Book Review

Light In The Landscape by Peter Watson. Light In The Landscape

Author: Peter Watson

Publisher: Guild of Master Craftsmen Publications

ISBN 1-86108-209-6

Peter Watson has been photographing landscapes for over 25 years, and it shows. This book is packed with a wide selection of pictures taken around the British Isles and in all seasons. Each is a study in excellence.

The first thing I do with a book such as this is to quickly glance through it, looking at he pictures to try and get a feel for it. First impressions were good, very good in fact and I immediately began to read the text.

This 180-page book begins with a very readable introduction, which is followed by discussion of the approach, techniques and artistry needed for this type of photography. Watson very quickly dismisses some of the myths surrounding landscape photography, and does a very good job of showing his enthusiasm for the amazingly diverse scenery of the British Isles. It is in these early chapters that I began to feel that Watson is a man who knows what he is talking about and can share his thoughts in an intelligible way.

From here the book rolls into a chapter-per-month format. The particular characteristics of each month are discussed with any photographic highlights mentioned. Watson easily moves between exploration of general landscape techniques and referencing particular photographs illustrating the month in question. It is the subtle raising and discussion of points of interest that I really liked about Watson's writing style - very casual. I felt that he was talking to me as a friend.

A few of the 115 photographs cross the gutter, undoubtedly to allow a larger and more impressive display. Unfortunately the binding does not allow pages to lay flat and so the reader cannot really appreciate them at their best. Something that I feel the layout design should have taken into account as pictures are of vital importance in this book.

This book concludes with a map of the UK showing the locations of all of the scenes photographed. This is accompanied by a reasonably comprehensive index that adds to the value of this book to the landscape photographer.

I would have no hesitation in recommending this book to the budding landscape photographer eager to learn, the experienced photographer interested in seeing how someone else approaches this fascinating subject, or the photograph viewer who just enjoys looking at outstanding scenery.

Light In The Landscape by Peter Watson. Sample Pages.