David Noton presents his photography and why he prints it

Alright then –
Shall we look at a few pictures? That’s what it’s all about –
isn’t it? But before we do that I’d just like
to just give you a feel of who I am and what I do. So if you don’t mind I’m
going to spend the next 20 minutes trying to
communicate to you my passion for printing. But first come with me if you will to a place called Kimmeridge
Bay. It’s on the south coast of England on the
Jurassic Coast. It’s a UNESCO’s World
Heritage site. It’s a stunningly beautiful
part of the world. A really dramatic coastline and
just a couple of weeks ago I was down on the coast in
the middle of the night making this picture.
Now there’s just a few weeks in the year when the galactic center of the
Milky Way is visible above the horizon in our latitudes and the nights when you can actually
see the Milky Way a few and far between because as you may
well know in England we do occasionally get a little
bit of cloud and bad weather and rain. To really
see the night sky best you need completely
clear sky and no moon and those kind of nights
happen very rarely. I live for moments
like this. Shots like this this take immense planning and persistence. I’ll often go back to this kind of location time and time
and time again until I get the picture. Persistence usually pays
off and if I just can give you one little aside
to this particular shoot do you see that
glow on the horizon behind the tower there? I couldn’t
work out what it was. And I came back and
I looked at all my shoots from the south coast taken at this time of year and
that same glow is there. It’s on a bearing
just off south. It’s actually Cherbourg 110 kilometers away. I find
that absolutely amazing. But we’re here
to talk about the big picture. And I’d like to take you back in time if I may back to when dinosaurs roamed
the planet and I was just getting into
photography May 1980 when I went with up to Loch Rannoch on a
family holiday up to Scotland. And I was
rewarded with this beautiful view of Scotland’s Mount Fuji – Schiehallion – reflected perfectly in the Loch in my naive enthusiasm back then I took just two frames
and wondered on. In all the intervening thirty nine years I’ve been going back
to that location hoping for a rerun of those stunning situations. Finally last year I was rewarded with this situation. My message being that
sometimes I have to wait 39 years for one picture. I’d like to think the picture
was worth the wait but just want to take you now behind the scenes on a video shoot I did. A friend of mine once said the difference
between a good landscape photographer and a bad one is the good
one gets up earlier and that’s really what the game’s all about.
Being in the right place at the right time when the light is at its
best and it doesn’t happen by accident. I forget the name of the canyon but it’s in Utah and basically when I found a location
like this that I know is worth it, that it could possibly
be a strong picture. I go back I’m like a dog with
a bone. I’ll go back time and time again until I get
the picture I want. I think in this day
and age of digital technology it’s very easy to think
you can load your camera with a high capacity memory card
walk out the door blast away shoot hundreds
even thousands of pictures and if you shoot enough
something will work won’t it. No. You just
fill up your memory memory card with mediocrity. For me it’s all about waiting
for that decisive moment when it all comes together. I’m just
trying to communicate with you now. The kind of time and effort and persistence that goes into
making pictures like this. I travel the world with my photography.
But it’s really important to me as well to make the most
of what’s in my own backyard and actually this tree. This beautiful old beech tree
is within a mile of where we live in Dorset in the
south of England. I think you’ll agree it’s
quite a picture. And actually we’ve got this printed
huge on the wall at home. It’s actually above
the bed. I would say to come round and have a look but my
wife might not appreciate that. The thing is when I’ve made
a picture like this, the quality of the image I’m shooting
with high resolution Canon cameras. This particular
instance the Canon 5 DSR. This is an image
that’s made up of I can’t remember how many frames
to tell you the truth. Probably about 10 frames stitched
together to make this giant panorama. And when you’ve
made a picture like that, that big, that kind
of quality to then just post it on Instagram
get a few minutes or a few seconds of fame before it’s swiped and forgotten.
There has to be more to life doesn’t there.
For me it’s all about printing. The print is
the final product. To think that pictures like this will
have just a few seconds of fame on it on social media before being
consigned to the oblivion of a hard drive is a tragedy. So printing is absolutely centrally and fundamentally
important to my business. I think when you’ve gone to such
lengths to create pictures like this. Traveled all the way to Sri Lanka.
