on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Portrait of a river

Derrick Golland

Derrick Golland

With work out of the way I finally had the opportunity to return to my lifetime interest of photography, or rather the photography that enthused me not that which was needed in my role in education. Perhaps it was because I was trained on a Gandolfi or spent many years in pre-DSLR days owning a Bronica that I tend to be drawn towards a square format when making an image.



The river flows a little over 100 metres from my Herefordshire living room. It is only just over 12 miles long and rarely 3 metres wide. In fact, in other places, it might be known as a stream. Over the centuries man has been unkind to it, channelling its waters to encourage grassland fertility in the seventeenth century, diverting its energies to power four corn mills for centuries and, unkindly, straightening it over long stretches in Victorian times to ease railway construction.

Being small, it tends to hide away and whilst a key feature of the landscape it doesn’t readily show itself. As such it doesn’t lend itself to the wider scene preferring to stay hidden amongst the trees, the fields of rape and maize or in deep channels in the grassland. This group of four photographs are part of a sequence I am developing that are designed to show the character of this small watercourse. Using a square format helps focus attention on detail whilst conversion to black and white emphasises pattern, form and texture. Colour is another story. I have used a Canon 5D Mark III/IV and Photoshop for processing.



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