Reproduced from an article in the October 2017 edition of Living North (North East) Magazine. With thanks to Chris and the team at Living North for the opportunity to feature and permission to share.
Force of Nature
With the great outdoors as her studio, Northumberland-based photographer Anita Nicholson has no lack of inspiration for her haunting landscapes and seascapes.
The North East, the Lake District and beyond have been the inspiration for Anita Nicholson ever since she moved to the North East, where her father's family are from, in 2007. When she arrived in the region, she immediately fell in love with the expansive sandy beaches and wide open countryside of Northumberland.
Taking up photography as a hobby in 2010 opened her eyes to the beauty of the region, from the abundant wild flowers along the valleys, to the intricate patterns and subtle colour of the rocks along the coast at places like Collywell Bay and Spittal Beach, to the star-filled skies overhead.
As well as taking photographs for her personal enjoyment, Anita's work has helped to raise funds for the North Shields Fishermen's Heritage Project, which will unveil a memorial for fishermen who lost their lives at sea from the port of North Shields on 24th September.
Anita's eye for the fine details in grand landscapes is what makes her work unique. Here, she shares her advice:
Explore. Northumberland has many great and well-known locations, but it also has many less well-known places to photograph. I have a collection of Northumberland OS paper maps (some of which were bought from one of Northumberland's best loved treasures, Barter Books in Alnwick) and often spend hours pouring over these, looking for interesting rock lines along the coast or for less well-known viewpoints, such as Raven's Crag near Belford.
Seize the day. It's wonderful when you head out in the small hours of the morning for sunrise to be rewarded with a stunning display of pre-dawn colour - nature certainly knows how to put on a light show. But if we always waited for 'perfect' conditions, we'd be missing a trick. Some of my most successful (in sales and competitions) images have been taken on dreary, gloomy days.
Get involved. Photography is a wonderful hobby and it's lovely to share images with friends and family. It's also fun to support local fundraising campaigns if there is a charity you support that you'd like to help more - for example, by donating an image for the charity to sell as a greetings card. When you're starting out and have had some encouragement from friends and family, donating to charities can be a great next step to help you build confidence and to get more involved in supporting your community too.