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Photography Magazine

Guest Feature - David Ward

A Sense of Wonder


Like many who become passionate about landscape photography, I was passionate about the land first. Growing up in Green Belt land to the west of London, my play time was spent exploring the local beech woods and riding down country lanes on my bicycle. Fun was always to be had outdoors; I felt cooped up when rain or chores kept me in the house. Childhood holidays were spent on the Cornish coast or in the Lake District. I wanted to explore it all; to go marching over that hill and to look under that rock, to sit and stare at the sea, to listen to the rushing water and watch the scudding clouds. These were my happiest childhood moments.

It was a long time before I thought to link my love of the outdoors with making images of the landscape; I must have been in my early teens when I first thought of doing this. I’d had a Kodak Instamatic camera for a couple of years, but only shot pictures of family and friends. However one afternoon, whilst driving through a rainstorm in the Lakes, the land became worthy of a picture. You might say that it became ‘landscape’. The clouds parted and a sky that had moments before seemed steel grey now took on the tone of black slate in contrast to brightly lit fells clothed in orange bracken. A screen of trees to the right fell behind the car revealing a vista. Looking through the rain smeared car window, I could see a whitewashed stone farmhouse in a broad valley. Sheep grazed amid a web of dry-stone walls that extended across green fields to a distant, higher, undulating ridge of hills. Above it all a rainbow arced across the dark sky. Click! Or rather not, because I didn’t have my camera with me. Lesson number one.

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