Today’s interview comes from the historic county of Fife, in beautiful Scotland. With a connection to her surroundings, award-winning nature and landscape photographer Abi Warner excels at capturing the very essence of the natural world through her camera lens. With an overwhelming passion for the vital importance of preserving nature, Abi hopes her work has a positive impact on its viewers and future generations. As you browse through her photos below, I think you’ll agree that she successfully captures and conveys the beauty of the environment.
It’s my pleasure to share Abi’s thoughts and ideas about her work with my readers. Abi, thank you so much for taking the time to share your view of the beauty of the world through your words and photography and for allowing us to get to know a bit about you. You are a very talented photographer and someone whose work is definitely worth following. I hope to see more great things from you in the future!
Can you please tell the readers a bit about yourself?
I am 51 years old, married to Bob, and have two sons and a daughter, a very busy life and plenty of interests.
Where do you call home?
Fife in Scotland.
After browsing through your website, I see that you have built up an extensive collection of wonderful photography. When did you first become interested in photography and how long have you been involved with it?
I have been photographing since I was about 7 years old. I have always photographed anything that I find beautiful or things that affect me emotionally, whether it be nature, art, my family, architecture, etc.
After leaving school, I did a photography course at college as growing up, I had always wanted to be a photojournalist, but then I met my husband, settled down and had my children, and therefore my photography became a hobby.
What inspired you to be a photographer?
I have always photographed, but when I moved back to Scotland, I spent a lot of time out walking and loved being surrounded by stunning landscapes and nature and sitting and watching birds and animals or looking at patterns in the sand, Seaweed or rock formations amongst other things. I am overwhelmed by the beauty of the natural world and of its intrinsic importance to mankind. It also makes me feel so relaxed and stress-free. As I always have a camera with me, I would take lots of photographs.
A number of people on seeing my photos told me I should try selling them as cards and prints and then I won a couple of competitions and a very early photo-“Swan Lake”, was used to advertise something, but it was my friends and family who encouraged and inspired me to become a full-time photographer.
How did you develop your photographic style?
I’m not sure that I have a photographic style. I am just trying to capture the innate beauty of the natural world.
What type of photography shoots do you look forward to?
I look forward to all of my photos shoots, as I photograph from my heart and if I am not looking forward to something then my heart is not in it and I will not get good images.
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of photographing nature and wildlife?
The unpredictability of the natural world is probably the most challenging aspect of photographing nature and wildlife. You never know what is going to happen, things can change very quickly and it is almost impossible to be ready for everything. You have to expect the unexpected. However much research you have done into an animal and its behaviour, you cannot always anticipate what is going to happen next. Often something happens suddenly and you can miss it because you have got the wrong lens on or the wrong settings. It is important to learn not to be too disappointed and also to be patient.
What would you say your most remarkable wildlife encounter has been?
I love all my wildlife encounters, but the first time I saw a Capercaillie was absolutely amazing.
What has been the best source of information along your photography journey (workshop, online forums, classroom, mentor, etc)?
Practice and learning from my mistakes.
What is your favorite part of heading out to a new location?
New locations and new places to explore are always exciting, because you never know what to expect, even if you have done research.
How do you keep yourself motivated and your photography fresh?
I do not struggle to keep myself motivated. I just look out of the window or go for a walk and am inspired by so much, whether it’s an interesting cloud formation or the dew on the grass.
Do you have any tips for new photographers who want to take better wildlife photographs?
Do not give up. Keep practicing and if something does not work, try to understand what went wrong and try a different technique.
Share with us your favorite image and why.
I would struggle to choose a favourite image.
What do you hope viewers take away from your images?
It all depends on which photos they are looking at. I hope my photos make people think about the beauty and importance of the natural world, to make them happy and to put a smile on their faces, but also to make them question certain the way that humankind treats our beautiful planet.
What type of camera(s) do you shoot with? What is your favorite lens?
Generally, I use a Nikon D5 and my favourite lens is the Nikon 800mm prime.
What is in your camera bag?
It depends on where I am going and what I am photographing.
What is your favorite photography accessory?
I don’t have a favourite. I use different things for different purposes and they are all important.
How important is Photoshop or other image editing software in your final images?
I generally only use it for contrast, colour balance, and noise reduction in certain circumstances.
Was there a point in your journey when you started to feel really good about your work? If so, what did it feel like to get past that “tipping point?”
I never really feel very good about my work. I love what I am doing and what I am photographing and if other people enjoy looking at my work and it has a positive effect on them, and it makes them think and realise the importance and the significance of the natural world on mankind then I have succeeded in what I am trying to do.
Do you have any projects that make you look back and shake your head? What made the experience so unpleasant?
Do you see yourself as a photographer many years down the road?
I don’t really look to the future, but would like to continue to what I am doing for as long as I am able.