My second stroke of good luck came when I was still at college. Having decided that I wanted to concentrate on stock photography I submitted a portfolio of images to a couple of the UK’s largest photo libraries. One showed interest and subsequently agreed to market my work. It was two years before I saw a reasonable return from the material I began to submit to them, but at least I had my foot in the door.
I turned professional five years ago and, thankfully, I’m as enthusiastic as ever about my photography. Shooting a variety of subjects from birds and mammals to wildflowers and landscapes certainly helps maintain that passion. The fact that I’m always striving for new ideas, concepts and techniques means that any repetition in the work that I do never leads to monotony. I think it’s vital that photographers retain a passion for their work if they’re to continue to improve upon it.
I’m now represented by The Image Bank, The Natural History Photographic Agency, and Woodfall Wild Images. I write a monthly column on landscape photography for “Practical Photography” magazine and am a regular contributor to “Outdoor Photography” and several other countryside related magazines. I also market images from my own library to calendar and postcard clients in the UK and abroad. Although I haven’t had time this past year to give it much thought I do intend to produce a book on creative outdoor photography techniques in the near future…I will keep you posted!
Four people have inspired me. Perhaps my biggest motivation came from Mike Tomkies, an author and photographer who wrote several fascinating books about his life in the wilderness areas of Canada, Scotland and Spain. His images might not be of the quality we see on NPN, but his work is certainly inspirational. John Shaw’s simple graphic images of landscape and wildlife were also a great influence. On this side of the pond, the distinctive wildlife images of my good friend and fellow Dorset nature photographer, Colin Varndell, caught my imagination while I was at college. Finally, I continue to admire the work of Scottish nature photographer Laurie Campbell.
The UK has such a diverse range of landscapes and habitats that I’ve never felt it essential to travel overseas for my photography. Many of my most successful images have, in fact, been taken within a few miles of my home. Although I don’t exactly have set objectives, there are certain important ingredients that I look for in my own images. These ingredients vary from subject to subject but, for example, apart from basic compositional considerations, I always like to see a distinct atmosphere in my landscape images. The images that find a place in my main portfolio will always exhibit a certain style that helps to tie the work together with what I consider to be my own “signature”. I have always had a preference for telephoto lenses, for both nature and landscape photography and try to use them to give a view of my subject that exhibits a perspective vastly different to that of the human eye.
All my work is currently produced on 35mm film. The versatility of my Canon EOS and Hasselblad X-pan systems means that I can carry all the gear I could possibly need at all times whether I’m shooting landscapes, close-ups or birds. I hate to think what it all weighs, but at least it keeps me fit! I’m not adverse to digital capture, but I’ve decided to wait a little longer before I move over, just until all of my clients and agencies are willing to accept digital files.
Having just returned from shooting wild landscapes, seabirds and flora on the west coast of Ireland, I am now preparing to head off to Norway to explore the Fjords along the west coast...under the pretence that it’s work, of course!
Editor's Note - Click any of the thumbnail images on this page to view a slide show of larger images and descriptions. You can view more of Guy's work on his website at www.guyedwardes.com.
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