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origins@davenewbould.co.uk
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Who?

Who?

My name is Dave Newbould and I have lived in southern Snowdonia for over 30 years.

I was introduced to the mountains by my father at a very young age. We would regularly climb in Snowdonia together and this started a deep love of the mountains here. As I reached my teenage years I got more serious about mountaineering and progressed onto the Alpine peaks.

In 1982 I came to live in Snowdonia to work in outdoor pursuits, starting as an instructor, then becoming a Chief Instructor and finally Centre Manager. We specialised in working with people with learning difficulties at a time when there was little experience or knowledge in these areas. I loved the challenges of developing new ways to help each individual get more out of life.

Rimpfischhorn

My interest in photography was initially just to record my mountaineering experiences. Then I got married and my parents gave us some money to buy a few useful items, and for some unknown reason I blew a part of it on my first SLR camera (a Pentax ME Super). Although I have had no photographic training, it appears that I did have some inbuilt ability to 'see' a good photograph. This came as a shock - I was the only non-artistic member of a very artistic family.

Dave on the rocksI have been married since 1984 to the lovely Ali, who shares much of the work with me. We have three children who are pretty much grown up (or at least, they claim they are!) and who have shared many outdoor adventures with us. From a very young age they have been willing to strike a photographic pose on a mountain pinnacle at sunset.

As my time came to an end in outdoor pursuits, I strongly felt led to try and make a go of photography as a full time job. So Origins was started in 1993, initially with a range of 18 greetings cards.

Specialising in cards and calendars allows me to take the types of picture I would choose rather than be governed by the commissions of others. It also allows me to regularly get out in the mountains and other wild places, whilst still being able to claim that I am at work.

Why?

The Welsh word that we use to call Origins is Gwreiddiau. This means 'Roots'. I have always been motivated by the idea of getting back to basics photographically - to not try and get too clever with technique, but to let the sheer natural beauty to be found in Wales do the talking. As a photographer my job is to convey the amazing landscapes, shapes, textures, colour and light that are already there.

Celtic Cross


There is also a second way I wanted to get back to basics. I had originally considered calling our business Genesis, which would reflect my Christian faith and my experiences of a raw and wild landscape. As I spend time in the mountains I see all around me evidence of God's creation. In taking photographs of this my aim is to convey something of His majesty, and hopefully something of His love for us as well.

Where?

Celtic Cross

Although I love to take photographs wherever I go, nearly all my printed work is of Wales. I am privileged to live in a beautiful area of Snowdonia. There are few places where rocky peaks can be found overlooking long sandy beaches. In between are sparkling lakes and fresh white-water rivers run through native oak woodland. The land of Wales has such a great variety of landscapes for a small country. The plentiful supply of water from above ensures a lush and green surrounding, and a regular supply of sun (yes, really!) lights it to perfection. This is not always a 'chocolate box' landscape - the many ages of Welsh culture have melted into the land that God made.

How?

How?

I have been described as a dinosaur, not just because of my looks, but mainly because I still shoot film for the majority of my photographs. I still believe that a good film offers a better quality, particularly of light, but also of colour. I use Fuji Velvia 50, which being such a slow film means that most of my photographs have to be on tripod.

I was recently forced to replace my camera with a new one. I use a Canon EOS3, and the replacement cost me £199. Usually I carry 2 zoom lenses with me, a Canon 24-105mm and a Sigma 70-300mm. The whole lot could be bought new for less than £1000. Although I have splashed out on a carbon fibre tripod, I keep returning to my trusty 25 year old Uniloc metal monster. There are 2 filters that I use regularly - a polariser and a graduated ND.

I still find it hard to consider myself as a real professional photographer, without a great depth of knowledge. But, through years of trial and error, perhaps I can give a few simple hints that someone might find helpful :
  • Do not try and copy other's ideas - really look at what is around you and see what you can see.
  • Do not be constrained by what is considered the 'normal' or 'best' angle of a subject - have a long look as to what is really the best.
  • Be willing to walk - the best pictures are not usually taken from the roadside!
  •  Be willing for a bit of pain. I find that sunrise and the couple of hours afterwards often produce the best light and strongest colours. Sometimes I start at 2 a.m. so as to be on a mountaintop for sunrise.
  • Think out angles and viewpoints. Sometimes I use a map to work out a good new viewpoint. I can also work out from which angle the sun will be shining. The strongest colours are usually achieved by taking a picture at right-angles to the sun.
  • Use a tripod for landscapes, even when you don't need it. This helps you really think out the composition and foreground points of interest. A movement of the camera position of no more than a few inches can make the difference between a good picture and a great picture.