On Your Doorstep Issue 8 - Page 108

PETER STEVENS FRPS ‘On your doorstep’ is such a great idea. Find great images on your doorstep, they are there waiting to be found. I recently attended an excellent talk by well know landscape photographer who showed some truly inspiring images. He started his talked with a description of his equipment, clothing and the great lengths he goes to in planning his trips. He explained that he started his talk with these ‘techie topics’ because his audience always asks about them. However, he then went on to show images giving a magnificent tour of the iconic landscape of the UK, from Glencoe in winter, to Durdle Dor at dawn. From waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales to gentle seascapes in Southwold. The evening was excellent, so why do I mention it here. Throughout the talk I had this nagging feeling about ‘On your doorstep’. The big trip to the iconic location requires commensurate effort in terms of time, planning, expense of travel and accommodation and, because such trip are at best typically done infrequently, the risk of unfamiliarity with the location and poor weather resulting in disappointing images. In contrast, putting more time into what’s on your doorstep means that you can reduce many of these risks. You know the area, you can make repeated visits and explore it from all angles, you can nip out spontaneously when the weather turns favourable. You may not live in Glencoe, or near Durdle Dor, but you do have your own landscape to explore and reveal. I’m certainly not advocating that the big locations should be avoided, certainly not, but I do support the idea of also exploring locations nearer to home. One of my favourite places near where I live in Hertfordshire (not know for its iconic locations) is Ashridge Forest, and these images of the autumn colours were captured just because I could nip out when the weather turned favourable. I shall do it often. 108 Autumn Colours 2