Artist's Corner - Richard Gaston - Travel & Lifestyle Photographer
Richard is a Scottish travel and lifestyle photographer and author residing in Glasgow. With his clean style, free of noise and considered composition, he clearly distinguishes his subjects, Richard has shot for the likes of Arcteryx, De Beers, Cereal Magazine, Conolly and Mr Porter. As a published author, Richard co-wrote an award winning travel guide book, Wild Guide Scotland.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your passions?
Hello - my name is Richard Gaston and I’m a photographer from the Scottish countryside of Ayrshire. I currently reside in the city of Glasgow.
My passions include photography, spending time in nature, running on quiet country roads, well made clothing and interior design.
Can you tell us about your process? What is the inspiration behind your photography?
It’s not an over complicated process to be honest, but I do spend a lot of time planning locations, looking at weather forecasts and doing what it takes to get an image that I’m happy with - whether it be bashing through bog, hiking up a mountain or stalking an animal. However, sometimes I can spend hours planning an image, venturing out to that location and come away with nothing, and then unexpectedly come across something amazing that takes a matter of minutes to capture. Ultimately, no photographs are created from sitting at home, they all involve effort and spending time in nature.
You often photograph magnificent Scottish landscapes, do you have a favourite place to shoot?
Personally I think the further north you go in Scotland the more photogenic it becomes. The Northwest in particular. A region named Assynt is where I venture to most. It is home to a rugged landscape, distinctively shaped mountains that rise steeply from the surrounding lochan scenery. Due to their steep sides rising from the moorland, they often appear higher than their actual height. Most commonly shrouded in low lying clouds. Assynt is a place of true Scottish atmosphere; dull and moody weather and more rarely, magical light that dances through the clouds.
Your book, Wild Guide Scotland, explores hidden gems and outdoor adventures in Scotland. Can you share one of them with us?
Absolutely. St. Kilda is a particularly special place. It’s a remote archipelago situated around 80 miles west of mainland Scotland. It is a bit of a challenge to get out there. It’s a three to four (depending where you are leaving from) hour boat trip each way, but the efforts are certainly rewarded with one of the most stunning views in the country, the highest sea cliffs in the country, one of the world's largest gannet colony and an abandoned traditional Scottish coastal village. Inhabitants lived here for more than 2000 years up until the 1930s when they were evacuated. There is so much history to be found on this lonely island.
If you could photograph anywhere in the world, where would it be?
The Kamchatka Peninsula - a volcanic peninsula on the east coast of Russia.
We have been encouraging our team at Begg x Co to share pictures from their daily walks during lockdown – showing the beauty in the places they live. What have you been shooting over the past few months?
During lockdown I developed a greater sense about what was around my home in Glasgow. Discovering new parks I never knew were so near, beautiful traditional streets and cafes. Taking photos has certainly taken a back seat last year, but allowed me to develop new ideas, projects and revisit my archive. However, in the Autumn I was fortunate enough to complete a long distance walk through the wilds of Scotland in between lockdowns, The Cape Wrath Trail. This is a 240-mile, unmarked walk through Scotland’s most spectacular landscapes. It’s a two-and-a-half-week adventure from Fort William to the north-westernmost point of mainland Britain, Cape Wrath. This trip had been on my radar for many years and it did not disappoint. I took away so much from the adventure, many images too which has kept me going throughout these rough few months over winter.
Do you have any upcoming projects you could tell us about?
In 2021, I’m hoping to leave where I left off on my project, ‘The Pinnacle of the Pool River’, a visual study on the mountain, Stac Pollaidh in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland. I revisited the mountains that surround this shapely peak on numerous occasions to capture it from various perspectives and seasons. It is located in my favourite region of Scotland, Coigach-Assynt that I previously mentioned.
What’s your favourite Begg x Co product?
Follow Richard on Instagram @richardgaston
Buy Wild Guide Scotland here