Dave Newton

Refuelling the Creative Tank by Dave Newton

- ‘Geirangerfjord: This incredibly well-known viewpoint is popular for a reason. While I normally shy away from places with crowds, this was just too good an opportunity to miss and the light was dramatic and interesting'.

Abstract

Dave Newton is an international award-winning professional photographer and filmmaker and represents EIZO as a ColorEdge Ambassador. For 2022 we will be following his journey on the road as he travels the world with his wife Jess, daughter Isla, and of course, his dog Otis in their recently converted truck Bebe!

Refuelling the Creative Tank

At the end of the last blog, we were setting off on a tour of Northern Europe in Bebe. Beginning with a ferry crossing from Harwich to the Hook of Holland, it was our first hurdle as Otis had never been on a ferry before, indeed, neither had Isla! To make things easier, we booked a pet-friendly cabin, and the dog-lovers among you will be heartened to know that Otis mostly slept on one of the bunks, the whole time! Isla, however, had a great time in the soft play area, a walk around outside, and then a short sleep as the excitement was too much for her.

Norway has been our major goal for this trip and following 6 solid weeks of shooting on a round-the-world trip and the American West, where I’d taken about 18,000 images in total, I was enjoying a bit of time where I didn’t have to shoot anything unless it really caught my eye. Not only that, but the work of editing from my previous trips just started as I had to get web galleries and book layouts completed for the guests.

- ‘Aurlandsvegen: I’ve been up early most mornings in the hope of a decent sunrise, but early cloud has scuppered me repeatedly almost everywhere! However, in a remote section of Aurlandsfjellet, up around 1200m above sea level, I was granted a clear morning. It was cold, and the landscape was very open, so I opted for a small lake and rocks to provide some kind of foreground to the exceptional sky behind’.

As much as photography is my passion, and taking pictures is always a pleasure, it’s important to take time out sometimes - spend time with my family, enjoy our travelling life, and only take pictures when I really felt the drive to do so. It’s proven a great mental refresher and topped up my creativity tank too. It’s an important lesson for all as well. Whether you’re a professional or amateur, you will go through creative lulls - don't worry about it. It’s entirely normal, entirely healthy, and ultimately leads you to continual improvement. In the same way that fitness is gained during the rest between exercise, so your creative muscles can grow when you give them some time to reflect.

It meant through the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden, I hardly took out a ‘real’ camera, instead just snapping away with a phone. As we progressed north through Sweden, I started to feel my creative tank filling back up and organically started to gravitate back towards my professional cameras. It coincided with the scenery gradually getting more and more spectacular too. That’s not to say the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark were ugly… far from it, I was just drawn to the higher peaks, fjords, and clear waters of Norway.

- 'Raksettra: An upland summer pasture with incredibly cute wooden huts overlooking Loen and the Fjord below. The only way up there is a hike the Norwegians class as “easy” but in Britain we’d probably not even call it a footpath! It’s a location that could work at all times of the day and yield fantastic results - a real gem if you’re not feeling like an early start or late finish'!

With only a limited time, we found ourselves moving on more frequently than we’d have liked, partly because of our ambition to get up to Kristiansund in Norway and partly because, after a long break, we had to re-settle back into life in Bebe.

When coming up through Sweden we spent some time on semi off-road tracks. There’s a collection of tracks across Europe called the Trans Euro Trail, or TET for short. It’s mapped by motorcyclists, so some of the routes can be quite snug, but in Sweden, we found long sections that were just glorious and devoid of other people. And in many cases, the tracks would be passable in a normal car too if you’re feeling adventurous and wanted to get away from the crowds!

- ‘Trollstigen: This famous strip of road attracts many tourists. But fortunately, they mostly disappear for dinner well before sunset, giving you the place virtually to yourself. As incredibly fun as the drive is, it’s almost better to sit at the top and watch the light and clouds change down the valley’.

Travelling in Bebe is an experience in itself. In vans and motor homes, you’re fairly inconspicuous among the throng of people in similar vehicles. But in an overlander like Bebe, everyone stops to look, take pictures or ask questions - it’s a great way to meet people actually, and that alone can lead to new and interesting experiences.

We’re currently in the last week of our time in Norway and it has been as spectacular as we’d hoped it would be. While much of Europe has been bathed in a heatwave, Norway has been cooler and in fact the last week or so, we’ve seen bits of rain most days. It was probably to be expected as we get closer to Bergen, reputedly the wettest place in all of Europe!

Next month will see us continue our tour as we head south to Amsterdam, where I’ll be at IBC for three days, followed by TPS for three days in Birmingham. Then it’ll be a frantic pack and sort as I get ready to head off around the world once more.

If you’re visiting TPS don’t be shy to find me or introduce yourself and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me either through EIZO or through our social media channels:

@globaltraces on Instagram and Facebook, or www.globaltraces.co.uk for a website.

If you want to see more of my work specifically, then @photopositive (Insta and FB) or www.photopositive.co.uk will get you there.

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