on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Endframe – “Low Hows Wood” by Joe Wright

Colin Bell Discusses one of his Favourite Images

Colin Bell

Ex video game maker, now a company advisor in the digital & creative sector and landscape photographer.


The customary introduction to an End Frame article is to write about how difficult it is to choose a single image that has been inspirational in one’s photographic development. I’ve read those introductions myself and thought: “come on, how hard can it be?” Turns out the answer to that is “very”!

My task is maybe somewhat easier by the fact that I’m not a very well read photographer. By which I mean that I don’t have a vast knowledge of the history of photography or, by and large, the main protagonists in the development of landscape photography. I hope that admission does not diminish this particular End Frame, especially with the further acknowledgment that I own relatively few Landscape photography books. Those that I do have on my shelf, I leaf through regularly; Paul Wakefield’s The Landscape and Dav Thomas’ With Trees are two of those that never gather too much dust. I look forward to adding to those over the coming years.

So which image to choose then? I could easily have chosen any of a dozen each in the aforementioned books. Both attract me with such carefully considered compositions, appreciation of the quieter landscapes and the wonderful tonality of film. On the other hand I could easily have chosen the print of Shepherd’s Crag by Joe Cornish that I saw on display at the Mountain Photography Exhibition at Rheged last year. That particular photograph inspired me on two fronts; firstly the quality and vibrancy of the print itself. Secondly that it presented the complete Lakeland scene; incorporating the richness of autumn colour, a hint of movement in the wind, overcast with whisper of light and just the suggestion of a distant, iconic view [of Skiddaw]. That inspiration manifested itself by several summer evenings wandering the crags above Thirlmere last year, not to replicate the photograph but just to experience that same combination of elements and to see what it threw up for me.

To complete the discussion of ‘also-rans’ [I do use that term somewhat mischievously and only in this context of choosing a single image ☺] David Ward and Tim Parkin both came into the final furlong in with a chance with photographs such as David’s ‘Merced Evening’ and Tim’s ‘Foundation Colour’.

Strangely, for a confirmed digital native (in terms of photography anyway) such as myself, the runners and riders are all primarily film photographers. That in itself is perhaps an indication as to my final choice. I do love the look of film-developed photographs and confess that I attempt to introduce some of the characteristics of film into my own processing of digital RAW images.

This article is open to paid and unpaid subscribers so requires at least a free subscription to access. Please take a look at the subscribe page for more information.

On Landscape is part of Landscape Media Limited , a company registered in England and Wales . Registered Number: 07120795. Registered Office: 1, Clarke Hall Farm, Aberford Road, WF1 4AL