On Friday 9th October 2020, Bangor and North Down Camera Club members hosted the iconic adventure and landscape photographer Alex Nail FRPS, Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.
Alex was an aeronautical engineer working for Air Bus before deciding to follow his desire to photograph the wild wilderness of the planet’s high mountain regions. Alex is always concerned to find the unusual perspective and goes to extreme lengths to achieve this end. Alex also writes for digital and print media, and leads adventure photographic workshops in the UK and abroad.
In 2017 he won the mountain category in Landscape Photographer of The Year followed up with runner up of The Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year. Planning and preparation IS of the most importance, and Alex described the equipment needed for his expeditions to the mountains.
This need to plan was demonstrated as a trip to the Tasermuit Fjord in Greenland where he came close to disaster when on an exploratory climb along a ridge above the fjord he noticed that one of his or his companions pack raft was adrift, and disappearing along the fjord. Alex scrambled down only to find the other raft was also about to slip its mooring whereupon he managed to grab hold of it and gave chase to the other craft, however with the weather closing in he was forced to abandon this attempt and return to the shelter and warmth of his camping location . With luck a tourist boat was passing and was able to get a message out and arrange for rescue of the missing raft the next day. Fortunately, such event is rare and the careful planning normally pays off.
Alex is a frequent visitor to the Scottish Highlands and has also visited The Drackensberg mountain range in South Africa and Iceland.
Drackensberg, South Africa ©Alex Nail
Alex continued by outlining some compositional principals and how he looks for line , geometry, light , shape and texture to make a stunning image and he will often reject a view that many would be more than happy with, but which does not fit his exacting standards.
In post-production Alex said he tries to do as little as possible using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop . Alex concluded his talk by showing a time lapse sequence photographed in The Drakensberg Range and how he was at pains to eliminate flicker and lighting fluctuations and thus produce a pleasing presentation.
Alex gave us an insight into the domain of the high mountain and wilderness locations where few will venture, and displayed his superb mastery of the photographic craft. All present were captivated by his superb work and his dedication to achieve only the best.
Next week three club members Judith Kimber, Mark Allen and Jack Thompson will present their work in Audio Visual displays in which they excel. It is also the final date for submission of NIPA Round two entries.