With no formal training in photography, James Appleton could have been like countless others, enjoying it as a hobby but never fully committing to it as his profession. Determined to make his passion his life-long work, he began scouring magazines and spending an inordinate amount of time online to study the work of photographers he admired the most. He also started submitting photographs to online forums for feedback and advice. Of course, it helped that Appleton was born with a competitive spirit. “I’m the kind of person who will follow it through as much as I can,” he says. “If I want to be good at something, I find out how I get good at it, then I go do it.”
The Cambridge, England-based photographer specializes in architectural and wedding photography, but his most stunning shots are his landscape photos taken when he travels. He says he is attracted to strong elemental forces, paying particular attention to light.
“It’s the dramatic light, the epic scale,” he explains. “I like things going on and a lot of movement. In Celtic and Anglo-Saxon mythology these are places that have a magical dimension to them; the sea shore, the edge of a lake, twilight. Everything that was magical would happen at these ‘in-between’ places. They were places of change, doors to other worlds, a bridge to the afterlife. These are places I am drawn to.”
You can read a good story about Appleton over at Photography Monthly which goes into his incredible work ethic. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from him when he talks about photography. “It’s how I define myself. Everyone needs something that they can be proud of. I need something that I can put out in front of me and say ‘this is what I am capable of.'”