Process of pho­tog­ra­phy in his blood

Geraldton Guardian - - The Sauce - Francesca Mann

Whether he’s shoot­ing the night sky or get­ting up close and per­sonal with in­sects and an­i­mals, Ken Law­son is ex­tremely pas­sion­ate about pho­tog­ra­phy.

The self-con­fessed geek will pho­to­graph any­thing, from por­traits to seascapes to light­ning storms; but it’s as­tropho­tog­ra­phy and macro-pho­tog­ra­phy that have cap­tured Law­son’s heart.

Law­son has snapped mind-blow­ing shots of dis­tant gal­ax­ies, in­cred­i­bly de­tailed images of pea­cock jump­ing spi­ders and beau­ti­ful land­scapes en­cap­su­lat­ing the Ger­ald­ton spirit.

“I had to pick the hard­est things to pho­to­graph,” he said.

“Astro and macro-pho­tog­ra­phy are the most in-depth to do cor­rectly, but they are very in­ter­est­ing to shoot and it’s all worth­while once you get the fin­ished prod­uct.

“I love the whole artis­tic process from be­gin­ning to end; it’s a whole jour­ney, sim­i­lar to some­one who does a paint­ing.”

The 42-year-old cred­its his ob­ses­sion with pho­tog­ra­phy to his father, who used to shoot wed­dings, por­traits, na­ture and ev­ery­thing in be­tween.

Law­son’s bed­room was orig­i­nally his dad’s dark room, and he re­mem­bers bot­tles of fixer and de­vel­oper stored at the end of his bed. The pair would reg­u­larly head out to­gether with their cam­eras, re­turn­ing home to de­velop and print the pho­to­graphs they took.

Although he now pri­mar­ily shoots with a dig­i­tal cam­era, Law­son still thinks with a film brain.

“I’m not just fir­ing away,” he said.

“I’m think­ing about that one shot like I’ve only got a cer­tain amount of shots to shoot.

“I’ve still got film cam­eras; it’s just re­ally ex­pen­sive th­ese days.

“You’ve got to get it de­vel­oped, and be­cause I don’t have the old equip­ment, it’s kind of hands off once you hand it away; some­one else is go­ing to de­velop and process it.”

Orig­i­nally from Al­bany, Law­son moved to Ger­ald­ton about 14 years ago.

While man­ag­ing the cin­ema, Law­son met his wife, Carly, and has re­mained in Ger­ald­ton ever since. In-be­tween rais­ing a four-year-old son and jug­gling pho­tog­ra­phy, Law­son also runs his own IT busi­ness, and is the pres­i­dent of both the Ger­ald­ton Cam­era Club and the Ger­ald­ton As­tron­omy Group.

With around 25 mem­bers in the Cam­era Club, Law­son said they were al­ways look­ing for more peo­ple to join, no mat­ter what skill level they were.

“It’s not about the equip­ment or your ex­pe­ri­ence, it’s hav­ing the eye for pho­tog­ra­phy,” he said.

“You slowly build up your skills and tech­niques. We do photo walks every month and work­shops all the time.

“I’m al­ways try­ing to get bet­ter; try­ing to im­prove your pho­tog­ra­phy is al­ways at the top of the list.”

The Ger­ald­ton Cam­era Club meet at The Res­i­dency on the first Wed­nes­day of every month.

Pic­ture: Ken Law­son

One of Ken Law­son's snaps of a mara­tus spi­der, com­monly re­ferred to as a pea­cock spi­der.

One of Ken Law­son's spec­tac­u­lar pho­to­graphs cap­tur­ing the night sky.

Ken Law­son is pas­sion­ate about all as­pects of pho­tog­ra­phy, but has a pen­chant for astro and macro-pho­tog­ra­phy.

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