Charlie Waite is Britain’s most prominent landscape photographer and also founder of the incredible Landscape Photographer of the Year awards. The national tour of the exhibition is now on show at Charing Cross station until the 8th July, and we thought we’d ask him a few things about it.
Why did you found the Landscape Photographer of the Year prize?
I have always known that that whether they were photographers or not, people in general loved photographing the landscape.
Whether it be a rainbow or a golden cereal crop under a majestic sky, so many of us respond to beauty in the landscape and the camera is a wonderful tool to act as a conduit to allow people to creatively express their response to their world around them. I was convinced that the huge number of landscape photographers both in the UK and worldwide could all be brought together into a wonderful interactive landscape photography community and now, in its 12th year, Landscape Photographer of the Year has fulfilled that dream and turned into a hugely successful reality.
What’s the longest you’ve ever stayed in one place to get the perfect shot?
Whether it is perfect or not is for others to judge but I am always in pursuit of an image that has parity with how I responded emotionally to the scene in front of me. I photographed the Somme a few years ago and I remember waiting for three days for the light to grace a small stand of poplar trees. A few days later when in British Lake District, I was gifted a glorious single oak standing in a pool of light that made the oak look noble and stately. I made that photograph in twenty minutes.
What’s more difficult to shoot – cityscapes or rural areas?
I find all landscape photography quite difficult. It is so much about observation and quite simply noticing everything and then responding and interpreting. Both rural and urban offer the same considerations and with both subjects, light will always be a pivotal element.
Are there any landscapes that got away? Ones that you regret missing a shot of?
Too too too many. I am haunted by what could have been.
Landscape Photographer of the Year is on show at Charing Cross Station until July 8th.
Interview: Josh Jones