on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

End frame: Fluitenkruid – Nel Talen

Morris Gregory chooses one of his favourite images

Morris Gregory

My interest in photography began at school where I was introduced to the magical world of darkroom printing together with the disgusting smells that went with it. Over the years I have enjoyed photographing rock concerts, nature, a variety of sports and, for about 20 years, delighted in taking my camera underwater while scuba diving. The one constant in that time has been my love of the landscape, whether trying to capture iconic views in perfect light or to find intimate details that are more personal.

When I was asked to choose a favourite photograph to write about, I cast my mind back to the various photographers I admire and that have influenced me during my 35 plus years as a keen amateur. Ansel Adams, Joe Cornish, Charlie Waite and Freeman Patterson immediately sprung to my attention. More recently I have enjoyed work by Valda Bailey, Doug Chinnery and Sandra Bartocha amongst others. Each of these is very well known in the photographic community but my choice of Nel Talen may be less so, especially outside of Holland.

I first encountered Nel’s work through the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition. She was a finalist in the creative category with a very delicate, ethereal composition that immediately resonated with me. I took a look at her website and found an amazing body of work that intrigued and delighted. I could have chosen any one of many as a ‘favourite image’ and eventually settled on one titled ‘Fluitenkruid’ which translates as cow parsley.

The title may be simple but the image is full of depth and complexity. For me, it combines two potentially competing but ultimately satisfying aspects of Nel’s work, that of delicacy but also a darker, more mysterious, moodiness. The cow parsley provides the light, inviting aspect of the photograph, while the darker trees add an air of foreboding. Lack of detail in the background adds to the impressionistic feel while the softer tones of the foliage support the airiness of the cow parsley. It takes me back to childhood memories of nearby woodlands that my parents warned me about entering. Of course, natural curiosity overcame any fears and I discovered the joys of wandering amongst the trees and foliage.

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