I feel at home on the coast, with a shutter release in my hand, and nowhere more so than the rugged coastline of the Basque Country around Barrika, which includes these stunning spine-like rock formations, known as flysch formations. “Chasing the Dragon” absolutely evokes features which motivate me creatively – energy, shape, perspective, and a little bit of drama. It’s a privilege to stand alone in near-complete darkness, senses heightened, with only the sound of waves, and see those components come to life in your viewfinder.
How I got the shot
It’s well into dusk and the sunset photographers have gone home. I love the dark blues you get shooting after dark and wanted to contrast this with enough sea water to fill the channels between the rocks, but not so much that they dominated the scene or obscured the wonderful spine-like curvature. So, adjusting settings to optimize exposure length as the light fell was key. I’m not sure you’d call it specialist equipment, but the rocks around Barrika are dangerously slippy and I’ve broken lenses – and the odd finger – falling in the past, so I wear waders with segues built into the soles for traction
What I used
Nikon D4, Nikon 14-24 mm wide-angle lens, remote shutter release, and tripod. The exposure was 13 seconds at f/7 and ISO 100.
I am from Scotland, but now based in Denver, Colorado. I’ve been shooting landscapes for fifteen years and wildlife close to five. I’ve come to learn that my favorite subject is ‘energy’ – whether that’s a rugged coastline, wild mustangs engaged in a dominance battle, or the dynamism created by a unique or challenging perspective. I want to be able to feel energy in my work and, in turn, that keeps me connected to the original experience. Favorite coastal locations include the Scottish Hebrides, the Spanish Basque Country, and more recently-discovered jewels like Thor’s Well, Oregon.
I have been a landscape photographer for many years, but only began shooting wildlife in the past five, following a stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis. The severe photo-sensitivity created by my chemotherapy treatment hampered my ability to go outdoors in the harsh Colorado sun, so I began to shoot wildlife from the protective shade of my car. Now that I am enjoying an extended period of remission – albeit still in treatment – I’m equally committed to both genres
My photographic journey
I’ve loved nature and the outdoors since childhood, but it was only really when I moved from my home city, Glasgow, to the countryside in my 30s that I was compelled to capture the beauty of my natural environment in camera. I quickly joined a camera club and would credit much of my early development to the withering scrutiny of club judges! New experiences and new friends keep me highly motivated along with opportunities, like NANPA Showcase, to keep testing myself, growing and evolving.
NANPA and me
I just joined this year, so this is my first Showcase. Glad to be a part of the organization!