Simon Miles PhotographyI love spending time in the landscape. Being introspective by nature probably helps. I enjoy walking alone, taking time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. For me photography is almost incidental to the experience of being out in the landscape. I can happily walk all day without photographing anything. I often feel I don’t really go out photographing at all; I go out walking with the possibility of making an image. Photography provides me with a focus and fulfils the creative urge we all possess.

While I do sometimes photograph well known viewpoints – and enjoy the spectacle of a dramatic landscape as much as anyone – I am drawn by nature to the quieter, more intimate landscapes to be found in woodlands, along river valleys or out on the hills away from the beaten track. Solitude seems to be an important part of the process for me. It allows me to take my time and immerse myself in the landscape and its endless photographic potential.

I learned to photograph on a large format view camera, and still favour the deliberate, contemplative approach this taught me. Exposing large sheets of film in what is basically a light-tight wooden box is not for the faint hearted, but it teaches you the craft of photography – the nuts and bolts of focus, exposure and composition – like nothing else. Today I use modern digital cameras, which have largely matched or surpassed what is possible with film. Like most photographers, I use imaging software to develop my images. This is a critical step in modern digital imaging and allows the photographer to develop the raw data captured by the camera to reflect his or her artistic vision.

Simon Miles Photographer

A great photograph is a distillation, a reduction of the chaos of our wider experience to a visually satisfying essence where what is excluded is as important as what is included. David Ward, Landscape Within

Photography has given me so many gifts over the years. It has taken me to many wonderful places and exposed me to new countries and new cultures. It has taught me self expression and shown me the value of the natural environment. It has opened my mind to new possibilities and helped me to acquire a deeper understanding of our world. I have gradually come to realise that what many would dismiss as a hobby has become a defining feature of my life. Long may it continue.

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