Andrew Whitaker - Northumbrian Photography
Andrew Whitaker knows the Northumbrian countryside like the back of his hand
Rugged, remote and unrivalled. That's how Andrew Whitaker sees the landscape of the North East and it's precisely why he loves it. An upbringing in the beautiful Northumbrian countryside shaped Andrew into the photographer he is today, honing his ability to recognise the prime conditions and precise moment for the perfect picture, which, as many photographers know, can be so fleeting.
His hobby turned into co-owning a photography business with fellow landscape photographer Roger Clegg, who Andrew credits with teaching him how to produce a photograph that truly captures a scene; one that will tell a story and above all, make people stop in their tracks to take a look.
'I love the early summer mornings on the beach, at 4am when you have the whole beach to yourself,’ he says, ‘Not a soul to be seen and lots of wildlife around. My best day was up on Holy Island when I saw a barn owl on the way to the castle and had a lovely sunrise, coming back off the Causeway. I stopped to photograph a seal pup and at the same time I got a shot of the road refuge. It was a great morning, and this all happened before 7.30am.'
It's these evocative moments that Andrew, who admires the work of landscape photographers Charlie Waite and North Yorkshire-based Joe Cornish, strives to celebrate and record through photography. If peering at one of his photos makes you feel as though you could just step into the shot of the Cheviots, Hadrian's Wall, Kielder or the stunning coastline, then his job is done.
To be ready with a camera in any scenario is the photographer's old adage, and that ethos led to his favourite piece of personal work, a prized shot which arose when Andrew was on his way to work one morning, 'I would have to say my favourite personal photo is the sunrise at Aydon, Corbridge. It was just one of those occasions when all the conditions happened to be there: hoar frost, mist, a stunning sunrise, and I only came across it by accident.'
Getting the perfect shot, sometimes in a tiny window of just seconds, to capture the vivid colours in the sky, the way the sunlight hits the land or where the water comes into the coast, all have to be anticipated by Andrew. The landscape usually does the rest. 'There's so much to see and explore. If you really love a location,’ he says, ‘It will show by the results you achieve.’