Dave Zdanowicz and his father Paul capture the essence of Yorkshire in their brilliant photography book

From the primal thump of Ted Hughes’s poems, to David Hockney’s epic, colour-saturated Wolds paintings, the Yorkshire countryside has inspired some of our greatest artists and writers.

Redbrook Reservoir, featured in the book.
Redbrook Reservoir, featured in the book.

For photographers, too, England’s largest county is a canvas like no other, its multifarious landscape a patchwork of ever-shifting sounds, shapes and colours.

Its history and diversity is captured in a new book by father and son photographers Dave and Paul Zdanowicz from Bradford. Yorkshire Revealed includes more than 120 photographs ranging from iconic landmarks like Wentworth Woodhouse, to lesser known locations such as Redbrook Reservoir near Huddersfield.

Simon Annand has photographed actors including Dame Judi Dench, Dame Helen Mirren and Daniel Craig - this is how you can see his work in HuddersfieldBoth Dave and Paul came to photography later in life. Paul dabbled in it during the late 1970s after a friend built a darkroom in his parents’ cellar. “We developed a few rolls of film but my interest soon decreased due to the cost of the film and processing,” he says.

Ripley Castle.

It wasn’t until three decades later when his son, Dave, persuaded him to buy a DSLR camera (which he picked up at a car boot sale) that his interest was rekindled. “David was in the process of learning how to use his camera and I had a little knowledge of the process of taking a photo from my brief film days,” he says.

They started going on photography trips around the county the results of which form the basis of their new book – their first together. “We tend to do really early mornings, setting off to a location in the middle of the night to capture that perfect sunrise. We can do a Yorkshire coast sunrise and be back in Bradford before most people are out of bed. We prefer that type of shooting as you generally have the locations to yourselves,” says Paul.

The story of David Hockney and the famous Bradford family through the eyes of his brother John“There was no pressure to get the shot. If the light was not right or we were not happy with the results of a morning’s shoot, we would simply return to the location and try again another day. As we both have different styles we could almost guarantee that one of us would get a good shot.

“We have different styles of processing the images which would mean that the same location could and would look totally different even though it was shot at the same time of day.”

Poppies at Walton

Dave has been a photographer for the past six years, balancing this with his job as a school technician and helping to raise a young family. He admits he wasn’t interested in photography when he was growing up. “I was more interested in music and football.” It was only after buying a digital single-lens reflex camera from a friend that his interest was ignited.

Meet the shepherdess working in one of Yorkshire’s most remote uplandsHe’s made a big name for himself in a short space of time, winning several major landscape photography competitions and amassing a huge online following.

“It was something we were keen to do,” he says of the book. “We really wanted to do a project together and display our best work of Yorkshire in one book.

“When we looked back there some pictures we obviously knew were our own, but there were quite a few where we weren’t sure who had taken the shot.”

Leeds Dock

And when it comes to inspiration, Yorkshire isn’t a bad muse to have. “There’s something different in every place. You have famous landmarks like Castle Howard and Bolton Abbey and because it’s so diverse there is a huge variety of scenes to capture...It’s like one giant gallery.”

Yorkshire Revealed, published by Amberley Publishing, is out now priced £17.99.

Judy Woods