13th October 2015
Andrew Whyte is a talented local photographer who has found his niche in long exposure night-time photography. Find out his favourite view of Spinnaker Tower and why the landmark has become a bit of a muse for lots of photographers over the years…
1. 1. How long have you lived in Portsmouth? What’s the best thing about living in the city?
I’ve been a Portsmouth resident for nearly twenty years. Even before that it was always my local city, growing up in villages near Petersfield. Portsmouth’s unique: all the amenities and conveniences of city life with no shortage of space, from parks to the expanse of the common- and miles of beach! You can pretty much choose whether to be in the thick of it or completely on your own, and make the switch in a matter of minutes.
2. Describe your ideal weekend in Portsmouth?
I probably spend too many weekend days checking weather forecasts, and too many weekend evenings in remote locations pointing my camera into space. To make that up to Mrs Whyte, a weekend in Portsmouth would have to include a meal at Rosie’s and brunch with the papers in Southsea. Once outdoors, I’m fairly low maintenance so I’d probably head to the common/ beach & a wander around Old Portsmouth to wear out the children- ice creams mandatory, of course.
3. Have you always been a photographer – is it something you always knew you wanted to do?
It’s no surprise that I’ve ended up as a photographer but I’ve got here via a strange, extended route. As a child & teen I learned a lot from my dad & a local pro in Petersfield but never really applied it to anything. It was only when my second child was born that I took the chance to leave work and develop a photographic career alongside family life.
4. Describe your photography style?
Essentially I’m a landscape photographer, but I work in the darkness of night to show landmarks & locations in a different light. I’m happiest beneath a sky full of stars but when the weather conspires against me, I use long exposure photography to bring scenes to life with a sense of movement and dynamism.
5. What is the one photo you’re dreaming of taking in the future?
Ideas are the backbone of my work but I tend to think more about series of images rather than individual shots. In the UK, I’m presently about halfway through visiting each of the National Parks at night- their starlit views are some of the UK’s most spectacular natural scenery. Further afield, I’d like to capture moonrises set against global landmarks like mountains, archways, towers & temples. It’s a huge undertaking, though, and so much of its success would depend on weather conditions as each shot has a tiny window of opportunity.
6. If you weren’t a photographer or cameras didn’t exist, what would you be?
One of the things that fascinates me about photography at night is the numbers behind the pictures- how to tweak the different settings on the camera to achieve my desired outcome with the least amount of compromise. If I couldn’t apply that to a creative visual medium, I guess I might work with some sort of data or statistics- but putting that in writing here makes me thankful it’s not the case.
See Andrew’s incredible photography on his website here: www.longexposures.co.uk