Chris Button Photography

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Profile

I'm a full time Southampton based professional photographer specialising in landscape and close up wildlife images mainly from the South and South West of England.

My interest in photography started with an interest in wildlife. I got into travelling long distances to see rare birds while I was at Durham University and I would also travel to see scarce Butterflies and Dragonflies in the summer months which were quieter for birds. A desire to 'capture' the Butterflies and Dragonflies I was seeing then led to an interest in macro photography and visiting inspiring and beautiful locations looking for wildlife then led to an interest in landscape photography which was further fuelled by family holidays in Lanzarote and Virginia. Just like a lot of other professional photographers I'm self taught learning through making mistakes and researching techniques on the internet.

I run 121 tuition and workshops teaching landscape and close up wildlife photography. I also run 3 day workshops to West Cornwall, North Cornwall, Dorset and Northumberland.

I also exhibit at various venues throughout the year. Its a competitive business to be in and my other income comes from website sales and sales via stock libraries where I am contracted to Getty, Loop and Alamy.

At my workshops I find that people can be overwhelmed by their cameras and are often controlled by the camera which is permanently set in automatic mode. All the buttons and menu options just serve to make matters worse. At my workshops I try to explain how simple the basic variables are and people can start to take control and create great images. An early alarm call is then the next step to get that magical dawn light.

Almost all of my images are taken at dawn or dusk when natural light transforms subjects with its rich and soft colours. Being in the right place for the very best light is never easy and so when it happens it is particularly exciting and rewarding. My approach is to plan carefully so that I can photograph the subject in the best possible conditions and as accurately as possible in one shot. However, given the dynamic range issues that landscapes present and the shallow depth of field that close up wildlife images present I find that bracketing and blending exposures is sometimes necessary in situations where graduated filters aren’t suitable and where depth of field is minimal.

There are plenty of times when the light isn't great and I return home disappointed but this is more than made up for by the times when things go well. There is nothing that matches the excitement of capturing a carefully planned and composed scene in magical lighting especially at dawn long before most normal people are up! That moment when the screen at the back of the camera blinks into life and confirms you've captured a lovely image takes some beating.

Prior to turning professional in 2013 I worked for Lloyds Bank as a Commercial Relationship Manager. I have seen 450 species of bird in Britain travelling 40,000 miles over 20 years and I have seen almost all of Britain's Butterflies, Orchids, Dragonflies, Grasshoppers & Bumblebees. In my teens I was an international schoolboy cricketer and part of the Wales U19 Cricket Squad.

Equipment

    • Nikon D800 36mp
    • Nikon 14-24mm F2.8
    • Nikon 24-70mm f2.8
    • Nikon 28-300mm f3.5-f5.6 VR
    • Nikon 200mm f4 macro
    • Nikon 300mm F4
    • Gitzo Tripod GT3542
    • Arca Swiss D4 geared head
    • f-stop Satori EXP camera pack
    • Nikon 2x teleconverter
    • Kenko Extension Tubes
    • Lee 'super stopper' ND filter
    • Lee 'big stopper' ND filter
    • Lee 'little stopper' ND filter
    • Lee 3-stop ND filter
    • Set of Lee Graduated Filters
    • Heliopan Circular Polariser