From Award Winning Documentary Making To Photography, There’s Nowt Like Yorkshire

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Yorkshire born Paul Berriff is an award winning television documentary maker, one of the most accomplished in the UK.

Spending over 40 years of his life producing documentaries all over the world has brought him many accolades including 2 BAFTA’s for Best Documentary, and a BAFTA nomination for Best Cinematography, but he has now returned to his first love of still photography. Combining this with his passion and adoration for his home county has created dramatic images that show the true Yorkshire from coast to countryside to cities.

Growing up in Headingley, at the age of 16 Paul followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a press photographer for the Yorkshire Evening Post. This was in 1963 when newspapers were still the main source of daily news, and Paul spent every day photographing local events, including accidents and fires. In the late 60’s he made the move into television, feeling that newspapers were in decline as a source of breaking news, instead being overtaken by the TV. He got a job with the BBC in Leeds as a news cameraman, and from there progressed into documentaries, filming all over the world.

Paul says he has ‘a knack’ for being in the wrong place at the right time, events just seem to happen around him. One such example is when he was filming in the States for a documentary on mistreated animals. The date was 9 / 11, and he was close to the World Trade Centre when the first plane hit the building. He started filming immediately. On this occasion he was a little too close to the action, and ended up having an ambulance ride to the hospital after being knocked unconscious as the south tower collapsed. Far luckier than many poor souls at this horrific attack.

Travelling the world, Paul has had an illustrious career to say the least, but has never forgotten his roots – both his photography roots and his Yorkshire ones! He decided one day that there were not enough images of our beautiful county that did it justice, and is now in the process of rectifying that situation. He photographs the landscapes, animals, seas and cities of Yorkshire, often producing them in striking monochrome which he loves.

This is what Paul had to say when we asked him about Yorkshire and his photography;

“Yorkshire is the best place in the world to live, work and visit. I should know as I’ve travelled to all four corners of the world – the Far East, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. I especially love the countryside and coast of Yorkshire. The Dales are fabulous to look at and walking there is a pleasure with its undulating landscapes, meandering rivers and picturesque villages. I especially prefer the upper end of the Dales especially in the winter months. There is nothing more dramatic than watching the steam trains on the Settle Carlisle line with their smoke and steam pounding over the viaducts and through the cuttings in this beautiful landscape. In contrast I love photographing the North Sea during its stormy moments as it pounds the east coast fishing villages and cliffs. Winter to me is a great time to photograph these places as it adds so much drama to an image. The cities too are great. They are easy to get to and travel around without the endless traffic jams experienced in other parts of the country. Some of the best restaurants too are in Yorkshire that can equal those of London. My family and I live here in Yorkshire and we wouldn’t give it up for anything!”

You can find out more about Paul Berriff and his incredible images at

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