Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Artist Interview, Photographer Gillian Jackson

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Gillian Jackson - Dubrovnik, Croatia 

When did you start photographing?
I started photographing probably when I was around 10 yrs old, using my dad's old Minolta.  He bought me an SLR of my own when I moved to Bermuda in the early 80s and that's when I started learning the technical side of photography and showing my work.

What is your favorite thing about photography?
Never being bored!  There's always something to read and learn about photography.  No matter where you are, as long as you have a camera with you, it's always possible to create art.

What is your favorite Lens and why?
The lens I use the most is my Sigma 18-200mm zoom.  This covers many landscape situations and urban/city shots.  However, I also use a Nikkor 10-24mm lens which produces some lovely effects when photographing architecture and landscapes, especially when used with a neutral density filter. 

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Gillian Jackson, Carpets in Kotor, Montenegro

You have traveled quite a bit, what are you favorite places to photograph?
One of the most beautiful places I photographed was Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes, although that is one of the few places I have found where a photograph cannot ever really do justice.  I love photographing buildings and also water, whether it be ocean, lake or puddle - the colors and reflections are ever changing.  Bermuda has always been a favorite as have old European cities with their beautiful architecture ranging from elegant buildings in Prague to run down stone houses in Montenegro.  

Areas I still dream of photographing are the Far East and the glaciers of the Antarctic and Patagonia.

Do you have a favorite photographer?
I enjoy the work of Adam Barker, a Utah based photographer who travels extensively and produces very bold landscapes, both in the US and worldwide.  He shares his travel experiences and techniques in his online blog too, which is really interesting.

As I am primarily a landscape photographer of course I have a lot of admiration for the work of Ansel Adams.  The f/64 group, of which he was a founding member, used a photographic style much like my own - sharp focused and carefully famed images of natural forms.

However, lately I have been experimenting with a more abstract approach and a softer focus.  That's the beauty of photography!


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 Gillian Jackson, Sedona, AZ


What is essential to have in your camera bag?
Aside from from the camera body (if I can ever afford the below mentioned, lusted after D800, it would be two camera bodies) and the two lenses, I carry lens cleaning cloths, a few filters, spare cards and, THE most important item - a spare, fully charged battery! Without that things can come to a crashing halt...  A bar of chocolate is also nice to have to nibble on when waiting for the all important, perfect light...

What kind of camera do you use?
I use a Nikon D200 but am lusting after the new D800!

You have done quite a few open studios events, What do you feel is important about open studios as a photographer?
Not just as a photographer, but for any artist, participating in open studios is a great way to network and share ideas with other artists and members of the public.  It's not just about selling your work (although that's good too) but making contacts and friends, finding a good source of suppliers for various materials, talking photography to others who see your work and hearing about their photographic trips.  You never know where the next idea will come from...


What subjects have you photographed in the last few months?
Art Deco architecture in Miami South Beach, and the Everglades - including some wildlife.  Also Boston night shots.
I hope to visit and photograph Death Valley this year. 
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Gillian Jackson, Pelican, Naples, FL
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Gillian Jackson, Alligator, Everglades



At present I show my work at DSAG and also The Wishing Well Gallery in Rockport, who will be having their grand opening on May 4.

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