Stephen Lewis meets a celebrated York photographer who is exhibiting his Ephemeral Light pictures in his local café

THE rising sun stains the waters at Flamborough’s Selwick Bay a glowing pink in our stunning main image today.

The picture was taken by landscape photographer John Potter. It is one of 16 included in an exhibition of his work that has just opened at the Tea on The Green in Acomb.

The photograph was taken just before sunrise – a time of day which, along with sunset, is great for landscape photographs, the 62-year-old father of two says.

The light is often warmer – and the low angle of the sun throws up rich contrasts and textures.

The low light levels also requires long exposures – which gives photographs a sense of movement and life.

John enjoyed painting and drawing as a youngster growing up in Tadcaster – but admits he always struggled to capture the Yorkshire countryside he loved so much.

Then, in his mid-twenties, he picked up his first SLR camera. “I was instantly blown away by the images I could see and create.”

Nevertheless, for more than 20 years, he earned a living as a design and technology teacher – most recently at Manor School in York, the city where he has lived for most of his adult life.

Eight years ago, however, he found he was becoming busier and busier with his photography, and quit teaching to become a full-time photographer.

He was sad to leave Manor, he admits. But he’s been enormously busy ever since with a string of photography books and magazine work to his name.

Most recently he took the photos for Mike Pannett’s Yorkshire – a book celebrating the places mentioned in the former North Yorkshire Policeman’s ‘lad’ series of books based on his life as a rural bobby.

“That took a whole year to do.” said John.

The photographer also leads workshops – most recently the Rooftops workshop held on the roof of the Mansion House on October 22.

“We were actually on the roof,” he said. “I timed it so we could see the sun going down.”

The Tea On Tthe Green is his local café, he says, so he’s particularly pleased to have his work on show there.

The photographs chosen for the exhibition include some that are a fairly new departure for him: wildlife photographs. They include a stunning image of a red deer stag photographed in Glen Cannich in Scotland last year, and a kestrel photographed in the Vale of York near Escrick.

• John Potter’s Ephemeral Light exhibition runs at the Tea on The Green, Acomb, until December 7.

The café is open from Monday-Saturday each week, from 8.30am to 3.30pm.

To see more of John’s work, visit