Brent Pearson is a prolific, Sydney-based photographer that not only takes great images but is extremely generous in what he gives back to the community via photo guides, tutorials and instruction. He’s forever pushing the boundaries and looking at new techniques, including exploring light-painting, off-camera flash and night photography well before the masses. He’s also been lucky enough to travel the world and we caught up with him after he’d just arrived back from the Burning Man festival held annually in the Nevada desert, USA. He was kind enough to answer a few quick questions.
1. Hi Brent. What landscape photographers inspire you?
I really like Christian Fletcher’s work in terms of ‘traditional landscape’. I also love some of the minimalist B&W photography from photographers such as David Fokos and Michael Kenna.
2. What locations are still high on your ‘to do’ list? What are your personal favourite locations?
DefinitelyIcelandis high on my ‘to-do’ list. Hopefully I will do that in 2013. Also,South America. I’d love to travel and photograph many places in that continent. I haven’t yet photographed theKimberley… but I will get there one day.
My personal favourites? Namibia is one. Karijini NP is another.
3. You’ve said you love photography too much to make it your day-job. Do you think trying to monetize photography takes away from your enjoyment of it?
No, I don’t think it is the act of monetizing photography that takes away from the enjoyment, I think it is about photographing because you have to, not because you want to.
If you are taking assignments to pay the bills, you can’t be too fussy unless you are very, very good at what you do. That inevitably means that you are doing work that you wouldn’t choose to do, and there is a good chance that it doesn’t inspire you artistically… so it becomes ‘work’.
I’ve met quite a few professional photographers who have lost the ‘love’ of photography… and some of them have even said they don’t even take their cameras away with them when they go on holiday because they want a break from it.
When I pick my camera up, it’s always because I want to, not because I have to. Big difference!
4. What are some of the specific challenges you’ve found shooting and light-painting landscapes at night?
Specifically, I found understanding the quality of portable lights challenging — even-ness, colour temperature, power, quality. Also, estimating the exposure as you are light painting and getting it right.On top of this, you have to blend it with a well-exposed ambient image.
5. What can we expect to see from Brent Bat in the future? Are there any new techniques you’ve recently discovered that have you excited?
I’ve been getting more and more into off-camera flash lately… and enjoying the control and creativity that strobes can bring to photography. I like to use flash out on location rather than in the studio, and in situations where flash is not typically used. The work I have just done in Burning Man is a good example of that.
To see more of Brent’s work, visit his website and blog at http://brentpearsonphotography.com