on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Patterns of the Outer Hebrides

Nils Leonhardt

Nils Leonhardt

Life is a collection of moments. And a photographer is the agent who has the power to capture these situations. In the second he portrays the light the moment is already gone. The mechanism and indeed art of photography aims to interrupt the constant progress of change that is life in order to create long-lasting memories. It always involves subjective judgement about the situation at hand. I am simply an ordinary photographer who is in love with natural light.


This brief collection of photographs is a highly curated synthesis of what the Outer Hebrides represent to me in a deeply aesthetical way. Each has a specific colour, each has its own meaning, and I can recall everything that I felt before and after pressing the shutter button. Everything slows down, and while it is breathing all the light in front of my eyes, I feel the whole magnificence of the earth entering my mind.

Landscape photography aspires to reduce the absolute vastness of a place into a single visual entity which holds together time and space. The human species is drawn to exploring as a natural thing, therefore landscape photography feels somewhat comfortable and even logic to me. Nature isn’t simply waiting for people to being registered with their cameras. On the contrary, the great challenge of a landscape photographer is to condense the world into a captivating visual fragment.

Par excellence, nature opposes any means of control. And that includes arranging elements. We need to move around in order to organise chaos and transform nature into the beautiful composition that is in our mind. Understanding nature – and being drawn to exploring all the contextual elements that make up these huge canvases – is a basic skill for capturing it in a storytelling fashion.

We don’t own landscapes, they express themselves as they please and we are just drooling voyeurs thinking about slightly expected results. But, in the end, nature is the author of these photographs. The most poetic thing about this experience is that even when surrounded by other photographers, no landscape will look equal, we all end up having a unique piece of art in our hands. In this is something worth sharing.

Photography is limited and can’t express all the wonders of exploring nature; but it is a great way of showing others our world and why it matters to keep it safe from our own hand. If we don’t start taking serious action about taking care of our planet, these images will be the only witnesses we will leave for future generations to come about how graceful our planet was.

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