This photos tells a classic story about man and nature. There is always something special about landscape photography; something that makes us all pause, admire the planet we live on and very often puts a lot of things into perspective.
I snapped this photo during a getaway with friends in the Peak District, UK. We were all on a hike, and as is the custom on any hike, there is always one straggler a fair few steps behind. But in this case, having a straggler was to my photographic advantage.
As we were hiking along the ridges, I was photographing the landscape around us. It was majestic English country side – gorgeous from every angle – but sometimes when you show people landscape photos they can always look a little generic. Nature is wondrous, but it always helps to have something in the frame to help heighten the view, add a sense of scale and let the landscape tell a story.
Enter my advantage; the straggler. Because he was always behind us, I could almost scout my shots as we walked, knowing he was always an element that could enter my frame if I turned around. So while we were waiting for him to catch up on one particular peak, I had my camera and zoom lens at the ready.
Sure enough, our straggler emerged over the ridge and I got my shot: majestic landscape behind, silhouette of a man lost in thought with a long path winding off into the distance behind him, and the road ahead coming right towards the viewer.
In my opinion, this shot is very cinematic. You can almost hear the voice over saying:
On a quest to save the world.
But first, he must travel a long road to redemption.”
Or something to that effect.
Imagine, for a moment, this photo without the straggler. To be sure, it would be a nice shot of a winding road along a peak, but with the person in frame it tells a much deeper story: of the majesty of nature, of a sense of scale, and of a person in deep reflection.
And if you can bring elements like that together in a photo, you’re way ahead of the game.
Here are some of my other shots from my landscape collection:
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