North East coast - Robin Hoods Bay
Robin Hoods Bay

Few coastlines could be as dramatic and full of contrast as that of the North East coast, and few photographers could capture it more imaginatively than Dave Zdanowicz.

Despite living at Woodside, Bradford, which is just about as far as you can get from any coast, Dave loves going on photographic expeditions to record his atmospheric images of the cliffs, beaches, harbours and villages from Whitley Bay down to Bridlington.

“Dave sometimes combines his photography with holidays and trips out”

Dave, aged 33, only took up photography about five years ago but has already made a name for himself, with his images featured in national newspapers such as the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and Huffington Post. One of his winter shots was voted readers’ choice in BBC
Countryfile magazine.

His first book, Yorkshire in Photographs, published last year, has been a huge success and his second book (preorder here) is due to be released in September.

Dave works as a performing arts technician at Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College, Bradford, where a colleague sold him his first digital camera, a Canon 60D.

Dave recalls: “I remember my first location was the canal at Brighouse. I was just hooked straight away, and it’s grown and grown since then.

“When you start in photography you make a lot of mistakes and take a lot of rubbish photographs. It’s just been a case of wanting to improve and get better at what I’m doing.”

North East coast - Saltwick Bay shipwreck
Shipwreck at Saltwick Bay

Dave’s dad Paul has been an enthusiastic photographer for many years, and they usually go on picture taking expeditions together, although Dave sometimes combines his photography with holidays and trips out with girlfriend Treacy and son Jack.

“I’ll nip out at the crack of dawn and take some shots at sunrise. I like to spend the rest of the day with my family, and I’m normally back before they’re awake.”

Dave’s first book concentrated on the Yorkshire countryside, but his visits to the coast enabled him to explore other aspects of Yorkshire and the North East.

“It takes about two hours each time to get to the coast from where I live,” Dave says. “I’ve visited pretty much each town and village on the north east coast, apart from maybe one or two, and I think it’s made a nice collection.

“You can always find something to photograph at the coast. There are more points of interest, and if you’ve got a nice sky you can’t really fail to get a good photograph.

“I’ll hope for a nice sunrise, then I’ll look around to see what see what’s there, like a lighthouse, pier, boats, people on the beach… anything to make a photograph look more interesting.

“I like to include people in some of my shots, because they always add something, although when I’ve been to Filey and Scarborough to take shots at sunrise, it was 6am and there were literally no people about.”

Dave has replaced his second-hand camera with another Canon, a 6D, and has acquired a selection of lenses, although he sticks mainly to wideangle.

He isn’t in any camera clubs, but some have approached him to be a guest speaker. “I’ve been asked a couple of times to come and speak but I’ll admit I’m not very confident as a public speaker. I just enjoy going out taking pictures, and anything else is a bonus.”

You can see more of Dave’s work on his website davezphotography.co.uk and on Facebook and Twitter.

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