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“Photography just gets us out of the house.”

William Eggleston

Oliver Stainer Landscape Photography, Brecon Farmland, Oak Trees,Wales

About the Website


Composing Colour is my website, a place where I display my creative work.

‘But why?’ I hear you ask… ‘Why have a website when you are not looking to make money, sell prints, or start a YouTube channel?’ And it’s a good question – why a website when I’m not looking to profit from it? 

Well, the answer is to share. Photography - like speech, music, poetry, writing, art - is for humans to share. Creativity is a process of expression, and expression can only be shared, or it’s not expression, it’s just a funny face when no one else is around. It has been that way since the dawn of time. Early humans created cave art to share, and it's this sharing and creative communication that makes us so unique as humans. 

I had been yearning after a camera for a few years but the lockdowns through the 2020/21 pandemic pushed me over the edge. I wanted to do something else, something new, something creative, and a camera offered me that. But I hadn't owned my camera for long when I thought ‘Why photography when I'm not looking to make money, sell prints, or start a YouTube channel?’ And so I created a website to share. That doesn’t mean it has to be good, perfect or brilliant, and maybe these pages won’t strike a cord with you, but that’s ok, it’s more of an outlet for me. 


This is what I find so frustrating with social media today. It’s not just a place to share, but rather a place to compare, to be liked, and to compete. To compete creatively means we trend to the same as we copy images that had the most likes. We create, not what the individual appreciates, but rather what the instagram community wants. Creativity shouldn’t be about competing or being liked, or copying that stone stacking trend to get a thumbs up! Creativity should be about expression, exploration, challenging oneself, and sharing. Photography gives me an outlet to create, my website gives me an outlet to share. Hopefully this process of sharing will help me to be more focussed, and to improve with time. 


Photography is also wonderful creative medium as, unlike most other creative mediums, it forces us to explore both mentally and physically. As William Eggleston said so eloquently “Photography just gets us out of the house.”

Oldest picture.jpg

The oldest surviving photograph. Called Saint-Loup-de-Varennes and taken by Nicéphore Niépce in France somewhere between 1826 and 1827


What I didn’t want to become is that annoying photo snapper. someone who spends their entire life taking pictures of everything, and everyone. Ok, so most of the great photographers of the past were annoying photo snappers. It’s what makes a good social photographer. Interestingly, I find social photography more engaging than landscape photography, and it's not just me. A quick Google search for great photographers will give you a list – apart from Ansel Adams – of mostly social photographers, including street photographers, portrait photographers, and most importantly, press or documentary photographers, all commenting on society and our day-to-day lives. Very few landscape photographers, and even fewer wildlife photographers. The reason for this is that humans are mostly interested in themselves. Just look at Dorothea Lange and her wonderful, but disturbing at times, documentation of rural America through the Great Depression. Her photographs are so captivating, upsetting, troubling, that it's difficult not to get engrossed in her work.

So, if I find social photography more engaging, why then do I turn to landscape photography? The answer is the act of taking the photograph. I find photo snapping and street photography, or taking pictures of other people, can be unsettlingly, sometimes invasive. Even my family are not that engaging in having their picture taken. Photography for me is a way of de-stressing, not upsetting, of slowing my life down, not speeding it up. I’m a big believer in the Slow Movement. I want to enjoy taking the photograph and not that concerned if I’m social commentator. I want to enjoy the act of getting outside, the act of considering my next shot, the act of setting up my camera, the act of being overwhelmed by the environment and often the sunrise or sunset I’m trying to capture. The end result is less important than the act of taking the photograph. 

I usually have a place in mind, sometimes even the photograph in mind, before I leave home. I try and get up early before the sun rises and back before breakfast, which works with a young family. And even though I do carry my camera with me on family outings, it’s there to take a few snaps of the family and not for me to become that annoying photo snapper. Henri Cartier-Bresson made this very point “We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” Life is to be lived, not documented. Landscape photography is there to enhance my life, not record it.

Oldest Commercial Camera.jpg

The oldest commercial camera was produced in 1839. The Giroux Daguerréotype was made in Paris by Alphones Giroux from plans drawn up by its inventor, Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, Alphones Giroux brother-in-law.


I do have a few rules of engagement. I’m a photographer, not a graphic designer, and even though I’m happy to enhance images, I also want to be truthful to what I see. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate manipulated images, but this website is not about that. I want to spend time taking pictures, not editing images. I’m happy to remove something that upsets the balance, a tree in the distance, a person walking on a beach, and I can enhance something already there, but I will never include something not in the original scene or use AI to change the sea or sky. I can combine images for focus stacking and improving dynamic range, or enhance colours, shapes, focus, but only when it doesn’t change the essence of what I see.

Finally, I would like to make the point, I like colour, when it’s justified. This is why my website is called ‘Composing Colour’. Why not, colour is something to be enjoyed. I know this is not to everyone’s taste in the digital era, but this was not always the case. Film companies spent time and energy on creating saturated film, this is what photographers wanted in the 80s and 90s. It was only when increasing saturation was as easy as moving a slider on Photoshop, and high dynamic range images could be created through simple image stacking techniques, that we had an onslaught of overly saturated and unrealistic images on Facebook. There has been a reaction to this, and dull and drab images are often encouraged by the professional photographic community, but I’m not here to impress anyone, I like colour, on condition it’s realistic.

Ansel Adams.jpg

Ansel Adams. Widely considering to be the father of landscape photography.


As stated on my home page, my webpage is a place to learn and grow. I’m not a professional photographer and therefore, thankfully, I don’t need to make a living from my camera, nor my camera from me. Photography is simply a hobby to be enjoyed 

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