Art Director: Jim Newitt
Photo Editor: Grant Ellis
Photographer: Tom Shaw
Heidi: What was different about this course that was a challenge for you to photograph?
Tom: The biggest challenge with this course was the Wind and the light. The course, and this particular hole, is quite exposed so you get your share of wind and rain. I love this kind of wild weather though – it feels good to spend a day walking in it.
Did you purposely choose to shoot more end of day?
Yes I did. I tend to plan these shoot around and evening and a morning – this gives me two chances at getting the best light. I was lucky as an old school friend lived within yards of the course so I stayed with him and had a very short walk to the course.
What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
They explained about the detail of the course and pretty much gave me free reign to shoot it in all its elements – from wide DPS views to the fine detail such as the cut grass. Because Summer in Scotland the late evening light lasts so long (almost until 10pm), I had plenty of time to really walk the hole and see all the details.
When you are approaching such a legendary course which is heavily photographed, is your process any different?
I don’t really do much research – I’m not the biggest golf fan, but I am a fan of the landscape in which it sits, so I won’t look at other pictures, as I need to see how and where the light is, and I want to see it with fresh eyes.
I enjoyed your sporting landscape gallery, would you say these image fall into that category or does there need to be some type of architectural element to anchor the image.
These Images do fall into the sporting landscape category, but I feel that they do need people in the image to give it scale and context. Some of the images do have that and I think that it is important. But this image is shot with a specific brief to be about the hole, not the people. In some of my other work with surfing and cycling – the people play a very small but important part in the image as it is all about scale and context.
This kind of work – the sporting landscapes – is pretty new to me as I have spent a lot of my career shooting athletes and sporting events, but this is going back to shooting what I love, landscapes. I grew up in Scotland and my love of photography started by being out in the hills and mountains, and seeing the light dance across the hills. I’m looking to combine these two passions of sport and landscape so it seemed a natural progression to shoot this way.