A Little About Myself.

Daniel Kay Landscape Photography

Originally, I’m from a town in Lancashire called Bolton. Back in the year of 2014 some personal circumstances in my life lead to me taking up running. The idea of running in a gym really didn't do much for me, so I decided to run around a local beauty spot called Entwistle Reservoir near a small village called Edgeworth in Lancashire. This is where it all began, so to speak. Being somewhat of an introverted individual, I made the decision to run early in the mornings in the hopes of avoiding other people. If it hadn’t have been for this characteristic trait, there’s a chance I might not be where I am today. Over a period of time, the place I was exercising began to grow on me. I would notice the sense of calm, the sound of the birds singing and the area coming to life as the sun would rise. Changes in weather would turn the reservoir into a completely different place and I soon found myself wanting to visit this location; not just for exercise, but just to be able to witness these beautiful moments. I found it a way of calming my nerves; just being in a place so peaceful would help me forget about the everyday problems we all encounter in life!

 

It wasn’t too long before I dug out my old D-SLR and decided to take it along with me. I'm not really sure why I decided to pick up the camera; I didn't just suddenly over night decide that I want to become a landscape photographer. It was more of a random decision at the time, if anything. I'd always used a camera in the past in some way to document something I took an interest in. I guess I never really took the time to question why. In some ways, even today I struggle to understand what it is about photography that I enjoy. To be honest, I don't really care. As long as I know that it brings me joy, I'll continue to do it until that joy ceases to exist.

 

The technical side of photography began to grow on me.  My trips to the reservoir soon became less about exercise and more about photography. I had found a connection with nature that I had struggled to find before. My Dad was an avid outdoorsy type and I remember him taking me on walks at a younger age and I just couldn’t understand the logic behind it. To me it just felt like we were aimlessly walking around. A few years older (and wiser) I now understand completely; it’s not the destination that’s important, it’s the journey! I began to explore different parts of the reservoir, finding new paths leading to interesting subjects to photograph. I didn’t really think much about travelling to other places, at this point I was just focused on this one location that had caught my attention. I didn't really understand what I was doing, only that I enjoyed it. Looking back, I guess I was having a positive reaction to the landscape surrounding me and was trying to express that reaction through the art form of Photography.

 

Around a year later, as my interest in landscape photography was developing, my Dad took me to the Lake District for the first time on a walk around Little Langdale. I remember this day very well. The drive into the Lakes had me staring out of the window; admiring the stunning views over towards Shap from the A591. Our walk started from The Three Shires Inn taking a circular route around Hodge Close and then back to Little Langdale. The phenomenal views out towards The Langdale Pikes stay predominately in my mind to this day. On the drive home, I remember having the thought; that one day, I wanted to live here!

 

Over the years my interest in photography increased. With this, I started to develop an appreciation and understanding towards the landscape I was photographing. Slowly but surely I began to focus more on the subject of my photography rather than the practise itself. I feel so thankful that in the present, I have found that sense of appreciation that at a younger age, I failed to comprehend. Maybe those walks that my Dad would make me ‘endure’ in the distant past planted a seed, waiting to one day grow. For that, I’m incredibly grateful!

 

Me and my Dad would take further day trips to The Lake District and the area grew on me at a fast pace. He would show me the places he explored when he was younger and I would take him to new areas that he hadn’t seen. We finally shared a bond that he had most likely wanted to share with me for most of my life. Sadly, that bond was cut short when in 2015, he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour and given only a few months to live. Given this predicament, I wanted to spend as much time together as possible and I wanted the end of his life to be about quality over quantity. We tried to continue our day trips out but it became suddenly obvious on an afternoon in Snowdonia, not long after his diagnosis that his condition had rapidly deteriorated. With great sadness, we had to make the hard but right decision that this would be our final trip.

 

 One thing us Kays are is stubborn! My Dad wasn’t going to go without a fight and he went on to battle this cruel condition for almost two and a half years before he unfortunately met his fate. In this time, my family and I went through a tough struggle. Anyone who has lost a loved one to cancer will understand that not only is it horrendously heartbreaking but it is incredibly draining. In this period of time, I was in a bit of a dark place in terms of my mental well-being; at my worst, I felt completely deplete of emotion. The one bit of solace I managed to hold onto was the passion I had developed for both photography and the landscape. I would frequently visit the Lake District, in some ways as a means of escapism from the cruel reality that I was facing. Just being in a place surrounded with beauty, witnessing nature at its very best, just for a moment made my troubles seem insignificant. Although it was only a brief respite, I’m not sure where I’d be now without that. I truly believe that surrounding myself in nature was the best thing I could have done for myself.

 

Fast forward nearly two years later, in 2018 I made the decision to move to the Lake District, a place that only a few years back, I could only have dreamed of living. Today I find myself, thankfully in a better place than where I was previously. People told me at the time that the cure to grief was time, and they couldn’t have been more right! In the time I’ve spent living in the Lake District, I’ve enjoyed exploring more of this truly beautiful area and sharing that beauty through my photography. I also enjoy visiting other locations, in particular parts of the Scottish Highlands which are growingly starting to be of more interest to me. 

 

I hope you enjoy my work and it brings you just as much joy as it brought me when I pressed the shutter button!

 

Dan.

Kit List

Nikon D810 (camera body)

Nikon 16-35mm f4 G AF-S ED VR

Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 G AF-S ED 

Nikon 70-200mm f2.8E AF-S FL ED VR

Tamron 100-400mm F4.5-6.3 Di VC USD 

Formatt-Hitech Firecrest filters

Gitzo GT4533LS Series 4 Systematic Tripod

Gitzo GH3382QD Series 3 Centre Ball Head

F-stop Sukha 70L/Ajna 40L Backpacks