on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Endframe – ‘Stravinsky at the Piano’ by Arnold Newman

Valda Bailey discusses one of her favourite pictures

Valda Bailey

I used to paint, and I think as a consequence of this, I enjoy trying to push the boundaries of what photography can be. I use multiple exposures and camera movement to help simplify and abstract the detail in a scene. It is a way of working which is controllable to a certain degree, but still has a great deal of unpredictability about it. Post processing is generally limited. I prefer to achieve the structure, detail and composition I want in camera and then tweak the colours and contrast in Lightroom. The consequence of this approach however is an overflowing trash can and a doubtless rapidly deteriorating shutter.


Choosing an image for End Frame is a daunting and nigh on impossible undertaking. A bit like nominating a favourite colour or one’s last meal - possible candidates fluctuate like the weather. Fortunately the brief at least specifies that it needs to be a photographic image which immediately topples a swathe of abstract art, impressionism and anything by Paul Klee.

Looking back at previous submissions, it seems they all start with a similar disclaimer. I’m clearly not alone in my state of confusion and uncertainty.

Although I was delighted to be emailed with the request from Charlotte, it must be said that such an undertaking requires no small degree of thought and decision-making. It’s the kind of task that would normally be immediately relegated to somewhere near the bottom of my ‘to do’ list in the hope that it either mysteriously disappears, or inspiration (divine or otherwise) might magically trickle down in the not-too-distant future, thus requiring little cognitive involvement on my part. However as I am currently engaged in a the fiendishly difficult task of curating, printing and framing images for my part in the upcoming Masters of Vision exhibition at Southwell Minster, it actually serves as a rather welcome displacement activity (having long since arranged my spice jars in alphabetical order, cleaned out the sock drawer and keyworded my entire Lightroom catalogue). Which perhaps goes to show there are no laborious tasks; it’s just a question of perspective and motivation.

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