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About the Art: Andrew George

Our new exhibition, European Wildlife Photographer of the Year, runs until 15 January 2017. Here we talk to photographer Andrew George about his work. 

  • About the Art: Andrew George, Dancing with the Moon on display at the Horniman,  Andrew George
    Dancing with the Moon on display at the Horniman,  Andrew George

You have two pictures in this exhibition, 'Dancing with the Moon' and 'Umbrella'. Start by telling us a little about your winter scene with the dazzling northern lights. How long did you have to wait to capture the light in the way you wanted for ‘Dancing with the Moon’?

I only had to wait between one to two hours. I’ve examined the weather and aurora forecast carefully and all the signs where very promising. Since I often travel to Iceland, I know the best spots to photograph the northern lights. At the time, I was not far from Reykjavik and on my way to the airport when I knew I had a good chance at taking pictures at a nearby non-tourist spot by some mountains which would block the city lights.

  • About the Art: Andrew George, The northern lights in Iceland, March 2016,  Andrew George
    The northern lights in Iceland, March 2016,  Andrew George
To get my shot, I used a sturdy tripod and a wide-angle lens with a fast F-stop (Nikon 14-24 F2.8) on a Nikon D800 and a cable release. I also wore very warm clothing and snow boots. The weather can be very extreme in 'special' conditions such as these. It is a very difficult task to stay dry or warm in cold regions of the earth. Also, the equipment sometimes needs protection from severe weather.

  • About the Art: Andrew George, A picture of Andrew George taking photographs in the High Fens, Belgium Ardennes,  Andrew George
    A picture of Andrew George taking photographs in the High Fens, Belgium Ardennes,  Andrew George

What would you like people to think about when they see your work?

I hope they get inspired and have a new respect for nature.

What would you advise someone wanting to start taking photos of wildlife in their local environment?

For wildlife photography, you need to do research, observe and gain knowledge about your subject. You also need to have perseverance.  I love to photograph landscapes in any form. I also like to photograph small and common subjects in an artistic way. But it’s getting harder and harder to create natural nature and wildlife photography. I always need to recompose to not have the human element in the frame.

What have you been up to since the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 competition? What projects are you working on now?

I always get new inspiration through nature close to home and photograph with an open mind. So I often get surprised and sometimes I work on one thing for only a short period of time with a creative perspective. But recently I’m working on a project 'Dances with Trees' in the Speulderbos, Veluwe, The Netherlands. The beech trees in this forest are curved and long. But also trees in general really attract me.

  • About the Art: Andrew George, A selfportrait in the Dutch forest (Speulderbos, Veluwe, The Netherlands) from the 'Dances with trees' project 2016 ,  Andrew George
    A selfportrait in the Dutch forest (Speulderbos, Veluwe, The Netherlands) from the 'Dances with trees' project 2016 ,  Andrew George

I also try to get out of my comfort zone and I just started to work on a project 'Inspired by Van Gogh', The Dutch painter, as I live close to the scenes Vincent van Gogh has painted in The Netherlands (Nuenen, Noord-Brabant) both natural environment and buildings which Van Gogh also has painted.

  • About the Art: Andrew George, Umbrella on display at the Horniman,  Andrew George
    Umbrella on display at the Horniman,  Andrew George

Read more photography tips from Andrew.