JRP: Jack Crockett is a talented photographer that has an impressive gallery of flora and macro images on PhotoNet.com. I appreciate the time he has taken to share his thoughts and images with JRP Blog readers.
Thank you Jack for taking time to do our interview.
Jack Crockett: Thank you for the opportunity. I am honored.
JRP: Where do you call home Jack?
Jack Crockett: I live in Washington State, USA, with my wife, three year old daughter and a variety of very lazy cats.
JRP: How did you get started in photography? Do you have any formal training?
Jack Crockett: No formal training, just a variety of cameras over the years and a need to see the natural world differently than it is normally perceived. And it’s possible that photography is in the blood … my grandfather was a pioneering camera and stunt man in Hollywood in the 1920’s and 30’s, so I grew up with stories related to photography.
JRP: Who and what has been a major influence on your photography?
Jack Crockett: Georgia O’Keeffe, of all people, has been a major inspiration for me. Her paintings always seemed to me to be about so much more than the subject itself … they transformed the subject into visual conversations that occurred below the threshold of conscious understanding yet stirred an emotional response. I think of her vision often when contemplating my own images and I try to let that same aesthetic govern my works.
JRP: What would I find in your camera bag?
Jack Crockett: Not much since the conversion from Minolta to Canon … I have a Canon EOS 1D Mk II with at least twice as many shutter clicks as the manufacturer intended and my primary lens for nature photography is a Sigma 70mm f2.8 EX DG Macro. I also use a Canon 24-70, a Canon 85mm Prime and the odd bits and pieces most photographers find in the bottom of the bag. Since I do primarily macro and portrait work I’ve put off getting the long lens that seems to be perpetually on the Christmas list.
JRP: Describe your digital workflow, the software you use. Are there any special steps you take along the way?
Jack Crockett: I am inordinately fond of PS3. There is some controversy about whether post-processing should be part of the photographer’s skill sets and I couldn’t feel more strongly that it should. I have worked hard to have some semblance of skill with the camera and lenses, lighting and depth of field, etc., that are the stock of photography. I work just as hard to master the post processing skills that help me round out the vision I had for any given image before I popped the shutter.
JRP: How do you handle image printing?
Jack Crockett: I am fortunate to have a friend with a very large, very professional printer in his home studio.
JRP: Why macro and work with flowers? What makes this subject matter of special interest to you?
Jack Crockett: Macro because I’m trying to “jar” myself and my viewers out of our everyday view of nature. Almost all of us love flowers … but how many of us really take the time to see them? I’m trying to give viewers an “aha” moment every time they see one of my images.
JRP: Are your images pre-arranged or mostly by chance?
Jack Crockett: Almost all my images are taken in the field and most of them in neighborhood gardens. Not only do I get to take images of lovely flowers but I get to meet the gardeners and share in their joy in raising them.
JRP: What is your philosophy on the lighting of flowers? Is everything done with available light?
Jack Crockett: Yes, almost all my images are created using available light.
JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?
Jack Crockett: Look at the works of other photographers whom you admire. Ask yourself how they created whatever it is that you admire about their work. Question yourself obsessively … what are you looking at? How can you see it differently? What’s in the background? What is the final vision? How can you think outside the box?
I would say to always push yourself and to always study your craft.
JRP: What advice would you share with photographers working in macro or photographing flowers for the first time?
Jack Crockett: Never be afraid to experiment and to not get discouraged. Your vision is valid … but you may have to work to achieve it. Oh, and if it’s not “flower season” go make friends with the flower department at your local grocery …
JRP: Thank you Jack for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been an inspiration talking with you. We wish you continued success.
Jack Crockett: Thank you for the opportunity. I am very appreciative!
JRP: To view more of Jack Crockett’s fine photography please follow at this link: http://photo.net/photos/truemarkphotography