I'm Hywel Phillips, a particle physicist turned mountain photographer, fashion photographer, film-maker and cinematographer. I'm aided and abetted by my very capable and awesome wife Joceline, who combines working internationally as a model with film-making, video editing, and somehow finding time to walk and camp out in the mountains with me as well.
I'm based in Welshpool, Powys, Wales, UK.
I mostly work in Shropshire, the West Midlands and Wales.
Also go on assignment throughout Europe and (when opportunity arises) worldwide.
North Bear Films is called that because middle name is Thorburn, which comes from the Old Norse for "Thor's Bear", pointing to viking blood in the family and possibly explaining the deep and yearning connection I've had for snow, ice, mountains and spectacular skies since I was a very small boy.
My work is an attempt to capture a bit of that feeling. The grandeur, the timelessness and sweeping scope of the landscape and mountain skies. The feeling you get when you are climbing a mountain in fresh snow, the only human being for miles around. Possibly because not very many other people are mad enough to drop everything when the weather forecast says "snow overnight on the hills", drive in the dark to the foot of the mountain and start climbing to make sure I see the full glow of the dawn and stay up there until sunset, too.
My work is also "natural street photography". Truth be told I feel like a bit of fraud sometimes as a landscape photographer. I know the "official approved" way to do it is to figure out months in advance the perfect location, the perfect angle, then go there, sit for hours until the light is just so, take one photograph, and come home. I don't have the patience or the foresight. Nearly all my favourite images have captured a fleeting moment when I was out and about and something really dramatic happened to the light. I hate using a tripod (though I'll do when I really have to- no escaping it for astro-landscapes) and I feel like I have more in common with a street photographer stealing sneaky shots of people in public than with the old-school crusty landscape photographers. It's just that I steal sneaky shots of places and times and mountains.