Great shots and the stories behind them

Daniel Kordan


“I try to create a bit of magic in my images so people will be happy and inspired by nature when they look at them,” says Daniel. And magic they certainly are. Daniel captured these incredible ‘dancing’ mangrove trees on Walakiri Beach on Indonesia’s Sumba Island. “It’s surprisingly remote and people aren’t used to seeing tourists,” explains Daniel. The images were taken as part of Daniel’s project working with striking trees around the world, which he decided to do as “they are the source of life on our planet and must be protected. Images of trees give me peace of mind”. The day was planned with meticulous precision: “You can only take these type of images on one or two days of the month – when the start of high tide corresponds with sunset. I spent a long time planning beforehand. Then I only had around 20 minutes of good tide conditions to capture the series.” Daniel loves the beauty and fragility of Walakiri Beach and is hopeful that local residents will create a national park or protected area for them in the near future – a sentiment we’re definitely on board with.

Z 7, NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/5.6, ISO 160, 15 s

lee pullen


“The first time I saw my baby daughter Juno was through the viewfinder of my Nikon Z6,” says Lee, whose usual work spans from ultra-macro to astro. “I had just got the camera and planned to put it through its paces to document the first few days of life for my baby,” says Lee. “So we packed our bags and went to the hospital where my wife had her labour induced. The labour wasn’t smooth though and eventually an emergency caesarean section had to be performed. The doctors were fantastic and the midwife told me I could take pictures of our baby being held up after delivery.” For such an important moment, it was vital the Z 6 performed. “The viewfinder is jaw-droppingly good,” says Lee, “and allowed me to very quickly dial in the settings and see what the results would be without needing to look at the LCD screen and get the picture I was after. It’s probably the most important photo I’ll ever take.”

Z 6 NIKKOR AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 G ED

Ulrich schuster


Ulrich’s work mainly focuses on lifestyle and sport. So when the first lockdown started last March, Ulrich took the opportunity to add some new work to his portfolio and fine-tune the work he’d been doing with coloured flash and sunlight. This lead him to work with Nubian, a German-based sports model. “In my sports imagery I want my talents to look strong and driven. But in my photography in general, I like a clean setup frame, such as staged photography, planning angles, moods and location scouting,” he explains. Ulrich snapped this shot last August during lockdown in Berlin: “The challenge was to create a dynamic look and feel, where the model’s legs and movement would work with the lines of the location. We took quite a few frames.” He adds that the last year has, “Given me the time to take a step back, let me reflect on my personal style and where I want to go with it, as well as what my next steps might be. I also found that the creative community in Berlin was very open to set up projects and collaborations.”

Z 6, NIKKOR Z 24-70 mm 2.8 S, ISO 100, 1/1600 sec @ f/4

nadia meli


“I was under a bit of time pressure as my client had another appointment and so I had to create a moment of calm so we could get the shot,” says Nadia Meli of this portrait. “The client, Priscilla, had booked a shoot for herself and her partner,” says Nadia. “There was great soft window light pouring in and illuminating my whole studio that day, making for beautiful, evenly distributed light. “I adore this shot. When I look at it I feel peace, calm and a powerful moment of gathering breath and strength before stepping into action.” Nadia, who was born in Italy and grew up in Germany, now lives and works in Brighton, on the south coast of England where she specialises in portraiture. “I’m pretty laid back when it comes to photography, she says. “What I really love is the connection photography creates, not just beween the photographer and the subject but also between the photographer and the viewer.”

Z 7, NIKKOR 58mm f1.4 plus FTZ Mount Adapter, ISO 160, 1/125 sec @ f/3.2

Ross hoddinott


Ross had visited ethereal Quiraing, on Scotland’s Isle of Skye several times over the last decade, but had never managed to get a shot that showed the extraordinary landscape in all of its wild, rugged glory. But on this particular morning in November 2019, “the elements combined to provide 60 seconds of gorgeous, golden side light and drama. So many successful landscape images are the result of multiple visits, perseverance – and a generous slice of luck!” admits Ross. The Quiraing is a landslip on the eastern face of Meall na Suiramach, the northernmost summit of the Trotternish peninsula, a view that Ross says is “arguably one of the best vistas in the UK”. A major challenge for Ross is that he lives in Cornwall, the opposite end of the country to Skye: “It is a two-day drive for me to get to Skye, so I have limited opportunities to capture views like this. But thanks to previous visits, I knew exactly where I wanted to shoot from and my favoured composition, so on the morning I took this I arrived before sunrise, walked to my viewpoint in semi-darkness, set-up my Z7, and waited for the light to break. The light was magical for around 60 seconds, bathing and shaping the landscape. I only took a handful of frames, but it’s transient moments like this that landscape photographers live for.”

