In David Ward’s critically acclaimed first book, Landscape Within, he asked questions about human perception, the creative process and why photographers make images. Ward takes these explorations of photography a step further in his second book by studying what he considers to be the essential attributes of a successful landscape photograph: simplicity, ambiguity and beauty.
Ward looks in detail at how these concepts relate to one another and how they relate to his own images. He also sets them within a wider context. He focuses for instance, on how ‘beauty’ has been viewed by artists and psychologists, suggesting that although interpretations have changed over the centuries, the concept remains as relevant as ever today. In discussing the notion of ‘simplicity’, the author highlights the reductive approach adopted by photography in contrast to the complex process of creating a painting from layers of pigment.
Ward always seeks to make his own images open to interpretation and in the final chapter, ‘Questions or Answers?’, he suggests that all photographers’ work either poses a question or seeks to impose the photographer’s viewpoint. He goes on to investigate how photography affects our interpretation of the world around us and relates this to his own practice.
The book is beautifully illustrated throughout with Ward’s stunning large-format landscape images, reflecting his thoughtful and refined approach.