I work as a full time, self-employed photographer in Methven, a small rural South Island town. Commercial photography for ruralbusinesses provides part of my income, as an ex-farmer I have a good rapport with them. The balance of my work is self-generated projects, mainly landscape, but also figurative. The best become prints sold through our home gallery, I have also published a book and several calendars.
Photography to me is not about recording reality, it is more a set of tools I use to makes images I like. The initial capture is only the raw material so to speak. If I try to distil the core of what my photography is about, it is creating images that give me a warm inner glow. It has to do with finding beauty, whether in landscape or people. My favourite combine the two. Curves, nicely lit, can echo those in nature while differences in tone and texture add contrast.
It’s a mystery to me why some compositions just work, but I love the process of refining a shooting position, watching what comes in and out of the frame, until it looks just right. I’ve learnt not to over-analyse all the ‘rules’ but listen more to my gut feelings. Photographing full time is a hard way to make a good income, but it does mean that I am thinking visually every day, always learning.
Edward Weston is someone I admire. He was a master at finding beautiful form – tree roots, green peppers, nudes; somehow they all work. A personal highlight for me was spending time last year with Edwards’s grandson Kim, who still lives in Edward’s house at Carmel. Kim also works full time as a photographer. Being in Edwards’s house, surround by his prints and darkroom equipment was a huge inspiration to me.
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