Togs & Tales

Julie Hepburn

Julie Hepburn

Landscape Photographer

Hi I’m Julie, I’m a finance manager born and bred in Belfast, love exploring the outdoors and travelling and capturing it all as I go. I love the social aspect of photography also as have met so many wonderful people that share the same passion.

What was your path to becoming a Landscape Photographer & What was your first camera?

Since my late teenage years I was always armed with a camera and loved taking pictures but was only in my mid 30’s I started to realise there was more to life than partying and started to appreciate the stunning scenery we have in our country. I was visiting all these beautiful places and the pictures I was taking weren’t doing them any justice, so I decided to take the plunge and got my first dslr camera 4 years ago and haven’t looked back since.

What was your favourite Landscape Adventure Story since becoming a Photographer?

Without a doubt it would have to be our trip to Iceland in November 19. We had been to Iceland before but I wanted my freedom to explore as I pleased so hired a car and planned my trip from Keflavik airport right up the south/southeast coast to Vestrahorn (hofn). The beauty of this country is unreal, I think the most surreal moment was standing on the black beach in vik with my camera the snow was pelting down, I was trying to avoid getting wet with the dangerous tides coming in while in front of me the sky was lighting up as the sun rose. Mother Nature at her best.. though the highlight of the trip would have to the glacier lagoon/diamond beach, these were on my bucket list so to be standing amongst these huge glaciers was absolutely epic.. and of course the northern lights, we were lucky enough to have clear skies and seen them twice on our short trip. we plan to return again as soon as we are allowed to travel and explore other parts of the island.

What was your worst in-the-field experience as a landscape Photographer?

On 4 Jan 19 we headed up the coast to Kinbane head our first outing of the new year, we hadn’t been there very long and I took myself off to explore in search of a composition. I headed towards some rocks, I slipped and my foot got jammed between the rocks and I fell forward and my foot stayed there given our location I knew if I phoned for help the only way out was via an air ambulance, so my fiancé and dad had no choice but to kings chair me up those dreaded steps.. 3hrs later we arrived at the causeway hospital and was taken for an X-ray to find my ankle was broken in 5places and needed plates and screws to fix it back together again. The hardest part of this was loosing my independence and learning how to walk again and of course not being able to explore the outdoors. it took 8months to fully recover and now I steer clear of rocks!

Sunrise or Sunset & Why?

I’d have to say sunrise, though it’s a rare occasion that I venture out to capture it.. I just love the calm and peacefulness of a brand new day starting…

Where is your favourite Location in Ireland to Photograph & Why?

I love the north coast and spend most of my time there… but Co Donegal i absolutely adore.. the beautiful mountains, rugged coastline, stunning untouched beaches, the peace, tranquility and being at one with nature. What else would you want?

What is your favourite photograph, that you’ve taken to date, & Why?

All my photographs are special to me whether it’s been crazy/beautiful weather or the memories of the day I captured the photo they all have meaning.. if I have to choose 1 it would be the ‘Rihanna Tree’ it was a shot I had planned in my head, but the conditions were never right.. but this day I looked out and seen the sky was dark and super moody.. so we jumped in the car and headed up the road.. we got there, set up and then there was a break in the sky and it just lit up the crop in the field.. and I finally got the shot I had wanted.

What equipment / Setup are you currently using?

Seeing as I wasn’t getting any holidays this year I took the leap and went mirrorless and upgraded to a Nikon Z7. I am currently using 24-70mm & 15-24mm…manfrotto tripod. I also have a mavic air which I still need lots of practice with.

Top Tip for anyone starting out?

I used to keep notes on my phone of settings to use for certain types of images, but the best way to learn is get out there and just practice, practice, practice.. the great thing about photography is that the learning never stops

Best Advise you’ve personally been given?

Have patience …. it will pay off..

Who is your biggest inspiration as a Landscape Photographer?

Mother Nature…. she gives me the drive to pick up my camera and go explore our beautiful island at every opportunity I have..the excitement and anticipation of not knowing what you might capture that day!

Who is your favourite Irish photographer at the moment?

There is a lot of talent and amazing photographers in Ireland but for me it would have to be the person that has supported and stood by me during my photography journey and through this also fell in love with photography himself, my partner of 11 years Rab Rogan

© All images are copyrighted to Photographer Julie Hepburn
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