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Q&A:  Adrian Beasley reflects on his life in photography over the last year

22nd November 2018

This week we talk to digital darkroom guru and Light & Land leader Adrian Beasley who shares his thoughts, insight and pearls of wisdom from his year in photography...

Which image would you highlight from 2018?

Adrian:  “A photoshopped infrared image taken at Wistman’s wood, on Dartmoor.  The oaks here are 400-500 years old and grow amongst lichen covered granite boulders.  The image was taken in October using an infrared converted camera. I prefer to shoot infrared out of the “traditional” summer season.  This particular tree caught my eye with its beautiful twists. I realised that it looked like half a heart, so I popped into photoshop to complete the whole”.

Are there words of wisdom that you heard in 2018 that you’d like to share?

Adrian: “ Don’t feel guilty about the time you spend editing your images.  I used to spend many hours locked away in a darkroom producing one or two B&W prints.  The fact that everyone can now “develop” their own images in their own way is, quite frankly, amazing.  Revel in it and enjoy the processing as much as the taking”.
When editing an image, don’t take any notice of the numbers or position of a slider, focus instead on creating your vision.  Every image is different and will need more or less adjustment to reach your vision. Instead, understand how an image can be harmed and look for those artefacts.

What is the most interesting book (or exhibition or piece of music etc) you’ve read (seen, listened to etc.) in 2018?

Adrian: “I love to listen to music and this year I re-discovered my vinyl collection when I bought a turntable, courtesy of Maplin’s sad demise.

Is there a photographer whose work you’ve come across in 2018 that’s really inspired or impressed you? This could be a client or an established photographer.

Adrian: “Someone contacted me for help with a particularly nasty Photoshop problem. When he described what he was doing I was in awe.  He collects bits of light. He photographs the light, not any particular subject, just the lit patch of a piece of something and then combines them in Photoshop using a range of blending modes.  The results are beautiful, colourful abstracts of a sort I haven’t seen before. His name is Hugh Harkness. (..and yes I did solve his problem!)

What food do you take on a shoot?

Adrian: “I’m afraid I’m a bit of a chocolate addict when it comes to on location food and a caramel is my favourite. I will have a cheese sandwich too, the stronger the cheese the better.

If you could have any photographer(s) (dead or alive) over for Christmas drinks who would they be... and why (briefly)?

Adrian: “Not very high-brow of me but If they’re round for Christmas drinks then I’m after a laugh, not a lecture.  So I would have Phil and Clive and some bottomless beer glasses!

Who has influenced you the most?

Adrain: “Joe Cornish has been the person who has influenced me the most.  Not only did his images speak to me very deeply when I was developing back in the naughties but his approach to new technology and business has been an inspiration and helped me to develop in my career.  He is also one of loveliest people you could meet, incredibly humble and always willing to help”.

What is your favourite place on Earth to take photographs?

Adrian: “My life changed quite dramatically a couple of years ago and as a consequence I can spend more time with my camera.  That opportunity has made me appreciate what is around me so much more. I’m fortunate to live on the North Devon coast and I’m having a ball getting out onto the beaches, amongst the dunes, onto Exmoor and Dartmoor.  So for me, the best place in the world to take pictures is right here on my doorstep.

How do you relax after a long day shooting?

Adrian: “After a long day shooting I like to indulge myself with a beer, a curry and my wonderful partner, not necessarily in that order!”

What's the most exciting bit of photo tech news from 2018?

Adrian: “The tablet is coming of age. Full blown Photoshop is arriving to join Affinity, Luminar and hopefully a fully featured Lightroom.  It’s now possible to work on a tablet while on the run. I’m really pleased to see a broader range of options for those who don’t like Adobe’s subscription model.  Affinity is a great Photoshop alternative at a very low price and Luminar will become a contender to Lightroom soon. Despite its age, Capture One is maturing and is a very powerful Lightroom contender.  Don’t get me started on multi camera mobiles and light-field Imaging, we are going to see some amazing things happen in that space…”

To find out more about Adrian and his upcoming tours and workshops please click here.

Light and Land

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