Daryl Walker

When I am outside, just me and the camera, I feel a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging.
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I am Daryl Scott Walker, a 32 year old freelance photographer from the North East corner of England where I am blessed to call the beautiful Northumberland coastline my home.

Photography as a subject, was not on my radar until about four years ago. I bought my fist DSLR with the intention of capturing my local coast line, I was mesmerised by how powerful and unpredictable the ocean can be, and it was this side of nature which grabbed hold of me. Combining this curiosity with my addictive personality, I knew this would be here to stay for some time. When I am outside, just me and the camera, I feel a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging. Time is easily lost exploring in one single place but these are hours you do not wish away, they are hours which are soul cleansing. For me photography is my answer to a detox. A detox from the office space where most of the working week is spent. Being out amongst the lakes, up a mountain or standing on the edge of the world keeps me sane and with camera in tow all worries are cleared from my mind. 

Having spent most of my first years in photography taking pictures along the Northumberland coast line, my favourite thing to photograph is definitely the ocean. Pick a day when the tide is high and you can always count on the powerful waves to create some drama. The beauty about photographing along the coastline is that it is forever changing, the sands shift, the tides and currents erodes the shoreline which makes for a fresh experience every time you visit. 

My recent work reflects what I love most about photography, drama and darkness. When I am out in unfavourable conditions I feel at home with the camera, do not get me wrong, I love a nice sunny day for hiking or exploring but would prefer the conditions to be a bit wilder when after that shot! For me it is this challenge that excites me the most. Any man and his dog can stick a camera on a tripod and wait for the sunrise or sunset to blow up, but coming home with a good image when the rain is sideways, or the wind is so strong your tripod could blow over is where I feel most at home. Some may call me stupid, but during these conditions I at least get to see the landscapes on my own without the crowds of photographers. 

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The development of my recent work happens to be pure luck. The last few trips I have been on the weather has been dreadful. Scotland, the Lake District and the Faroe Islands all exhibited wet and windy conditions but I have found these recent trips have produced some of my best work to  date. 

At the back end of last year, I had the opportunity to travel to the Faroe Islands, a group of islands which had been on my wish list for a while. During the first day we got a chance to explore the main land of Vagar. The first morning we headed out to a sea cliff I had seen on Instagram which looked out of this world. Almost fake. As you hike towards the coast line the land rises rapidly in front of you, but is not until you get to the top and look back to where you came from that the mesmerising view reveals itself. A fjord sitting above the ocean. Seeing it first hand was a moment I will never forget, I took my time to breathe in the sea air and watch the gulls below my feet take flight from the cliff and play with the waves whilst they crashed into the rugged cliff face.

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Whilst I enjoy new adventures and seeing unfamiliar places, the Scottish Highlands are the place I most look forward to returning too. The diversity of photography subjects offers so much pleasure for those seeking adventure, whether this is a road trip around the coast, hiking in some of the best and most unusual mountain ranges or spending the afternoon with the local deer and highland cows. The rawness of the place feeds my addiction and thus keeps me coming back for more.  

Ultimately the goal is to keep doing what I am doing, exploring and making memories with other like-minded people. I can’t see photography becoming a full time job as that for me will be the point I lose interest and look for other ways to entertain my brain.  For those starting their own photography journey, try not to get caught up in the social media game and worry what everyone else is doing. Do your own thing, go out with awesome people, have fun and take some pictures to relive the feelings you had that day. 

Adventure is out there, go find it!

Words and Photos by Daryl Walker

 

Robert Birtles

Photography has an incredible power to inspire change.
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Hello, my name is Robert. I'm 22 and based in Dundee.  an early age, I loved being outdoors; running through forests, climbing trees, splashing around in rivers or swimming in the sea. My childhood years allowed me to develop an appreciation and passion for the natural world. Photography rekindled this love of the outdoors as I begun to explore more of the Scottish Highlands. 

Being outside is where I feel most at home and it is where I feel most fulfilled; my favourite memories are from my time exploring the mountains and coastlines of Scotland. One of which I shall recall from last summer in Assynt. I was hiking Stac Pollaidh, a small mountain overlooking the inner seas of the Scottish west coast. As I waited on the summit for sunset, I met Angus, a retired member of the mountain rescue team. We chatted and got to know each other, Angus shared a dozen tales from his many years in the highlands, most of which he recalled by pointing out over the horizon to the respective mountain. His wealth of knowledge regarding the area was incredible, I felt so lucky to have shared this evening with him. As the sun began to dip below the horizon, the sea sparkled gold and the surrounding mountains were illuminated by a bright red glow, it was the best end to an amazing week on the road. 

