on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

End frame: Kussharo Lake Tree, Study 4, Kotan, Hokkaido by Michael Kenna

Stephen McNally chooses one of his favourite images

Stephen McNally

I am a black and white landscape photographer i use both digital and film to capture my landscapes mostly which are photographed using long exposures, I live with in a hours drive of the Lakes, Peak District,Yorkshire Dales and North Wales.


I was honoured to be asked by Charlotte to write an end frame of a picture that influenced my path as a photographer. When I started out taking snaps with my camera, because that’s what they were, the camera up to my eye, snap, no thought of composition, use of light etc., I realised I needed to study. I would go out and shoot colourful sunrises and sunsets but I wasn’t happy with that. I needed more, I needed to study other photographers’ work. I would buy magazines and read internet articles and watch You Tube to learn composition, use of light, filters and so on.

I saw an article in Amateur Photographer that an exhibition was going to be held at the Brindley in Runcorn, of a photographer from Widnes who was Michael Kenna. Living about 8 miles from Runcorn I went to the exhibition and I was awestruck by his work; the minimalist approach of making less look more, the use of negative space, simplicity of the images, the zen feeling that the images communicated. The techniques that Kenna uses of long exposure, from minutes to hours of exposure had my mind in a whirl of how beautiful his work was crafted. On my way out of the exhibition, I purchased two of his books which was the start of my collection of all Michael Kenna’s books.

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