on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Zero Footprint


Morag Paterson

A sense of belonging underpins my photographic work, which varies from the wildly abstract to more literal representations of the natural world. For me, the art of photography is process-based, using the camera as a tool to express my engagement with any given location or subject.

Enjoying many camera-free hours roaming on the hillsides of the southern uplands in Scotland or the wooded slopes around our smallholding in the Alpes-Maritime helps build my mental scrapbook and incubate ideas.


Ted Leeming

Ted has been exploring the beauty of the natural world and man’s interactions therein for some 35 years, focussing his work ever more towards issues surrounding climate change. Disillusioned with commercial photography and city life he put his camera down for 12 years and cofounded a renewable energy consultancy as he became increasingly conscious of man’s contribution to climate change and felt a need to proactively contribute.  He returned to photography in 2004 with a focus on the outdoors and landscape, where with his wife Morag they were early protagonists of the “Impressionist” (ICM) technique.  


The Zero Footprint project, explained in a nutshell, is a series of landscape photographs captured from one single location over a period of five years, and counting. The restriction is purely geographical – roughly one square metre of the patio outside our kitchen, we could use any camera and lens combination and had the entire (not insubstantial) vista as a palette. The one other stipulation was that each image should be aesthetically pleasing in it’s own right, as well as forming part of a coherent portfolio of work.


Other photographers have explored ideas that constrain opportunities in one form or other, for various reasons. For us it was the experience of building our own low carbon house that inspired us to attempt a project from one fixed location, thereby minimising the footprint of the work, in a very literal as well as in the environmental sense of the phrase.

While the outlook from the house itself is spectacular, we quickly found the view alone doesn’t easily lend itself to traditionally pleasing photographs, - even in what would normally be considered “good” light, partly due to a lack of foreground, the sheer distance to the horizon also resulting in a tendency towards flat images. Initial explorations and experiments with varying degrees of success led us to the conclusion that we would have to allow the weather and atmospheric conditions to inform compositions by shaping and framing the landscape, often using low cloud and - more frequently – the mists and fogs that form along the river valley and loch system.

Launch events

Joe Cornish Gallery, Northallerton 27th September from 2pm with a talk at 3pm
Country Buildings, Wigtown Book Festival, Wigtown 28th September 4pm
Beyond Words, Edinburgh date tbc

Email or phone for more information:
info@leemingpaterson.com or 01644 430 004

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