What a beautiful country that is. I’m up here on a tea plantation in the center
of Sri Lanka. plantation in the center
of Sri Lanka.
Those wonderful beautiful
tropical morning there. Those wonderful beautiful
tropical morning there. It’s a 180 degree field of view.
When I’ve gone to this amount of effort and travel
and time I want to just enjoy the fruits of
my own creativity to the ultimate. And that
means printing. Permit me or forgive me. Would you. If I’m a little
bit evangelical about this but I believe really
the prints are so important. I think it was looking
at prints is what got most of us I assume into photography
in the first place. Back a few years ago I had
an exhibition in London and seeing prints on the wall watching
people walk into the gallery the way they interacted
with the prints on the wall was a fun, one of the high points of
my career. I know I will never ever forget that it was a real privilege. Now I’ve been in this business
a long long time. Thirty four years as a professional now. I’ll never forget making
my first print as a as a student to photography college
at Gloucester in the West of England in the early 80s.
It’s a seminal moment for all photographers I think
making that print seeing the print way back
then appearing in the in the developing dish. By the way just as an aside
this is Chateau Chalon in the Jura region
of France and I think for me that that I’ve
always thought that printing is magic. Way back
then when I saw that first that print appearing in
the dish I thought it was magic. Now I can make a print
with a few clicks of a mouse but I still think it’s magic. I’m still hooked on the process
and like most of you I’m pretty sure when I’m
making a print I stand by the print looking
at it coming out. It’s still magic. It’s still
such a special experience. So this is Argentina and it’s northern Argentina.
And as I said before these kind of pictures are
really – when I go on a trip like this I don’t come back
with thousands of pictures. If I come back with
one image that is – a handful of images that I’m pleased
I’m thinking of quality over quantity all the time. So for
this particular situation here it’s the first slide on the landscape
there. I’ve gone for a super wide picture here. I’m
shooting with the cannon 5 DSR again. I’ve waited for
that first light just coming over the mountains there
to the left and coming down into the valley here. Got that river
taking me into the frame there. I think we spent a week
in this particular area of Argentina and that was the one
image that I kept working on time and time again. I think when I remember how I used to make
prints back in the 80s and 90s it was a nightmare
quite frankly I just couldn’t ever achieve the kind
of consistency I wanted. Nowadays the consistency I
get with with my pictures is so rewarding. It’s actually
really quite a simple process to make a print. This
is the Big Sur coastline in California by the way. I think consistency is what
we’re all after isn’t it. It’s very important to me that
now that I’m getting the believability of colors the
believability of tones. I think all the time with my own
photography what I’m after is producing pictures which
make you the viewer look at and think
it’s truthful. It’s got that that connection
with reality. And I’m looking for that too all the
time when I print a picture. The colors must look natural. I think a lot of people think
that printing is a very difficult process but actually
I’m finding that it’s it’s become so easy actually.
So for example look at this picture the colors
in it are quite vibrant. It’s an area called tombstone
provincial park in the Yukon territories in the far north of Canada
stunningly beautiful area by the way had it completely
to myself. Photography is the stimulus that puts me into situations like this.
I don’t think if it weren’t for photography I would have seen half
the things that I have in life. It’s been a wonderful adventure
a wonderful stimulus and would I have gotten up in them in the
middle of the night and driven all this way to be there
overlooking this valley too when the first light
started painting that landscape. It’s one of the fundamental
joys of photography it actually is standing somewhere like
this. Watching the first light paint the landscape watching it
creep down the mountains. It’s an experience I
never ever tire of and of course the print is
the final part of that process. Color management two words that strike
fear into the hearts of many photographers I think. They certainly do for me. But actually you know the game has
become much much easier than it was 20 years ago using Canon’s professional prints
and layout application, I’m finding that actually I
can set up a printer I can be productive very very quickly. The whole process has actually
become really much more user friendly
than it ever was. This was shot in
Wales actually. And this next one here is back
on the Jurassic Coast the south coast of England
in Dorset that’s the tower Clavell Tower that was
in that first night sky shoot. So what am I looking for? What am I looking for when
I print a picture? Obviously consistency.
