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A bird's eye view

Words by Hannah Tapping

Following his heart and intuition, drone photographer Carl Brightman captures the earth from above.

Anorth Cornwall based creative working in aerial photography for 17 years at Ordnance Survey, Carl Brightman’s background was in processing raw data into aerial photography blocks, much like Google Maps. As can happen when work takes over, he somewhat lost his passion for photography, but began using a drone in 2017 and hasn’t looked back. “I’m also now looking to get back into using a normal camera as well, which is where everything started for me,” explains Carl.

“My studies were film based and I did all my processing and printing in the darkroom. I feel this has been a great learning curve as most of these principles can be applied in Lightroom editing software I now use. Editing for me is just as enjoyable as capturing the image. With the advances in Lightroom, it has become my new darkroom. It allows me to do so many creative things and achieve the images I envision.”

“I’ve always had a passion for landscape and love being outdoors. I think it’s part of what makes us human, and it’s a great escape for me from the pressures of modern life and a way to de-stress.” Carl’s father passed away in 2019 which had a huge impact on the path he followed: “I realised after a conversation with my dad near the end of his life, that I didn’t want to miss any more opportunities or to go through life on cruise control. Time is one thing we have no control over, and so it has encouraged me to live life for the moment. I gave up on my job and followed my dream of being a full time creative.”

For his photography, and for anything else in life, Carl strives to live up to his vision: “Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice and, most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”


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