Photography News 99 - Web



Award-winning landscape photographer – and occasional freight train driver – Dylan Nardini tells us about his unique approach to scenics, and how buying with MPB helped to create some of his greatest shots On the right track

Dylan Nardini is a landscape photographer based in Scotland. Practising photography for over 30 years, he has focused on shooting the outdoors since 2014. Widely published, he won the 2021 British Photography Awards Landscape category and was the Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year overall winner in 2021. A family man, when he’s not out with his Nikon D850, Sony RX100 II or many film cameras, he also drives freight trains. train for six months, but 29 years later, I’m still at it. What pushed me in that direction were the morning views I got through the cab window.” Winding through the Scottish subconscious, says Nardini, and even though his first forays to capture what he saw weren’t always successful, they gave him the inspiration to keep getting better. “One day, I had a few hours off,” he remembers. “I was on a coastline down the west of Scotland. I was stood there getting battered by the weather – snow, sleet, sun, a typical Scottish afternoon. I just thought to myself, ‘this is amazing’. The photos were terrible, but it was a moment of realisation.” Back through the train window: “It can be frustrating, especially when the light is extraordinary,” he confesses. “But there are plenty of times I’ve spotted great locations that nobody would find normally. They’re often not in traditional walking areas and can’t be seen from roads. It could just be a tree or a group of them, with a nice background, but I note it down. Of course, getting off work at 4am sometimes means you can go back out and enjoy the light, too!” countryside at dawn, those landscapes soaked into his These ‘little scenes’, as Nardini calls them, speak to another part of his photographic story – the desire to celebrate the landscape as a whole and avoid the box-ticking of shooting at specific locations. “We’re spoiled here in Scotland,” he explains. “But living in South Lanarkshire, as I do, it’s still some


“WHEN YOU’RE A landscape photographer, non-photographers always think you do it as a hobby,” says Dylan Nardini. “Certainly, shooting landscapes is almost impossible to make a living from on its own,” he continues. “But while my day job is driving freight trains, I don’t see myself as a hobbyist. I see landscaping as a profession and something I’m committed to.” Indeed, after winning the 2021 Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year competition, press was often framed as ‘train driver wins photo prize’. “It’s funny how it’s perceived, like you’ve got lucky with a couple of snaps on a day out,” he laughs. Anyone who’s intimate with the subject knows the passion, skill and effort involved. Ironically, it was the ‘day job’ which inspired Nardini’s main love. “I’d been into photography since school,” he explains. “But it wasn’t until 2014 that I started to take it more seriously. I thought I’d be driving a

SEENWITHIN A SCENE Nardini is a keen user of the Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS that he bought from MPB. He chooses to look at an image in parts, before composing the wider picture

24 Photography News | Issue 99

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