I attended a lecture by Mark Littlejohn, a landscape photographer living near Ullswater. The event was organised by ‘SNAPS’, a grouping of local camera clubs.
Littlejohn was the overall winner of the 2014 Landscape Photographer of the Year and has an impressive total of judge’s commendations for this competition. He came late to photography, having retired as a senior police officer and taken up a camera and fellwalking to de-stress. With no formal training and no strict adherence to the ‘rules of composition’ he presents a refreshingly different view on landscape to the traditional camera-club format.
Many of the images were shot on standard or medium-telephoto lenses, typically 85-180mm, and in portrait format which is, probably, appropriate for mountains and trees that have a vertical emphasis. He uses a minimum of cropping (he says never more than one edge) and a minimum of post-processing, preferring to spend time with the camera to the computer. A lot of the mountain images are more about the light and the weather than the mountains themselves.
A set of images in the second half were of trees or groups of trees with empathic titles such as “The Mob”, “The Dancer” or “The Extrovert”. The titles fit the shape an overall feeling of the image.
Littlejohn works on the Ullswater Steamers, and presented a set of environmental portraits of his colleagues. The steamers also allow him a viewpoint of the landscape surrounding the lake.
An important final message was not to get hung up on others’ opinions of ones photography, but to do your own thing and enjoy it.