Impression of bluebells
About Ian Haskell
I was born and still live in Cambridgeshire, East Anglia. I became a keen young naturalist with particular interest in butterflies and birds. I remember seeing 'The Living Isles' on the BBC narrated by Julian Pettifer watching golden eagles glide effortlessly over the snow capped hills and mountains of Scotland. Many of my holidays were with my family in our wonderful national parks of Derbyshire, Yorkshire Moors & Dales and The Lake District, which is where my passion for British landscape originates. Furthermore waterfalls have always particularly fascinated me although, all to often I have fallen victim to the British summer 'wet' weather.
My interest in photography started in my mid twenties when a family trip to Scotland ignited my passion for Scottish landscapes. Subsequent visits to Glencoe, The Cairngorms, Isle of Skye, Corpach, Assynt, Harris, Lewis, Eigg and Wester Ross have all been inspiring. On these visits I have combined landscape photography with wildlife photography and in that process have extended my knowledge and expertise.
With my photography, I try to take something different, something unique, perhaps from a new angle projecting and promoting our amazing UK landscapes and the wildlife and nature that occupy it.
I love the babbling streams and huge mountain vistas. I watch as the symphony of light encompasses the scene. The howling wind and rain, the snow, the long walks and the enjoyment of seeing wildlife roam free. I take photographs to capture a particular instance in time and in so doing I take others on a journey to places that I embrace.
I love being part of the environment described above and the freedom that it offers.
Favourite places and species
At the moment anywhere with an aspect of ‘wild’ about it floats my boat. I remember, several years ago, going off on one of my first trips to the Isle of Skye, watching the storm clouds envelop the ’old man of storr’ with gaps in the clouds opening every so often, allowing sunlight to shaft through like spotlights onto the landscape. This is perhaps one of my favourite places, although the Highlands and Scottish islands are also wonderful locations.
During the last couple of years I have also been privileged to be able to photograph redshank and brown hare at reasonably close quarters. When I began photography I remember these as particularly difficult species to get close to, let alone be able to take photographs of them to show them to their best advantages.
For landscape and nature work I mostly use a Canon 5Dm2 and 1DmIV with 17-40, 24-70, 70-200, 1.4 and 500 f4 lenses. I think it is important to visualise the shot and use different focal lengths and to record photographs from all locations. Do not take just what you see in front of you.
Svartifoss, Iceland also known as Black Rock Falls.
I’ve been photographing landscapes longer than wildlife and have had lots of favourite photographs that change from time to time. In 2007 I had the pleasure of going to Iceland for two weeks where it, more or less, constantly rained, which is exceptionally good for waterfall photography. On visiting Svartifoss I saw rock ptarmigan, which was a real treat, but for me, the waterfall was the star of the show.
The volcanic rock of geometrical hexagonal shape with water tumbling over it is fascinating. The hardness of the rock and softness of the water together make a different shot but the geometrical shapes and patterns hit you right in between the eyes – smashing!
The image is taken in Skaftafell National Park in Southern Iceland. Date: September 2007. Camera: Canon 1Dm2n, with a 70-200 lens. Taken with various apertures to obtain different types of shot.
Joe Cornish, Hans Strand, Charles Cramer, Eliot Porter, Jim Brandenburg, Mark Hamblin and Danny Green.