Robin Dodd, Your View winner 2021

We chatted with Robin Dodd about his winning image and experiences photographing the UK landscape.
Thames Valley Henley
Dec 21

Tell us about the day you photographed your winning image, Runner at Dawn.

The river along the Thames between Marlow and Henley (Chris Evans calls it Marlowfornia) often gets river mist and fog. If it's not in one location, I know other spots further up the river where the micro-climate may produce the mist that I am looking for.

This image was taken near the Leander Club where the GB rowing team reside. Sometimes people stand around to watch the rowers when the mist and sun start to put on a show early in the morning. I set my camera on a tripod with the shot I wanted framed and ready to go. I then chatted to a few local people who had wandered along the riverside. We all agreed it was a fantastic morning. I fired off the shots with a remote as we talked.

Runner at Dawn, Robin Dodd

Which camera do you use?

I have a Canon EOS R. I still dust off my old Canon 6D for Astro, or if the trip/outing is looking a bit too risky for the EOS R.

Lenses: Canon 15-35mm L2.8 RF lens – Astro & Landscape; Canon 24-105mm L4 RF lens – my workhorse; Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS – I cannot believe how good this lens is. I also have an Anafi Parrot drone for occasional use.

Where’s your favourite place to photograph?

The Chilterns: I love to photograph around the Chiltern Hills and the Thames River near where I live in Henley-on-Thames. I still cannot believe this is only a 35-mile drive from Central London, with some of the best woodland and river basin views in the country… in my view.

Scotland: I fell in love with the Scottish Highlands when I was a teenager. Since then, I climb the Munros every year with my mates. I slow them down a bit by taking images, so I take a bit of stick for that. We wild camp extensively up there and get to see some awesome sights. In recent years I have gone on extra solo trips just to concentrate on the photography.

Henley, Robin Dodd

What’s your favourite image you've taken?

My favourite image is of Temple Island in Henley on Thames. It is a night shot of the Island illuminated under the stars. This is where the rowing boats start on the course for Henley Regatta every year. People who are associated with the rowing and Henley love this image - in fact, we are auctioning an A2 framed copy of it in a few weeks for a local charity.

It is important to me as this was the moment I realised that the local landscape had so much to offer. Although only 30 miles (as the crow flies) out of Central London, this location is still dark enough to do some decent astrophotography. I have been a shift worker for many years and night-time photography as well as early sunrises have been easy for me before or after work. This type of image is what I love to find in the dark… and maybe wait to see what dawn has to offer as well!

Temple Island Henley, Robin Dodd

Where's next on your list of places to visit to photograph?

I like to photograph anywhere in the UK. I lived abroad much of my early life and think the UK has so much to offer in relation to photography. I would probably put this down to the awful UK weather. But that weather holds it own against months of blue cloudless skies, which are OK for sunbathing but not so good for photography.

I cannot resist the chance of a wild mountain camp in Wales or Scotland and will visit the Dorset coast a bit this year as well.

My daughter is at Leeds University, so I will continue to visit the Yorkshire Dales when I pop up to see her.

I am tempted by the Canadian/USA West coast since watching those YouTubers, Gavin Hardcastle and Adam Gibbs, up to their antics over there.

Congratulations to Robin for his fantastic winning image in the Your View category, 2021. Robin was awarded £1000 and his photograph is included the LPOTY Collection 14 book, as well as on display in the LPOTY exhibition around the UK in partnership with Network Rail.

Follow Robin on Instagram

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