on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

In Turner’s Footsteps

Taking Turner On Our Own Photographic Journey

Alex Hare

Alex Hare

During an education in photojournalism, Alex discovered landscape photography but was side-tracked into the legal profession via a stint in the Marines. He never dropped photography though and during this time Alex honed his skills, earned his first agency contracts and won awards for his landscape photography. Alex finally found a career in photography however and is now supplying clients with his landscape images, teaching photography to Undergraduate students and has been running workshops for nearly twenty years.


The opportunity to write a book about where to go and take photographs in my home county of Kent recently came along and I accepted. Shortly after the joy of agreeing to the deal, the reality that I’d just taken on the ultimate ‘shoot your local area’ project began to dawn upon me.

Years of shooting in more traditional landscape photography hot spots, from Scotland to Sydney Harbour, has made me accustomed to iconic views, beautiful light, weather and (mostly) all fitting nicely into the usual rules of composition.

By comparison, Kent just doesn’t conform to the way we are taught to compose a classic landscape and, I confess, I avoided it for a long time on account of finding it more difficult.

Without distant mountains, there is no obvious backdrop for the final third of a composition before the sky at the top. And without a myriad of boulders or seams of granite liberally sprinkled around the countryside, there isn’t the usual foreground elements I have come to rely upon and trust for successful photography.

Loughrigg Tarn, Cumbria. A good example of a classic landscape shot with textbook rule of thirds, an approach I was initially very frustrated to find wanting in the landscapes around where I live!

My struggles with finding a creative approach to this less conventional landscape meant that I needed to look elsewhere for ideas and inspiration.

I began researching Kentish artists and realised I had the ultimate creative guide that I could wish for in none other than JMW Turner.  

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