Beautiful book of Northumberland landscape photography

PUBLISHED: 01:16 08 August 2011 | UPDATED: 19:49 20 February 2013

Beautiful book of Northumberland landscape photography

Beautiful book of Northumberland landscape photography

Jo Haywood wanders blissfully through a new book of landscape photographs taken in Northumberland

Photographers tackling the landscape of Northumberland face a tricky conundrum. Its not so much what to include, but what to leave out.

It has castles, parkland, the coast, lakes, forests, hills and even a blummin great wall snaking through it, offering enough choice to fill 15 books twice over (with a few extra shots left over for postcards).

But photographer Jim Kearney had a head start on most snappers as he has lived his entire life in the Northumberland landscape and knows the best vantage points and the most intriguing subjects.

Northumberland, being the least populated county in England, offers an abundance of wide open spaces, peace and tranquillity, he said. Having lived here all my life, I have spent some considerable time exploring its many delights.

In this personal vision of Northumberland I have tried to capture the mood and atmosphere of the natural features of the county.

He has also used its abundance of wide open spaces to great effect in his new book, Northumberland - Loving It! (9.99, Halsgrove), choosing to run each image over two pages, giving them room to breathe and the reader a greater opportunity to appreciate the panoramic landscapes.

The photographs are pin-sharp and full of detail and colour. And while all the usual suspects are there - from Alnwick Castle to Hadrians Wall - it is his highly-skilled images of lesser known spots that really capture the raw beauty of the region.

The soft, almost mythical-looking waterfall at Harthope Linn, for example, and the intense pinks and purples of sunset over the Schill at the head of College Valley show the marks of true talent.

But capturing these wonderful landscapes has not always been a walk in the park for Jim.

The extreme weather conditions have presented their own unique challenges, he explained. In January last year we had the greatest recorded snowfall for 30 years, which from a landscape photographers point of view is a mixed blessing. On the one hand you have these fantastic snow scenes and on the other you cant get to them.

But I never really mind the effort involved. Often the greater the challenge, the greater the reward. I just feel blessed that I live and work in such a beautiful county.

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