Join Nikon Z Creators as they explore the UK’s most dramatic landscapes and explain the techniques they used to take breathtaking images with their Z Series cameras.
Exploring the lake district with Nigel Anson
Nigel Danson’s passion for photography goes back to his childhood and his fascination with processing black & white film. He took this love of the subject into adulthood, while simultaneously founding and growing a software company that employed more than 100 staff. In 2016, he was involved in a near-death car accident in Yosemite National Park. His heart stopped and he rolled his car three times.
After he returned to the UK, he made the life-changing decision to pursue photography full time. Nigel is now a professional landscape photographer who spends much of his time travelling around the UK in his campervan with Pebbles, his beloved springer spaniel. He shoots dramatic landscape imagery and has more than 230,000 followers on his YouTube channel, which focuses on photography tutorials. A skilled Z Series photographer, here he talks through some of his favourite moments in the Lake District. See his website here and @nigel.danson on Twitter.
Nikon Z 5, 24mm, 1/30sec at f/5.6, ISO 160
There is something amazing about being alone in nature as the sun rises. It is extra special when you witness it over the tranquillity of a lakeland scene like this. I shot this with the Nikon Z 5 and Z 24-50mm kit lens handheld. The portability of the Z 5 makes it an ideal secondary camera for my Z-Series kit bag.
Nikon Z 6, 17mm, 1/125sec at f/10, ISO 160
Returning to the same location again and again is a great way of improving your landscape photography. By doing so, you start to understand how the light interacts with the land and how to capture the best conditions. In this image, I was trying a composition that I had planned the day before. When I returned, the light shone through, which created something pretty special. I used the Z 6 with the Z 14-30mm lens – handheld again, as IBIS allows for greater stability when handheld with the Z Series.
Nikon Z 7, 24mm, 1/3sec at f/10,
ISO 200 The River Brathay is one of my favourite locations in the Lake District. This image was taken on the Z 7 on a gorgeous, still, crispy morning in autumn. When I saw these lily pads, I was struck by the vivid colours that contrasted with the dark water and soft pastel morning hues in the distance. It jumped out at me and it was as if the lily pads were butterflies resting on the river. I love this image, and a framed print of it hangs on my wall.
Coast to coast with Kim Grant
Moray native Kim Grant knows a thing or two about Scottish landscapes and coastlines. A photographer since her late teens, she now combines the subject with a passion for the natural world, and is a strong supporter of Scottish conservation, biodiversity and ecology.
Kim shoots with a Nikon Z 6 and shares her journeys as a Nikon Z Creator through Scotland’s rugged landscapes with her online community. Coastal photography is a particular passion of hers. See @kimgrantphotography on Twitter and her website.
Moray Coastal Trail
Nikon Z 6, 65mm, 1/8sec at f/11
‘This is a great spot for catching the sunrise. I headed here to capture the golden light hitting the coastline early in the morning. I had originally planned to photograph the sun rising over the coast, but owing to the lack of clouds and interest in the sky, I found turning around and shooting the golden hour light on the landscape worked much better. In this image, I was looking to create a layered effect, by using the natural lines in the landscape to showcase the different aspects of the coastline.
The main draw for this image was the lead-in lines created by the curvature of the sand dune and the path leading towards the house. I had originally shot this image in standard landscape orientation using the rule of thirds composition, but decided in post processing that cropping it led to a more appealing result. By zooming in and raising my tripod up, I was able to eliminate my shadow from the photo and capture the beautiful golden hour light on the landscape coming from the sunrise behind me. I once again used my Z 24-70mm lens at 65mm, as this allowed me
to zoom in enough to eliminate my shadow from the photograph, but still capture all aspects of the landscape that caught my attention.’
Nikon Z 6, 24mm, 1/15sec at f/11
‘Fraserburgh Beach was a haven in the initial few weeks after lockdown. It is within cycling distance from my home, so I was able to enjoy this spot, which is great for sunrises, as we began to be allowed more outdoor freedoms. In this image, I wanted to show off the patterns in the sand and the fast-moving fog in the sky. To achieve this, I found a pool of water to use as a focal point and create some interest with reflections.
By using a wide focal length, I was able to include the entire pool of water in my image, which leads towards the horizon. I positioned my camera to highlight the natural s-curve in the sand. The moving fog meant the sun wasn’t too bright, but was still colourful enough to create mood. I used my trusty Z 24-70mm at its widest focal length, so I was able to include all of the pool of water with some surrounding sand as interest. When used with the Z 6’s full-frame sensor, 24mm gives a great wideangle view, and this allowed me to include a vast amount of beach in my frame.’
Covesea Lighthouse, Lossiemouth
Nikon Z 6, 34.5mm, 1/25sec at f/11
‘I am currently on a mission to photograph every lighthouse in Scotland. I grew up down the road from Covesea Lighthouse, and because of this childhood connection to the location, it is an area I never tire of shooting. On this occasion, I was greeted with an incoming weather front, which allowed me to capture this dramatic cloud over the beach. The cloud appeared very quickly, which meant I didn’t have a great deal of time to consider too many technicalities when it came to setting up the shot.
I was, however, able to backlight the lighthouse, with the cloud above adding contrast. I treated this image as I would a reflection shot, ensuring I framed the lighthouse reflecting on the wet sand and creating balance by mirroring the cloud in the sky with the shapes in the sand. I like to shoot reflections by placing the horizon close to the centre of the frame. As much of the subject matter in this image is in the distance, I focused on the horizon and used f/11 to maximise depth of field. I shot with a Nikon Z 6 and Z 24-70mm lens. This lens allows for a wideangle view when combined with the full-frame sensor of the Z 6. It’s great to have some flexibility to zoom in further when required – something that I needed for this image.’
For more information about the Nikon Z Series or to explore the Z Creators platform, see here.