“Untitled” by Adrian Hill

I began taking photographs over forty years ago. From the very beginning I was enthralled and captivated by the photographic prints and the world that they presented to me. As someone without any draughtsmanship, or any facility with brush and pen, I found that the camera, and more importantly the darkroom, enabled me to make pictures of the world that I observed and thought about.

Although the arrival of the digital revolution has subsequently replaced the gloom and magical odours of the print room, the excitement and alchemy of photography still burns bright for me. The means may have changed but my approach, techniques and motivations remains as they were.

The work I make is informed by and originates from many influences, both painters and photographers in particular: Caspar David Friedrich, William Turner, L.S. Lowery, Andrew Wyeth, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Ralph Gibson, Keith Carter and Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Following the premature death of my brother 11 years ago my work has increasingly concentrated upon ideas of time and its passing, and specifically with exploring the artifice of memory…

This image was taken in June 2018 on Chapel Porth beach in Cornwall, England. It was a sunny and warm late afternoon. I had been taking some photographs of surfers and was about to leave the beach and head back to the holiday accommodation. As I began heading away from the shore I noticed in the distance this group of horse and riders… I was quite engrossed by the procession heading towards me, and I began thinking of the scene from David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia in which Lawrence first meets Sherif Ali (played by Omar Sharif). The scene has Lawrence at a waterhole, and in the distance he sees a shimmering flickering form coming towards him. The scene takes several minutes to reveal that the apparition is in fact a horseman. Subsequently these thoughts were at the forefront of my thinking when I took the photograph, and I knew that I wanted to convey the ghostly/spectral elements of a mirage, which hopefully I have.

What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!

That’s hard to say but for me it is the space occupied by the sky accounting for two thirds of the composition,along with the spectral movement of the out-of-focus-horse and riders,that appear to be hovering above the sand.

If you would be able to make this photo once again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?

In truth, I would not change anything. I made the picture I wanted to make – any changes, for better or for worse, would result in an altogether different picture.

Adrian Hill shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.


Adrian Hill, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England

Equipment and Settings

Fujifilm X100S
f/16, 1/125 sec., ISO 200

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Comments (25):

  1. Rita

    November 16, 2020 at 21:12

    Just wonderful and profound work, I have sensed the loss and right of passage in your work, the language that evokes an inate response that is both magical and emotional.

    • Adrian

      November 17, 2020 at 08:52

      Thank you Rita.

  2. NIgel Walker

    November 16, 2020 at 21:18

    Lovely picture. Well thought through and I can see the many influences you cite. It could have been taken almost anywhere and at any time and , it seems to me, that that gives it an enduring quality. I bet David Lean wouldn’t be able to make his shot last as long these days either. It certainly builds tension. Great shot. Thanks for sharing.

    • Adrian

      November 17, 2020 at 08:53

      Thanks Nigel

    • Adrian

      November 17, 2020 at 08:53

      Thank you very much Mark

  3. Michael Gilroy

    November 17, 2020 at 08:15

    Wonderful image Adrian.
    I love that it was taken on an X100S, proof indeed that one doesn’t need the latest and greatest to produce a beautiful photograph.

    • Adrian

      November 17, 2020 at 20:50

      Thank you Michael. 🙏

  4. Desiree Day

    November 17, 2020 at 20:28

    Gorgeous photograph and great reading your article. Thank you for your sharing!

    • Adrian

      November 17, 2020 at 20:50

      Thank you so much Desiree.

  5. Adrian Lowe

    November 18, 2020 at 06:45

    This treatment beautifully suits the transience of not only our lives but every moment, memories of which are often clouded. I love the mood of this and your other similar shots that seem to depict the “fleeting” moment as in fact a movement and not just an instant.

  6. Adrian

    November 18, 2020 at 10:06

    You read my intention so well Adrian. Thank you so much. 🙏🙏🙏

  7. JiÀhn Charlotte

    November 20, 2020 at 05:29

    Glorious image Adrian. The gentle tones and soft focus create a real sense of ethereal beauty..

    • Adrian

      November 20, 2020 at 09:00

      Thank you very much JiAhn

  8. Stephanie Duprie Routh

    November 20, 2020 at 15:31

    Lovely image with such a ghostly quality about it. I like the peacefulness it exudes.

  9. Adrian

    November 20, 2020 at 16:36

    Thank you very much.

  10. Håkan

    November 20, 2020 at 17:09

    Thanks for sharing your story about This specific picture. I really like your work.

  11. Håkan

    November 20, 2020 at 17:11

    I love your work. Thanks for sharing the story for This specific photo.

  12. Adrian

    November 20, 2020 at 17:21

    Thank you so much Hakan. 🙏

  13. Ralph

    November 21, 2020 at 13:59

    Great to see you featured here Adrian. Great story and keep up the great work. You definitely have your own unique style.
    Ralph D

    • Adrian

      November 21, 2020 at 21:09

      Thank you very much Ralph. 🙏

  14. Normand

    November 24, 2020 at 13:51

    I am always amazed at how our brain analizes our images. It takes a bridle of memory, brings it back into our consciousness, superimposes it with real contact to make it a totally new creation independent of the point of departure. All this in a fraction of a second. I really like your work Adrian, Bravo!

  15. Adrian

    November 24, 2020 at 14:16

    Thank you so much Normand.

  16. Michael

    December 14, 2020 at 21:54

    That image is so beautiful,Adrian.thanks for sharing

    • Adrian

      December 15, 2020 at 08:49

      Thank you so much Michael.


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