Obvious Click-bait Post About Landscape Photography and the Lake District

16 Jul 2015
I happen to live in the midst of one of the most visited and photographed landscapes in the whole of the UK. It's just where I was born and brought up, it's not like I moved here for the landscape; yet the look on people's faces when I tell them I'm not a landscape photographer.
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Thanks for reading. As a reward, here's a non-landscape photograph from one of the most visited landscape photography locations in the UK.
Often local people, seeing me with my camera in the local towns, assume I'm a tourist and tell me where the best landscape spots are; or if they know that I'm local too they want to ask about my landscape photography and say they bet I have some great photos of [insert mountain/lake here]. Tourists and recent 'immigrants' from the rest of the UK also comment on how lucky I am to live among such photogenic scenery and ask about my landscape photography. Local photographic societies tend to have a certain landscape bias, running the majority of their trips to landscape locations, and many of their members exclusively shoot landscapes.

People often don't know what to say when I admit that don't have very many landscape photographs, and none I would say really stand out. I don't really enjoy landscape photography and that comes out in the images whenever I try and do it. I don't have the energy in the morning to be out before sunrise and often lack the patience to stay out for golden hour (especially when alone in a remote place, I hate that). I don't like being alone, I don't like having no mobile signal, I can appreciate a pretty landscape but I'm never sure what I can do with it that hasn't been done many times before. I like to shoot urban areas, buildings, crowds, people, human activity (which to be honest can be in a rural setting).

People seem to be especially perplexed when I talk about my love of travel and travel photography. I do photograph locally a lot, but I feel I really come into my element when I'm not in my home county, either elsewhere in the UK or abroad. There seems to be a general view among most locals (or locals who would be interested in photography anyway, which tends to be the older crowd) and incomers that where I live is a place where, if you were lucky enough to be born in, why would you ever want to go anywhere else? When I say I like to travel, they tend to add in their own head the phrase, 'because there's nothing round here worth photographing', and sometimes argue with me as though I actually did say that.

The other week I met another local photographer (not born locally but moved here for work) and he said something to the effect of 'I guess you shoot landscapes then'. I explained that I didn't really, expecting another look of horror. He actually replied 'thank God, I get sick of everyone shooting only landscapes and expecting me to be the same, it's just not my thing, I prefer studio work'. That was a happy moment.

The moral of the story? We all have different things that inspire us; being born and brought up in a popular scenic part of the world will not make you a landscape photography and often familiarity with a location can actually inhibit your creativity. But we are also all capable of finding something that does inspire us, wherever in the world we are, there is always something. It just takes a bit more searching in some places that in others.

Blog Self Portrait
Articles about photography, tips and tricks, insights into the world of commercial photography and the marketing industry from a photographer's perspective, and the occasional humorous rant. Brought to you by Will McAllister, a commercial photographer based in God's own county of Cumbria.