I’d like to mention some of the many people whom I have met on my photography travels. They are all people I have both leraned from and enjoyed travelling with.
A trip with Steve Gosling is always fun. Whether a group workshop or a one to one he is one of the most client focussed professionals I have met. He doesn’t spend time taking his own photos on a trip except to halp make a point. He tends to ask questions about what the location is saying or suggesting - something I really struggled with to start with. I think the best mentors have a knack of asking the right question at the right time and Steve has this gift. He has a great sense of humour and takes in good heart the ribbing that centres on his frequent use of monochrome, square images; ribbing that normally comes from those who make highly saturated colour images and Steve always has a sharp response.
It was in Glecoe where Peter Cox first showed me a technical camera and this led to research on my part and eventual purchase. I read and re-read learned articles on the theory, geometry and even trigonometry on tilting and shifting lenses. I also looked at apps that aimed to simplify the process but it was on a later trip with Peter that he explained a simple formula that works and then spent a couple of hours with me as we worked through a specific example. Peter has also used Kickstarter to fund two books of his photography: “The Irish Light” and “Atlantic Light”. Peter is based in Killarney where he has his own gallery.
In 2011 I joined a Kevin Raber trip to the south island of New Zealand where I first met Christian Fletcher who has become one of the leading landscape photographers in Australia. He is another person who is very client focussed and willing to share his knowledge and experience and in particluar his deep understanding of Photoshop tools and technques. For people based in Europe, Australia is a long way to go but Christian has started running trips to Iceland and will perhaps be seen here more often in future.
In the strange way that social media works I first heard of Bruce Percy via Australian photographer and writer Steve Coleman who I thought I had met in New Zealand (but actually hadn’t). I was instantly captivated by Bruce’s images and writing and subseqently joined his workshops on the Isles of Skye and Harris. Bruce is one of the few who takes the trouble to explain composition with examples, assists in the field and then reviews your output later in the day. I still remember some of Bruce’s comments and suggestions several years later. Bruce makes a clear distinction between his workshops in Scotland which centre on learning and the tours (without tuiton) that he leads to Norway, Iceland and Latin America. He has written a number of e-books which are available via his website and has self published two books “The Art of Adventure” and “Iceland: a Journal of Nocturnes”. Bruce is a committed film shooter and is one of the people I admire for turning the constraints of film and film cameras to make wonderfully distinctive images. He is also a very skilled portrait photographer. Bruce and Steve Gosling are amongst many photogrpahers for whom a passion for music runs parallel to their passion for photography.
Writing of photographers with a passion for music I think of Daniel Bergmann with whom I have travellled twice and would love to do so again. He is one of the great Icelandic phototgraphers and also a dedicated bird photographer. It was on a trip with Daniel that I first realised that there is a huge benefit of travelling with someone who knows not only the geography and geology of his own ‘patch’ but also its cutlure, language, history and mythology. It was one of Daniel’s trips that I joined in October when the peak season was over; when we could change travel plans according to the weather and the erupting volcano at Holuhraun and who could arrange at short notice to fly over it. It was Daniel who really made me think about whether short trips abroad should perhaps give way to thinking more deeply about themes closer to home. Sometimes it is not tuition but conversation and observation that is just as important on orgnaised photography tours.
In late 2013 I had an ermail from David Ward that there was a last minute cancellation on a Masterclass that he was running with Joe Cornish in Cornwall and quickly signed up. David and Joe complement each other very well. One is rather more outgoing and the other somewhat more reserved. They asked participants to bring 10 or so prints with them for review and discussion and time was found for critical and constructive feedback from both their points of view and from and with the other participants. I felt a little like a new boy at school as several of the participants had been on multiple Cornish-Ward workshops before and were already outstanding artists. Both have written and published widely and continue to do so. If you haven’t seen their books then an internet search is recommended. Joe doesn’t have his own website so I have incluced a link to his gallery in Northallerton which is well worth a visit just to see the sheer volume of his work in one place together with the work of many others.