Z 7, Z NIKKOR 24-70mm f/4S ,ISO 64, 1/5 sec @ f/11

stian norum herlofsen


“As soon as I saw these two, I immediately thought this could be a special photo,” says Stian. He estimates that the cub in this incredible photo was only a few months old. He took the image in the Finnish wilderness, near the Finnish and Russian border, and says that it’s likely that the mother bear was looking through some small bushes and could hear that a human was around as he approached. Stian wants his photography “to connect with the magical, mysterious and roughness of wildlife and nature”. He’s been going to Finland for a week or two each year for the past few years, “So that I can photograph the big predators in Nordic nature. The bear is just one of them: sometimes I also see wolves and wolverines.” 2020 bought extra challenges for Stian: “I lost my Dad during the summer of 2020. It was quite challenging and it still is. My passion for photography is a sort of therapy for me. Especially as a nature-photographer, as I’m often out in the forest or in the mountains. Photography keeps me going.” One final – and very important – word from Stian: “Always respect Mother Nature. Especially when she weighs 400 pounds and is guarding her babies.”

Z 7, AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II plus adapter, ISO 800, 1/800 sec @ f/5

Emil Boczek


Bristol Zoo might not be the first place that springs to mind when thinking of wedding locations, but this perhaps surprisingly popular venue provided the backdrop for Oli and George’s wedding in June 2019. A brilliant confetti shot can be notoriously hard to nail, but fortunately, wedding photographer Emil found the higher frame rate of the Z 7 particularly useful for this snapshot. This candid, joyful image is a signature of his work. “I am
a pure documentary wedding photographer, capturing natural moments as they happen without posing or directing. I will never interfere with the flow of the day,” he says. Emil, who is of Polish-Canadian descent but has lived in the West Midlands since 2007, holds the accolade of the Wedding Photojournalist Association’s (WPJA) top UK documentary wedding photographer. Emil admits that looking back at this photo evokes, “Happiness. It’s so nice to see two people genuinely in love and just so very happy.” We couldn’t agree more.

Z 6, AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1.8G, ISO 560, 1/320 sec @ f/2.5

the kitcheners


“It was late in the afternoon and the clouds were dark. I could sense that the weather was changing,” says Dylan Kitchener of Scotland-based husband and wife photography team The Kitcheners. “When I look back at
this moment I think about the ferns moving in the wind and the scent in the air just before it started to rain heavily.” The shot was taken in Fairy Glen on the rugged and beautiful Isle of Skye directly after a wedding ceremony at the same outdoor location. “I saw the stunning backdrop of the Fairy Glen and asked the bride if she could walk away from the camera through the ferns,” Dylan says. Achieving the cinematic shot was no easy task, as Skye is a popular tourist destination. “It’s busy all through the year,” says Dylan, “so sometimes the biggest challenge is taking a photo without tourists in the background. It pays to wait a minute or two to get a clear shot.”

D750, Nikkor AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G, ISO 100, 1/640 sec @ f/2

felix inden


It’s a challenge that many landscape photographers will be familiar with. How do they keep their gear – and themselves – safe when trying to photograph that perfect wave, while the sea is in a potentially aggressive mood. Happily, Felix managed to escape these issues while taking this intoxicating image of the rising swell from Tungeneset in Senja, with the Okshornan mountain range in the distance. Senja, Norway’s second biggest island, is found far above the Arctic Circle. “The tide level was perfect during sunset,” he says. “The swell was growing from the snow storms that were coming in close to the coast. The stormy mood allowed for some dramatic light that suits these jagged and sharp peaks in the background.” Pre-pandemic, Felix – who says “landscape photography is my form of meditation” – did most of his portfolio work in Scandinavia, the Faroe Islands and Patagonia. Of his work he says that, “I try to guide the viewer through the frame of my images. My goal is to achieve an emotional reaction.” This striking shot certainly achieves that.

Z 7, FTZ Adapter, NIKKOR 14-24mm 2.8, ISO 64, 1 sec @ f/11

Rosita Lipari and Michele Lo giudice


Rosita describes her work as being “in constant search for the perfect moment”. Rosita and Michele are an award-winning husband and wife team, who photograph weddings throughout Sicily and the world. This particular wedding was photographed in Masseria, Puglia, Southern Italy. “The dressing of a bride is one of the most intense and emotionally charged moments of the day,” says Rosita. “The moment when there is an actual awareness about what will happen next – that you are about to get married.” Rosita and Michele are accutely aware of the importance of trust between the photographer and the couple: “A wedding photograph is not just an image but a story. We didn’t have window lights in this room, just a skylight at the top. The delicate tones of the surrounding area complimented the bride’s dress, while the bridesmaids’ brightly coloured outfits frame the scene. Light, colour and a decisive moment came together to create the perfect photo.”

D 810 28mm1.4, ISO 2800 1/400 sec @ f /2.5