Have cam­era, will travel

Adventure - - Contents - In­ter­view by Steve, Im­ages by Chris McLen­nan

Chris McLen­nan has been in­volved with Ad­ven­ture mag­a­zine for a long time. If we need a stun­ning im­age, an im­age that re­ally stands out, Chris McLen­nan is our first call. Chris has the abil­ity to cap­ture that im­age that sim­ply stop you turn­ing a page and it is that skill that has made him one of New Zealand’s top lo­ca­tion, ad­ven­ture and wildlife pho­tog­ra­phers. For­tu­nately we caught up with Chris while he was briefly back in New Zealand so that we could ask him a few ques­tions.

How would some­one who knew you re­ally well de­scribe you? Ded­i­cated to the pho­tog­ra­phy process - if not al­most ob­sessed with cap­tur­ing the real world and shar­ing my sto­ries and in­ter­pre­ta­tions of our amaz­ing planet. Worka­holic.

How would some­one who first met you de­scribe you? They prob­a­bly wouldn't re­mem­ber me... Some­what quiet and shy un­less of course I am host­ing one of my Pho­tog­ra­phy Ex­pe­di­tions. What’s been the big­gest chal­lenge as a pho­tog­ra­pher? Keep­ing up with tech­nol­ogy and the end us­age of im­agery is con­stantly chang­ing also. What’s been the big­gest neg­a­tive? Too much time away from home and fam­ily. I am away trav­el­ling in ex­cess of 250 days a year. What’s been the most pos­i­tive thing about your ca­reer? Trav­el­ling 250 days a year ;-) Get­ting to see and work in many of the won­der­ful lo­ca­tions on this amaz­ing planet. What do you think sets your work apart from other peo­ples? I am self taught and have al­ways done my own thing with­out pay­ing too much at­ten­tion to the work of oth­ers... What’s more im­por­tant - be­ing a good busi­ness­man or be­ing a good pho­tog­ra­pher? Both are very im­por­tant, even a great pho­tog­ra­pher won’t last if they can't run a busi­ness! As glam­orous as ev­ery­one thinks it is, pho­tog­ra­phy is a very dif­fi­cult way to make a liv­ing. Most dan­ger­ous ex­pe­ri­ence? Trav­el­ling by car in re­mote parts of Ra­jas­tan - dodg­ing ele­phants, trucks and camels on the wrong side of the road...

Big­gest fail­ure and what did it teach you? I don't re­call any ma­jor fail­ures but on the smaller end of the scale you can learn from al­most every photo you take even if the re­sult is not as planned. You never stop learn­ing.

When you are work­ing what dic­tates your day? The sub­ject mat­ter dic­tates much of this if you are shoot­ing wildlife - and lo­ca­tion of course - but most of all the light - its all about the light! Best thing you have ever bought un­der $100? Gaffa tape

Chris on lo­ca­tion on the frozen Yukon River, Alaska

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