PETS IN FO­CUS

He only re­cently dis­cov­ered photography, but Martin Tosh’s abil­ity to cap­ture the char­ac­ter of peo­ple’s beloved pets has earned him a ma­jor in­ter­na­tion­ally­ac­claimed ac­co­lade

EDP Norfolk - - Inside - www.photography-by-tosh.com

AS MARTIN TOSH trav­els the na­tion’s high­ways be­hind the wheel of his car trans­porter, his mind is not on the miles still to go but the light as it dances across the land he passes.

An as­pir­ing photographer, he has just been named run­ner up in the Res­cue Dog cat­e­gory of the Ken­nel Club’s an­nual Dog Photographer of the Year com­pe­ti­tion – which re­ceived al­most 10,000 en­tries from 74 dif­fer­ent coun­tries across the globe. For Martin, who is com­pletely self taught and only took up photography three years ago, it was an in­cred­i­ble achieve­ment.

The win­ning pho­to­graph was taken on Hun­stan­ton beach of his sis­ter’s res­cue dog Fly cap­tured in full joy against the mag­nif­i­cent sun­set.

“It wasn’t for an of­fi­cial book­ing, it was just a fam­ily day out, but the light was ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic with the sun­set cre­at­ing this in­cred­i­ble sil­hou­ette. Some­times there is a magic mo­ment, when ev­ery­thing comes to­gether,” he said.

“Fly is a gor­geous dog. He is a bor­der col­lie who was given up by his orig­i­nal own­ers then given to a farmer to help herd cat­tle in the Peak Dis­trict. He ob­vi­ously wasn’t very good and in­stead he was left tied up most days and never walked, so my sis­ter asked if she could take him. Now he is a very happy dog who ab­so­lutely loves his walks.”

Martin, who lives in Nor­wich with his wife Fiona and cats Nala and Wil­low, be­came in­ter­ested in photography af­ter Fiona be­gan tak­ing pic­tures of her late mother’s gar­den.

“I think she found it a ther­a­peu­tic thing to do. We bought a bet­ter cam­era and I grad­u­ally be­came more and more in­ter­ested. I re­ally loved try­ing out new things and learn­ing dif­fer­ent tech­niques; now it is a com­plete ob­ses­sion.

“I fol­lowed video tu­to­ri­als, lis­tened to pod­casts and en­rolled on on­line cour­ses. I am very self-crit­i­cal and I prac­tice all the time, do­ing things again and again to hone my skills. One of the most cru­cial things is un­der­stand­ing light; you sud­denly spend your whole life ob­sessed with it.”

Martin has al­ways been an an­i­mal lover and grew up with cats and dogs, so a lot of his photography fo­cuses on cap­tur­ing the char­ac­ter of peo­ple’s pets.

“I bumped into some­body a cou­ple of years ago when I was at Surling­ham Ferry, tak­ing pho­to­graphs of an old sail­ing boat. The owner asked whether he could have a cou­ple of the pho­to­graphs so I passed on my de­tails. When he looked on my web­site he saw some pic­tures I had taken of my cats and asked if he could book a pet photography ses­sion for his son’s black cat Lola. It was my first of­fi­cial shoot and it has grown from there.”

He says jug­gling his day job as a car trans­porter driver and his work as a photographer is tricky.

“Driv­ing up and down the mo­tor­way you see lots of great scenes and the most amaz­ing light at dif­fer­ent times of the day, but ob­vi­ously you can’t stop and take pho­to­graphs so it can be in­cred­i­bly frus­trat­ing. But when I am not be­hind the wheel, Nor­folk is the most won­der­ful in­spir­ing place. I love be­ing out with my cam­era on the Broads at Hick­ling and Strump­shaw and on the north Nor­folk coast.”

Martin’s win­ning photographer taken of Fly at Hun­sa­tan­ton, De­cem­ber 2016

Cromer, June 2017

Nor­folk, May 2017

Martin Tosh, on lo­ca­tion at Cove­hithe, July 2017

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