About - Philip Clarke Photography

A little about me

Thank you for taking the time to visit, and view my photographs.


I first became interested in photography in 2000.   After moving from Springdale, Newfoundland to Calgary, Alberta in 2001, the Canadian Rockies inspired me to continue learning to photograph what I saw.  Whenever I could, I travelled to the Banff National Park area up until 2004.  During that time, I was simply attempting to photograph the literal beauty there, with no real connection with how it resonated on an emotional level.  Abruptly that changed, and in 2004 I began an eight year battle with depression that caused me to put aside the hobby for many years.  It wasn't a pleasurable experience, but one that I learned from.  As quiet as it may be, I had a voice.  Photographs could stand in for the words that I wasn't brave enough to say aloud.

Shortly prior to my wife and I vacationing on the Hawaiian island of Kauai in 2012, a desire to express what I felt through photographs took hold.  Maybe it was the prospect of something completely new.  That anxious exhilaration you feel before exploring a new place.  Or, maybe it was simply my mind telling me that it's time to leave the mental baggage behind.  Whatever it was, I owed it to myself to begin again.  I owe a debt of gratitude to Kauai for helping me reconnect with photography.  

For a couple of months after, I experimented with a style of photography known as HDR.  I soon realized that it was crude, visually vulgar and far too contrived for my own personal taste.  It resulted in my ignoring the fundamentals that I'd taught myself over those few short early years through trial and error.  Realizing this technique wasn't going to help me achieve my goal, I opted to slowly find my way back to basics by studying the masters of the craft and applying it to my own work.

More recently, I've been exploring the vast Southern Alberta Foothills for a deeper level of inspiration.  The concept has probably been articulated more clearly, by far better photographers but,  for me it's a simple place.  One with limitless organic form, sparsely peppered with remnants of an era I never experienced.  It has space to let my imagination work.  Whether I will or not, depends on my persistence but, my goal is to someday be able to create meaningful, lasting work here.  


It's my hope that you enjoy my small amount of work to date, and if anything about these photographs or my personal story resonates, please feel free to get in touch.


Phil




Each artist must follow his own beacons and chart his journey over the medium's seas and deserts.

- Ansel Adams
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