Helen Bartlett, family photographer
Helen says: "I've always felt that one of the great benefits of shooting landscapes is in slowing down. My work is usually a frenzy of activity. Yes, there can be moments of calm and stillness (and also cake) during my photo shoots, but from the moment I arrive to the moment I leave, I'm constantly searching for pictures, moving around and reacting to what is happening in front of me.
"In the landscape we are reacting to the light and the weather and the world around us. By putting a camera on a tripod, we take more time to consciously consider each element of the photograph – where does the subject meet the edges of the frame? What is happening in the corners? Should a piece of the landscape be included or cropped out? I've found, over the years, that this process is hugely beneficial to my portrait work.
"I was shooting with the Canon EOS R, and I did find that using its electronic viewfinder set to black-and-white really helped with finding a good landscape that would work in monochrome. Having the focus peaking markers on the back of the camera meant I could check at a glance and be sure the focus was where I needed it to be. It's a small thing but one that I found incredibly helpful.
"My favourite image was taken on the dawn shoot at Bat's Head – a view looking down from the cliffs towards Durdle Door. I feel this image has captured the calmness of the sunrise, the time of infinite possibilities before the world wakes up. I used a 10-stop neutral-density 'big stopper' filter to slow the shutter speed right down to three minutes. This means the sea becomes a tranquil blur, but with the shadows of currents and eddies visible in places to give a feeling of movement below the surface and other worlds in the deep."