The Isle of Wight County Press Camera Club has more than 1,100 members and we regularly feature their pictures both in the paper and online.

For our new Behind The Lens feature, we meet Richard Lashley of Ryde, who loves taking photos of sunrises and trying to catch the sun in an unusual spot.

Scroll through the gallery of pictures above to see more of Richard's work...

Why did you take up photography?
Last May I came home after seven years teaching in the Middle East. The intention was to have a bit of a sabbatical and do a bit of travelling. That didn’t work out so well. In June I got an IPhone SE2 and a Canon M50 with the intention of making five-minute video ‘lesson starters’ for YouTube. However, once I started learning a bit about the Canon and taking a few landscape photographs I decided I’d make some content doing this instead. I still plan on doing some ‘lesson starters’ at some point but they would require a bit of planning. At the moment I love the freedom of just going for a walk wherever I feel like and taking a few pics and making them into a short film for posterity!

Why do you love taking pictures?
I love the great outdoors. I have always enjoyed walking, cycling and running. When walking or running by myself I’d listen to podcasts or books and really enjoy the experience, feel relaxed, but have no end product from it. Having a camera with me - or just the iPhone on a longer walk - during these long months of lockdown has given me a bit of purpose. I still listen to my podcasts or books but I love the way I can freeze a moment of time with a camera and then piece together a bit of a story (however loose) with the pictures using IMovie on my Ipad and put them on YouTube. I’ve definitely needed something to give me a bit of purpose during this strange year which has coincided with me not working for the first time in my life. Photography has given me that. It helps of course that the Isle of Wight is such a beautiful place to do all these things.

Where is your favourite place to take pictures?
The whole of the Isle of Wight is great. The teaching day in the Middle East starts early. I used to get up at 5:30am to start work at 7am. I guess old habits die hard and I’m often up early to catch sunrises, which I’ve become a huge fan of. With this in mind I guess my favourite destination is the stretch of coastline from Seaview to St Helens. This stretch is close enough to me to get there walking if I’m feeling energetic or just a five minute drive away if I get up a bit late.

What equipment do you use?

A Canon M50 with a 15 - 45mm kit lens and a 55 - 200mm zoom and a iPhone SE 2, sometimes with an DJI Osmo 3 gimbal.

What is the favourite picture you have taken?
When the sun is rising I get a ridiculous amount of fun from trying to capture it somewhere interesting. I took one on the top of Culver Down a few months ago where I managed to get it inside the beacon. Small things please small minds I guess!

Isle of Wight County Press: Capturing the sun.

Capturing the sun.

Why did you join the Isle of Wight County Press Camera Club?
When I started to take a few pictures around the Island I searched on Facebook for sites you could share to and also see other people’s pictures.

If you could photograph anyone or any place who/what would it be?
A very good question. A person will be a strange answer based on a picture I took recently. I was photographing the sun rising near Seaview when a man became silhouetted by it. Immediately it reminded me of covers for the Lee Child books which feature the fictional character of Jack Reacher (I’ve read them all). I’d love to get a really good one of that type of photograph. My dream place would be Yellowstone National Park.

What advice would you give anyone who wants to get into photography?
Decide what type of photographs you’d like to take, why you want to take them and get out there and have a go. Watch other photographers on YouTube for advice on gear, techniques and compositions.

Richard has made a number of YouTube films about his photography - see below.

Are you a keen Isle of Wight photographer? If so, have you joined the Isle of Wight County Press Camera Club yet? Click here to visit the camera club's Facebook group.