on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

End frame: Bridalveil Fall Winter into Spring by Charlotte Gibb

Ellen Borggreve chooses one of her favourite images

Ellen Borggreve

Ellen Borggreve is a Dutch landscape photographer and author with a special affection for experiencing fleeting moments of magic amongst the old trees she regards as lifelong friends as well as the forever changing timelessness of sea, sand and sky.


This photograph by Charlotte Gibb has been amongst my very favourite images for quite some time now. It is obviously a photograph of a well-known waterfall in the iconic Yosemite National Park, a place that has been photographed over and over again by so many, including of course, the unforgettable Ansel Adams. The reason why I chose this image as a favourite is because Charlotte has managed to make a photograph of an iconic spot that is most definitely hers. You might think that it is easy to make a good picture in a place as beautiful as this, but the fact is that it is actually much harder to create a photo that encapsulates your own impressions of a scene that so many have photographed already. It takes a photographer with not just an exquisite eye, with a willingness to express oneself in one’s work but also someone who has a deep connection to a place akin to a friendship that deepens over time. It takes a trained eye, a strong belief in one’s own vision and, yes, talent too, to look beyond the obvious and superficial and find another way of looking at things.

I admire Charlotte for her incredible and rare eye for the intimate and delicate side of the landscape. Her work is mesmerising, poetic and almost ethereal. She goes well beyond the clichés whilst being fully aware of them. It requires an unshakable belief in your own vision and the worthiness of it to pursue it with such determination. This picture is a favourite of mine for many reasons because it is so much more than just a cliché of Yosemite National Park. It is composed of several elements that together make it so extraordinary. I often tell clients that photography is about time, the fleeting nature of it, and at the same time, it is about timelessness. The combination of the two makes photography just such an expressive medium. There is this fleeting moment where wisps of mist turn an otherwise flat scene into something more ethereal, whilst of course, also creating a separation between the trees and the background. It creates depth, but it also creates a feeling of serenity which is then amplified by Charlotte’s other compositional choices.

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