Alex Nail

My photography began in 2006 on Dartmoor and, since I had no car, I traveled everywhere by foot, often camping overnight to be on location at sunrise. What started out of necessity became the defining characteristic of my photography. Overnight camps turned into week-long backpacking trips in the UK and later internationally. That in turn fostered an appreciation for the outdoors and a love of the mountains in particular. I found myself taking photographs well off the beaten path in areas where comparatively few photographers had been previously.

It’s challenging to drag a heavy backpack full of camping gear and camera equipment up a mountain and then repeat it day after day, but I’ve come to recognise how the experience, difficulties, successes and failures have all contributed to my love of photography. The hardships always seem worth it for that one perfect moment in a spellbinding place. Photographing the so called ‘grand landscape’ gives me purpose in the outdoors but it also creates a strong reminder of each experience that went into the making of the image. In staying true to those experiences I shoot and edit in an illustrative, literal manner, maintaining a high degree of realism. Photography has the ability to transport the viewer and that idea  should always be cherished.

Along with capturing stills I also enjoy shooting time-lapse sequences and it’s now an integral part of my commercial work. My personal time-lapse projects on Dartmoor, Greenland and the Drakensberg have made the backpacking harder, and brought plenty of editing headaches, but the ability of time-lapse to bring the landscape to life is one that I find hard to resist. One of the greatest challenges in landscape photography is to recreate the emotional impact that caused you to photograph a scene in the first place; time-lapse is a great way to achieve that goal.

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