name. Louis Norman
right now. Second year studying Philosophy and English Literature at University of Edinburgh
Can you describe the moment you wanted to capture?
The thing I am always, always drawn to is nature. It is a constant fascination for me, so that’s almost always what I set out to capture. Here, I wanted to work with the various contrasts that became apparent; the contrast between the starkness of winter trees and the softness of the mist; the contrast between moments of greenery and foliage against the whiteness of the mist; and the contrast between moments of verdancy and natural beauty against the lack thereof in winter.
There’s a line in a Joanna Newsom song, which is “The hills are groaning with excess, like a table ceaselessly being set,” - this day felt like the opposite of that.
I also love the feeling of isolation that comes from being in the middle of nowhere, and being able to capture that is always a factor in my photos. I’d just got a film camera which heightens that grainy, distant, time-worn quality.
Can you describe the moment(s) you captured the photo(s)?
They were all taken on the same walk, just after the New Year, on the foggiest day. I wanted to get a photo from up high across the valley, but the fog was too thick so you couldn’t see more than 5 or 6 metres ahead. It was very quiet, everything was a bit muffled, and halfway through the walk my iPod ran out of battery, so all I could hear was my own breathing and my dog in the undergrowth.
Where were you when you realised you wanted to make this piece of art?
Going out to take photos is never particularly premeditated - there’s rarely a specific photo in mind.
But, during a conversation with a friend in the university library - he was showing me the photos taken with his film camera, and they were so beautiful and atmospheric, so that moment was definitely important.
And then looking out my bedroom window on the day the photos were taken, and saw the fog across the fields is what made me leave the cottage with my camera.
Were you listening to music when you created this piece?
Ys by Joanna Newsom and Pink Moon by Nick Drake - they’re my go-to nature walk records. And White Chalk by PJ Harvey, because that’s my go-to eerie foggy-walk record.
What have you learnt since creating this piece?
I’m slowly but surely becoming more adept at using film. My camera has no light meter, so it’s all trial and error. This was my second roll, and since then I’ve become better at judging how strong or low light will affect a photo. The depth of my lenses is also something I’m getting used since these were taken.
Where do you dream of living?
Somewhere isolated, surrounded by pine and oak trees, wild flowers, strange fungi. Having a black labrador is important too.
What does green remind you of?
Nature, the English Countryside, and my childhood. Also Studio Ghibli films, particularly My Neighbour Totoro, which I watched endlessly as a child, and Princess Mononoke.