My name is Thomas Heaton, I am a landscape photographer based out of the north east of England. I travel the world in pursuit of perfect light and inspirational subjects. I wish to experience and spend as much time in the outdoors as possible and this is what drives my photography.
My images are all inspired by nature and the elements around us and I share my work and my adventures through my YouTube channel. My goal is to create beautiful pieces of work and show people that anybody can enjoy the outdoors, connect with nature and make beautiful images too.
Being in the outdoors can be a relaxing and calming experience, it can also be a high-octane adrenaline inducing experience and the latter can make for some truly inspirational photography. A great action sports image should instantly change the state of mind of the viewer by stirring up feelings of excitement, fear, curiosity and inspiration. Ultimately a good sports/action image should be part of the building blocks that inspire a person to achieve great things and push new boundaries.
Capturing the moment, the pain and the struggle will help tell a powerful story. Atmosphere and the true moment come first.
Include the environment. When photographing your subject, it is tempting to fill the frame with their awesomeness, however space and context are very important. If you are photographing climbers scaling a glacier, try pulling wide to include the whole glacier and reducing the climbers to ant sized figures. This will give the image a lot of impact as the viewer can now see the scale of what the climbers face.
Don’t be afraid of getting things less than perfect. Sharpness, perfect exposure and a clean lens should be low on your list of priorities when photographing action sports. To get a great image you will have to get in amongst the action and this will mean shooting in hard, inhospitable environments. You will have to act fast and stay safe. Capturing the moment, the pain and the struggle will help tell a powerful story. If there is rain on your lens, then the viewer knows it was wet. If your image has motion blur, the viewer knows you were moving fast. If your highlights are blown out, the viewer knows that the sun was blasting down on the snow, but your subject was skiing in the shadow of the mountain. Atmosphere and the true moment come first.
Plan the perfect shot. Whilst a lot of sports are fast and frantic, some are controlled and more methodical. If you are planning a shoot of your friends climbing an E6, scout the crag first. See which direction it is facing and the time of day you will need to shoot to get the best light. Think about composition and which part of the route has the most dynamic move. All of this will help ensure you tell the best story.