Seven Photos That'll Make You Proud to be from Yorkshire
Finding inspiration on his doorstep, hobbyist photographer Alan Wise captures Yorkshire in all its natural splendour. With a passion for adventure and the outdoors, we find out what inspires his photography
Working as a graphic designer in York for more than 20 years, Alan has developed a keen eye for colour, and gets out most weekends to take photographs. ‘Landscape and nature are my favourite subjects to photograph, but I also like architecture in places like York and Leeds. My photography style is quite colourful, but sometimes quite moody – especially if the weather hasn’t played ball and I’m stuck up a hill in the wind and rain, but that can be a good thing as it creates a more dramatic photo,’ Alan explains.
As part of his photography process, Alan likes to challenge himself to capture the landscape in a way which is good enough to hang on the wall. ‘Not only for myself but for others to enjoy too,’ he says. ‘[My favourite place] to photograph has to be the top of the hill at Sutton Bank overlooking Lake Gormire, Hood Hill and the white stone cliff. It’s the best view in Yorkshire and has such a grand vista. It always draws me back, even after taking hundreds of photos of it,’ he says.
‘One of my favourite photos was taken up there when I had been mountain biking and arrived at the view point ready for sunset. I thought the chance of getting a good shot was low as there was a lot of cloud on the horizon, but luckily the sun broke through a narrow band between the clouds and lit up the land below, for a fantastic golden sunset.’
Taking inspiration from Yorkshire’s grand and great landscapes, Alan typically captures his images on the spur of the moment, when the light is right and the weather is matching the mood. ‘I’m always looking at the weather forecast as that can dictate where I go. If it’s a new location I’m planning to visit, I study OS maps in great detail, working out the terrain and where the sun will be casting its light, and the walking time if I’m on a hike,’ he explains.
‘High up on my bucket list of far-flung destinations [to photograph] is definitely Japan, anything from the Bamboo Forest of Kyoto to the busy metropolis of Tokyo,’ Alan says. ‘Other goals for this year are to produce a calendar, maybe upgrade my camera and try and sell more prints.’ But he explains that success is not something which happens in a flash. ‘Worry less about your gear and just get out there and practice, practice, practice. Look up YouTube tutorials (they really helped me), not only the capturing and using your camera parts, but also the editing process back on your computer – that’s half the work to make a good photo look great.’