on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Endframe – Dawn on the Trotternish by David Noton

Alan Howe talks about one of his favourite images

Alan Howe

Born and still living in Devon I’ve been into photography since I was a teenager but have somehow slipped into landscape photography in the last 6 years. I never considered myself as ‘arty’ as I’m useless with a pencil so the camera is my way of creating art. I’ve always been happier outdoors so it was a natural progression to shoot landscapes.


Trying to work out which picture is my favourite is a hard task given the millions of brilliant images we see every day. There are possibly too many to choose from, let alone write about, so when I was asked to write about my favourite I stumbled a little and questioned what I’d got myself into. Thankfully I have one that sticks in my mind.

Since I got into landscape photography seriously, I’ve always admired one man. His dedication to the art is undeniable and his enthusiasm for the subject comes across in floods in his writing and his images. I consider him to be the best in the country, maybe even the world. That man is David Noton.

His image at the beginning of the gallery section of his first book ‘Waiting for the Light’ is what inspired me to push myself in the pursuit of chasing my light for the best image I could possibly come up with. Sure, the image of the Trotternish Peninsula may be a cliché shot now but the conditions are captured perfectly. Sublime early morning light on the main central outcrop and to the right reflects the greens and reds of the grass and scrub with such vibrancy you feel you could reach into the image and touch it. Perfect play of light and shadow with the layers of the mountains in the background due to a well-planned location give such a sense of depth that the scene leaps off the page as soon as it’s opened. The warm yellows and pinks in the clouds that drift across the sky assure that this image was taken at the decisive moment when the light was at it’s very best, be it early morning or evening, the time is irrelevant. With all the warmth in the light though you can still tell it was on the colder side by the shadows encompassing the lakes in the bottom of the frame. Their dark depths holding secrets that I have no intention of discovering; I just know they’re there. On closer inspection, you can see this was a very small window of opportunity. Dark clouds above and in the distance show there was just a sliver of a gap to allow the light through, meaning there was also an amount of luck in the making of this image. As landscapers we all know how much luck is involved as often the best-planned shots are scuppered by Mother Nature throwing a tantrum when least expected.

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