Scottish nature photographer Richard Gaston touches land and heart with incredible landscape photography
What was your first photographic experience?
I can’t quite remember the first photo I had ever captured, but I can remember the first photo I captured that allowed me to establish my own belief in photography. It was a photo in a dark forest with a small pocket of light breaking through, onto the only fallen tree in the forest. I recall reviewing the image and immediately realising it was my strongest photo I had taken at that time. I decided to submit the final image to various magazines and exhibitions and it won in a completion of over +10k submissions which was later exhibited in London. From that point on it gave me confidence in my ability to take photographs and later build a career in the respected profession.
Your eye focuses on big panoramas, wide angles and the vastness of nature. It that somewhat related to a personal research of something bigger than us?
Well my work holds a preference in utilising natural light and colour aiming to illustrate experiences literally as I see them, documenting the peaceful combination of nature and man through composition and the element of secludedness. Throughout my imagery lies a vast sense of overwhelming landscape surrounding the micro aspect of mankind, conveying insignificance and feebleness in the face of epic landscape.
Great work makes great pictures as you did in the project homeland that took three years. How do you manage the adventure and the effort to gain such great captures?
Through years of experience in the highlands I have witnessed the ups and downs and the affect that nature has on a human, particularly with the unpredictable weather in Scotland. I have learnt what equipment will get me through tougher times. This is the foundation to grant my ability to take photos - attaining ideal vantage points in order to capture my imagery.
I’m a self-taught photographer. Most of my learning was done through trial and error in the highlands; learning about composition and the technical use of a camera. After years of the aforementioned, I have built up the experience and knowledge necessary to become a professional photographer.
By seeing your photos you have the feeling that human presence is really minimal and secondary. Like an accessory of the earth itself. Is this done on purpose or it is due to the isolation of the places you shoot in?
That’s exactly what I aim to convey in my photography; the human being as non existent - a moment only from the viewpoint of nature. Scotland has some wild regions but most are relatively accessible. The mountains however, are notoriously known for their arduous conditions and can provide a feeling of extremity, especially in winter when the summits are challenging to reach. In this case the feeling of isolation is easily captured - most of the work is gone into finding the location. I aim to capture the micro elements of landscape; brief windows of light on the peak of the mountain, or the minute moment when the clouds clear, revealing the landscape through a compositional frame in the clouds.
check more of Richard’s work here