Chris McLennan

Born in 1964 at Riversdale, New Zealand (International Colour Awards, No Date). Chris McLennan is a travel photographer renowned for his vibrant and powerful images. Moving away from his farming village he first opened a studio focusing on portraiture and wedding photography. However, his passion for adventure and sports changed his focus to commercial photography. He then moved to Queenstown and advertised the adventure, sports industry (McLennon, No Date).

His influence first originated from taking pictures during his teenage years on his family farm of his father’s cars. This then led to further interest in sports photography and expanded when he became interested in more extreme sports, one favourite being skiing. Travelling then became his focus point, documenting his travels using a large variety of applications of photography (McLennon, No Date). His pictures vary from wildlife, landscapes, and sports. Although he often crosses to other styles of photography, such as documentary where he often presents photographs of tribe members that he has discovered along his travels.

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(McLennan, 2016), (McLennan, No Data), (McLennan, 2015)

McLennan has since grown widely in popularity and holds yearly workshops around the world. When he is not hosting workshops he is travelling, no longer situating himself permanently in one location. He has been recognised for his high quality and creative images. He has many partnerships with large companies, such as Lexar and is the ambassador for Nikon and HP (McLennon, No Date). His achievements are also evident through the many awards received. In 2014 he won an Honours award for Photography Masters Cup International Colour Awards and received a further seven nominations (International Colour Awards, No Date).

Chris McLennan has suggested that the philosophy he has created is to constantly practice a skill, overcoming any obstacles and restrictions. In an interview, he explains that practice makes perfect and money does not stop someone from achieving their goals. They must compromise with their situation, giving the example that people should not feel restricted if they live in a location with limited wildlife but seek to be a wildlife photographer, not able to afford travelling costs. He suggested that they just visit their local zoo and woodland areas, needing minimal cost and still able to capture high-quality images (GGR, 2014).

His other philosophy is to not devalue your work. He explains that many new or young photographers work for free or minimal costs. However, their time and effort are worth a higher value. Clients will then take advantage of their low costs, making price changes in the future less accepted (GGR, 2014).

I have admired his photography for many years, following his social media sites to keep up to date with his projects and experiences whilst working. One of my preferred styles of photography is nature and wildlife, therefore find his work inspiring, along with  the creativity and quality of images he produces. The information he posts about each project and image is useful for my personal development in skills and mindset.

His bold colours and impacting way of framing and composing subjects within the image produce a memorable effect that I would like to apply to my own pictures. He captures action shots that are rare to witness, creating striking images. He also uses simple compositions to produce a dramatic effect. For example, when documenting people he often uses a large amount of negative space, making the subject the primary focus and contrasts with the background to become striking to the eye. His images show expressions and situations that tell a story. A variety of camera angles creates unique and different viewpoints that attract the viewer’s eye.

mclennan_buggy_014-l

Figure 1 (Shu, 2014)

The image above is an example of his work using a small remote-controlled vehicle with a Nikon D800E fastened on top (Shu, 2013). Conventionally photographers hold their DSLR when taking wildlife pictures which can cause restrictions, such as the distance between the photographer and animal. Telephoto lenses are then used to get pictures that appear close to the animal but allow the photographer to remain further away.

However, by using a remotely controlled car it produces unusual perspectives and angles. The low angle of the lions creates a powerful status and allows the viewers to feel a part of the current situation photographed, especially by the direct mode of address from the lion’s eye contact with the viewers. The curiosity of the animals has produced an interesting image, creating interactivity with the camera. Wild animals are often unaware of the camera but this has presented their inquisitive nature. As well as the unique perspective the image is bold and sharp, focusing on the lion in the centre staring at the camera.  This creates a focal point and the other two lions on either side produce a sense of balance, which is found to be comforting to the human eye.

References

Briley, T. (No Date).Beyond the Shutter: Chris McLennan. (Online) Available at:  https://landscapephotographymagazine.com/2016/interview-chris-mclennan/  [Digitally Accessed 23 Nov. 2016].

Shu,L (2014). Photographer’s camera buggy attacked by wild lions, lives to shoot another day (Online). Digital Trends. Available: http://www.digitaltrends.com/photography/photographers-camera-buggy-attacked-lion-pack-lives-shoot-another-day/ [Digitally Accessed 23 Nov. 2016].

Shu,L (2014). Photographer’s camera buggy attacked by wild lions, lives to shoot another day (Image). Digital Trends. Available: http://www.digitaltrends.com/photography/photographers-camera-buggy-attacked-lion-pack-lives-shoot-another-day/ [Digitally Accessed 23 Nov. 2016].

GGR. (2014). GGR! Episode 159 -PRO TIPS- Chris McLennan Interview – Wildlife Photography. (Video] Available at: https://youtu.be/6H5mXVKXzUM [Digitally Accessed 21 Nov. 2016].

McLennan, C. (No Date). About (online). Chris McLennan. Available: http://www.cmphoto.co.nz/about/ (Digitally Accessed 15 Nov. 2016).

McLennan, C. (2016). A lone impala in the Botswana sunrise. [image] Available at: https://en-gb.facebook.com/Chris.McLennan.Photography  [Digitally Accessed 15 Nov. 2016].

McLennan, C. (2016). A young elephant taking a dust bath at sunset. [image] Available at: https://en-gb.facebook.com/Chris.McLennan.Photography  [Digitally Accessed 15 Nov. 2016].

McLennan, C. (2016). A young Himba girl in remote Namibia. Africa. [image] Available at: https://en-gb.facebook.com/Chris.McLennan.Photography  [Digitally Accessed 15 Nov. 2016].

McLennan, C. (No Date). Car-L. [image] Available at: http://beyondf8.com/the-life-of-car-l/  [Digitally Accessed 15 Nov. 2016].

McLennan, C. (2015). Chris McLennan. [image] Available at: http://blog.lowepro.com/2015/04/06/loweprofessional-chris-mclennan-on-location/   [Digitally Accessed 15 Nov. 2016].

McLennan, C. (2016). Fishing bear. [image] Available at: https://en-gb.facebook.com/Chris.McLennan.Photography  [Digitally Accessed 15 Nov. 2016].

McLennan, C. (2016). Mother nature throws a “dark” mood. [image] Available at: https://en-gb.facebook.com/Chris.McLennan.Photography  [Digitally Accessed 15 Nov. 2016].

McLennan, C. (2016). South Island Exploration. [image] Available at: https://en-gb.facebook.com/Chris.McLennan.Photography  [Digitally Accessed 15 Nov. 2016].

McLennan, C. (2016). “Timi”. [image] Available at: https://en-gb.facebook.com/Chris.McLennan.Photography  [Digitally Accessed 15 Nov. 2016].

International Colour Awards. (No Date). Winners Gallery (online). International Colour Awards. Available: http://www.colorawards.com/gallery/index.php?searchtxt=chris+mclennan&search=Search (Digitally Accessed 15 Nov. 2016).

 

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