on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Haiku and the Art of Photography

The desire to express oneself

Karl Holtby

Karl comes from a family of photographers, some of his earliest memories are of developing black & white images with his Father in their darkroom. Karl is now a professional landscape and fine art photographer with a particular interest in the natural world. Facebook Twitter


For the ever creative mind, the desire to express oneself can be a constant source of inspiration in itself. There probably comes in a time in most our lives when we find ourselves indulging in a little soul searching. We may find that during, or after particularly trying times in our lives we become more in need of an outlet, perhaps to aid with the release of old feelings and attachments, or to recover from a loss. Having a creative outlet such as photography, can be an extremely useful and cathartic means of ridding oneself of a manifestation of negative feeling.

Following a few years of personal turmoil, I found myself keeping a journal of my thoughts, simply as a means of dispelling any negativity. This journal began to accompany me everywhere, furthermore it has become a useful and essential tool in my photographic endeavours.

Always striving to capture the mood of a location, I’ve found it very useful to write down in my journal all of the feelings that arise when I’m out on location. I’d also taken to making a note of the sensory experiences, the smells and sounds of the coast etc; jotting down simple quotes such as “Bladderwrack popping under foot”. Some of the locations that I visit can have quite a profound impact on me, by that I mean that sometimes I really feel at home, or some form of connection. For example, it’s almost as if I can feel the history of a location, maybe the spirit of a place. Not being quite sure where this connection stems from, but it is very real. I first experienced this strange connection with the landscape as a lad, when I was out exploring the North York Moors, I feel very much at home in North Yorkshire. Conversely, when I visit the Lake District, as beautiful as it is, I don’t feel the same level of connection with this landscape, certainly not equal to the feelings I have experienced elsewhere. However, in 2016 I have visited many other locations on the west coast of the UK, including the Isle of Skye, Anglesey and west Cornwall, all of which I had felt a very strong connection with. 

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