on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Memories of Water

Keith Snell

Keith Snell

I have been taking photographs for nearly 50 years but only since retiring 13 years ago have I had the time I craved to developing my skills and my creative vision. I have a passion for the natural world – its landscape and its wildlife – and much of it explored whilst travelling. I am drawn to wild and desolate places and have been privileged to visit both polar regions, and the desert areas of the USA. Living within the national park of the UK Lake District, my late mother’s homeland, is a particular bonus, both for my wellbeing and for photographic opportunities.


I am fascinated by water in the landscape: seas, rivers and ice/snow-scapes.These four images explore some recent encounters with moving water using ICM as a creative aide. They are intimate landscapes which is my preferred approach to landscape photography. The first image, a wavescape, is by way of homage to Morag Paterson who first inspired and instructed me in using ICM some five years ago. It was captured on a more recent workshop she lead with Ted Leeming to their new Ligurian homeland. The in-camera movement was initiated with a moderate zoom on a 24-105mm Canon lens whilst panning the camera along the breaking wave.

The other three images were made, much closer to my home, on the River Cocker at its outflow from Crummock Water in the Lake District. It was in full spate and I wanted to capture the threatening mood which it conveyed. They follow a sequence of: menace; a gathering of elements on the brink; and finally, annihilation (a white hole rather than the cosmological black hole!). To me they were not photographs of water, but rather they were about the metaphorical primordial memories carried by the water in this agitated state. A tad pretentious, perhaps, but therein lies the problem with words. Much better to look at the images!


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