Poul is an adventure photographer who has shot in some of the most beautiful places in the world. He talks to Sundried about his best expeditions, wildlife, and what photography means to him.
How did you get into becoming an adventure photographer? Please tell us briefly about your journey.
I was interested in photography back in high school and tried to get an apprenticeship, but the school counsellor sent me to work at a large department store that sold everything under the sun, including compact cameras and cassette tapes. After working hard at stacking shelves for a week, I got to pick a free cassette and I picked the new Prince release “Purple Rain”. My dream of being a photographer was smothered.
Then my sister died when I was 16 and I lost my way in the world for years, in fact it wasn’t until I was in my 40s when my dad passed away that a fire was lit in me to go for what I wanted. When Prince died in 2016 and the radio was playing “Purple Rain”, I remembered it had always been my dream to pursue photography, but a poor high school counsellor and life had other plans.
What's been the most exciting expedition you've been on and why?
Back in 2013 and 2014, I was on assignment for National Geographic in the Dolomites and spent 3 winter months following a couple of adventurers as they crossed the Dolomites in all four seasons for a book assignment. The Dolomites is such a special place and it was the best of times, or at least until I busted an ankle rock climbing, but I had already got the shot of the writers that the publisher wanted.
What's been the best photograph you've ever produced and why?
That is a difficult question as I’ve evolved over the years and my view on life has changed. Some of my most popular images, like a fantastic waterfall shot for a backpack company, are very cool – but to me, it’s maybe more related to the story behind the image. Like micro-adventuring with my 6 year old step daughter and capturing that image gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, or the excitement of photographing a white-tailed eagle.
What's been your favourite location to shoot and why?
The Dolomites are such an amazing place and I would go back any day. Also, my home turf of the Scottish Highlands is a magical place that never stops surprising me every time I go out.
What are the challenges of adventure photography?
The environment is always a challenge when going on adventures as today’s modern equipment all needs to be powered and away from the convenience of a power plug it can be interesting to keep it all going. Then there are factors like cold, wet, hot and dust that can all give unique challenges.
What are your favourite destinations around the world and why?
It would have to be Italy. In the north there are big mountains, charming towns, wine yards, and crazy traffic while in the south you have Sicily, where I lived for over a year, which is full of rock climbing, snorkelling, amazing archaeology and the friendliest people around.
What exciting expeditions do you have coming up over the next year?
This year I’ve teamed up with Conservation Without Borders on their Flight Of The Osprey conservation project where we will track Ospreys on their migration route from Scotland to Ghana and try to highlight the issues the Ospreys face on the route.
What advice would you give to other people thinking of getting into adventure photography?
Don’t worry too much about the equipment you have, just shoot shoot shoot. You can always upgrade the equipment at a later date, but don’t use equipment as an excuse to hold off on your dream. Whatever your interest is, make sure to get out there in the worst conditions. “Hard training makes the fight easy”. Network at any occasion you get and work hard, great things seldom comes easy.