a coming catastrophe – the tiger hiding in the long grass unnoticed whilst the hunter pursues the elephant…

  • I loved the conversation.

    Almost as good as being there……..

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