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Interview with Jim Barrott

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26 August 2016

Posted by Anna Fraser

Hi Jim! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?

I am a retired Biology teacher, living on the edge of Oldham in Lancashire, only a stone's throw from the wild and windy moors of northern England's Peak District. I have always had a great affection for the outdoor life and try to get out with my camera gear, walking, cycling, or just travelling to somewhere remote and interesting, as often as possible.

QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?

AI really don't think there is one. Unless you consider lying face down, sinking slowly into a bog, photographing cotton grass as a strange thing to do? Or standing up to your waist in a pond. This sort of thing seems perfectly normal to me and I'm sure lots of people do it.

QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?

AI shoot on a Canon EOS 600D. Mainly using either a Tamron SP (10 to 24mm) wide angle zoom or a Sigma DC macro (18 to 250). But to be honest I'm not much of a gear buff and start to doze off when someone who knows what they are talking about gets going on the subject.

QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?

AIt is very difficult to get beautiful, interesting landscape shots on a bright, cloudless summer's day. Great for a walk but not usually for photography. Get out in the wind, rain and snow and look for those fleeting opportunities for a dramatic shot when the clouds part.

Dovestone reservoir is my favourite shot simply because I took it early one morning not long after I retired. A few weeks before, I would have been getting ready for work. It re... Read more

Dovestone reservoir is my favourite shot simply because I took it early one morning not long after I retired. A few weeks before, I would have been getting ready for work. It represents my new found freedom to roam. Read less

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I feel very lucky to live in the UK as I don't think there is anywhere in the world where you can see landscapes so diverse in such a relatively small area. I have travelled a l... Read more

I feel very lucky to live in the UK as I don't think there is anywhere in the world where you can see landscapes so diverse in such a relatively small area. I have travelled a lot and the islands of the west coast of Scotland are probably my favourite place on the planet. This shot is all about capturing the fleeting moment. A few seconds later it was gone. Read less

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A couple of friends and I were cycling the length of New Zealand and that day we had caught a ferry from Queenstown. We had just emerged from those rain clouds in the distance, ... Read more

A couple of friends and I were cycling the length of New Zealand and that day we had caught a ferry from Queenstown. We had just emerged from those rain clouds in the distance, after a long wet ride. I couldn't ignore those lead-in lines. Read less

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Colden dale is a heavily wooded valley running up from Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire. It was snowing very heavily a few minutes before this shot was taken and you can still see sno... Read more

Colden dale is a heavily wooded valley running up from Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire. It was snowing very heavily a few minutes before this shot was taken and you can still see snowflakes in the air at the top of the picture. The steep sided valleys around this area are full of reminders of its old industrial past like this mill chimney. Read less

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Dead vlei is in Namibia. A country of amazing vistas and the name of this dust bowl could not be more apt. I love stark, empty landscapes like deserts and moorlands and could ha... Read more

Dead vlei is in Namibia. A country of amazing vistas and the name of this dust bowl could not be more apt. I love stark, empty landscapes like deserts and moorlands and could have wandered around here searching for photogenic dead trees all day. Read less

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You cannot get further north in the British Isles than Hermaness without getting your feet wet. The colony suddenly appears below you after an easy trudge across the moors of Un... Read more

You cannot get further north in the British Isles than Hermaness without getting your feet wet. The colony suddenly appears below you after an easy trudge across the moors of Unst in the Shetlands, north-east Scotland. Easy, that is, apart from the dive bombing skuas protecting their nests. Wear a hat. Read less

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Dovestone Edge is only 3 miles from my home in Oldham and I have run, walked and climbed on it an uncountable number of times. A lot of English people would view Oldham as an ec... Read more

Dovestone Edge is only 3 miles from my home in Oldham and I have run, walked and climbed on it an uncountable number of times. A lot of English people would view Oldham as an economically depressed northern industrial town well past its prime. Take a short bus ride from the town centre and you will begin to appreciate a different side to my home town. This shot was taken after a stiff climb through deep snow, just after a lengthy snowstorm was clearing and a low sun broke through a gap in the clouds. One of those shots that are much better in black and white, than they are in colour. Read less

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This well known and much photographed mountain is in Yosemite National Park, California. The shot was taken on day 2 of a 22 day walk along the John Muir Trail, a wilderness tre... Read more

This well known and much photographed mountain is in Yosemite National Park, California. The shot was taken on day 2 of a 22 day walk along the John Muir Trail, a wilderness trek through the Sierra Nevada mountains. Me and the two women in the foreground were on top half an hour later. I am always fascinated by the patterns and shapes that erosion produces in bare lumps of rock. Half Dome looks like a chunk of peeling, scaly onion. This is quite an unusual photograph for me as it has people in it. Read less

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