When you're a landscape photographer, immersing yourself in your favourite surroundings is a great way to produce your best work, and Lynne Douglas had done exactly that. Now settled on the beautiful Isle of Skye, after moving from Glasgow, Lynne has the opportunity to get out and photograph the stunning surrounding landscape every single day.
"I used to live on the northern outskirts of Glasgow so it wasn't too difficult to get out to places such as Loch Lomond, but whenever I wanted to photograph landscapes I would spend all my time travelling," Lynne tells me when I ask what made her move to the remote Isle of Skye. "Getting to locations by dawn meant getting up at about three o'clock in the morning. It would just be me and the dog in the car and then on location, before returning home when the rest of the family would just be stirring!"
In the end it was Lynne's daughters who suggested the move to Skye. "My heart has always been further north and I loved photographing and travelling around the Hebrides. So my husband and I decided that this is where we should be." Having now settled on Skye, Lynne is now working on plans to build a gallery space in the tiny hamlet where she lives. "My husband is a builder so he's agreed to build the gallery for me; we're trying to live the dream rather than just thinking about it!"
Living in the landscape that she loves means that Lynne can really focus on her photography; "Lots of people travel to locations to take a photograph, before quickly leaving again. They only get one chance to see it in just the one kind of light. Some of the photographs I have in my portfolio have been taken dozens of times. I often revisit the same landscape in all different kinds of light and capture it over and over until I get something that really speaks to me." Lynne's work is about capturing the essence of the locations that she photographs, sparking emotions rather than just documenting the landscape. "The colours of the place can make a huge impact on the photograph, and they change with the seasons and the weather. I used to photograph a loch that was local to me, sometimes it was bright green in colour, but at other times it could be covered in mist with very few details."
But Lynne insists that landscape photography isn't all about moving to remote and classically beautiful places. "You just have to go out lots to take photographs and keep going back to locations that you like. After a while you'll begin to narrow down what it is that you really love about that place." But although she makes it look effortless now, landscape photography has not always come easily to Lynne: "When I first started out I kept seeing the big picture. You think you have to try and capture the whole thing and you can't. So instead I started to try and find things in the landscape that stood out. For me it's colours, the low light of mornings and early evenings are when you get the beautiful shades just melting into each other. Sometimes you'll be lucky and sometimes you won't, but if you keep going to a location that you love eventually you'll get a great shot."
Lynne's ambition to open a gallery is at least partially fuelled by her experience of exhibiting in New York. "I was contacted out of the blue by a gallery who had seen my website and asked if I'd exhibit over there. It was my first exhibition, so to be asked to participate in a group show abroad gave me such a lot of confidence. You start to believe that somebody really likes your stuff!" 2015 will see Lynne exhibit at gallery@ oxo in London as part of an all-women landscape photography network; "There was a landscape photography exhibition by an all-male group of photographers, so there was a feeling amongst ourselves that we should get together and do something too!"
There are 43 days to get ready for The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
which starts on Wednesday 15th March 2023