A year in Wild Britain

Chris Orange – Award Winning Photographer and friend of the brand talks to us about those best laid plans that had to be put off, and his hopes for the wider horizons offered up in 2021.

Last year I had several landscape photography trips in the diary; one to the Scottish Isles which I had to postpone to later in the year, a trip to the Arctic Circle to photograph icebergs at the time that had to be cancelled unfortunately. Fingers crossed I’ll get another chance at that one - I’m very excited about the prospect of capturing portraits of huge, weirdly shaped icebergs - they’re so beautiful. There was also a photoshoot in Denmark in the diary which had to be cancelled.

Like so many families we took the opportunity afforded during the restrictions last year to get out and about every day in our local area. We’re lucky to live in a beautiful part of the world - the South Downs - and so there are plenty of lovely walks right from our front door. We actually found several new walks which are now our favourites - we love wide horizons and there are a few viewpoints near us which look wonderful at sunrise or sunset.

Image reference Isle of Barra (Scottish Outer Hebrides)

I love being at the edge of the world- where the land meets the sea, or mountains meet the clouds as it gives me a lot of peace. We live close to the coast and so I was there almost every day to capture the views, and walk for miles. I had a new landscape photography project waiting to start, capturing wild weather in Britain and so we spent two weeks in the mountains of the Lake District to hike and capture the incredible, changeable weather in that wonderful location.

It was fantastic as one of the photos from that trip ended up in nearly all of the national newspapers - of this incredible rainbow which I shot from the top of the Langdale Pikes. I took my 10 year old daughter, Amy on a hike and she was mesmerised by the sight of this wonderful rainbow that appeared among the storm clouds. Being up high gives you an amazing vantage point on the weather.

I then headed to the Isle of Barra (Scottish Outer Hebrides) to take the last remaining photos for my recent landscape photography book, Beauty in the Wild. That was an incredible experience - the quality of light in the Outer Hebrides is unmatched by anywhere else in the UK.

As 2021 stretches out before us I have trips planned to the mountains in Wales - I’m shooting a series of photographs on a vintage medium format film camera called a Zenza Bronica, and I’ll be hiking through the Black Mountains to capture more photographs for this series.

We look forward to seeing those photographs, they are an inspiration and a spur as we plan our routes in 2021. They feed our pioneering spirit, our desire to explore the world outside our door.

We simply need that wild country available to us, even if do never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.

Wallace Stegner - American novelist

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