Light & Land

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The New Common Language: How has photography changed in the last 25 years?

12th January 2018

Light & Land has been running workshops and holidays for 25 years, which is great cause to celebrate, says founder and landscape photographer Charlie Waite. Here, he looks at how photography has changed in that time…

In 25 years of assisting our guests with their photography, we have taken great delight in seeing a network of communities being established and enduring friendships formed with photography and its immense potential being at their core.

There are very many people who at some stage of their lives, perhaps in their middle age or at other times, feel a need to explore any creative impulses that may well have been latent. If this desire can’t be satisfied through the normal routes, like cooking, gardening, woodwork, painting, music and so on, it’s now often being realised that the camera is the most remarkably appropriate and creative device with which to express their response to their world around them.

A well-executed still image can resonate and awaken profound emotional responses in both the creator and the viewer.

Under the sensitive guidance of our photography leaders, the once common resistance to the technical elements of photography no longer present a barrier to the creative journey.

Our guests who join our many Light & Land workshops and photography tours are able to concentrate on defining their creative objective and develop new found skills of composition, balance, design, relationships and of course managing the great catalyst of all, an understanding of the behaviour of light.

It is a hugely enjoyable process to get someone to understand the meaning of perception, and defining the objective, and omitting the redundant bits from a photo, which is the hardest thing, to say don’t incorporate something because it will deflect the eye from the nub or core of the image.

The indescribable delight that many of our friends experience when they find that they can quickly grasp the business of ‘seeing the photograph’ before it is made is what Light & Land thrives on.

If our leaders can come away from a workshop or tour having assisted some of their guests to produce images that evoke their experience both for themselves and those who look upon their work, then they are overjoyed.

In the 25 years that Light and Land has been fully engaged with guiding and unearthing the photography inclination within so many of our friends, the tantalising business of composition remains at the forefront of their concerns. Irrespective of film or digital being the method of capture, composition remains the most elusive and subsequently the most rewarding aspect of photography to achieve an understanding of.  It was this way 25 years ago and it will remain so I am sure.

Essentially, photography 25 years ago or even a hundred years ago remains the same today: to question from where the impulse springs to stimulate the photographer to want to make their image in the first place, then the need to produce a photograph that has parity with their pre-visualisation and that will awaken something within the heart and emotion of those that will look upon it.

Digital photography has offered wonderful opportunities for so many millions of people to explore the magical and joyous world of photography. For the world and its people, photography has now become the new common language.

Yet, some statistics show that 95 per cent of all photographs made are either deleted or confined within an external hard drive never to be set free. Digital has brought with it a degree of recklessness, which for the photographer’s journey could amount to a trial and error approach. For the beginner photographer this is not a crime and plays an important part of the early stages of their perception and the business of making images. Ultimately however, less trial and error and more restraint is encouraged to prevail.

Either way, over the last 25 years, photography has given a very large number of people enormous creative joy and that is what I care about more than anything.


Come and celebrate with Light & Land. Find details of all the latest news on photography holidays and workshops, including Scotland, London, France, Italy, Morocco, Norway, Slovenia and more in the Tours section and Workshops section.

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