Less is more when capturing the South Downs

Downland fence
Downland fence

It is hard to believe that two months have passed since I completed my walk along the South Downs Way and here I am still writing about the experience and the photographic lessons I learnt.

I guess that if you mention the South Downs to a bystander they will conjure up in their minds a wide expansive view of the Sussex Weald and Downland. Large vistas which are truly beautiful but incredibly difficult to capture in a photograph. It is perhaps one of the reasons so called ‘holiday snaps’ never quite do justice to the scene we witnessed. We are tempted to try and include everything we see in one photo and whilst it may be a good record of what we saw, it often fails as a photograph. It might lack a good composition, any form of focal point to draw the eye, be poorly lit or quite simply not truly capture the feelings that the photographer felt at the time.

I can’t deny that some of the images I took fell into the ‘large vista’ category but I was also mindful to look closer and try and simplify the landscape through careful composition, concentrating on just two or three key elements and in so doing try and capture the essence of the South Downs and not just the grand view.

So this entry includes a selection of images all taken from the South Downs Way, where less is hopefully more.

Field of curves
Field of curves
The straw bale
Straw bale
Lone cow
Lone cow
Downland field
Downland field
No shelter
No shelter
Dead tree
Dead tree
Gateway to the sky
Gateway to the sky

Twisted tree
Twisted Chanctonbury tree
Do these photographs capture something about the South Downs? 
Do they capture the feelings I experienced when I first saw and composed the image in the viewfinder? Do they do justice to the beauty of the area and its countryside? 
So many questions and of course I have my own answers and anyone viewing these images will have their own opinions. In the end they are the view I chose to take, my interpretation and my treatment. They give me pleasure and I hope others might just feel the same way.
Thank you for reading my ‘blog’ and do leave a comment if you have anything you would like to say.

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