ON SCENE: Weather photographer David Forster at Whistle Crag, one of his favourite Teesdale views
ON SCENE: Weather photographer David Forster at Whistle Crag, one of his favourite Teesdale views

HAVING his work recognised in a national award scheme has been described as a morale boost by a dale photographer whose business has been decimated by Covid-19.
Professional weather and landscape photographer David Forster has, for the fourth time in five years, received a highly commended honour for a portfolio he submitted to the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild’s annual awards scheme.
Three of the photographs feature shots of weather extremes that he took in Teesdale, while others show floods in Arkengarthdale and weather in the Lake District, Dorset and France
Mr Forster, who lives in Marwood, said: “The award is perhaps more significant as a morale boost to me this year given how hard my business has been affected by the virus which relies heavily on tourism and hospitality businesses.
“A lot of magazines still run features but they try to get the photographs for free or they are using their own archives.”
Demand from stock photo agencies plummeted in April, cutting off a significant amount of Mr Forster’s income. Also affected are the one-to-one photography workshops he offers. He would ordinarily hold about 16 times a year.
Despite the hardship, he has had some of his stills licenced for Good Morning Britain’s weather slot and video he took of the Arkengarthdale floods appeared on Channel Four’s Britain’s Extreme Weather programme.
Mr Forster said that while the Government had offered various schemes to help businesses such as his, he had not benefited much.
He said: “If you work in business you get 80 per cent of projected profit. Last year was my best year ever but they didn’t count last year. In the previous years I invested in cameras and new software. I put in £15,000 investment because I thought now is the time to do it because business is so good.”
He is now hoping that work will begin to return to normal in the New Year.