on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Masters of Vision : Antony Spencer


Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

Flickr, Facebook, Twitter

Anthony Spencer

Antony is a deserving winner of Take a View 2010, his capture of Corfe is original and well seen and his other commended images are, even better .


Aurora Kirkjufell

Aurora Kirkjufell

Tim: Hi Antony – Firstly thanks for letting us interview you. Is this your first time to Masters of Vision.

Antony: It is indeed

T: Did you know what to expect when you turned up

A: Not really – I’d seen a few photographs that Pete had sent over in an email so I knew a little bit of what to expect but it doesn’t prepare you for this. It’s an amazing place to exhibit anything.

T: So how did you go about picking images for something like this

A: I had a few images left lying around from a few other things I had done in the past and tried to incorporate those but to be honest I’ve been running around like a headless chicken for the last few months so it’s kind of last minute and I wish I’d had a little more time to prepare and think a bit more about things, to be honest.

T: So have you had a busy year so far?

A: It’s been incredibly busy. None stop.

T: How many tours?

A: Too many! Eight or so already and they are all out of the UK.

T: So where have most of your pictures come from you are exhibiting.

A: They are from all over – some from the States, a couple from the South West of England, local to me, a few from Iceland, and the Landscape Photographer of the Year photo.

T: It’s nice to see the Landscape Photographer of the Year winning photo printed large. And this is quite a selection of cameras used here as well. I noticed the Aurora picture in front of Kirkjufell taken on the Canon.

A: Yes and the one around the corner taken with the Phase One.

T: Have you noticed your photography changing at all now you are using the medium format digital back now?

A: Not so much no. The quality improves dramatically and the dynamic range improves so it changes what you do in the field. But I keep flitting back and forth between the Canon and the Phase I don’t think I get time to allow it to make a permanent change.



T: If you were to pick a couple of your images that you are exhibiting that you are most happy with, what would they be?

A: Not too sure. I’d probably got for the Aurora print that I’ve just done which is probably the one print I’m most happy with out of all of these. It’s of Kirkjufell and was on the same night as David Clapp did the ringed mountain aurora shot that got all the shares on Flickr. Which is a fabulous shot. Whilst he was making that I was running around like a headless chicken. I’d already walked away from the group with one of the clients who wanted to do something different and I wasn’t really prepared to run back with my tail between my legs to do the same as all of the other guys so just at the last minute I found this foreground here. This limb that sticks out of the bottom of the image is only about the size of my fist. To do that at night with focus stacking at f/2.8 was quite a challenge.

T: A few people have mentioned that it must be quite difficult to print aurora photographs

A: It is yeah. I’ve seen so many others where people have photographed it trying to get the histogram all of the way to the right and treating it like a normal landscape photograph but I think when you’re shooting at night you need to retain the fact that it’s a night time image. The quality of that light in the image should reflect that. I don’t want the ice to be bright white and the histogram to be perfect. I want enough detail everywhere there are things you can see at the occasion.

T: It must be hard to render the aurora well also. Considering the problems people get with out of gamut colours with flowers etc. The aurora must be a real challenge

A: Yeah – it’s a funny part of the colour spectrum anyway so it quite often goes out of gamut. This is clipped a little bit but it works I think.

T: You’ve got a few from Iceland – you have one from Selfoss next to it

A: This is one from this summer taken on the same trip as the thermal pool. That is probably the one that I’m least happy with.

T: The Selfoss image is quite beautiful. When you see the ground and rocks in Iceland it’s a very harsh, grey landscape but it’s so dramatic.

A: It is. It’s a phenomenal part of the world and I’ve had a few people who have said, “Did you go down in here?” and I have to say to them it’s about 200ft drop from top to the bottom. The image doesn’t have any sense of scale or reference in it. You can’t tell how big anything is.

T: We’ve been asking everybody who they would like to see as the next Master of Vision for the 2015 show

A: I’ve no idea but seeing the quality of Dav’s work perhaps he should be promoted. It’s absolutely phenomenal and I shall have to make sure I buy a print before I go back!

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