"My Death Waits Here" - Photography by Martin McCrae

How would you describe your photography style?

I like nature but I don’t have a style. If anything, I try to tease out the best in my photos to match the feeling I get when I am looking at the scene. It is the looking that counts. What am I looking at and what makes me look. It can be a definite search or spotting something out of the corner of my eye.  

For example, if I am looking at the great lunar like expanse at the base of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro, I feel the space, openness and greatness of the landscape, the intensity of the colours in the rocks, grasses and lichen. I want to portray that feeling of being small in a great, beautiful but hard environment, so I may look at the details, the graphic qualities that show the extremes. But if it is the fragility of the plant life I can see the softness and vividness of the flowers against the hard brutal lava rocks and I want to show that rich delicacy.

I am using my wide angle lens as default at the moment, but no matter what I look at it is probably those standard elements, like the light, contrast, colour and so on that sparks the interest. I also have a sculpture art background so I often look for lines and form, shapes, juxtaposition of objects and the like.

"Tongariro Crossing" by Martin McCrae

How would you say your photography has improved? What mistakes did you used to make and what advice would you give newbie photographers?

Technically I am getting better slowly. I can think, what do I need to use in my camera to enable me to get what I am looking at and feeling. I read a lot of photography magazines to gain other people’s knowledge and skills. It still takes me a while to put into action my knowledge of practically taking a photo and I mess it up more often than not, so I’m often on the back foot.

I need to learn the abilities of my camera and my experience and apply them quicker because usually I am rushing, whether because of other people, the particular situation, light, time etc, to get what I want. Also, it is hard to understand what it is I am looking at that can be translated into a photograph, it often doesn’t come out and more often, within my skill limits, doesn’t approach the quality of the real world but that is what is great about wanting to take photos. It is enjoying the looking, the search, the desire to get an ultimate result from the looking and to work at it.