Jo Stephen Photography

Impressionist Nature Photography from North Dorset..

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I have been documenting my relationship with the nature and landscape around my home in rural north Dorset using photography for many years now. I’m self taught photographer, I trained as an ecologist and also worked for many years as a glassblower in a small studio in rural Dorset.

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Summer on the chalk downs of Dorset.

My work is created on a shoestring, often using vintage lenses often found in charity shops, and a rather battered and beloved Sony A58. I improvise filters from found objects, such as petals, leaves and pieces of glass and experiment to create images that reflect my connection to the local woods, wild places and wildlife. I also make imagery using alternate processes such as cyanotype and anthotype using natural objects to create unique photograms.

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Three of my glass bottles.

Nearly all of my photographic work is taken within a few miles of my home in rural north Dorset. Living sustainably and treading lightly are very important to me and I keep my carbon footprint to a minimum. Working locally also allows me to develop my knowledge of and relationship with the landscape around me. Immersing myself in the local landscape with my camera has proven therapeutic both physically and for my mental wellbeing, and has deepened my passion for both biodiversity conservation and sustainability.

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Wet cyanotypes with peacock feathers

My photography has been awarded recognition in the RHS photographic competition portfolio, social media and all about plants catagories, International Garden Photographer of the Year abstract views catagory been shortlisted in the British Photography Awards macro catagory and honourably mentioned in the Back from the Brink photographic competition in the biodiversity category and NUS students for Trees competion.

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I am proud to be a member of Nature First which is built on seven core principles to ensure photographers minimise their impacts on the natural environment and work in a sustainable manner to help protect and preserve the natural world.

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The Nature First Principles:
  1. Prioritise the well-being of nature over photography.
  2. Educate yourself about the places you photograph.
  3. Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.
  4. Use discretion if sharing locations.
  5. Know and follow rules and regulations.
  6. Always follow the Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.
  7. Actively promote and educate others about these principles.