I’m a freelance journalist and published poet, based in Manchester.
Platform for Outstanding Photographs
Waiting for a delayed train has few benefits but if you are at Victoria, Paddington or Charing Cross, you will at least get chance to enjoy some outstanding photography.
The photographs on display range from East Sussex to the Scottish Highlands. They include images in black and white and others bursting with colour.They are selected from the 2017 competition entries and the book, Landscape Photographer of the Year – Collection 11.
Some, such as Poppies in a Field of Linseed by Julian Eales (Sunday Times Magazine Award winner), are classic English scenes. In this case from the Hertfordshire/Cambridgeshire border.
Others find beauty in industry and concrete. George Robertson's image of a cauldron at Grangemouth (Urban View award winner) was taken on a "cold, clear and breezy winter evening" – which must partly account for the striking clarity of its colours. It captures the ferocity and luminescence of a refinery working through the night.
Landscape Photographer of the Year Exhibition Tour 2018 at Manchester Piccadilly, May
Other urban views require a double take before you realise they were taken in a city. Michael Palmer's London Infinity looks like a pool of clear water. The note underneath informs us that we are actually looking at the reflection of blue sky on one of the shiny buildings that populate London's landscape.
Michael Palmer says of what he saw through the viewfinder: "It had the ethereal feel of one of those infinity pools featured in exotic holiday brochures."
Edward Hyde brilliantly juxtaposes twenty first century military technology with a landscape which is centuries old. He captured a low-flying fighter-plane on a practise flight. The vapour trails, set against the Snowdonia Mountains, convey speed and kinetic energy as powerfully as any moving image.
Andrew Bulloch was the worthy winner of the Young Landscape Photographer of the year. He clearly has the patience of a more experienced photographer. His image of a Skatepark in Musselburgh, under the green aurora of the northern lights, makes even the scrawled graffiti seem enchanting.
Landscape Photographer of the Year Exhibition Tour 2018 Manchester Piccadilly, May
Although all the images stand on their own visual merits, it is interesting to read about the tricks-of-the-trade, which were employed to achieve them.
David Hopley's birds-eye view of a lone tree and its long shadow was captured via the use of a drone.
Other ruses have been around longer. The apparently distant, random stranger, under an umbrella in Alone Against the Torrent, Elan Valley, is actually the photographer's wife. Paul Fowles' wife helped him to win the Living the View prize (adult category).
Water also features heavily in Jon Martin's The 08.52 from Barmouth, Gwynedd. The sea and sand surround a train as it crosses a bridge over the Mawddach Estuary – conjuring up the romantic side of travel. The photograph won Network Rail 'Lines in the Landscape' award.
There is enlightened self-interest in Network Rail sponsoring an award. It is impossible to look at the photos without mentally planning your next British mini-break or holiday. David Speight's Kilchurn Castle at Sunrise, Loch Awe, Highlands will make the Scottish tourist board rub their hands in anticipation of future visitors.
Just don't allow the dreams of future travel to distract you too much from the announcement about which platform the train you need to catch will depart from.
Having already stopped off at Edinburgh, Leeds Manchester and Birmingham, The Landscape Photographer of the Year exhibition is at London Victoria - 21 May to 3 June, before calling at Paddington - 5 June to 24 June; Charing Cross - 25 June to 8 July and Cardiff - 11 July to 28 July (TBC).
The Landscape Photographer of the Year competition was founded by Charlie Waite https://www.charliewaite.com/ in 2007. He is a fellow of The Royal Photographic Society. He focused on theatrical lighting and design in his early career before specialising in landscape photography.
Speaking about the exhibition, Charlie Waite said: "Every region within Britain offers inspiration to the landscape photographer and this tour gives as wide an audience as possible a chance to view the wonderful photographs that result from the creative forays of our talented winners."