Interview: with Fine Art Landscape photographer Ross Nicholson

Interview: with Fine Art Landscape photographer Ross Nicholson


I have been involved in photography for four years. While I have matured in age, my style is also maturing into a confident monochromatic medium.

‘Subliminal Tones’ is a term I have adopted and tagged to black and white images I’ve created from traveling in and around Scotland and I’m actively working to expand this portfolio as much as possible.

The minimalistic style I work hard to create details various subliminal monochromatic tones and motivates me towards creating my black and white vision.

The tonal effect I strive to create encompasses beautiful smooth calm water, long flowing clouds with contrasting gradients of blacks, whites and tones of greyscale and beautiful focal points in-between.

I produce the majority of my images by adopting the ‘Long Exposure’ process. Depending on the desired outcome of the image, some images can see exposure time anywhere from fifty seconds to six minutes using my trusted ND filter. This filter is something I am very passionate about due to its ability to create the highest standard image possible.

To this day, I have never been brave enough to enter my photography into competition territory however, in the next year or two, competition entry (and success) will be a personal goal I would like to achieve.

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

– How and when did you become interested in photography?

So I first got involved in photography around fifteen years ago, Through following my wife and supporting her during her Photography B.A college course she was doing. We traveled around to lots of her competitions and exhibitions around the country. Some of the black and white images I came across at the exhibitions and competitions really stood out and struck with me so from then on that medium was something I really paid attention too and felt a bond.

A few years after completing her degree course she decided it really wasn’t for her, So all her equipment was just laying around not getting used. I started experimenting more with photography, trying lots of different genres of photography with the knowledge she taught me and studio equipment. I really enjoyed some night time long exposure photography. Then it gradually escalated into long exposure day time photography but this time using filters. I realised the effect I was creating through the long exposure filter work was really growing on me also with added bonus of traveling around to different locations, It soon turned out to be great a excuse to get out with the family more and have lots of day trips. During this past four years, my passion for photography has developed into an obsession. I crave more and more camera time and have the desire to expand my knowledge in the art of black and white photography.

– Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?

There are many artists that I adore and inspire me but none more so than the incredible pioneer, Ansel Adams. He was a truly wonderful pioneering artist between the 1930’s to 1970’s that inspired countless other photographers to produce images in his exceptional style.

His ability to create the images he captured using the tools available at the time is admirable to say the least. Another one of my big influences is the wonderful Michael Kenna. I adore the tonality of his creations. His simple minimalistic style with wonderful gradients and tones is definitely something I strive to accomplish in my own unique way.

Harnessing the power of social media, I have had the fortune to stumble across many inspirational photographers both amateur and professional and formed many strong friendships! One of the people at the forefront of my inspiration is Rohan Riley. I adore the passion his work exudes, the simplistic tones and compositions he captures with careful planning, He really makes the best of natural light and weather conditions. He will surely be someone that will aspire to greatness in the near future.

– Why do you work in black and white rather than colour?

Black and White photography is a medium I have always been drawn to. I love the drama, the mystery, the passion and atmosphere you receive from it. I also love the gradient tones, textures and shadows, which make up the whole story of creating an image.

Why do I only shoot Black and White photography? That’s simple, it’s a passion, a passion to create a surreal moment in time full of atmospheric tones and gradients that let the mind be at ease with the no colour as a distraction. I also find it to be a medium full with drama, and emotion that can sometimes draw you into a sense mystery. With black and white photography, you really have to understand tonality. The focus on the light is imperative, composition, and general skill of using the camera to create all of this in one shot.

I appreciate that a fundamental rule in all aspects of photography is to understand this but more so in my chosen medium which I have aspired to.

– How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?

Finding a subject is getting harder, I find that I’ve shot many locations close to home and now I have to look further afield. That takes time to plan. I have to plan around my day job, home and family commitments. I have to plan the right time to leave, how long to get the location, when the tide will be high enough if shooting a seascape. The direction of light and weather patterns in general. When all of these eventually fall into place, it’s just magical.

At times planning a shot can takes weeks/months. Sometimes, I just roll up in my free time and get lucky. I can be distracted, lose sight of the obvious subject I planned to photograph, and just simply run with it. At times, the unexpected delivers some amazing results. I can create quite a few shots from same location and produce a series of images from a single focal point, although that is easier when shoot architectural subjects.

When I have had a good day shooting, I cannot wait to get that memory card in the computer. Most of the time I start work on images immediately however there are times that I need to step away from the image to revisit with a fresh mind. I really enjoy working on multiple images at the same time as I find I can drive myself crazy viewing a single image repeatedly for many hours at a time. I find that this technique helps me generate more concepts with each image.

I see myself perform simple adjustments to an image and be happy however, other complex images need more focus and attention. Curvatures, levels and selections with masks for instance. It really just depends on the image captured and what I am trying to achieve. The vast majority of my images are not progressed and disregarded completely because I am starting to be ridiculously fussy, which is ultimately a good thing I think. To me, it demonstrates that I am continuously learning and striving to improve.

– Where is your photography going? What projects would you like to accomplish?

Realistically, I would like to focus more on seascapes and architecture around the U.K.

I have a real desire to develop my own sense of style in my body of works over the next few years. I’m gaining more and more experience and working hard to create a style that is at a high enough standard to enter competitions and exhibit some of my work. I hope to work with some leading brands and generate some revenue from my works. It would also be nice to gain recognition for my works from my peers.

The most important outcome will always be creating great images for the walls in our family’s home. It gives me an enormous sense of pride with what my wife has taught me. I am extremely dyslexic and have constantly been in a battle throughout my life so find it challenging when I want to learn and read about my passion in photography.

The information-enriched advances in technology provide us all with an abundance of online content. Mostly all great photographers have blogs or write articles on industry websites and offer up lengthy explanations of their visions and how they create their images. This is something I pay no attention to at all and read none of it, I learn as I shoot and learn from my mistakes.

Photography has helped me appreciate the world we live in and to take advantage of the fantastic opportunities we all have to capture it as much as possible. As far as projects go, they will simply never ever end. I have such and enormous bucket-list of locations that grows every day, week, month and year. The consistent project I have is to build up an arsenal of equipment and solid body of works.

Websites:
rossnicholsonphotography.com/
500px.com/rossnicholson
facebook.com/Ross.nicholson.artafaks/
instagram.com/ross__nicholson/

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson

© Ross Nicholson


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