With the casual sweep of an arm, weather forecasters frequently dismiss Scotland’s Northern Isles as wet and windy. Shetland deserves much more than that and last night we learned some of the reasons from Dylan Nardini, Scotland’s Landscape Photographer of the Year, when he was hosted by Stirling Photography Festival. His presentation effectively captured the haunting landscape of the archipelago with its sparkling beaches, wrathful seas, towering, craggy cliff tops and expansive skies.
Photographic landscape work requires energy, patience and willingness to accept that it is not always possible to record what the human eye can see and distinctively personal emotions, experienced in an inspirational panorama. Dylan was exceptionally honest about what he considered, not failures but maybe less than what he had hoped to achieve; his audience knew we were witnessing a master craftsman at work who strove his utmost to bring a lasting impression of the sensitivity and understanding of the artist’s feelings.
Not every photographer is keen to share his technique and practice with others but Nardini was transparently generous in relating what he was trying to do and how it might be accomplished. For that, I am confident that an entranced audience was very grateful.
Thanks too, to Stirling Photography Festival for providing one of these evenings when the predominantly shared feeling was that inner joy of witnessing great art.
‘Every picture tells a story’ is the theme of this year’s Festival; Dylan’s magnificent seascapes certainly fulfilled that triumphantly.