Inside this issue
End frame: Glowing Aspens, Castle Creek Valley, Colorado by John Sexton
Scott Walton chooses one of his favourite images
I love wandering the trails in canyons, forests or deserts; discovering where the paths might lead and what visual treasures await my eyes and camera.
From the earliest days of my journey in landscape photography, John Sexton has been an inspiration. As one of Ansel Adams’ former assistants, his dedication to producing fine art, black & white imagery using traditional materials is legendary. His workshops are always highly in demand. If you’re lucky enough to meet John, you’ll find him to be generous with his time, gregarious with a great sense of humour, ready with amazing stories and anecdotes about some of the photographic greats of our time and thoughtful and compassionate with his print critiques.
I can’t remember exactly how I became aware of John but when I acquired his first book Quiet Light, the images quickly resonated with me and definitely set a very high standard for composition, quality of light and technical excellence.
John’s second book Listen to the Trees was a revelation. I was spending a lot of time trying to photograph forests and trees so they were a favourite subject anyway and to have an entire book dedicated to them was very helpful and motivating.
One of the nice things about all of John’s books is he gives the technical details of each image: film type, development, filters, focal length and exposure settings. So careful study of the image along with that information can give a lot of insight into how to approach a subject.
Growing up in the midwestern state of Ohio in the US, I wasn’t getting the hoped for results in my images, like those I was seeing from the popular western photographers. It took me a while to realise that qualities of light are different in various parts of the country and the grand landscapes from the western US would probably not happen in Ohio.