mark denton photographic - biography

Article from 'Yorkshire Life' magazine May 2005

Mark Denton is from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, but has now lived in North and East Yorkshire for nearly 15 years. He started taking photographs on a serious basis only in 2000 and soon progressed to using the unusual panoramic film camera he uses for most of his work today. He concentrates mostly on landscape images but has also enjoyed success with his floral and architectural shots. He is quickly becoming well known for his panoramas of North Yorkshire, taking inspiration from British photographers such as Joe Cornish and Colin Prior while developing his own unique style.

'When you are settled and confident with your equipment you can begin to interpret the landscape as it should be, and to a certain extent how you want it' says Mark. 'Prior to using the panoramic format, I was never certain of what to shoot and whether the results would be up to scratch. Now I feel that the only variable is in the weather and light. Fortunately the Yorkshire climate provides plenty of variety!' work on the Yorkshire coast.

'I think living the majority of my life next to coast, it will always have a pull for me. I am drawn to the coast wherever I am in the world. The sea can be incredibly dramatic and at other times serene and calming. While I never knowingly but myself in danger, the number of soakings I've had from incoming tides give you a good sense of its power. I'm lucky to live here in Yorkshire thanks to the variety of the coast and country; I think it's the equal of anywhere in the UK and perhaps in the world'

Mark's favourite locations are close to his home in Hunmanby. 'The five-mile stretch of sand at Filey Bay has offered me an astonishing range of subjects and conditions. It amuses me when I show my results to my agent in Chicago and they have no idea that such varied images were taken at the same location!' Flamborough Head is also a short drive down the coast. 'Flamborough is a veritable playground for a landscape photographer like myself. The four main bays offer a chance to capture the light at virtually any time of year and the white rocks add extra definition and light to the foreground. It's funny though that for such beautiful locations, I rarely see anyone in the bays when I visit. Even on warm summer days they are sparsely populated. I shouldn't really complain, it makes my job easier!'

While he would like to see more people visit the beautiful areas of Yorkshire that he photographs, Mark is also concerned about the impact the population has on the countryside and coastline. 'I've never been a tub-thumping environmentalist, but when you appreciate the natural features of Yorkshire as much as I do in my work, you can't fail to be concerned about how it can be preserved for future generations. Chunks of our boulder clay coastline are disappearing on a daily basis of course, but more worrying is the threat global warming could pose to our climate and sea levels. I think it's often unrealistic to expect people to change their lifestyles on an individual basis, and we need as much help as we can get from governments, but I hope my photographs will make the viewer reflect on such issues'.

Mark's first exhibition of his panoramic photographs will be a permanent display at Scarborough Library starting in May 2005 and is funded by the Arts Council of Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Libraries and his company Mark Denton Photographic. He displays five new photographs every month on his website,, where he also sells high quality limited edition prints and postcards. After discussions with major publishers he is set to release his first book early in 2006, the subject being his work on the Yorkshire coast.

Interview with Esther Leach of Yorkshire Life- thanks Esther


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