In this Q&A article, we put a few questions to landscape photographer; Phil Sproson. There are a great many fantastic shots from the Peak District, England in his catalogue. Producing stunning shots with great replication of what the eye sees, and no over-editing, Phil’s work is currently on exhibition at the Castleton Tourist Information Centre in the Peak District. Check him out on Facebook, and at his website too, the links are in the article below.
1. So tell us a little about yourself, who you are and what it is you do in the outdoors?
My name is Phil Sproson, I am passionate about the Peak District and try to support the area however I can. I do this mainly via my imagery, as I am a landscape photographer living in Chapel-en-le-Frith; right on the border of the National Park.
I photograph for myself and run a business selling photographic products; from prints to greeting cards, and have a base for this in Castleton. I also photograph and contribute to ‘Visit Peak District’ as an Official Destination Photography Partner. In turn, I hope that this encourages people to head into the Peak District (from seeing the images of the beauty the park possesses).
2. How did you first get into photography?
I do not have a childhood story of using film and developing in a darkroom. Instead I was introduced to photography in the digital age. I took a landscape photography course 8 years ago and fell in love with how I could capture scenes and hone my instincts as to all the conditions around me and whether there was opportunity to shoot.
3. What is your favourite place to photograph?
Too many places and reasons to name one place. I love the Hope Valley so; Mam Tor/Winnats Pass, for sunrises and the other end of the valley Millstone Edge, Win Hill Pike, Carhead Rocks, Over Owler Tor. I like them all equally. If I had to narrow it down, then Carhead Rocks for sunset is perfect for me. Away from the Hope Valley, then a place I visit every autumn is Beresford Dale, just beautiful.
4. What is your favourite thing about the outdoors?
I love to feel the weather on me, it really makes me feel most alive. I really love the wait for sunrise, the getting to a shoot location and then the event of the rising sun breaking the horizon, that is always an awesome moment regardless of the number of times I have seen it.
5. What would be your advice to anyone wanting to start photography?
A bit of a list aimed at landscape photography. 1 Get your knees muddy, feel the countryside, get low and see what the shot looks like below eye level, 2 get out very early for either sunrise or sunset, 3 don’t wait for ‘perfect’ weather, I adore broken cloud as you often get ‘fingers of God’ shining beams of light into the landscape, 4 always have a look behind you as you may be missing something amazing. To all photographers, shoot for yourself and don’t compare yourself to others and keep it pleasurable.
6. Where is the best place to see your photography?
I love the interaction with my images over Facebook.
My website shows all of my areas of work.
7. What is your best outdoorsy memory?
It was an amazing morning on Mam Tor with a number of other Visit Peak District photographers. Nothing, nothing, nothing and then a hail storm could be seen coming in, clouds broke, the sun erupted and absolutely lit up Lose Hill in the most amazing way. The memory beyond that was the common reaction of all the photographers present, which was of elation. Afterwards, we were interviewed on video, that was the intent of the day.. but what a day.