Profile: Rob Hudson – Photographer

Rob told us:

I was born in Ystrad Mynach during the revolutionary year of 1968, not that the revolution ever reached Ystrad Mynach.

After a dreadful education (during which I became convinced I would never get a job) I moved to Swansea where I studied urban rehabilitation (a sort of town planning degree), my desire to change the world was in the full flush of youth. I soon realised how little influence I could exert and abandoned the idea after a few nearly contented years of growing up in Dylan Thomas’ “ugly, lovely town” by the sea.

Eighteen years of corporate stress led to the inevitable illness, it was then that I took the life changing decision to leave the corporate world and it’s a decision I have never regretted. Not once.

This was the start of a whole new world, as a photographer, writer and maybe a more mature thinker. It was also when I started work on the book From East to West and Dawn to Dusk a journey in words and photographs along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. Photography has always been a part of my life, I’ve had a camera in my hands as far back as memory will take me, indeed landscape photography had become a necessary therapy during my days of corporate stress. It also proved that I hadn’t lost that youthful desire to organise what was around me, although in a more laudable pursuit of composition than of town planning.

While the book held to the common notion of landscape photography it was also the start of a realisation that photography could become a form of self expression, even hinting at art if the effort of thought is made. Through my photography, teaching and writing I feel I’ve been fighting to pull landscape photography out of it’s picture postcard ghetto, because landscape means so much more to me than pretty, it’s part of who I am and who I am informs my relationship with landscape, especially the Welsh landscape. In tandem photography also became my living, selling landscape prints and later finding a job as a photographer at the University of Glamorgan. I’m now a freelance and enjoy the creative challenges of weddings and portraits, while specialising in the photographic reproduction of art through my company Open Aspect Photography. But always the landscape of Wales defines me as an artist and as a person.

WI: What is you’re favourite place in Wales?

RH: A tough question, for a landscape photographer, there are so many. The landscape of south Wales defines my sense of place maybe more so than most people. It is full of memories, histories and exerts a poetic power on my consciousness. If pushed I’d have to choose from the nearby charms of the Wennalt woods on a sunny day, Whiteford Point on the Gower, or the foothills of Abergavenny. But perhaps one place draws me back more than any other, the landscape and town of St David’s is suffused with a deep, deep history and a magical landscape, the repeating Carns: Llidi, Lleithr and Perfedd are my Welsh version of Glastonbury Tor and a perfect enclosure for the sunken Cathedral.

WI: Favourite Welsh band or musician?

RH: Manic Street Preachers. You need to come from the valleys to appreciate the visceral force of their passion and politics.

WI: Favourite Welsh food or drink?

RH: Cockles from Swansea market and a pint of SA anyone?

WI: What does Wales mean to you?

RH: This whole thing has forced me to ruminate about my Welsh identity. I’m, first generation Welsh, no genetic history; travel has further confirmed my citizen of the world notion rather than holding to a small nation’s identity. I don’t for one moment think we are better than them, but home is perhaps the one occasion where familiarity doesn’t breed contempt, rather the opposite, content.

WI: What do you most miss about Wales when you are away?

RH: Knowing that I am home.

Visit Rob’s website Open Aspect Photography at

Rob’s book From East to West and Dawn to Dusk: Photographs of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast is available from:

Gwales where it’s always in stock – search under “From East to West and Dawn to Dusk”


The gift shop at the National Museum of Wales and all good bookshops

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