VISTA

VISTA

To form these images in various parts of England, seated beside a wide, flooding estuary as the light thickens on a winter evening, dissolving all the irrelevant human details of the scene, leaving nothing but the shining water, the sky, and the darkening hills, and the immemorial sound of curlews whistling over the mud and fading river-beaches.

W G HOSKINS
THE MAKING OF THE ENGLISH LANDSCAPE 1955

Photo libraries often cast their aspersions that for a landscape image to truly succeed it should be in crisp focus from eye to eternity; in chocolate box fashion the much derided genre of all that is sickly to behold.

When a view or vista is espied either by chance or by design it is rarely all-encompassing; for the eye is driven by other stimuli and/or previous experience and is therefore drawn to certain areas or points of interest thus redefining the vista into primary and sub-primary import.

The language of landscape is varied; the vanishing point may not be the sole arbiter of either success nor of true definition and likewise another focal point may be just that, a determinator to engage the viewer upon first glance and thus allowing perusal of the whole with upcast eye and tender pondering*.

Furthermore clear vision or focus need not be centre aligned neither left to right nor front to back.

Differential focus not only pulls an item or area into sharp relief but by its very strength enables the mind to distinguish the salient points from their setting.

Images with wall-to-wall focus are invariably, aside from the initial glance, dismissed as just so much wallpaper; functional but not arresting.

Long vistas of stately oaks and elm trees appeared on every side, with the speed of the shadows thrown by the light clouds which swept across a sunny landscape like a passing breath of summer.
CHARLES DICKENS 1837

*JOHN KEATS 1817