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For me, photography is the perfect creative medium to capture, document and share these experiences with the world, and to hopefully inspire others to explore and preserve the natural landscapes around them! This particular experience also happens to be one of my main inspirations towards my current personal project. Although I am still in the early stages, I am extremely excited to take on a new challenge within my photography. I can't wait to share more of this project as I progress forward. At the moment, I am working to improve upon my documentary images. This aspect of my photography is where I wish to develop the most over the coming months. I also hope to increase the volume of projects I am involved on, personal and commercial, but as long as I am having fun, then that is what matters most to me. In the long term, I would love to create imagery that tackles environmental issues as this is something I am deeply passionate about; photography has an incredible power to inspire change.  

My advice to anyone starting out would be to take as many photographs as you can, practice really does make perfect! But most importantly, have fun!”

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Words and Photos by Robert Birtles.

Andrew Alexander

My name is Andrew Alexander, I am a 29 year old freelance photographer and I currently live in Kilmarnock, Scotland.

I first became interested in van life a few years ago when I found myself working on a few campers at my old place of work. Ending up with my own van was a stroke of luck more than anything. When I was still working in the repair centre, my old boss bought it off a good customer and I had already been toying with the idea of buying a van and converting it. I was really sick of pitching tents and paying for hotels. There is honestly nothing worse than camping in a tent during Scottish summer, they little midges can be horrendous! I ended up driving the van for a few weeks and I just loved it. Even though it was a work van, it had been taken good care of. The bodywork was fresh and it ran really well, so I decided to swap my imported Toyota BB which I had just painted and modified for the work van. My old boss gave me some money in the swap which helped sweeten the deal. I was a happy man!

I’m lucky to have a trade behind me which helped me do a self conversion and I feel that makes the van so much more rewarding. I didn’t need to pay thousands of pounds for another company to do the work. It feels good to know that it was me who made it possible.

I’d say the best part of having the van is the freedom it brings. I can just pack it and go. I don’t need to worry about where I’m going to stay. I can make my dinner, charge my camera / drone batteries and get a good nights sleep. I’ve woke up in some truly amazing places. There's nothing better than listening to rain bounce off the roof or the sound of birds in the morning when I kick the door open. The freedom obviously extends to my photography work. Being able to head back into the van and work on editing or wait out some bad weather is a reward in itself.

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Photography is something which really spiked my interest around two years ago. I went on a couple of log cabin holidays in The Highlands, ‘bagged’ a couple of munros and started taking some photos with my phone. I’d definitely say Scotland was my biggest inspiration. I literally felt compelled to take photos, but I soon realised I was never happy with them. I bought myself a nice camera around 20 months ago and my passion grew into something which now pays my wages.

I find photography calming. Even if I’m working in a stressful environment, I become absorbed in the craft and forget about what’s really going on. When I was still working in the repair centre, photography was my way of escaping at the weekends. I literally went through every week telling myself “It’s alright, I’ll be out shooting this weekend”. If things weren’t going well, photography was the answer. It seemed to solve most of my problems.

I really enjoy shooting large vistas. Add a mountain, a wee loch and a few trees - I’m happy. Again it’s all about how calm it makes me feel. Even if it’s freezing cold or blowing a gale, I find shooting these scenes so rewarding.

I’d definitely say my work is earthy and authentic. It’s just a style which has really developed on it’s own. I’ve never been forceful of my photography or editing. I never sat down and said “You know, I’m going to do start doing work like this” or “My work really needs to look like that” I’ve always just done what comes naturally to me and I’ll continue to work in a way which suits me creatively.

I recently captured a sunset scene with my drone when I was on holiday in The North of Scotland and it’s definitely my new favourite. I just love the whole scene. The pastel colours and the cloud reflecting in the water really set it off.

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The Isle of Skye is definitely my favourite place to go and take photos. The first time I ever visited Skye it was covered in snow and it has stuck with me ever since. I’ve yet to visit somewhere which offers so much, but theres time yet. Yeah, it’s pretty busy in the summer and you can end up stuck on the small roads for a while, but it really is a photographers dream. I still check the price of land and houses every other week.

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I’m not really a person with a plan. Naturally I’d love to delve into film work some more, but the main thing for me is to just keep creating authentic work and if this is something I can continue with for the rest of my life, then I’d be more than happy to do it.

To anyone thinking of owning a camper van - just do it. It opens up so many new opportunities and provides you with so much freedom. I know it can be very expensive, but it’s really worthwhile. You’ll thank yourself for it. If you fancy taking up photography and just getting out there, you have nothing to lose. It will either galvanise you or it won’t.

Just being in my van makes me happy. Especially after a day of walking and taking photos - preferably with my other half. It’s true what they say, it’s the simple things that make you happy! 

Words and Photos by Andrew Alexander.