Having owned cameras from a young age but never really taking them at all seriously, Dan's passion for landscape photography was ignited when he moved to Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands.
Guernsey's vast coastline and picturesque countryside had an instant effect on him and he soon fell in love with the surroundings. Living on such a small island may sound, to some, a cramped environment and indeed this may be seen as true when you have to endure the daily commute into the main town of St Peter Port but take even the slightest detour from this fact of life and the island reveals vast and open coastal regions that vary from the steep cliffs of the south to the open soft sanded bays of the west.
A short walk inland and you have some of the most beautiful countryside imaginable. Stunning granite farmhouses and cottages are dotted around the flower lined lanes and fields. Small wood and wetland areas hold host to an abundance of wildlife, be it fascinating sea birds like the Puffin (a true favourite of his) or carpets of wild bluebells. Anyone that has had the pleasure to visit the island will tell of its variety and dedicated effort to remain an untouched treasure.
The weather is always going to be a major factor to life on a small island and fortunately, for a photographer, we get quite a variety! We are treated to some of the most incredible sunsets, vast cloud formations and of course treacherous seas and winds that mother nature can conjure and Dan is often found out in even the most horrendous weather, trying to capture a shot that evokes the true power and beauty of our planet.
His favourite time to photograph, and as any landscape photographer will tell you, is both dawn and dusk. The direction and warmth of the light from a rising or setting sun bring a special quality to an image, giving it the depth and mood not possible during the height of the day. The low light also allows him to transform the sea in a way he feels the image is best represented. A shorter exposure and the detail of a breaking wave is visible, so the power of the sea is shown to the viewer. A longer exposure creates a surface to the sea that resembles a dense mist or beautiful mirror clinging to the rocks and sand.
LETTING THE LIGHT DO THE TALKING...
Dan shoots exclusively with professional grade Canon SLR's which produce exceptionally high quality images.
He uses no colour filters in his work, letting the natural light create the drama, colours and tones apparent in his images. This way his photos are much more sympathetic to the natural surroundings and, on viewing them, brings back the feelings and memories from when the shot was originally captured . The only filters he does use are a polariser to cut reflections and neutral density, graduated filters to balance the exposure between land and sky.
All his photos are shot using a sturdy tripod to ensure sharp, high quality images. Even at relatively quick shutter speeds your hand shakes enough to create slight blurring, not a problem for small prints but larger prints will suffer.
Computer manipulation is a much discussed topic amongst digital photographers and he is in the view that if it's not there in the first place don't try to add it! With this in mind he does very little post processing to his photos aside from adjustments to white and black levels, contrast, saturation and overall sharpness.
Aside from these points patience is probably the strongest facet to his photography. Waiting for the right moment to take the shot, returning to the same place over and over until the conditions are perfect; the tide, the weather, the season. These factors all sum together to form the perfect image and being there at the right time when they all combine is a magical moment worth every second waited!