Charlie Waite’s stunning British landscapes
8th May 2019
Here at Light and Land, we are very supportive of responsible travel and looking after the future of our planet. Finding great locations does not mean always having to jump on a plane. Here in the UK, we have a wealth of stunning locations on offer, rich in possibilities for our landscape photography. Need some inspiration? Below, Charlie Waite shares some of his favourite locations in the UK to photograph.
Cadair Idris, Wales
One of my first photographic missions was to photograph along the central section of the Cambrian Way. Discovering Barmouth and the Cadair Idris mountain was a wonderful surprise. I strongly recommend a journey to this glorious area – and when you are done, head down and base yourself in St Davids to discover the stunning Pembrokeshire coast line. For the geolist in you, this remarkable coastline will not disappoint.
The Lake District
What can I say about the Lake District? Perhaps “beautiful” would suffice, 15.8 million people come to see it every year, a mere 41,000 live within the Lake District National Park.
It is without a doubt the most popular scenic region in the UK. I am gratified by the fact that walkers, travellers and landscape photographers come to the Lake District because of its beauty; why else would they?
All lovers of the Lakes have their special places that they will have good and very personal reasons for loving. I remain undecided: this is such a breathtakingly beautiful moving feast that it is hard to commit to any one location, so loving it all will have to do.
It would be unlikely that I did not praise Dorset in this list: I live in this wonderful county. While it’s best known for its beautiful coastline, it is the top triangle where Dorset bumps into Somerset and Wiltshire that I care for so much.
Cranborne Chase and the West Wiltshire Downs offer a wonderful, sparsely populated landscape. In this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are great scoops of landscape from Iron Age times. The odd drovers’ road to the cathedral city of Salisbury is easily achievable in a day with a camera and tripod. I would be surprised if this superb landscape did not yield up many opportunities.
It was not until I had the privilege of working with the writer Adam Nicholson on The National Trust Book of Long Walks that I discovered how remarkably striking the UK Landscape is capable of being. Shameful though it is to admin, my first experience of Yorkshire was not until 1982.
In those days there were more ruined barns than there were restored ones, but their role for the observant photographers is to visually punctuate the landscape, in the same way that they do in the Lake District. There is a different however: in Yorkshire the barns fit so snugly into geometric Xs, Ys and Zs, often with the resulting patterns spreading across the flat fields.
I am sure lovers of drone photography would enjoy Yorkshire as much as any ground-based landscape photographers. With its patchwork of picturesque working fields, Gunnerside near Richmond is a wonderful location at any time of the day.
Glencoe is the landscape photographer’s rite of passage. I know of few who have not been there. The great Buachaile Etive Mor is one of the big draws, along with Black Rock Cottage, which is irresistible for many, including me. It is all too easy to suggest that a location has become cliched; but for the photographer, it may be their first discovery of a place and they will feel a sense of ownership despite many others having been there. Glencoe will never ever look the same twice; whether you like to photograph from the high looking down or the other way around, Glencoe counts among the best of wild and remote locations.
Light and Land have tours and workshops planned at some of these locations, please click below for more details.
Hidden Dorset workshop with Charlie Waite
Drone Photography workshop in Dorset with Andy Farrer
Simplfying Composition in Dorset with Sam Gregory
Glencoe tour with Phil Malpas and Clive Minnitt
North Yorkshire Coast tour with Adam Karnacz
The Lake District tour with Phil Malpas and Clive Minnitt