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Endframe: Sleepy Hollow – Epping Autumn two by Nigel Morton

Scott Rae chooses one of his favourite images

Scott Rae

My name is Scott Rae, and I'm finally starting to take my landscape photographer more seriously. I'm born and bred in Peebles in the Scottish Borders and I'm now based in Honiton, Devon.

scott-rae.com



Trying to identify a piece for an Endframe article has been a bit of a challenge for me, and I know I'm not the only one to find this - I mean where do you start? It sounds fairly straight forward when you're initially asked, but there is a dawning realisation when you start trawling through the depths of your memory looking for long forgotten images, or even trying to identify a photographer in one case, that the journey isn't quite as straight forward as you imagined!

The obvious place to start would be with the photographers who influenced you most to start your landscape photography journey. In my case, it was a great of the landscape genre whose images truly capture not only the rugged beauty but also the sheer vastness of the Scottish landscape. However in looking back as research for this article, I've realised that, as my tastes have evolved and my knowledge and experience of the landscape photography genre has expanded, as influential as these images have been, looking at them now just don't seem to speak to me in the same way they did then.

By speak to me, I think I mean grab me by the throat and drag me completely, physically and emotionally into the image.

Only rarely does an image truly conjure up that sort of physical and emotional reaction in me. It's not a reaction you expect when you look at an image, which makes it all the more powerful when it does happen, and is clearly a result of some kind of subconscious process beyond a simple appreciation of a fantastic capture.

I first came across Nigel's work several years ago when I first considered submitting work to Landscape Photographer of the Year and was looking for examples of previous submissions and successes to give me some kind of sense of the challenge (hah, I had no chance!) Nigel's images just blew me away, across the board. It wasn't just one single image, it was his entire Flickr portfolio that led to this visceral reaction, but in particular, Sleepy Hollow that really sucked me in.

I also love the panoramic format, which really lends itself to what is an intimate woodlandscape, adding breadth to properly explore the scene and allowing you to trace the line of the brook as it winds behind the hill and into the mist

Ever since studying Keats at school, I've become a bit of a sucker for misty autumn scenes and for me, one of the images generated in my head by "To Autumn" is captured in this panorama - mist; subdued light; soft warm and rich colour tinged with a chill of blue and grey. It perfectly captures a season, so much so that it triggers your other sense - you can feel the frost and the moisture of the mist on your face; You can smell the leaf litter and woodsmoke in the air; You can feel and hear the leaves crunching underfoot, and sound is muffled by the mists - It's July, yet you can feel the cold bite!

I also love the panoramic format, which really lends itself to what is an intimate woodlandscape, adding breadth to properly explore the scene and allowing you to trace the line of the brook as it winds behind the hill and into the mist - both of those elements providing the sense of depth. Being meteorologically minded, I also find the way the weather interacts with the landscape and how it creates and affects light fascinating, with the mist cooling and flattening the light to give the perfect, even tone which makes the leaves in the foreground almost glow.

Nigel's work has most certainly left a deep impression on me, as much as my original influences 20 years ago. It's important to me to explore and discover new work and keep being enthused and moved by the art of photography and the landscape, which refreshes my personal motivation and love for the land.

Nigel is one of our exhibitors in our 'First Light' Inspired Exhibition at The Joe Cornish Gallery, Northallerton.



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