Camera_Obscura_no17 - Landscape Photography

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  • 8/3/2019 Camera_Obscura_no17 - Landscape Photography





    Landscape photography

  • 8/3/2019 Camera_Obscura_no17 - Landscape Photography












  • 8/3/2019 Camera_Obscura_no17 - Landscape Photography


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    Editors Note

    Landscape Photography is about some of the most amazing images in the world. Portraying theworld, with its sunset and sunrises, with its majestic mountains and peaks, roaring rivers and veiledwaterfalls, they never seize to inspire and awe. Whether we look back at the black and white contrastsin the images of Ansel Adams or the incredible colors of Galen Rowell, landscape is one of the mostapproached topics in photography, probably second only to man. So theres no wonder why we chose

    this topic for our December edition. We are just as amazed as you are by the beauty of our world andwe want to share with you a small glimpse of all these marvels. So we thank the photographers whomade all this possible by bringing these images to life and sharing them with us. And we invite you tosit back and relax, as we unfold, page by page, the uniqueness of Earths landscapes.

    Camera Obscura Team

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  • 8/3/2019 Camera_Obscura_no17 - Landscape Photography


    Simon Reay

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    Simon Reay Interview

    Some of you may know him as Discovery Channels Director ofPhotography on Born Survivor/Man Vs Wild. Simon Reays work

    is broader though including documentary, commercials anddrama - and in all this work he endeavors to offer the audiencea rst person perspective as they view. This year he receivedan Emmy nomination for Cinematography on Man Vs Wildand for this Landscape edition he agreed to be interviewed byCamera Obscura. Although he is a motion picture cameramanhe loves stills (as he puts it) photography as well. We believethat his experience and thoughts are extremely valuable for anyphotographer or cameraman be it professional or amateur.

    Simon Reay Inside Air Vent Poland 2009

    CO For our readers, could you dene your position as a director ofphotography?... What does a director of photography do, in general lines?

    SR A director of photography is a cameraman. My role on Man Vs Wildis to blend the photography with the content and not make it appear toodominant. On a show like this its important that the camera doesntlead. Bear is the driving force in the programme and dictates the story, sovisually the camera should never jump ahead of him and preempt whathe is about to do or see. This way of shooting often means sacricingsome potentially great shots for the integrity of the show - but I like that.

    CO How did it all start for you? When did you start in this area?

    SR I started doing this genre of lming about 6-7 years ago. As formy entire career I started operating in 1994 so there was a good 10years before I started getting into this kind of work. It certainly wasntsomething I have deliberately pursued, I like being active, I like gettingdirty and muddy so I suppose the transition into this kind of lming feltvery natural. But its something I like doing because I have a camera withme. I would never (or at least at this moment in time) go out and do

    anything I do in my work as a social activity, whether its climbing, caving,diving or anything like that I love it because there is a camera with meand a story to tell.

    CO So you always see things through the lens?...

    SR Yes, I do. I guess there is a slight comfort in that I can forget whatis happening around me and concentrate on the scene. What I bringto the projects I shoot is the ability to work in a variety of environmentshowever hard and concentrate on listening and watching what is

    happening around me and delivering the pictures.

    CO Have you had this ability from the beginning? Or you developed it?

    SR Oh, no. I developed it and Im still developing it. The environment,regardless of whether youve been there before or not, is alwayschanging. The temperatures vary and the conditions vary, so yourealways developing your skills. You also have to develop the camera skills

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    as well, making sure the kit is correctly specied for the situation. Thisis something you slowly develop over time but you can never fully knowit all. I have never completed a job thinking yes, I am completely happywith that, because there are always bits that Id change for next time.

    CO In terms of equipment, do you happen to break a lot of camerasduring shootings?

    SR No not at all. Actually, Ive broken very little considering that wevebeen making this show for 5 years. The thing that gets punished most isthe lters Ive gone through plenty of them. One time our underwaterhousing leaked and saltwater soaked the camera. We had no choice butto try and x it so stayed up all night on a boat with my camera assistantDan Etheridge painstakingly removing and cleaning every circuit boardand then trying to remember how it all went back together. To ouramazement it worked!CO Is it difcult to refrain yourself from giving directions while shooting?

    Do you tend to guide the person youre shooting?

    SR Bear and I have worked together for so long that he knows whereIm going to be and vice versa. We have wonderful shorthand nowwhere communication requires no words. He can turn to deliver a lineof dialogue and hell instinctively know where Im likely to be. Maybe inthe early years I might have said to him something like move to the lefta bit but not now, the great thing about this show is the ability to bespontaneous and not too perfect.

    CO What is great about the show with Bear is that it feels very natural.You actually feel youre there and you dont see the directing part. Surelythere is a script, but as a viewer, I dont see it.

    SR Thats very kind of you, the photography is designed so that theviewers feel they are next to Bear. I think audiences are very aware thatthere is a cameraman with Bear but not so much that it feels like thecamera is a character in the show. Hell never refer to me by name. You

    may see a hand or a foot occasionally but youll never see me - thatis very deliberate and important. Its about the audiences relationshipwith Bear not mine. So I generally shoot with a very subjective feel, thereare objective views as well when we back off and observe him from adistance to provide a sense of scale but 90% of the show is spent by hisside. This really sums up what my job is all about, attempting to transferthat emotion, that feeling to the audience. I dont always manage to doit every time but its partly what brings me back time and again.

    CO Anymoments when you thought that you cant do a certain thing,or that you wont do it?

    SR There was a moment in Guatemala when I had to jump from a cliffinto the bottom of a waterfall. Bear went rst to test it and as soon as helanded I suddenly realized how far it was. In that moment I had a mentalblock, I didnt want to jump. It was a very human moment. Even thoughIve done jumps like this numerous times before I just couldnt shake thedoubt. I did it in the end.

    CO What about the equipment youre shooting with? Is it very important,or its just something to get the job done?

    SR When I rst started out I loved the tactile nature of the equipment,now its much more about staying up to date with technology and usingthe right piece of kit for a specic job. I guess Ive just grown up.I dont own any of the equipment I use for Man Vs Wild; Instead Ive optedto build a good relationship with Axis Films/On Sight a hire companybased near London. They are truly dedicated to making sure we have

    the correct items for each environment and have come to expect a wellused kit when it returns. The kit were now using has been continuouslyperfected and adapted to exactly what we need. The Varicam 2700 andHVX171 make up the predominant camera package which are both partof the extremely robust Panasonic P2 family.

    CO What would you say its your biggest reward in this job? Any pros orcons?

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    SR Easy, for the viewer to watch the show and be unaware of whatIve done. I like the idea of the photography just happening in thebackground and not trying too hard to be noticed.

    CO Did you have any special training for the kind of shooting you do?

    SR Just as a boy climbing trees and getting muddy.

    CO You received an Emmy nomination this year. What was it for?

    SR It was an Emmy nomination for cinematography in a reality show.

    CO How did you feel about it?

    SR It felt amazing. I am always ultra critical of what I do, so it wasa huge compliment that someone thought it was worthy of an award.After all, its an