We were very fortunate to have Craig Potton speak to the Dunedin Photographic Society on Monday the 22nd of October. He is a committed conservationist and New Zealand’s best known landscape photographer. Craig brought a collection of slides to illustrate a wide-ranging and very informative talk about his work and the work of others who have influenced him over the years. He highlighted the importance of studying art as a way of learning the principles of colour and composition and he reminded us that artists can help us to see both better and differently. He discussed Mark Rothko’s Colour Field Paintings, Japanese landscape paintings, classic Japanese gardens, David Hockney’s joiners and many other examples of work that has had an impact on him. He talked about the need for an image to work within the frame as a composition, whatever the subject matter. He showed some of his favourite photographs that he has taken over his long career, and it became clear that he has learned to apply the lessons he’s learned from the artists he has studied. For example, photographs like Beech Forest, Beach Tree, and Boulder Bank, have no central subject, which frees the viewer and encourages an exploration of the complex field of colour and texture, often drawing attention to the edges of the composition. He talked about the lengths he is willing to go to get dramatic images of magnificent places that have become familiar to us through more conventional, and much tamer, representations. To illustrate this, he gave us the back story to his photo of Milford Sound during a storm and a dramatic shot of the Mount Ruapehu Eruption. In his effort to get the best image possible, he would often return to the same place multiple times, photographing the same scene over and over again in an effort to capture an image that does justice to the place. One of his personal favourites, the Fox River Limestone Reflections, shows that this perseverance and dedication can pay off in the end. His work, as well as the work of other artists and photographers, can be seen in the Craig Potton Gallery and Store in Nelson.
For this month’s profile we leave New Zealand shores and head to North America with Adam Gibbs.
||2nd 2017 International Landscape Photographer of the Year
|Favourite camera you have ever used/had
||ShimoToho FC45x 4×5 camera
|Which do you prefer?
||Either – no preference
||Digital for its ease of use, film is what photography is all about, skill behind a camera not a computer.
|Which medium do you prefer?
||Both – no preference
||Prints are more tactile, have a lasting presence and are second to none when a fantastic print is viewed in optimum light. Projected, instant, a great way to show the world or larger audience without a lot of effort.
|How did you get into photography and when?
||I got into photography in the 80’s after reading a book about nature photography written by John Shaw. I was captivated by the quality of images and wanted my photography to have the same appeal.
|What keeps you inspired with your photography?
||Canada has a wealth of wilderness areas and living on the west coast I am constantly inspired by my surroundings. Photography is somewhat of an excuse to get me out and explore.
|Do you have a particular theme that would summarise your photographs?
||Wilderness landscapes, nature, intimate scenes of nature especially woodland, ancient old growth forest.
|Where is the best place that you have been to take photos?
||Very hard question to answer as there are so many. The Enchantments in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washingon always comes to mind. Tonquin Valley in Jasper National Park, Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park. Carmanah Provincial Park on Vancouver Island.
|What piece of equipment could you not do without in your camera bag?
||Extra batteries for the camera, bit tongue and cheek but true, I have been known to leave home without batteries.
|Do you have any advice for your fellow photographers?
||Photograph the things that you love to shoot. Above all else concentrate on light and its effect on your subject or just photograph the light itself.
|Do you have any favourite photography related websites or web resources that you’d like to share with us ? (this includes your own)
||Youtube Channels https://www.youtube.com/adamgibbsphotography
Adam’s full bio here
Thanks to Craig McKenzie for pointing out this great landscape resource, ‘On Landscape’.
Website (Some free articles at the subscription based online magazine)
Held on Monday the 14th of November
Julia Home (Natural History)
John Boyd (Open)
Member’s photos from our recent trip to Tekapo.