Inside this issue
Lee Acaster is an amateur photographer based in East Anglia with a love of nature and the landscape. He is widely published and has won numerous national awards, including British Wildlife Photographer of the Year, AP magazine's Amateur Photographer of the Year and Wex Photographer of the Year, plus commended or runner up images in Landscape Photographer of the Year, International Garden Photographer of the Year and Outdoor Photographer of the Year.
In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.
Lee Acaster has built up an enviable track record of competition successes, so it’s likely that you have heard of him and seen some of his images. His urban goose - the winning picture in the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2014 – is prominent on the current catalogue of a well-known paper manufacturer; a slight irony perhaps for an East Anglian landscape photographer.
Can you tell me a little about yourself – your education, early interests and career?
I grew up on the edge of a small town in East Yorkshire, where my dad was a dustman and my mum worked in factories, often on nights, so needed to sleep during the day. Like many children back in the 70’s and 80’s I was often ushered out of the house to go and “play outside somewhere”, so I spent much of the time exploring the nearby farmland and countryside. I’ve had a love of nature and the outdoors ever since. Two or three days indoors soon has me climbing the walls.
I’d always been fairly good at art at school, so after leaving with underwhelming exam results, I enrolled on a general Art and Graphic Design course at a nearby art college. This included a small amount of photography and was where I first got my hands on an SLR camera. I learned the basics of aperture and shutter speeds etc., and how to process and print in the darkroom. Although I really enjoyed the photography aspect, I found it slightly frustrating that my pictures always seemed to be a pale imitation of what I had seen through the viewfinder, and as I progressed through higher education I concentrated on graphic design, rarely picking up a camera again.