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Alister Benn • Listen To The Landscape

Alister Benn almost exclusively photographs landscapes. Here he tells us how he learns about himself through listening and watching the seasons pass

Yesterday afternoon, perhaps an hour before sunset, I took a drive up the coast to an isolated beach, most definitely alone as a fresh blizzard stormed in off the Minch between us and the Isle of Harris in Scotland. A bitter wind stung my face with ice pellets as I crossed the smooth boulders to the water’s edge, flushing a group of oystercatchers that flew away protesting with their piercing cries. Another strange squeaky call attracted my attention and I was excited to find a young otter kit, which I watched and filmed for some time before the incoming tide forced it into a less accessible area. For over an hour I played tag with the big waves as they rolled in over the reef, getting ceremonially soaked as usual. Later, as I drove home in the rapidly failing light, watching the low clouds rolling in over the glen, and I felt strangely energised and alive.

As is so often the case, the seeds of my articles are sown in moments like these. As I pulled down our drive and was wrapped in the inviting warmth of our little Highland cottage, I wrote a title on a piece of paper and settled down to dinner.

For over a decade, making photographs for me was about technique and mechanics, learning ways of achieving things, or overcoming limitations of lenses, sensors, computers and imagination! Now, it is more about using the process to ...

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About Author

Alister Benn

Alister Benn is a full-time landscape photographer, author and guide. Having lived for over a decade in the Himalaya of Tibet and SW China, he now lives and works on the Isle of Skye with his wife Juanli Sun.

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