Landscape photography has taken me thousands of miles around Britain, most often in my car, driving for hours, catching ferries to the islands around mainland Britain to reach locations that most people will never visit. These trips require time away from my family, can be expensive and even though my images sell in books, prints and newspapers - it's never a guarantee that I'll produce a photograph that's considered worthy of sale. So, why do I do it?
To find the answer, I have to go back several years to a time when life had more challenges than I currently face today. Out of a series of events I found myself feeling a deep sense of pain inside, and I found myself seeking the edges of the world, for comfort and peace. I looked for wild places where the land met the sea, or where mountain met the sky, as in these locations I found myself connecting with something that brought me out of the pain I carried, and somehow it carried it away - or blew it out of my system. I found peace in the remote places of Britain.
I have now spent the last 6 years seeking out remote locations and enjoying the mindfulness that I find there. The images I shot led me to release my latest book, Beauty in the Wild where I share some of my favourite images from these trips and my thoughts about those places - which are now very dear to me.
Photography is my passion, but deeper than that is the desire to experience the atmosphere of nature in its purest form - away from people and busy towns and cities. It's there that I find my true self. From this place, my photography flows.
There is always the temptation to compare my work to others, or to look at social media and try to show images that will get more likes - but that's all a waste of time. If we're seeking to find our fulfilment in those platforms, I would suggest that we've lost our way, and forgotten where our passions came from. If we seek fame, praise, or recognition from photography I believe our passion for the art will be diluted.
My journey into photography began when I was 12 years old, when my Dad bought me an SLR and taught me how to meter light, use flash and compose photographs. My Nan had been a keen photographer too, and occasionally let me take a photo with her Minolta SLR on holiday, and gradually I found myself becoming hooked. It wasn't until 2012 that I launched my photography business and started shooting commercial and wedding photography, and now I find myself very happily capturing landscapes with my vintage Bronica 6x6 medium format film camera.
My journey back to film has been a gradual one, mainly shooting 35mm for the last few years - but now I've really found the perfect camera in the vintage 120 film. Because it's all completely manual, there's no autofocus, no light meter, no auto-wind for the film, it's a slow, mindful approach that suits me well. It also shoots square photos, which I love.
As I reach the end of 2020, which has been the most challenging year for everyone, I feel a sense of gratitude for many things, mainly that my Dad made it through intensive care with COVID-19 and is still with us - but from a photographic point of view I feel grateful that my passions for experiencing nature's wild beauty are as strong as ever, and my desire to capture this beauty with my camera is stronger than ever.
I hope that in 2021 my images inspire you to seek out the wild, remote places to receive the peace that can be found when we allow ourselves to tune in to what they offer.
thanks for reading 😊