Our Passion For Photography
So Tony, why do you take photographs?
God, you're going to ask me that question?
Well, it's up here on the screen.
You know what? I take pictures cause it's just who I am. I stumbled into it. As you know, I married a wedding photographer. So, photography was something that I'd always been doing. And I just think when I take pictures, it's just who I am. I want to share it.
So, why do you keep taking photographs, Tony?
To earn a living, to keep sharing, and because the more I've seen, the more I know I want to see. And the thing about it, it's like a story. It's like a secret. You get the secret, the first thing you want to do is tell everybody. So for me, when I go places, and I travel, and I see these amazing locations or I meet amazing people, I want to share that with everybody. What about you?
So, what I'm getting from you is one word and that's passion.
That's the big word I've got up there on the screen (laughs) And I think that's what ... We've known a lot ...
of photographers over the years. I mean, we're both 27 plus a couple of years.
If you add them together.
No, no, I don't want to. Let's not go there. But a lot of photographers who have just been photographers full-time and only done photography, sometimes they can get a little bit burnt out. Whereas the way that we've approached photography, is to do other things within photography or change the sort of photography which keeps our passion going, so that every shoot is new and exciting. We go and push ourselves into new and different areas. And I'd encourage other people who are watching to just maybe not aim to do every single day shooting but make the days that you do shoot count so that you can get that passion up there. I mean people ask me why do I take photographs.
Shall I ask you that?
Yeah, could you?
Peter, why do you take photographs?
Cause I have to. Simple. I don't understand why you can't--
It's just who you are.
It's just who I am. I just have to.
The thing about the passion that we're just coming back on that is if it's something that you can sit down and do, and you can be tired, you got other things that you should be doing but you find yourself there at four in the morning, that's passion. If it's something that you are tired, your legs are sore, you're walking up a hill and you think, "Just a bit further up I'm gonna get a better shot." That's passion. And that's what we're talking about. And I think that's the audience that we're talking to
I believe we are.
So, it's all right to feel like that I guess is what we're saying. And I was just thinking that if there are any Australians watching at this time of the morning,
That's passion. (laughs)
So, I thought maybe I'd just like to start off with a little bit of a chat about this little photo taken up in the Nevus Valley which was introduced to me by--
Wow, that's red.
It is red. And two photographers with passion, Mike Langford and Jackie Ranken from Queenstown in New Zealand.
And this is just up behind
Queenstown where they live. And when I got to this tree, a lot of the trees I suppose a little bit like the trees are going to be here in North America as the leaves all fall off. They leave these red stems. But I found my camera was not necessarily capturing those reds quite as I remembered them. Now, some people say that my glasses have got a color in them, or maybe my coffee's a little bit too strong but I had this memory of the redness in there. And I also look for a little bit of irreality.
Can you say that word again, Pete?
Irreality. Now, that's not unreal but it's the same sort of thing. Unreality is it's ... It's irreality. Don't get me confused. (laughs)
One of the things that I do is I use a ten times neutral density filter on the front of my lens, which you guys are familiar with, and that means that in the middle of the day my exposures might be 30 seconds or actually I'm using a 15 stop. Now, I'm using some of the NiSi stop. They've got a 20 stop one. I think I have to be awake for about eight hours to use the 20 stop one, but anyway. The 15 stop, 10 stop, and so I've got between, I think this might have been a two minute exposure. But between 30 seconds and four minutes and in that time the clouds will move, and the water will sheen out. So, that creates a point of difference for my photograph. So, the average person, I mean the photographers I know you guys know what's happened, but the average person looking at the photograph, well, what's different about that photograph? So, that's my irreality. And then in post-production I've had the idea, I've enhanced the reds. More importantly what I've done is I've de-hanced, I've un-enhanced,
Oh, I've actually desaturated is exactly the technical word. Thank you.
I'm here for.
the other colors. So, often when you're wanting to enhance a color, it's not a matter of punching up that color, it can be subduing the colors around it. And so, that what I've tried to achieve. And I think that's a photo that I'm very--
One question for you. Why? Why did you do that?
Because when I was at the scene the natural rendition didn't do anything for me emotionally. Ah, Tony, that's a trick question for me.
Gotcha, I've gotcha. I told you I'd get it out of you.
Yeah. So, to me there is a feeling, there's a romance, there's a sense of Hollywood in the photograph. So, you can think of a documentary film. You can think of a Hollywood blockbuster. You think of Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, and you know there's that medieval, wonderful feeling about the colors and everything. And that's I guess what I was looking for. Because anyone can go with their iPhone, and take a photo of that tree.
This is what you mean by fine-eyed in photography.
Yes, it is. That is the distinction, isn't it?
So, I mean fine-eyed is a funny term. And they'll be some people saying, "Oh, fine-eyed. That's not fine-eyed." And other people say, "Oh, fine-eyed, it's contemporary art." But I think fine-eyed is a good descriptor for our purposes.
I believe so. Yeah, I like that.
Yes? That looks like one I took.
This is one of your shots. This is incredibly geometric, and regimental for someone with your hairstyle. (laughter)
See? That's one off. This image was taken out of a light aircraft over Shark Bay Salt Flats. And one of the things that sort of caught my eye at the time, and I was in a project team, and Peter was part of that project team, was this sort of juxtaposition between man's design and nature's rhythm if you like. So, we're looking at a picture of salt. Yes, literally there's some lines and there's some color. There's some streaks. But it's a picture of salt. It's a picture of, like, a kaleidoscope, if you like, like leadlight window viewing down from above. And on that picture I can see the effects of things that you can't actually, visibly see but you can sense. Say wind, we can't actually see the wind but we can see the result of the wind. We can't see the ripples on the surface but we can see the result that happened because of that. So, I know that I look at that picture, I take it, and the areas that I wanna bring out ... I think this is one that I'm gonna break down a little bit later
In the program.
I wanted to bring out that texture on the surface. That surface being that place where the wind and the water dance, if you like. I wanted to show the texture under the water. And I wanted to show the deliberate design that man has brought by bringing in these causeways. So, for me it was a fascination, or an exercise in color, shape, texture and form. And often with, like my fine art landscape that is aerial, I'm looking to take something that is quite large, we look down and there's this massive view area that we can look at, and put a little box around a section and say, "Just take a look at the design element of that. Just take a look at the impact of that little section." Because most people when they're looking out of a plane of a window or from a high vantage point, Pete, they look down and they see everything. They don't actually have that ability to isolate but we as photographers can do that cause we can put a frame around something. And we can choose whether it's that section or that section. And I just like the simplicity of the color too.