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Wayland on the Arctic Trail - Jokkmokk, Northern Sweden

One of my old teachers described me as a misfit and a maverick, he was probably far less complementary in the staff room.

The truth is I never wanted an ordinary life. I could see that going on all around me and it just didn’t look very interesting.

When I was about fifteen I picked up a camera and almost instantly knew, that was what I wanted to do.

At first I taught myself, then I joined clubs and took evening classes. I got a job in a camera shop to pay for my first gear and went on to full time education in an attempt to squeeze every bit of information I could out of the subject.

I took the traditional route of assisting established photographers and even had my own business for a while.

But maybe that was all just too ordinary...

The truth about commercial photography is that unless you are very lucky, you end up making other peoples pictures instead of your own.    Eventually I decided that wasn’t the path I wanted to follow.

Fortunately I had other interests.

Somebody once said that: “The past is like another country, they do things different there.”

I’ve always found history fascinating. Not the political stuff about kings and queens but about how things were done.

I have a love of craft work and have been able to turn my hand to a to a few different skills so living history and experimental archaeology crept up on me really.

It started as a hobby but when I saw it’s potential in modern education it fitted my temperament perfectly.

Working silver, antler and leather for a living history presentation in Norway
Viking Ships at Lofotr

These days I spend most of my time putting life into the dry bones of history for children in schools with unique presentations all over the UK.

I also use those skills to work with museums and historical reconstruction projects both here and in Scandinavia.

This gives me some free time to get out and immerse myself in the landscape and make the kind of images I really want to produce.

Although photography is no longer my primary source of income it still very much shapes the way I live my life and see the World.

Wild Camping on the coast of Scotland
Advanced Member of the World Photography Organisation

When I am out on a trip I like to immerse myself in the landscape. Hotels are my very last choice for accommodation as the light does not wait for breakfast to be served in the dining room. For me the very best way to enjoy the wilderness is getting back to basics with low impact camping.

This approach has also taken me to places that are far from the usual tourist trail. In many ways the skills needed in living history are very similar to those used for wild camping. To me they seem to work hand in hand.

ary Waidson has held the Distinction of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain since 1994
Smoke-of-Creation

Camping on location also allows me to shoot overnight when conditions favour it.

All too many photographers pack up their gear when the sun goes down.    They really should turn to the Dark Side.

Modern cameras are capable of working in light conditions that would have been simply impossible for our forebears and we are now perhaps moving towards a golden age when it comes to working in low light.

I’ve moved about a bit but now I live near the edge of Saddleworth Moor with my partner Debbie and a very old dog called Skadi.

After thirty years of landscape photography I’ve made plenty of mistakes but I’ve also learned a few things on the way.  Most important of all... You actually need to be there to get the picture.

Cameras can be bought and techniques taught but unless you are out there to get the ”Image in the Can” they’re really not much use.

This site is all about what it takes to be there.

Camping in a Quinzhee under the Northern Lights - Arctic Norway
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Always find your way Home - Vegvísir
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