In an absence of original thought this month - sorry, I think the endless episodes of Danger Mouse have affected my ability to think - I’ve decided to lazily add the Q&A interview I gave to the Royal Photographic Society last November as a blog. I tend to shy away from the limelight (says he, writing an online blog read by surely millions...) but I think secretly felt quite proud of the intimate landscape images I’d taken ending up in The Journal (their monthly publication). Perhaps it was a quiet news month. So without wasting more ink, here it is…
Q: Please tell us about yourself.
'I was so lucky to grow up in the Lake District. I’d spend hours walking my dog on the fells and find being surrounded by nature so peaceful. Then I’d come home and watch endless David Attenborough documentaries. I just really enjoy all that stuff.
Q: Describe how photography fits into your life.
‘I now live in Hertfordshire with my lovely wife and two little boys but have retained that enjoyment for the natural world and spend many an hour wandering Ashridge Forest looking for inspiration. Between my commute into London, a full-time job in the City and hectic family life, landscape photography is a wonderful way to unwind and – if I’m honest – escape.
Q: Your submission focuses on the intimate details of the natural world. When and why were you first drawn to nature?
‘Photography provides me with balance to an otherwise chaotic, pressurised and sometimes stressful life. I loved drawing as a child, but sport and education took over and I lost that creative outlet. Photography has re-awoken my imaginative side and my appreciation for the intricacies of nature. When times have been difficult I’ve found being in nature has really helped the soul. Landscape photography gets me out and makes me focus on the details. Being appreciative of the natural world has made me feel more grateful and therefore more able to let go of worries.
Q: What inspired your ARPS submission?
‘With my submission [15 images working together as a series] I tried to stick to the style of photography I’m drawn to, so the theme of intimate details emerged. I’d had a few other ideas but they always seemed a little forced so when I cobbled together all my “detail” shots a natural theme started to emerge. Ultimately, I wanted a submission I would be proud to put on my wall.
Q: What are the challenges of working in a natural and often unpredictable environment?
‘Thankfully in England I’m unlikely to be eaten by anything. I’ve never minded “bad”weather – growing up in the Lakes tends to have that effect – but it obviously comes with gear challenges, particularly when it’s windy. The endless lens wiping … sigh. I try not to fight it though, shoot for the conditions and wear a good coat.
Q: How did you make the leap from LRPS to ARPS?
‘I wanted to test myself on the creative side so ARPS was the natural next step after achieving an LRPS. I knew it would be a challenge, but I received enough positive feedback to take the plunge. The hard part was organising the shots into a hanging plan that flowed nicely, and I received invaluable suggestions from friends and RPS members.
Q: What's next on your photographic journey?
What’s next? No idea. I’m simply enjoying going out and taking pictures without any real goal. I’ve found things have progressed quite nicely without any plan, so I’ll stick with that as
a strategy for the time being.’
STATEMENT OF INTENT
I take great joy in the form, texture and patterns in the details of the natural world.
This submission conveys the calming beauty in those details which surround us but are often overlooked. It is about mindfulness. These are unassuming, quiet outdoor images, often abstract, and aiming to show the tranquillity that Mother Nature reveals to us.
So that's it. I think there's scope for me share the full set of 15 images at some point, just let me know if you'd like to see them all in the comments.
All the best,