A talk by Harry Wheeler-Brand on 5 January 2022

This week our club talk was delivered via Zoom by Harry Wheeler-Brand, titled “Special Scenes across the UK”.  Harry is based in East Anglia so his home territory includes Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.  He is a full time landscape photographer especially focusing on tuition, providing both group workshops and 1-to -1 tuition.  He also takes on specific commissions for clients as well as generating print sales from his website.  He has published a book focused on photography locations around East Anglia’s coast.

Harry’s illustrated talk took us around the UK landscape and described his approach to planning the details of his visit to any given location.  He uses the app ‘The Photographer’s Ephemeris’ for each location to establish azimuth sight lines and times for sunrise and sunset at each spot for any given day of the year.  Moonrise and moonset are also available within this software, as well as much more.

Harry also uses a couple of weather forecast websites in planning his photography trips.  These sites include  ‘Clear Outside’ as well as the Met Office.  Having investigated, I now know that ‘Clear Outside’ provides information on cloud cover at three levels (plus total cover), as well as fog forecasts in addition to the ‘standard’ fare. The site also provides much information regarding the moon, the site being mainly aimed at astronomers and astro-photographers.

Harry’s photographs are often taken close to sunrise and sunset, in order to take advantage of the striking lighting conditions available with the low sun angles at these times.

The images shown below are taken (with permission) as examples from Harry’s website ‘Harrybehindthelens.com’, which is well worth a visit.

Image: Harry Wheeler-Brand

Image: Harry Wheeler-Brand

Harry explained the importance of knowing your locations.  He pays return visits to many of his favourite spots, often scores of times, in order to really understand how different lighting and weather conditions can affect the images taken.  This applies both to his personal shots as well as his workshop locations.

He stressed the importance of adopting a ‘rinse and repeat’ approach to any location in order to achieve superlative captures – lots of visits in order to achieve an optimum shot with striking lighting conditions.  Forward planning these visits is essential to increase the chances of success.

Image: Harry Wheeler-Brand

Harry finished his talk with a question and answer session with the club members.  This was where we learned that he generally does not make use of post capture software to manipulate his images – if it was in the scene it remains in the picture.  He does however make extensive use of filters at the time, thus controlling the exposure conditions before capture rather than correcting after.

Harry Wheeler-Brand has published a guide book providing details of many photo-locations around East Anglia’s Coast. The flyer is reproduced below.

PS  ‘The Photographer’s Ephemeris’ is fully functional in the Apple environment, but appears to be available as a cut down version only on Android.  Other products are available, such as ‘Photopills’ which is suitable for both environments.

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