Eagle River Camera Club Featured Photographer for November 2019
I’m originally from the United Kingdom and moved to Alaska in 1991. I Became interested in photography back in the late 1980s and cultivated an interest in wildlife and scenic photography. I pursued this for a number of years (although not professionally) until the birth of the digital era. I found the digital imagery uninspiring and rapidly lost interest. I sold my photographic equipment and found a new passion in motorcycling and racked up over 200,000 miles.
It was as the years went by I began to miss the photographic art. So I purchased a Leica X1 and began to rediscover my talents. I found I was not interested in wildlife or scenics anymore. but had a penchant for brooding imagery, especially black & white. After spending a few years with the X1, I broke down and purchased a Leica M10 along with a 28mm lens. (The perfect choice for an aging Luddite). No video, no auto focus, no program modes, in fact after using the camera for over a year I have almost never used the menu.
It is hard to pick only ten images from a portfolio, so I’ve tried to select those that exemplify my work, selecting five B&W and five colour.
I’m Including only limited EXIF data with some of the photos, except in certain instances such as very slow shutter speeds. Plus the Leica M has no connectivity between the aperture and the censor, so the F stop does not show up on the EXIF data. Post processing has been done on an IPad exclusively, using Lightroom and Snapseed.
I wish to thank Marco for presenting my work to the club and hope you enjoy the photos and gain inspiration as I do from other photographers.
One of my favorite images is this portrait of a friend who was visiting from the Yukon. This shot was taken in my living room using a black back drop and natural light from the window. It’s ironic! I traveled for two months in Europe and one of the best photos was shot in my living room.
Another portrait, this time of my good friend in Massachusetts next to one of her Victrolas, again illuminated only by a small window behind me. I also used a piece of white cardboard to reflect some light into the Victrola horn.
This shot was taken along Turnagain Arm as we drove south from Anchorage. The portentous skies found heading toward Girdwood often lend themselves to brooding imagery.
This portrait on the German Austrian border was taken as the light was rapidly falling. I did not even have time to connect the quick release plate. At 8th of a second I just held the camera on top of the tripod. We almost lost this shot as the matches were damp and were reluctant to strike.
These old dock cranes in Graymouth, New Zealand have been unused for about 3 decades and slowing rusting away. It was most fortuitous that a bright light two blocks away gave just enough illumination to these leviathans, enabling a 30sec exposure. They always struck me as reminiscent to War of the Worlds.
One of the light painting photos from my trip to Europe where I used two flashlights. The first was placed on the stairs shining toward me and the second I hand held and moved the light around the building for about 20 seconds all the while trying to keep myself very still. It was dark at this point and the only illumination on the building was my flashlight. The light in the sky was indiscernible at that time but shows up here as the last vestige of sunset due to the slow shutter speed. This communist monument (Petrova Gora) is buried in the countryside in Croatia, completely abandoned and stripped of its aluminum cladding by the locals and now used only as a perch for the Cellular tower.
No panoply would be complete without ones best image. In my opinion this has to be the one. I love the juxtaposition of the colours, the composition, the exposure, with the subject matter. Taken in Oamaru New Zealand in an art gallery, these papier-mâché masks were on sticks leaning up in the corner and not actually part of the art work. Again lit only by a window and a couple of skylights.
My second favorite image was taken on slide film back in 1992 on a trip to round island a walrus sanctuary. I was using a 300mm lens collar mounted on a tripod. Shooting the walruses at sunset, I halved the exposure and double exposed the film turning the camera 180 between shots.
This is exactly as it came out on film with no manipulation on my part.
There’s a place called Beelitz-Heilstätten just south of Berlin, where sits an old abandoned hospital complex from WWII. There are many buildings, most of which have been ravaged by time. I managed to enter a couple of buildings and photograph some of the interior. Both the dentist chair and piano were taken in adjacent buildings.