My name is Daniel Thomas Anslow, I am 30 years old and from the UK. From the age of 16 I joined the British Army and have travelled to various countries during the time I have served. The military is all I have ever known and done since leaving school, but about a year and half ago, I became interested in travel and landscape photography and I haven’t looked back ever since.
Words and images by Daniel Thomas Anslow
My journey began on the 27 July 2019 with the purpose of travelling from Plymouth to North Wales, The Lake District and eventually Scotland over the period of a month, Living out of a Volkswagen van and sleeping in a tent. During this adventure I wanted to photograph some of the most iconic photography spots the UK has to offer, as well as find new locations to be creative and create new content for Instagram.
Whilst travelling across the UK, I personally wanted to improve my photography skills, up my Instagram story game and also improve my Instagram feed. I embarked on this journey with a good friend of mine called Jason John Fenton who already has an outstanding and ever growing following on the platform. He has definitely taught me a thing or two about photography and has also shown me better ways to achieve what I want when it comes to my compositions and editing of photographs.
Towards the end of our adventure we was met by Micheal Fitzgibbon who is an adventure seeker and fitness fanatic and Steven Kelly who teaches and runs various courses for survival in the south west and who owns a company called south west survival. We had some challenges along the way but with a little perseverance and determination we accomplishing what we set out to do.
The biggest challenges we faced whilst on the road was the weather and being able to maintain all of our equipment during rainy days! At this time of the year, the UK is generally dry and warm, well at least that’s what we thought until we reached Scotland! Considering it was the end of July beginning of August when we began our adventure, most days were wet, cold and miserable and as a photographer this adds another level of difficulty and challenges, whilst also trying to maintain your camera gear.
From side ways rain hitting the face of your camera lens to condensation forming on the inside, these were very hard conditions to operate in and it definitely took its toll on us. I am currently using the Canon 6D MKii which is supposedly weather sealed but this is definitely not the case. A small amount of rain on my camera made my camera repeatedly stop working and made it malfunction. Multiple times during our adventure I found myself making plastic bag covers, which I tapped around the lens and body to form some kind of weather seal whilst also using canoe bags to prevent it from getting wet when we was hiking over the Torridon mountain range and ridge lines. One rainy day in Scotland we decided to find some Highland Coo to photograph for that real moody, wet look.
About half way through the shoot my camera failed to work and even started taking its own pictures. I was really heartbroken at the time because I really wanted to nail the wet shots but my camera wouldn’t allow it. I eventually came to the realisation that I would need to spend some time in Jason’s van in order to dry my camera on the heaters in hope my camera would start working again. Unfortunately After about an hour of trying to dry it, and it still not working correctly, I realised the shoot was over for me. Shortly after Jason and Micheal come rushing back to the van in order to dry out their cameras because condensation was forming inside their lens and they needed to dry it out as fast as possible so they could carry on shooting the Coo. We laughed so hard about the weather, being soaking wet through and the fact my camera gave up on me so easily. Its only once the weather subsides and you check your photos to see if you captured something special, that you feel like all the bad weather wasn’t so bad!
I found the f-Stop Tilopa mountain series backpack to be an essential piece of equipment for these kind of conditions. The Tilopa kept all of my camera equipment safe and dry and was a really comfortable bag to be carrying around the Welsh and Scottish mountains. I honestly think this backpack helped a lot with the challenges I faced whilst on the mountains and I’m never leaving home without it. The one thing I learned from this adventure was, you can never predict the weather but you can adapt to any challenge and overcome any situation as long as you’re determined enough to see it through. This was shown by the many great photos I’ve gained and not to forget the memories I have made also. Every photo has a story and I will always remember what I had to do to achieve each one.
Fun & Surprises
My favourite memory of the adventure was surfing the scree run on our decent of the Black Cuillin Ridge on the Isle of Skye. After ascending the ridge and coming across some of the worst weather you could possibly want whilst on the hardest mountain range in the UK, we decided to make our way back down the mountain to find the coffee shop located at the Glenbrittle campsite for a well deserved hot dog and oats milk late. The thing I was most surprised about with the journey was the Tilopa backpack and how much stuff I could actually fit within it. I had all my camera gear which consisted of 2 lenses my 16-35mm and 70-200mm, batteries for my camera, my Mavic Pro and all of its components, as well as warm clothing, dry clothing, a sleeping bag, waterproofs, food, water and cooking utensils.
I’m shocked at how much equipment can be fitted within the backpack and the straps on the outside are perfect for attaching my roll mat, pillow, tripod and with a little bit of bungee on the bottom, my tent. What more could you want from a adventure backpacking when tackling the most serious mountain range in the UK. Whilst in Portree, a small well know town on the Isle of Skye we made one cafe called relish our go to cafe for the duration of the trip. The staff there are really friendly, talkative and they actually ask about your day and give you advise when needed. They also do the most amazing pies and cakes I have ever had and I would recommend this cafe to anyone who’s visiting Portree.
Tricks & Tips
Before setting out on your adventure pre-pack your backpack with everything you would use and make sure it fits. Preparation is key before taking on the British weather. Even in the summer months make sure you have gloves and a hat to keep you warm in case the weather turns for the worst whilst on the mountain. Never scrimp on a midge net, the worst thing you can do in the summer is forget this item, the midges will eat you alive and make your whole experience and journey one big nightmare. Where you can, always waterproof your equipment, use canoe bags and shower caps to protect your camera from the rain. Finally my biggest tip is, get out in the rain and photograph some wet Highland Coo, you can thank me later.
I like to think that I have a keen eye when it comes to seeing a composition from a different and unusual angle to others. I want to be able to show you the world I see and all of the stunning places I visit. My photos tend to have this moody look about them and I would take moody clouds over a sunrise or sunset any day. I’m currently based in the UK and a lot of my work will be produced here with the travel photos in between.
I am hoping to visit, Vietnam or the Philippines for Christmas but I am still undecided about which place I would like to go having travelled to the Philippines 4 times already. I also want to visit Iceland at Easter time next year. Iceland has always been the dream for me and all of my efforts will be towards getting there which may mean I have to sacrifice Asia for Christmas. If you would like to see more from our adventure please check out our Instagrams accounts. You can find the social media links for everyone who took part in the adventure below.