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Featured Photographer – Michal Šúr

I grew up in Slovakia surrounded by hills and forests. I started photographing quite early using my father’s old Pentacon. My preferred subject has always been nature – landscape and landscape detail, plants, woodlands and wildlife. In Slovakia I studied forestry and after finishing my degree I came to the UK and started working in nature conservation.

Over the years I tried B&W and colour negative film, transparency, and eventually I completely switched to digital about five years ago. It was mainly the work on nature reserves, the abundance and proximity of wildlife and my need for a cheaper option to film that made me switch to digital. I have been lucky to have lived and worked in some of the most amazing places – the Inner Hebrides, the Seychelles and Iceland – places with unique landscapes and wildlife.

You can see more images and keep up to date via Michal’s website and Facebook Page

Digital also allowed me to start with infra-red photography, something that fascinated me long before the arrival of digital photography but was not affordable. Over the past few years I have seen myself slowly drifting away from the colour wildlife and nature photography towards infra-red B&W. I still like to photograph nature in its original colours, mainly wildlife as a part of its environment; but it is the infra-red B&W that inspires me the most.

I like contrast and simplicity. Sometimes I return to the same places over and over again, study the light, its intensity, direction, colour, shapes, shadows and patterns. I like using long exposures to enhance the movement in the environment – to smooth the motion of water and clouds and blur the foliage in the wind but keep the rocks standing motionless.

My photography has been constantly evolving. This has been a natural process that started with photographing landscapes, gradually focusing more on landscape detail, later on the wildlife and finally going back to B&W. It is likely that this will keep me occupied for a while but then, no one knows, in the next few years it might be something different that will inspire me. It is still likely to be nature though.

For me, the process of making pictures is what photography is all about. Being out there surrounded by the elements and experiencing them with all my senses. That is why I tend to do only simple post processing and instead try to spend as much time as possible outdoors.

I only recently moved to Galloway to join my girlfriend. I especially like the woodlands of the region and I am looking forward to exploring them and looking for new photographing opportunities.