Five Astonishing Photos of the North East (Including an Award-Winning Shot)
San Diego-born photographer, Brian Eyler shared his amazing work with us
Brian was lucky enough to spend a great amount of his childhood outdoors and as he grew older his love of nature inspired a desire to travel and explore new places. ‘In 2010 I worked for a large corporation as an accounts supervisor. I loved the challenge of the job but it also absorbed all of my time and energy. Like a lot of people, I found myself asking if there was more to life than working 12-hour days. I needed a change and found it through photography,’ he explains.
After quitting his job, Brian took to the road to travel across the United States and South America for three months, not knowing what he really wanted to do long term. ‘I knew I needed time to reflect and figure out my new direction and the trip solidified my two passions; photography and travel,’ he says. ‘I began taking large groups of people from all over the world on adventure tours throughout the USA, and it’s also where I met my wife Hannah.’
Read More: Cramlington Photographer's Amazing Aerial Photos Capture The North East's Most Beautiful Locations
What started as a hobby turned into a career when Brian moved to the North East with his wife. ‘I would say my style is ethereal with a dream-like quality and a lot of my images have a soft warmth to the light, focusing heavily on bringing back the three dimensional depth to a two dimensional image. My goal is always to bring the image back to what the eye saw,’ he explains. With landscapes being his favourite subject to capture, Brian loves the changeability of a space. ‘There is something exciting and meditative about being in the middle of nowhere and in the moment. I love how you can take a picture of a landscape and within minutes, with the right light, it can be transformed and look entirely different.’
As well as selling his photography at Tynemouth Market, Brian was recently awarded highly commended in the Landscapes at Night category of the UK Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards. ‘It’s one of the most prestigious competitions in our field and thousands of images from the best photographers in the country are entered, but only a select few make it into the awards book. I’m extremely honoured to have my image titled Sycamore Gap Sun and Moon printed in the Collection 15 book,’ he says. ‘It was taken at 3am on the north side of the tree and it’s composed of 30 images stitched together. I’ve seen this shot plenty of times taken from the south but not from the north, and I think it tells a better story of the ruggedness of the area,’ he explains. ‘Sycamore Gap has been special to me ever since I first saw the iconic scene in the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. It’s also where I proposed to my wife, so it has a particular personal significance for me.’
Despite his award-winning shot being taken in the Northumberland countryside, it’s our magnificent coastline which Brian says is his favourite North East landscape. ‘Bamburgh Castle and the raw unmatched beauty of the Northumberland coastline with beaches that seem to stretch for miles is spectacular – and being from San Diego I’m used to seeing more people than sand on the beaches,’ he says.
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For now, Brian continues to showcase our region through his photography, but his ultimate ambition is to teach. ‘I want to teach photography and post production workshops all over the world and make a comfortable living doing the things that I love on my own terms, because I spent too much of my early years working for other people at the expense of my own happiness,’ he says.
Find Brian’s work at web-brianeylerphotography.co.uk or follow him on Instagram @brian.eyler
When taking a photo don’t be afraid to get below or above eye level. So often we get caught up taking the easy, comfortable shot. Take the time to bend down and see the subject from another angle. It will be uncomfortable, but anything worth doing will be.
Don’t be afraid to change focal length on the same subject. I usually take three different focal shots; wide, medium and tight. This gives you more options when you get back home and could mean the difference between an ordinary shot and an extraordinary shot.
Photography is what you say it is. We are in a time where you are only limited by your imagination. Have fun, and don’t get caught up in all the ‘rules’ of photography, it will smother your creativity. Do it for yourself, find your reason why within the image and others will appreciate your work.