on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers


Distilling the elements

Paul Gallagher

Paul Gallagher is recognised as one of the most accomplished landscape photographers and workshop leaders in the UK today. He has been a writer and lecturer in photography for over thirty years and runs both field and printing workshop nationally and internationally.


I have been fortunate to photograph many landscapes in a variety of different countries throughout the world but the photographs I had seen of Japan always seemed to have a difference that was difficult to categorise and I have always been drawn to places that may challenge me as a photographer.

My default position is to normally head to locations that could be regarded as remote, or certainly feel that way. As well as feeling a long way from cities and towns, the landscapes I regard as my favourites are ones that appear almost untouched, although, in reality, this is seldom the case as almost all of the landscapes I have experienced have been modelled and influenced by the hands of mankind. One of the main factors that made Japan, and Hokkaido in particular, fascinating was the apparent simplicity of the place, certainly in the deep winter months. One of the approaches I take as a landscape photographer is to distill the elements of the landscape down to understandable parts of a composition so that the photograph is not an overwhelming record of every aspect of the scene.


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