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Covid-19 lockdown prompts landscape photographer to self-publish a book of his favourite images

A landscape photographer whose work was cancelled during lockdown used the time to self-publish a book of his favourite images to inspire others.

Thomas Heaton, 36, released a tome containing 53 incredible pictures he’d taken, from images of majestic mountains to photos of epic waterfalls, showing his journey as a photographer over the past five years.

The 118-page book – Landscape Photography On Location with Thomas Heaton – follows his adventures all over the world, and also features photos taken closer to his home in North East England.

He said: ‘When lockdown happened, I suddenly had my whole year of work cancelled, so I decided to turn it into something positive and finish my photography book.

‘I think photography in the past five years has become dominated by the gear and the idea of keeping up with the Jones’s and chasing perfection by photographing iconic scenes.

‘I believe there needs to be a step back away from the technical aspects of photography to the emotional side of things. There is a story behind every image and that’s what I write about in this book.’

The book begins with photos taken high in the mountains in some of the most picturesque places in the world and finishes at ground level, with pictures that could have been taken in a back garden.

He explained: ‘With each picture, I reveal the story behind it. For example, on one occasion I was in Nepal taking pictures at 4,800 metres (15,750ft) and got terrible altitude sickness, so I had to walk for a day to the next village, which was 1000 metres lower in altitude before it got worse.

‘With most of the photos I also include a QR code, which people can scan and it takes them through to my YouTube episode on that particular image so they can find out even more.’

Thomas, who first started taking photos when he was 16 and now has a YouTube channel with more than 400,000 followers and 32 million views, said he hopes the book encourages others to take their own pictures.

He added: ‘I hope people take away the fact you don’t need to impress anyone else but yourself. I hope they will take pictures for themselves, rather than what social media expects.

‘My book starts in the mountains and ends with small landscapes and I think my favourite images are the latter ones, which are more intimate pictures.

‘The book isn’t full of exotic locations. I want to show that you don’t need to travel halfway around the world to take amazing pictures, you can take incredible images just in your back garden.’

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