Peter Clark FRPS EFIAP/p APSA MPSA
My interest in serious photography began when I joined Cannock Photographic Society in 1982 and discovered the joys of monochrome. For the past 30 years or so I have specialised exclusively in Landscape Photography in both monochrome print and colour projected image and more recently in Colour print, in both the British Isles and the South-western United States and have exhibited widely in International Salons since 1987. I have exhibited by invitation in Denmark, France, Germany and Romania with monochrome prints and have an image ('Time and Tide') in the permanent collection of the Museum in Rheus, Spain.
My philosophy of Pictorial Photography may be summarized as follows : 'A successful pictorial image will stand on it's own without the need for title or explanation and should include one or more of the following elements - impact, drama, mood and atmosphere. In my chosen field of Landscape Photography, which in my mind naturally includes Seascapes, I endeavour to meet these criteria by the careful choice of location, subject matter and composition, by the use of dramatic lighting conditions coupled where possible with heavy skies and, in Seascape, by the use of an appropriate shutter speed. In the digital darkroom these elements are enhanced through creative processing techniques.'
I was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in 1992 and the Excellence de la Féderation Internationale d’Art Photographique - Platinum (EFIAP/p) in 2003. I have been a member of the Photographic Society of America for the past 20 years and in 2006 was honoured with the award of the Associatship – APSA for services to Photography. In 2013 I was awarded the distinction of Master Photographer (MPSA) based on acceptances in PSA recognised International Exhibitions in Large/Small Mono and Colour prints and Open, Photo Travel and Nature Projected Images.
I judge at Club, National and International level and give talks and Photoshop demonstrations to photographic clubs and societies around the country.
Until 11 years ago I used Canon EOS 1 and 1n cameras with Canon lenses loaded with one or other of my favourite film stocks - Ilford FP4 Plus, Ilford Pan F Plus, Kodak High Speed Infrared or Konica Infrared for my mono images and Fuji Sensia or Kodak Ektachrome VS for most colour images. In 2003 i bought my first digital DSLR - a Canon 10D and continued to use Canon DSLR's exclusively with Canon lenses culminating in the full frame EOS 5D & 5D Mk II with an EOS 7D as backup and a Panasonic Lumix LX5 digital compact. Rather than relying on a digital conversion to simulate infrared I first used a converted Nikon Coolpix 5400 and was sufficiently impressed to replace it with a converted EOS 20D to enable me to make full use of my range of Canon lenses.
As time moves on the attraction of lugging a heavy camera bag around diminishes and in 2013 I replaced the Canon system with the Panasonic Micro Four Thirds compact system as a lighter alternative to DSLR's. My kit now comprises GX8 and GX7 bodies with lenses covering the range 18 - 600mm and a G3 converted to infrared - almost the exact equivalent of the Canon gear except that the all up weight of my camera bag is now ~10lbs rather than 25lbs + and the use of a lighter weight tripod is now possible.
I invariably shoot all my images with the camera mounted on a tripod with a ball and socket head fitted with quick release and a rotating base (primarily for panoramas) - both essential accessories for any landscape photographer! Both my 'new' prime cameras have an inbuilt electronic level which helps to keep horizons level, etc. In the past I invariably used a bubble level in the hot shoe as well which was particularly useful when there were no clearly defined horizontals or verticals in the image and for setting up the camera/tripod for panoramic images; the electronic level renders this accessory redundant.
Despite the power of Photoshop in terms of 'rescuing' poorly composed/exposed images I am a great believer in the old adage 'get it right in the camera'.
For several years prior to his death I was privileged to collaborate closely with Eddy Sethna FRPS AFIAP, one of the pioneers of digital imaging in the UK, who taught me much of what I know about Photoshop. Together we wrote two electronic books on Photoshop which were well received and a series of articles for the now defunct Digital Photo Art magazine.
The production of monochrome images of wet darkroom quality on inkjet printers was always a challenge and printing with black ink only on Epson 1270 and 1290 printers generally produced an acceptable, but not equivalent, quality, and paper choice was limited. With the introduction of the K3 ink set and the Epson R2400/R2880/R3000 printers monochrome inkjet printing came of age and the print quality is now outstanding and closely matches that of a wet print - some would say exceeds it.