This is number six in my series of posts about people or works of art that inspire me to continue in my artistic endeavors. Last week’s post about Dewitt Jones was well received and I even had some excitement happen: Dewitt read the post and left me a short note! (What a thrill! Thanks Dewitt! It means a lot to me that you took the time to stop by and visit my little online world.) I don’t know Dewitt personally and to have such a well regarded and widely published photographer visit my blog and take the time to comment was particularly exciting for me.
Today I am posting about another photographer for whom my relationship is simply one of “fan.” I first came across Bruce Percy on the iTunes store where he posts video podcasts under the banner “The Art of Adventure Photography” recounting some of his journeys to destinations far and wide: Easter Island, Patagonia, Nepal, the Bolivian Altiplano, Cuba, Iceland, Cambodia, and Norway just to name a few. He is also well known for his work in northern Scotland; an area much closer to home for this Edinburgh resident.
What drew me to his photography was initially his podcasts; they are multisensory experiences. Not only does Percy make stunning landscape and cultural photographs, he also composes the music for the podcasts and narrates them as well. His lilting Scottish brogue, soft voice. and apparently gentle spirit lend themselves perfectly to the otherworldly images he makes of our world. If you like stunning images of wild places and the people who live on the edge of them then do yourself a favor and check out his portfolio.
Another aspect of Percy’s approach that I enjoy is his philosophy on gear. Influenced by Michael Kenna (whom I wrote about here), Ansel Adams (well, who isn’t?), and Steve McCurry (the photographer who made the famous image of the green-eyed Afghan girl that seemed to make National Geographic a household magazine), Percy believes gear should be in service of the work of art. He creates stunning, absolutely stunning, images with a Mamiya camera and three prime lenses shooting exclusively on film. In fact, on his website he makes the bold argumentative statement that “your camera does not matter.”
Alright then. I guess I won’t buy that new lens with my birthday money.
His images and podcasts move me to find something to photograph that moves my soul. It is clear he loves the wild places he visits and does his best to render his experience on film. He is also willing to experience these places and people on their own terms describing photography as a great way to get closer to the land and the people.
A consummate teacher, Percy leads workshops (often in the far north of Scotland), produces podcasts, publishes eBooks, and writes a blog all describing his process; the process of course being what he considers the most important aspect of photographing.
So grab a cup of tea and give yourself a break from the hubbub of daily living. Enter into Bruce Percy’s photographic world here. I’m certain you will enjoy it.