on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

End Frame: The Strangles by David Ward

Prashant Khapane chooses one of his favourite images

Prashant Khapane

I'm a hobby photographer and get inspired by the artists who are also good writers. I'm a mechnical engineer by profession and work at Jaguar Land Rover currently as CAE manager.


When I received an email from On Landscape to write for the "End Frame" I was thrilled at first and then panicked. Panicked for two reasons/;

  1. Which photograph or artist to write about? There are so many I appreciate and adore. From Galen Rowel to Guy Tal. From Bruce Percy to Michael Kenna. From Ansel Adams to Jack Dykinga.
  2. Can I write anything at all, words worthy of the image?

Firstly, I used Google to find images made by my favourite artists and I was then even more overwhelmed than before. Then I decided to have sometime away from the screen and I looked at my own little library of photography related books.

And one thing stood out; I own all the books authored or co-authored by a certain Mr. David Ward. His Landscape series, particularly Landscape Beyond has resonated with me and inspired me to title my own website as "travel-hopefully". In contrast to my day job this lack of "getting it done" approach is what I prefer when out in the wilderness. The journey is important than the destination.

It is not the answer that enlightens but the question ~ The book starts with a quote from Eugene Lonesco

And David with his fantastic writing style "enlightens" us by creating more questions in our mind while seeing his images. One image which in my opinion is an epitome of "raising questions" is The Strangles.

It requires an active participation and works better if viewed as a large print. It connotes. Every time I look at this image I interpret it differently.
It is not a typical "pretty" landscape image which will get thousands of likes or thumbs up. Not that I think it is an indication of quality. Far from it. It is also not meant to be viewed passively and forgotten as you move from one to the next thumbing on your mobile device. Or in David's own words - giving us a short lived high. It requires an active participation and works better if viewed as a large print. It connotes. Every time I look at this image I interpret it differently. David has managed to create an illusion.

A spatial ambiguity. An abstract image created from whatever raw material was available to him. It makes me curious every time I look at it. I still have not figured out what it is. If I ever get to meet him I want to ask him what it is and end the agony. On the other hand, I question myself, should I? Will I not lose the "bliss" due to my ignorance?

I leave you with another quote from his book and the image itself to ponder.

The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible ~ Oscar Wilde

Do you have an image that you want to write about in our End Frame series? We are looking for contributions to our forthcoming issues, so please get in touch.

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.