Last Night – Damian Shields: a Passion for Landscapes

Damian’s publicity photo, of him surrounded by dark-framed monos, as used in our Upcoming promotion of last night’s talk, made him look ever so slightly sombre – but he proved to be anything but. A product of a sculptor father, artist mother, and artist grandfather, Damian told how he was slow to realise quite how visual he was, until he moved into photojournalism and to his current position on the picture desk at The Herald in Glasgow.

As he describes it, for him the Outdoors is a place of peace and of wonder, and his landscape photographs capture wonderfully the infectious optimism that comes from being out exploring the land, childlike, for the pleasure of finding what’s round the next corner, over the next hill. It’s not all at well-known locations by any means, and we saw a lot more more golden light than the dark-framed monos would suggest.

After tallking us through a selection of his vast and prize-winning portfolio, Damian generously told us of some of the apps and websites that help his planning, and ours too if we choose to use them. From Windy and its map of webcams showing local conditions all over, to The Photographer’s Ephemeris showing where the sun will be at any given time and place, and many in between.

Damian also showed us what’s in his bag, and it’s not that much. A NIkon D850, three lenses, a couple of filters, and a wee tripod. Oh, and the wee drone that he dare not fly, after he watched his pal ditch his in a river by mistake. Why pack loads of gear if it makes it a chore to carry? Get out there, get exploring, take the photos that make you happy, and maybe you’ll make other people happy too.