Review of Exposed in Outdoor Photography (UK)

My thanks to Outdoor Photography Magazine , and specifically to Jemima Graves, for doing a review of my book in the October issue of their magazine. Here is the review:

“Clark’s third book is an in-depth look at the experiences of a pro photographer. You won’t find many romanticized descriptions or misty eyed anecdotes; instead Clark’s unrelenting passion gives the book a real sense of vigour and excitement. Unafraid to share the knowledge he’s acquired over the course of his career so far, Clark discusses the making of 16 images in detail. He explains why and how they were shot, what happened in the editing process, and shares more tips for success in the DVD that accompanies the text. But, Exposed is far from a standard technique book. It offers a more personal insight into the everyday struggles a working photographer faces, as well as the spectacular and comical moments. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys action photography – Clark’s tales of climbing sheer cliff faces and battling through snow storms are enough to make anyone want to go on an adventure!”

Also, for this issue, the editors included a sidebar titled “5 minutes with Adventure sports photographer and writer Michael Clark on his new book, Exposed.” Here is the sidebar they published:

JEMIMA GREAVES (JG): Pro photographers tend to keep their hard-earned secrets to themselves, so why write such a demystifying and honest account?

MICHAEL CLARK (MC): I wanted to strip away some of the glamour and give the reader a very clear view of what it is like to be a working professional photographer. Like anything else worthwhile in life, creating amazing images is a lot of hard work. Sure, there is plenty in Exposed that can be copied, but everyone copies someone else to some degree in the art world.

JG: You talk extensively about gear in Exposed; do you think it’s necessary to have the latest kit?

MC: The most important piece of gear I take with me on any photo shoot is myself. I think that is true in every profession. Tools are just tools. Of course, having excellent tools allows us to push the envelope in ways we couldn’t have in the past and, as a gearhead, I will say that there is always an impetus to use tools that give us better quality images.

JG: Have you ever had trouble reaching a location, or made a journey that was just too difficult to complete?

MC: For most of my rock climbing shoots I can get to almost any position I need to, it just takes a ton of work to get there. There is one race I’ve covered where the terrain is so difficult that I haven’t always been able to get where I need to be – the Patagonian Expedition Race in southern Chile. In that situation you work as hard as you possibly can, but you just have to accept that you are going to get what you are able to get, and that’s it.

JG: Do you feel that photography gives you a sense of freedom?

MC: I don’t know that photography gives me a sense of freedom but it certainly allows me to visit some incredible places and interact with amazing people. There are highs and lows, and times where I just want to throw the camera off a cliff. But when things come together, like the weather, the action and the images, then I feel on top of the world. That creative high is the reason for my obsession with photography – and why I work so hard.

Thanks again to Outdoor Photography magazine for the stellar review and the interview. I got an email from Jemima after this went to print that said, “I had such a good time reading the book that it was a pleasure to write about it.” You can download the latest issue of Outdoor Photography online here.

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