on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Returning to Landscape Photography

Taking pictures of pleasure, not pain

Christopher Pledger

Christopher Pledger is a landscape, fine art and editorial photographer who specialises in seascapes and coastal art. Facebook Instagram


Until recently the last time I had set out to shoot seascapes was on West Wittering beach in 2003. I was armed with my dented Nikon FM2 and rolls of Kodachrome 64. This was the final set of pictures I took while working full time as a landscape and fine art photographer. I moved on shortly after to other areas of the industry and eventually into editorial photography.

The majority of my work since has been as a freelance contractor for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph. Shortly after joining the paper I began a series of trips to document the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Last year I was asked to review my war photography for a tenth anniversary article. Looking back through the thousands of pictures I had taken and the hundreds that I had filed left me with a sense of disenchantment. What was the purpose of pictures that few people wanted to look at? The pictures brought no pleasure to anyone. Could they even be considered as a historical document or record if they are largely hidden from view? The miserable human experiences I had captured inspired me to return to taking pictures of pleasure, not pain.

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. Midge Specs, midge net glasses from the Highlands.