I want to know that I can get consistent
quality without any kind of deviation and of
course print quality. Now then this screen is wonderful. I’m loving presenting to you here
and now on this wonderful wide high resolution screen. But it still doesn’t compete
with looking at a good print. And I think I can talk
to you as much as we like as much as I like. But the
proof is in the pudding. That’s a colloquialism we use in
England. And the proof is in the pudding in particular if you look
at the prints back later on in the display behind you. The
quality of the prints that we can get nowadays with Canon’s
second generation Pro Series is quite
frankly amazing. With my photography I’m looking
for – I’m always looking for the truenesss of the colors some of the other ambassadors talked about
it in their videos just recently so in pictures like this. Very easy to look over
the top to look overcooked. I’m sure you’ve
all seen images, a wash on the Internet with pictures
which have been over processed. The colors look unreal. For me this Rainbow here which I managed to capture, it would be very easy to overcook those colors in that rainbow.
And when I come to print a picture that’s what
I’m looking for. Color fidelity tonality
true colors and crucially subtlety. This
is still on my home patch of the Jurassic Coast
whereas this next picture is La Roche de soultre Burgundy a beautiful area of France. We were
there just a couple of months ago. Pictures like this for
example really quite high contrast image there. Making this panorama I was very
aware of that I wanted the vines in my foreground here.
I wanted this lovely side lighting painting the scene here
but the shadows are quite strong, quite harsh.
What’s key is the blacks in a picture like this what
I’m really aware of is the depth of the blacks. When I come to
print that picture I don’t want those blacks to look muddy and
gray. I want those lovely rich black tones. I think a big beautiful print impresses in a way that picture on a screen never
can and I’ll often make a print just for the hell
of it. Just to have a look at it just for the sheer pleasure
of making a print. I think whenever I’m going for
a meeting whenever I’m going to see anyone in the photographic
world I will take along a sheaf of prints
because I know from hard experience that you can
be busy talking about business and marketing and all of those
things. But when it comes to it we’re all in the photography business.
We’re all in the business of pictures and it always
comes back to the pictures. And when I
put on a table a beautiful print people
react to it in a way that they never would do too if I
showed it to them on a tablet or even worse a phone. Let’s
face it we all spent far too much of our lives looking at a screen don’t we? Most of us spend huge amounts
of our existence in front of a computer. So
to change that whole experience and present prints as
opposed to projected digital images I find I get a
far better far more evocative response from people. And
there’s a tangible sense of quality to a print. You can
touch it you can feel it. I was watching a program about. They were tracing the history of
a piece of art and they were talking about the texture the
surface of the painting. It was an oil painting and the
actual surface of the painting had this tactile quality.
Well it’s the same with prints for example one of
my favorite papers the fine art museum etching paper.
There’s such a lovely texture to that. I just love feeling
of print. Excuse me. I’m getting a bit wafting a bit lyrical
here but it’s all about the passion isn’t it. Well
it is for me anyways. There’s a tangible sense of worth
and quality to a print. From Iceland let me take you
now back here to autumn in Dorset and this print here. This image here shot last autumn. In the first light of the day side
lighting the scene there at there’s that depth to the image.
I’m really trying to hold on to the tones in the cloud the brightness
in the tones there and the clouds and at the same time
expose for the shadows here. So when I come to print
that image of course that kind of tonal range is very
important to me that I that I can capture that. Just to wrap up with a few more images This is autumn in my homepatch again – another panorama – I love making panoramas
and they print beautifully Trouble with a panorama is
that it’s very difficult to show in it’s full qulaity.
They way I am doing here. It’s a real treat to be here actually,
to have the opportunity to show you these pictures on this huge screen. but normally I don’t get the opportunity But a panorama printed large
just looks wonderfull. unfortunately our house isn’t big enough
to show enough of them. I’d love to have a lot more of these
on the walls at home. Printing is just damn right sattisfying. It’s the final stage in the process it’s what it’s all about, for me and for me really, to sum up. An image needs to be printed
to realize it’s full potential. I hope I managed to convey to you
my passion for my work. I hope I also conveyed to you my passion
for printing. I’m here all day If you got any questions at all about my pictures, about my work
and about my commitment to printing I’d love to have a talk to you. Thank you very much.

local_offerevent_note October 6, 2019

account_box Matthew Anderson


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