BIO

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Background

My interest in photography has been sporadic. I have had various burst of interest from a very early age, going as far back as remembering my Nonno (grandfather) looking through his very modern for its time Kodak. A man with which I share my love for gadgets, technology and a want to understand. He became fascinated with moving pictures and would always be hiding behind his cine camera directing all around him. This enthusiasm was carried on by his son and my father Peter Nardini who also enjoyed the role of director. My fathers passion though is art and is one of Scotlands leading artists.

My first memorable encounter with a 35mm film camera was one xmas when my sister 5 years my senior got a Praktica SLR which I just loved to hold. For a few years she flirted with it until she also realised her love lay in painting and the world of art. You can view her work here

For me it was always the opposite, I liked art although I was always more technical, drawing out plans for my youthful ideas and seeing things more graphically than my sister and father. It was while studying art/design at secondary school that I got my chance to point in the direction of photography. For my O'Grade I was fortunate to have a teacher that could show me the basics both of the camera and in the dark room. I used these new skills to pass that year but for my Higher studies I was left to study on my own as Mr. McBride (my enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher) left for pastures new. I continued to work with the camera and loved to disappear into the school darkroom to explore the possibilities through mostly trial and error. My father then gave me my Nonno's old enlarger and managed to find some room in the garden shed to set up my own very basic darkroom. I love to look back at some of those old negatives I produced. This learn by myself method is one that has continued through every element of my progression in photography.

With my highers complete and now cut loose from the security of school it was time to do some serious studying or start working. I half heartedly applied for college/university courses ranging from textile engineering to photography to civil engineering as I really had no idea what I wanted to do. I had always been told that "What's for you, won't go by you!" This had a destructive effect on my direction, I got it into my head that I didn't need to try or push for anything because it would just happen if it was meant to. So when I got accepted for a Civil Engineering course I went along with it and hence the camera got put down and became less of an interest to me. Study was never for me, especially something I had little interest in so duly began to look for work while going through the motions of college. I applied for everything and anything including anything to do with photography. In fact I remember with embarrassment when I got an interview for a printing/photographers post at a small firm in Glasgow. I was asked to bring along my portfolio and to this day I cringe when I think what I took along. My naivety was blatant, when I took along my folder from school with bits and pieces thrown in. I had never been shown a photographers portfolio and I will always remember the interviewer saying "Is this your Portfolio????" and gave out a quiet but audible chuckle. It was a lesson in naivety and one that has stuck, I now research probably overly anything I want to try and do. I will give the man his due he continued with the interview and showed me around the work place which did give me experience for my future interviews. 

After a year or so of applying and applying and applying for jobs I eventually got work in the local railway depot. That was in 1993 and yip I'm still there. Far from my first choice of career but a good one at that. In fact it was with this stability that allowed me to reengage with my real passion, photography. In my late twenties I decided technology was passing me by and I needed to catch up. I got a PC and a cheap point and shoot digital camera. I got to know my way around the software and began to feel a love for images again. Moving up to a semi automatic digital while still doing some film work (although the darkroom was still off limits) I found myself taking the camera more places again, wanting to capture the world around me.

It was then time to invest, and my first overly researched buy was a Nikon D80 DSLR. The buzz and excitement of being able to see my images instantly where I could amend for any mistake was hugely gratifying. The mystery and wonder of the darkroom will never be replaced but this new technology was something I wanted to embrace with open arms. 

My next problem was to find out what genre was my passion and able to be adjusted around my family life.

I decided to do a few Saturday morning photography courses at Glasgow's College of Building & Printing to try and gain some direction. Then decided to Study at the Open College of Arts hoping to eventually progress through the Photography degree course. I stuck it out for two years but soon realised the time needed to complete the written assignments etc as time I didn't have to spare between work and life with my beautiful wife and two young girls. The supposed 8-10 hours a week required was time I'd rather spend shooting rather than behind a computer. Self learning had become the norm now though and I continued doing so online, picking up ideas and techniques from any source I could. 

Eventually I found some direction in the Landscape and the outdoors when I found myself with a few hours on Croy beach on the west coast of Scotland one March afternoon in 2014. The weather was typically Scottish, there was sun, hail, horizontal freezing rain and a good stiff wind off the sea with clouds moving quickly across the sky. I had got a hold of some cheap filters, a very unsteady tripod and some knowledge of how to shoot seascapes from one of the monthly photography magazines. I was all over the place, my filters were wet with spray, the tripod was moving in the wind and my fingers were freezing but I remember looking up at one point at the driving rain and low soft light break through the clouds and saying to myself, "This is what I want to photography". I hadn't noticed before but my passion was most definitely for natural light and the outdoors with 20 plus years driving trains through the Scottish countryside at all hours of the day had obviously and subconsciously schooled me in the delights of the outdoors. So from this moment onwards I've chased the light year after year with that moment on Croy beach etched in my memory as the beginning of it all.

Awards

The British Photography Awards 2021 Landscape Category                                   Winner

Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year 2018 Overall Portfolio                   Highly Commended

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2018                                                                 Commended

Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2017                                                                      Commended

International Garden Photographer of the year 2016                                               Highly Commended

Eisa UK Photography Awards 2016                                                                               Finalist

Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year 2016                                                  Commended

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2016                                                                 Commended

Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2016                                                                     Commended

RICS Infrastructure Photography 2015                                                                       Runner Up

Outdoor Photography Magazine Issues 212, 226, 263                                               Cover Image

Book published with Kozu Books 'Landscape Editions' Volume Sixteen - "Intimate Winter"

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DYLAN NARDINI

Landscape Photographer