MLA student, Ellen Orchard, reviews the Landscape Photographer of the Year exhibition at the National Theatre.
Viewing landscape through the lens of a camera is an unique skill that does not need to rely on how expensive your equipment is, but your compositional eye more importantly. Of course, having the latest versions of technology help capture just the right moment, but it takes true talent to understand how the landscape can be represented in different ways. At the Landscape Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the National Theatre on the Southbank of London, the images on display do not just deserve awards, but your time as well. Sponsored by the Network Rail, the exhibition takse you on a journey through Britain’s most spectacular scapes, quiet moments, and violent nature.
Divided into two categories of Classic View and Urban View, the exhibition brings two unique ways at looking at the countryside and cities and how they can relate to each other. What is most evident in the photos selected by the competition, is man’s influence on the land. The railroad has connected the entire country together and knitted us closer to each other with an artistic effect on the open landscape. Tracks wind through ‘wild’ open space and roads transect mountains. A lone lighthouse seems more dramatic upon a cliff, reminding us that without man’s intervention, the landscape can be unpredictable and dangerous.
Perhaps the most striking images represent the patience it took to wait for nature to unveil its form and beauty at the right tide, the right time of day or the right weather. These serendipitous moments dot the walls of the National Theatre. An exhibition like this in the heart of one of the busiest and most urban cities in the world, reminds us to stop and breathe. It implores us to not only recognise our British inheritance of beautiful countryside, but to worship it.
At its heart, it shows proof that combining man and nature creates an effect worth photographing.