Interview With Charlie Waite

For the past 30 years, Charlie Waite has been one of Europe’s most prolific landscape photographers. Now, with the launch of USA Landscape Photographer of the Year, he reveals his hopes for the competition, his favourite location and why he will never retire

How did you become interested in pursuing photography professionally? 
My father had always enjoyed photography and helped me set up a darkroom in my bedroom, but despite my fascination with the apparent magic of it, I did not envisage photography as being a career for me. In the late 60s I joined the Salisbury Repertory Theatre and while working there, I became intrigued by the way in which the lighting director can bring a play to life. I continued on in the theatre for a further 12 years and throughout this time, I was photographing fellow actors for their publicity. Finally I took a studio in Battersea in London and began assisting work for studio commercial photographers. I still have great respect and admiration for commercial photographers.

Why were you attracted to landscape over other genres of photography?
I had always enjoyed photographing actors but it was not until I accompanied my wife when she was filming the BBC series The Onedin Line that I had time to roam around Devon where much of the filming was taking place. It was then that I began to respond, with my Nikon F and a 105mm portrait lens, to the landscape around me. I grew fond of sheds, long snaking hedgerows and noble trees. Within a year I had been given a commission to do all the landscape photography for a book called the National Trust Book of Long Walks with a superb writer called Adam Nicolson. We then went on to do three more books together.

Interview with landscape and outdoor photographer Charlie Waite

Do you ever tire of landscape photography?
No, I never do. It seems to me to be a constant pursuit to get better and learn more and be able to ...

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