It all started when…
My Dad gave me my first SLR camera back when I was just 11 years old (a Pentax 35mm Film) and since then I have always had a keen interest in Photography.
When did you first start taking pictures on a serious level?
I have always been interested in Photography since a young boy.
My Dad was a keen Photographer for a while and I remember reading the books that he used to have - maybe not reading them so much but looking at the pictures.
I think this was where I developed an "eye" for an image by looking at so many professional images in the books - My Dad gave me his Pentax SLR Film camera back when I was 12 years old and my interest grew from there.
I guess I got serious with my images around 5 years ago when I started investing in some good kit.
Do you have a style, if so how would you describe it?
Im not sure if I really have a style anymore - I think the style sort of finds you and not the other way around.
That said I love to shoot fine art Black & White images with lots of negative space like below, and moody dark landscapes with dramatic skies - this is my signature style.
Other Photographers follow your work, we all like to know a bit about kit, what do you carry on a Landscape Shoot?
Just like anyone else I started out with basic kit, as my knowledge and skill level grew then I also outgrew the limitations of my existing kit and had to progress.
I now carry a Canon 5D MKIII body, a Canon 17-40 wide angle L-series lens and also a Canon 70-200 MKII.
I am starting to use my 70-200 a bit more as you can really change perspective and composition with this lens.
A Gitzo tripod which I never leave home without, a Canon 600 Flashgun with triggers and ROTO-LIGHT LED lights for some foreground light and painting. I also carry a Lee Filter Set including ND grads and a Big Stopper.
For cleaning in the field I also carry a dust blower, multiple cleaning cloths and lens brush.
A rain cover for when I get caught out and also a small first aid kit and a torch (i have found myself on rocky parts of the coast after the sun disappears in the dark trying to get back so this became an essential part of my kit)
All carried in a Lowepro backpack.
Oh Yes! And some good walking boots with the best grip I could find!
What inspires you to keep going out and capturing the next image?
A lot of people would obviously answer this differently...For me its the place I live.
I am lucky enough to live on the Vale Of Glamorgan coastline with opportunities from the magnificent Penarth Pier to the famous Jurassic Coast of Ogmore. Not to mention living within 40 minutes of the stunning Brecon Beacons.
With such a high tidal range on the coast and our ever changing weather no two shoots have ever been the same, so every time I go out there is new opportunity. You just have to find it!
How much planning & prep go into your images?
Whilst I have some great "keeper" images from being impulsive nothing competes with the images I have planned.
I scout out locations with good composition - thats where it starts for me. If I can make a good composed image I then plan the rest.
It may be that a low receding tide after a storm will suit the image best or a sunrise at high tide will be best. When I have the image in my head I then wait for all the elements to come together and go and shoot it. This could take several months to happen but its working well for me.
I always have my kit cleaned, charged and ready to go so when the conditions or light is right then I am ready.
When I first started to shoot Landscape images I used to come back from a shoot with 40-50 images racing from one spot to another and maybe I had 2 or 3 keepers. Now I go out to my scouted location and don't move until the light or the elements are right - I take my time setting up and getting everything 100% right in camera to achieve the highest quality image I can get.
I now come back with around 7-10 images shooting as the light changes.
What’s in your thoughts when getting on site to shoot your image?
Just to really take my time and get everything set up right. I go through a checklist in my head and if you are out shooting enough then this will become second nature.
I make sure I have no distracting elements in the scene and that my settings and composition is spot on, I have sharp front to back focus and my horizon or verticals are right.
The more I get right in camera the less editing is required and more importantly the better the image quality will be.
It’s then a question of capturing the light at its best.
What advice can you give someone who would like to start shooting Landscapes?
Firstly, just to get out there and enjoy it. Enjoy being outdoors and connecting with nature and capturing what you can. Don't let equipment be an issue or other Photographers.
Capture the scene in your own unique way and if you like it thats' all that matters.
If you want to take your Photography to a more serious level and produce images that you would be proud to display in your home then i would strongly suggest getting out with someone who can teach you a sound set of skills including learning to shoot in RAW with good editing techniques.
You can then build on these skills and advance in your own way. I have had so many people out with me that say they wish they done a course when they first started.
Get a website or Flickr page and catalogue your Photography journey - you will notice your progress from one set of images to the next.
If you are really serious about improving then have a good amateur or Professional critique your image. They will give you constructive feedback and you can take key learnings away for next time.
You also shoot some fantastic fine-art portraits. Can you tell us more about them?
Yes, these are commissioned portraits shot as a fine art editions. I do not shoot hundreds of images in a portrait style shoot, this is about getting a luxury one off wall-art framed canvas signed by myself.
Have you shot any other forms of Photography or are you purely a Fine Art Landscape / Portrait Photographer?
I also like to shoot sport, especially Golf. I have an accreditation to shoot some European Tour Events and capture some of the worlds best golfers on a freelance basis.
Although I mostly shoot with a telephoto lens I do carry another body with my wide angle and try and be creative with the players shooting them in the Landscape.