DiscoverCymru Meet the Photographer

DiscoverCymru Meet the Photographer

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Meet the Photographer - DiscoverCymru calendar 2019

  • Tell us more about your photo?

I wanted to explore the area further having only visited for Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions leading groups around Sugarloaf so Grant Hyatt kindly offered to take me on a tour around his local area and on our Saturday we planned to hike across the Black Mountain range.

Our hike took us from an old mine in the West as we ventured across the range in 34°c heat on one of the hottests days of the year.

We finished at the lake called Llyn Y Fan Fawr, where Jim Cossey joined us that evening and the three of us spent the evening wild swimming and photographing the sunset across the range at Llyn Y Fan Fach and finally wild camped under Fan Brycheiniog. What a way to spend the end of a weekend and a long days hike in Summer.

  • Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hello, I’m Matt Holland. I live near a place called the Chilterns which is a beautiful area, but it lacks mountains. So, I love nothing more than driving a few hours across England in to Wales to get out and enjoy whatever the country has to give.

Ivinghoe Beacon on a foggy morning

Ivinghoe Beacon on a foggy morning

  • How did you first get into photography?

I’ve always been in to photography and it first started thanks to my dad who taught me everything to do with film. My first camera I got was an Olympus OM2 and my dad taught me how to shoot, understand the exposure triangle, tracking and developing so I’ve been well taught in the medium.

It’s only in the past 6-7 years have I moved in to digital and picked up my first DSLR at university, but I have always had a film camera with me and can never give it up.

  • How about landscape photography?

Landscape photography has tied in to my outdoor lifestyle. As with photography I have always been involved with Scouts and Duke of Edinburgh award, so I spend a great deal of my time in the outdoors on expeditions, camping and hiking.

I don’t enjoy shooting portraiture all that much and I do a great deal of product and event photography/video for work so landscapes and the outdoors has always been my fall back and my enjoyment to get out away from the usual hustle of work.

A night spent photographing the Perseid Meteor shower and camping under the shadow of Pen y Fan with Grant Hyatt, Jim Cossey and Gareth Danks

A night spent photographing the Perseid Meteor shower and camping under the shadow of Pen y Fan with Grant Hyatt, Jim Cossey and Gareth Danks

  • Where is your favourite location to go and shoot? And you favourite location in Wales if your answer to the above was not Wales? 

Tough! I have too many on the list, but it is most certainly Wales.
I have a few spots but my favourite two has to be Snowdon and Dinorwic. Both have so much to offer and plenty to photograph and both involve a fair bit of walking/climbing too so it ticks both my outdoors activities and photography in one.

The upper levels of Dinorwic Quarry looking at an old winch house with Snowdon just off too the left

The upper levels of Dinorwic Quarry looking at an old winch house with Snowdon just off too the left

  • Digital or film? And DSLR or mirrorless?

Digital for convenience but film has a style that just can’t be achieved so I often take both when I can. As for the DSLR vs Mirrorless, both have benefits and I had up until Autumn 2018 used a Nikon D500 but now shoot with an Olympus OM-D EM5 mkII which offers the same spec but in the a much smaller body and weight which is a huge benefit with climbing and hiking long distances.

  • What’s on your essential kit list when you go out and shoot?

A good waterproof is a must and a tough pair of boots but above all of that a stove, flask and good cup of coffee on the mountain side is always a must.

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  • How has Instagram influenced the way you work? For better or worse…

For the worse! If I could and didn’t need any of them, I would sack them all in tomorrow, but they have a huge benefit for me with work both my outdoor gear reviews, photography and my day job as a multimedia designer. My day job is now some 90% of my work ends up on Social media so I can’t complain, I would be out of the job overwise.

  • Who are your favourite photographers?

Far too many people to name but most recently I have really enjoyed doing photography meet ups and we venture to locations and enjoy the outdoors. Some of my favourite photographers are Greg Whitton, Mark Littlejohn, Neil Burnell, Grant Hyatt and Jim Cossey.

  • What are your tips for anyone just starting out with photography?

Don’t be put off by the weather! Some of my best photographs I have taken have believe it or not been when it’s raining and really dire conditions. Equally if you don’t go out don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t work out. There is always plenty more opportunities to go out again.

Also, don’t assume the biggest, most expensive kit will make you better. Educate yourself first and push a cheaper camera to its limit then upgrade. 

A morning waking up on Cribyn looking over the Brecon valley before the storm blew through and spoiled the weekends plans

A morning waking up on Cribyn looking over the Brecon valley before the storm blew through and spoiled the weekends plans

  • Any good stories of photography trips gone wrong?

I often forget my camera filters. I’ve driven to the opposite side of the country and then checked my bag and found I don’t have an adapter or a filter. This has taught me to get away without needing them and as I often end up having rain at some point on my trip. Filters are a pain when it’s raining and its more kit you have to clean. 

Beyond that I have fallen in plenty of rivers, ponds and bogs ruining boots and socks.  

  • What’s on your bucket list for travel and photography next year?

The usual locations like Iceland, Norway and Faroe Islands as well as Isle of Skye but for next year I will be focusing on my business and photography and helping others with my new workshops I plan to launch soon which will allow people to build the confidence and explore these mountain ranges across the UK with an outdoors leader.

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Snugpak Torrent Jacket review

Snugpak Torrent Jacket review

DiscoverCymru 2019 Calendar

DiscoverCymru 2019 Calendar