Short exposure...Ruth Asher

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Image above: Feeding time © Ruth Asher

Next up in the hot seat for our online series Short exposure is Ruth Asher, a landscape and wildlife photographer based in Oxfordshire. Winning the Habitat category in the 2014 British Wildlife Photography Awards just five years after she first picked up a camera, it’s exciting to think what Ruth’s future prospects might be. She chats to us about how she came to photography, where she finds her inspiration and how she balances her passion for taking pictures with a busy family life.

OP: Hello! First of all please introduce yourself: tell us the type of pictures you like to take and how you first got into photography.

RA: I probably spend most of my time shooting landscapes but I also do enjoy wildlife photography when the opportunity arises. It was a trip to Svalbard to watch polar bears about 5 years ago that really got me hooked. I purchased my first digital SLR for the trip and I've never looked back since.

Image above: After the harvest © Ruth Asher

OP: How often are you able to get out there and photograph, and is there a particular location you normally go to? 

RA: What with a busy day job and a new baby in the family I find I am only able to get out at weekends. I tend to do a lot of my photography down on the south coast (particularly Sussex) as I love being by the sea and it's also within easy reach of my base in Oxfordshire. I do shoot locally too but I'll take every opportunity I can to get back down to the coast.

OP: What are you working on at the moment? 

RA: I'm actually working indoors right now teaching myself studio skills so that I can photograph my son, although I’m starting to see the potential of flash photography in my outdoor work and have a few ideas I'm keen to pursue.

OP: Where do you find your inspiration?

RA: I don't think there is anything better than being out in the landscape. To me there is nothing more inspirational than watching the light and weather play with the scene before you, seeing the tide come and go, the smell of the sea air or the sound of a lone curlew.

Image above: A life at sea – nesting gannets © Ruth Asher

OP: What’s your dream photography project? 

RA: I fell in love with the Arctic’s stark landscapes and beautiful wildlife when I visited Svalbard a few years ago, so I’m now really keen to explore Antarctica too – I'd particularly love to photograph penguins.

OP: Is there one thing in particular you think would help you improve your photography?

RA: Probably time – time to get out and practice in the field more but also time to learn more about post-production.

OP: What do you think is hot right now in the photography world?

RA: The LEE Filters Little Stopper seems to be very popular at the moment. I've really enjoyed using it so far and I find I like the more subtle motion blur you can create with it.

OP: Where do you see your photography in five years time?

RA: I have no specific plans other than continuing to get out there and create images that please me. I am working towards a book and would love to see that get published, but that's more likely to take 10 years rather than five.

See more of Ruth’s work here: ruthasherphotography.co.uk