Picture perfect

PUBLISHED: 05:36 12 January 2015 | UPDATED: 09:47 12 January 2015

Windswept, one of the evocative winter scenes captured by photographer Steve Denby.

Windswept, one of the evocative winter scenes captured by photographer Steve Denby.

Archant

Ruins loom out of a frozen Norfolk landscape, ice-encased trees claw the sky, familiar beauty spots are transformed into still, stark scenes, writes Rowan Mantell.

The Lake House, a serene but chilly scene from the lens of Costessey’s Steve Denby.The Lake House, a serene but chilly scene from the lens of Costessey’s Steve Denby.

Ten years ago Steve Denby launched a website to showcase his photography. Since then he has won prizes, and sold his prints around the world.

He works with film as well as digital technology and says: “The thrill of an image slowly appearing under safelight in the developing tray, and the satisfaction of a long session in the darkroom, never seems to go.

“Often people ask what equipment I use, I tell them a little imagination and my eyes. I never tire of being out across Norfolk in the right light. You just have to keep your eyes open, as you never know what’s round the next corner.”

But Steve also plans many of his pictures in great detail saying: “There may be only a very short window each year, when there are still no leaves on the trees and the sun direction is exactly how you need it.”

St Michael the Archangel's Church, BootonSt Michael the Archangel's Church, Booton

In between taking photographs Steve, aged 54, works as an aircraft engineer. He lives with his wife in Costessey, near Norwich, close to where he grew up.

Self-taught, he says: “I have been obsessed with photography since I was 13, when my parents bought me my first camera. I spent many early years shooting colour, but always had a great passion for monochrome and very rarely shoot colour these days. I find a toned monochrome print very retro, refreshing and still the most powerful form of photographic art.”

For more than 30 years he has focussed on landscape photography but has always been interested in street photography and urban images too. He travels as much as he can and about 70pc of his pictures are of people and street scenes.

This year he celebrates the 10th anniversary of his landscapes website, and has launched a new website for his street scenes.

“There is so much to love about Norfolk,” he says. “I know many landscape photographers from across the UK and often joke with them about the fact that images from Scotland, North Wales and the Lakes can sometimes be hard to tell apart, but images of say the Norfolk Broads are just simply unmistakable!”

And has he a favourite location? “I’m sure this must sound like a total cop-out, but I love the big Norfolk skies, the Broads and the Norfolk coastline in the right light.”

For more of Steve’s photography, www.stevedenby.co.uk and www.monostreetlight.com

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