While in my teenage years, a lot of my life revolved around performing music. At first, I liked to play fast and loud. Technique came first, interpretation second. With maturity and more life experiences, I developed more musicality in my playing. I began to seek pieces which allowed me to display a greater range of emotional depth.
Similarly after a few years making photographs, I realised that I didn’t want all my shots to seem one-paced either. However it was not enough to merely shoot different styles of composition, pursue alternative lighting situations, utilise focal lengths outside my comfort zone or adopting new post-processing techniques. The most important driving force fuelling my recent work has been to evoke a wider range of moods and emotions through my images. Sure all the aspects listed above have their place but thinking conceptually and ‘bigger picture’ about how I want the finished presentation to affect the viewer has been a major paradigm shift.
Setting out on a new direction from where both myself and the great majority of other photographers have been going is not necessarily to say that the results are ‘better’ than what is ‘conventionally good or popular’. However, having been able to produce work that departs from the norm has been tremendously satisfying as an artist.
This drive to extend the emoting range of my imagery has renewed my inspiration in landscape photography. Expect to see more examples of this new direction during the rest of 2014.
Moody Moeraki vs Ovum
Shot in 2008, this has been one of my most successful landscapes. It received a great deal of exposure (in print and exhibition) due to being a winning image in UK’s Digital Camera magazine Photographer of the Year and in the USA with the International Conservation Awards. I would rate it in my personal top 20 favourites and even today it remains probably the most dramatic depiction of the Moeraki Boulders.
My most recent interpretation of this location is “Ovum”, a minimalist high key black and white. The fact that the large bulk of Moeraki shots concentrate on water motion, drama and coloured skies makes this one stand out I think. An opinion from my most trusted critic was in agreement : “The moeraki boulders are instantly recognisable but it has a completely different feeling to it compared to the previous more bombastic rendition. Ethereal and contemplative.”
Dreamtime vs Neverland
Around the same vintage as Moody Moeraki is “Dreamtime” a fairly conventional shot of Cradle Mountain. There are many excellent images of the classic scene of Cradle Mountain reflected in Dove Lake. The strong sunset colours, autumn foliage and layer of fog made this one fairly memorable as far as iconic views go, I thought.
On my last visit, I arrived at sunset to catch some storms entering the area. The double peak was covered in heavy cloud. As I got ready to pack my gear, there was a brief clearing, revealing the mountain for what must have been less than a couple of minutes. A 30 second exposure caught the shape of the cloud, moving like a wraith upwards. The result? An edgy sinister appearance a world away from the pristine serenity of “Dreamtime”.