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Mat is a York based photographer who long ago fell in love with the Pennines, the focus of much of his work. He also teaches the odd workshop and a few 1-1 landscape outings in the Dales and Peak. Flickr, Facebook
Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.
Landscape photographers with doctorates in cosmology are few and far between but fortunately for us Mat Robinson points his camera (not the big one!) down from the skies occasionally to treat us with some earthbound beauty.
Can you tell me a little about your education, childhood passions, early exposure to photography and vocation?
I've always been a scientist at heart, with little interest in anything even vaguely artistic, going on to study for a PhD in Cosmology which I've just completed at the University of Sheffield. My childhood passions were wanting to know everything about space, dinosaurs and waterfalls - the last of which was my first link to the landscape and was particularly easy for my parents to expose me to what with living on the edge of the Dales. We'd spend plenty of time exploring everything from the famous falls up the Swale to many of the small tributary cascades.
My only real early exposure to photography was a small Ansel Adams postcard book that was my favourite thing that my grandma owned (and which sadly, but gladly I now own - a little worse for wear). I'd enjoy flicking through this every week from the age of 4, admiring the vast landscapes of Yellowstone and New Mexico. Slightly more recently my interest in photography became more a means of recording the things that I saw and the views that I enjoyed on my many walks in the Dales and Peaks. Over the last five or so years the photography side has gradually taken over and these days the walks are more to facilitate that.
What are you most proud of in your photography?
This is perhaps not answering the question exactly, but I'm probably most proud of being able to share the beautiful part of the world that I live in with many thousands of people each week. Linking to this, I'm also proud to be able to say that I've been involved in promoting the two areas I love most, the Yorkshire Dales and Peak District over the last few years by providing the last three cover images for the annual Dales guide and being one of Visit Peak District's destination photography partners.
In most photographers lives there are 'epiphanic’ moments where things become clear, or new directions are formed. What were your two main moments and how did they change your photography?
Probably the main thing that really saw a steep improvement with my photography was moving to Sheffield and having the opportunity to explore the Peak District by train and bus so easily. This allowed me to get out and about much more and meet many of the other very talented photographers in the area, making me realise just what was possible with a camera and pushing me on in an attempt to produce images as beautiful as those I saw from others.