David Ward on Making Intimate & Abstracted Landscapes

David Ward – “Making Intimate and Abstracted Landscapes”

The Photography Show Talk: Tuesday 3-3.45pm


Over the last twenty years or so I’ve concentrated on photographing details in the landscape rather than the big vista.

Shooting what Minor White called “intimate landscapes” increases the chances for making an image in two different ways; it provides both an increase in useable light and an increase in available subjects. The intimate approach helps to move the image beyond the illustrative into the abstract, leaving room for the viewer and helping to make your photos more emotive and more personal than the straightforwardly illustrative vista.

Dodge headlight peeling paint FBI firmly believe that the intimate view concentrates the viewer’s attention, producing a more powerfully directed reading than the vista is capable of. I’m far from alone in my fascination; I’m following in the footsteps of Eliot Porter, Minor White and Edward Weston, to name but three. Weston started small and only once he’d worked out his vision did he move on to large landscapes… perhaps we’ve got it wrong concentrating on the wider view?

During my talk I want to share my insights with you and explain how taking this approach can enrich your photography. Working with the small view been a journey of discovery for me, a journey that has taught me a lot about how I see and a little about how we all see. I certainly feel that my vistas have improved by concentrating on details and I hope that I can persuade you, for at least some of the time, to look at what’s at your feet rather than up at the horizon.

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David Ward Biography

david-wardDavid Ward was born in England in 1960.  Childhood holidays in the Lake District and Cornwall led to a love of landscape and a desire to try and express his sense of wonder through art. He became fascinated by photography in his late teens and was accepted for the prestigious Film & Photographic Arts course at PCL in London, where he was a student of  Victor Burgin.