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Dickon Pownall-Gray

Dickon Pownall-Gray in IcelandAbout Dickon

Dickon grew up in the small village of Abbotts Ann, in Hampshire, England. Dickon was a cross-country runner and would run for miles through Oak and Beach forests, aside chalk bottomed, crystal clear rivers and along paths overgrown on both sides by dense hedgerows, where frightened pheasants would startle him as they took sudden flight inches from his feet. Dickon’s countryside distance running taught him to be acutely aware of nature. He observed Badger pups playing in forest shadows, Kingfishers hunting for Trout roe, Wood Peckers pecking for grubs, Hawks drifting on thermal up-drafts watching for stray baby rabbits. He grew expert in weather change and knew when a storm was building, or a rainbow coming, or if the fleeting English sun was about to emerge, and he wanted dearly to photograph all he saw, only it took him two years to save his paper round money to buy a high-quality German camera at twelve years old. Over the years Dickon has steadily developed his photography, one skill set at a time. Initially, he focused on landscapes of nature with animals, which taught him about f-stops and depth of field, about composition, about where in the picture to set his focus, about being patient to wait for a wild animal to emerge. Later, he turned to action photography, specializing in high-speed sports photography, especially soccer but also birds. Recently, he has focused on night and low light photography feeling that some of the most beautiful of all photographs are taken in the fleeting moments of post sunset afterglow, especially with cathedrals or ancient ruined castles or small historic villages nestled against coastlines or mountains. He likes this type of photography as one gets just a few seconds to capture the image, so the pressure is on to get the composition and the camera light settings perfectly right first time, or risk losing the opportunity forever. And talking of risk, nothing makes Dickon happier than to be pushing the photographic edge. Dickon was a camera man for Italian Public Television and lived in February inside the Artic Circle in a Teepee of the Nenet's Nomadic people sleeping with his cameras in his sleeping bag to stop them freezing and later flew in a Russian military helicopter, loaded with wreaking diesel, to track migrating Reindeer numbers on the Yamal Peninsula of Northern Siberia. Last year Dickon and his wife Alice braved seventy mile an hour gales and ice storms and hiked into remote parts of Iceland to capture majestic landscapes set against Europe’s largest glaciers with black volcanic sand beaches as their backdrops. In 2023, Alice and Dickon hope to photograph Eagle Hunters in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia, accessible only by five days and nights of four-wheel driving and camping out.