Profile

 

I'm probably best known for being the only photographer crazy enough to hike all the way up to the Fimmvörðuháls eruption on the side of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland back in 2010. I flew out last minute with the sole purpose of doing this, fully aware of what I was getting myself into. The images I captured during four days on the pass have been published worldwide and been viewed online in multi-million figures. To be fair, there aren't many other photos of a lava-spitting volcanic cone against a backdrop of glowing aurora borealis. These images have won me international photographic awards and one of them is currently being used on the official National Geographic Travel website as their representative image for Iceland. I'm 26 and entirely self-taught, and I fully intend to top this experience one day...

I like to think of myself as somewhat adventurous - where other people look for the easy path, the safe viewpoint, you'll often instead see me in the distance balancing over crevasses or wading out in front of a waterfall. I strongly believe that in order for photographs to stand out in a time when everyone seems to have professional camera gear you not only have to be exceptionally talented, but you also have to be willing to go the extra mile to find unique angles and events, to find places that no-one else is willing to get to.

Granted, my approach to photography makes life a hell of a lot harder than just parking a car and walking into a field, but I love pitting myself against the elements. Some of the most contented moments of my life have come in raging snowstorms, when body heat and decent cold weather gear allows you to exist in some pretty extreme environments.

I'm also fortunate in that I seem to have a natural fitness and ability to push myself way beyond the normal levels of a sane person. You may never have heard of the infamous Tough Guy race held in the UK, but I would recommend you take a look. It's a race I have won three times.

In terms of my photography, light and scale are everything. I focus on the bigger picture - the epic, raging dominance of nature at it's most powerful. That's not to say there aren't moments for capturing more peaceful scenes - but for me it's all about melting the back of someone's eyes rather than massaging them...

From time to time other people are kind enough to take an interest in me and what I do - but my favourite so far has to be a fantastic article by a lovely man called Geoff Langan, which you can read through this link:

James Appleton: How to never give up...

plus a solid feature on wired.com:

Northern Lights Pain Sky over Arctic Volcano

 

Photography aside, I once got asked to feature in an marketing campaign as a "real-life Jason Statham". I also have a first-class degree from Cambridge University in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic. I'm not entirely sure how that happened, but if you ever want to discuss the Anglo-Saxon views on liminal zones in the landscape and how I think they relate to our appreciation of photography today, I'm your man...

 

Publications and Clients:

National Geographic, Der Spegiel, The Telegraph, The Independent, La Repubblica, Wanderlust Travel Magazine, Practical Photography, Photography Monthly, Digital Camera Magazine, Redwood, Land Rover, Discover the World, Wired.com, CAM magazine to name just a few...

 

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