In Focus Women In Profile - Robyn Wright, Canada
What sparked your interest in photography?
I think I’ve always been a little bit drawn to it, and I took a photography class when I was 16 (it was my “fun” subject to go with the biology, chemistry and maths that I was also studying!), but this was more about dark room techniques and writing about your photos (and was more work than the other three subjects combined!). But I think my interest in landscape photography really has come from my interest in travelling. I obviously went on holidays with my family when I was a kid, but as soon as I turned 18 I went on my first proper trip (three months surfing around South Africa followed by a month in Bali) and I think it’s grown from there. I took a ton of pictures with my “point and shoot” camera, but also met other people that were serious about photography and I think I just wanted to be able to capture the amazing places that I was visiting in the same ways that they did!
How long have you been shooting for?
This is a bit difficult for me to answer, as I think there’s been a bit of a gradual journey for me getting into photography. I mentioned I did the photography course when I was 16 (so almost 14 years ago), but I think it put me off for a while. It was all about writing about the emotion that you were trying to convey with your pictures, and I didn’t enjoy that side of it at all (particularly when I was only taking them because I thought they looked nice) so didn’t pick up an SLR camera again for quite some time. When I travelled I took a lot of pictures, but I think the extent of it was really just trying to take some nice sunset pictures until I went to Australia/NZ in 2014-2015. There I started trying to take some high dynamic range (HDR) pictures, but I didn’t really know what I was doing and was mainly just disappointed with the results, so I ended up only really taking pictures when I went somewhere, rather than actively going out to take them. So I think it was really during my PhD when I was living back in the UK (2015-2019) that I started going out purposely to shoot and using photography as a bit of a stress reliever. Then in the last six months, since I’ve finished my PhD and moved to Canada, I have so many new places to explore (and I finally have enough photography knowledge that photos regularly turn out how I want them to!) that I’ve really been regularly going out to shoot and actually enjoying every part of it.
What is your favourite type of photography?
Definitely long exposures, and definitely involving water, but I still haven’t decided if it’s waterfalls or the sea. I’m a marine biologist and have always loved the ocean, but I do really love waterfalls too… I think if the conditions were right for it more often (and it wasn’t so creepy going out on your own at night) then I could really enjoy night/milky way photography, too. I love looking at other peoples’ night time photos.
What is in your camera bag?
Not very much right now! I broke the only lens I had with me while travelling a couple of months ago, so made a pretty quick decision to get a new camera before going on a safari trip (of a different brand, so couldn’t use any of my previous lenses), but I’m still saving up to buy more kit. So right now: Sony a6500 with the lens it came with (18-200mm f3.6-6.3) and a K&F concept variable ND filter.
What would your dream kit be?
There’s so much on this list right now – I wish I could have all of it! But the main things I’d love are some NISI filters, a really wide angle lens – something like 16mm, f1.4 (this I’ll probably get once I’ve made a decision on what I want, in the next couple of weeks) – and a star tracker.
What software do you use to process your images?
Always Camera Raw and then Photoshop.
Who are your top three photography inspirations?
Alexa Hope, John Weatherby and Paul Nicklen. The last is not so much someone who inspires my photography, as I don’t really try to take pictures like his, but he’s definitely a photographer whose work I admire.
What are your top three bucket list locations you want to shoot?
I’m kind of cheating with countries rather than specific places, but Iceland, USA (Yosemite, Yellowstone, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon…) and I am kind of living one of them right now by being in Canada. I’m in the BC Rockies right now and have some trips planned over the summer, and then once it’s safe to travel so far again I’ll be back in Nova Scotia (hopefully for the Autumn and I’m really looking forward to the trip across there – through the US if it’s safe). Oh and one more – Greenland. I flew over it in February a couple of years ago, when I think it must have been just getting light for the first time in months. We were flying over for a while and the light just stayed this amazing pink/purple colour and the snowy mountain ranges were reflecting it and I struggled to work out if it was real or not, but since then I can’t wait to visit one day!
What are your social media handles?
My Instagram is @RobynJWright – I’m also on twitter with the same handle but I use that for science things!