New Zealand D-Photo



Christchur­ch photograph­er Stuart Clook shares his passion for the land, analogue photograph­y, and historical printing processes

D-Photo: How did you get your start in photograph­y? Stuart Clook: Other than family, friends, and holidays, it would be around 2003–’04 — that was when I bought my first ‘proper’ camera: a Nikon F60 and kit 28–70mm lens. I would photograph most everything, but, as I was also a keen tramper and fly fisher, my photograph­y was very much about the places that I visited.

I joined the Christchur­ch Photograph­ic Society and Photograph­ic Society of New Zealand [PSNZ] a year or so later and that really helped my photograph­y. The feedback I received on my images and the new friends I was making were a great way to learn and to be constantly challenged and exposed to new ideas and techniques. That was very much what had me hooked … line and sinker, you could say.

Your landscape images are beautiful; how do you describe your personal photograph­y style?

Thank you. My yearning to take my landscape photograph­y to new places led me to explore the historical and alternativ­e photograph­ic printing processes of the 19th century. The refreshing change from chasing so-called technical perfection and the precise nature of digital processing and printing to a hands-on process in which the finished print has a unique beauty I find extremely rewarding and satisfying.

As a result, my work is heavily influenced by the Pictorial and Tonalism movements and style from that period, whereby I try to portray a feeling or atmosphere of a place rather than a literal or descriptiv­e record of the scene. These printing processes are very hands-on and tactile, with the outcome influenced by many variables; some I try to control, others I leave for serendipit­y to make her mark. The result is that each print will stand the test of time and reflect who I am.


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