Take a View - Landscape Photographer of the Year at London Waterloo
A couple of dozen landscape photos in nice prints on display at The Balcony at London Waterloo railway station. I particularly liked the Urban View category; recognition of how much urban landscapes figure in our day-to-day visual experience.
The exhibition is dominated by views but I noted a number of techniques: long exposure, subtle HDR, monochrome, colour and geometry. A couple of images featuring people in the landscape, which I find refreshing as it both gives scale and changes a “view” to a “moment”. Some very successful images in square format as well as the expected horizontal rectangle “landscape” format; extreme panoramics appear to be out of fashion. I don’t recall any entirely abstract images and not much metaphor in evidence although a couple of photographers pulled the “Your View” category in this direction.
What do I see as progressive in this collection? The variety, technical accomplishment and the degree of going the extra mile to get the shot as well as or instead of catching the ideal moment. Even so, several of the photographers effectively confessed in their descriptions to their exhibited shot being “Right place - right time”. Do exhibited photographs need to be progressive? Yes, otherwise we stick with shots that would be comfortable decorating a box of chocolates and also, the rest of us photographers don't have anything to aspire to.
And whilst these prints are displayed on the mezzanine of the station close to the girders but only slightly removed from the hurly-burly of the commuter train terminus, they reward the effort with a few moments of sense of calm and beauty for those that divert ever so slightly from their business by taking some time and using the escalator.