CD: Julian we’ve known each other for quite a while and share an admiration for the rugged landscape of Scotland. When were you first drawn to spending time in the wild and why?
Julian Calverley: So when I was young I spent many of our summer holidays in the Scottish Highlands, and I guess subconsciously I developed a love for the place during that time.
I’ve always enjoyed the isolation of hill and mountain walking, and just being outside in wide and rugged open spaces, away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, so landscape photography was a very natural and logical move.
As you know, I tend to head North during the autumn and winter months, to catch the more interesting weather and associated light.
CD: In a previous life you were also a drummer in a band. Many photographers are also musicians or writers. What is the connection between music and your photography? What do you listen to and what inspires you.
Julian Calverley: Yes, it’s another form of self expression. It’s a great way to unwind, and I find it important to have other interests outside of photography. I have a broad range of musical taste, from Led Zeppelin to Porcupine Tree, basically most bands that have a powerful rhythm section. I also follow the music of individual drummers, such as Simon Phillips, Manu Katché and Gavin Harrison.
CD: In your landscape work, which is remarkably consistent in tone and approach with your commercial work, did you realize or connect with a style that said “this is it” or did it develop over time?
Julian Calverley: My signature style is something that has taken time to achieve. I undertake all of my own post production, and enjoy that part of the process very much. Coming from a traditional film and darkroom background, I try to keep my work feeling film like.
CD: How do you balance the desire to photograph on the edges of weather, to spending time with your family life and commercial photography?
Julian Calverley: Personal work is extremely important, particularly when showing folios to art buyers and art directors. It’s important to show them what makes you tick. I tend to do around 3 or 4 personal work trips a year, each being a week long, and yes, It can be very hard spending so much time away, but I’m fortunate in that I have a very supportive family.
CD: You work closely with Alpa cameras in Switzerland. Why did you choose to shoot with a technical camera instead of traditional medium format approaches?
Julian Calverley: I love the simplicity and solidity of the ALPA platform. They allow me to marry the best glass to the best digital back, and with an accuracy that is unparalleled. If I need to stitch an image or require tilt or shift, then it is all there at hand.
CD: Edition-Prints and Corbis – any thoughts you want to add?
Julian Calverley: Both run as valuable, separate and important arms to the main business of commissioned photography, particularly in these days of hard economic times, and where the professional world of photography so diluted by Flickr etc. and the on-line sharing and selling of cheap work, you need to have your fingers in a few pies.
CD: Advice and counsel for younger photographers?
Julian Calverley: Follow what you love. Edit your work ruthlessly. Be polite and punctual. Visit art galleries for inspiration. Work hard. Don’t take no for an answer.
What’s in Julian’s bag?
“Equipment wise, I shoot Alpa with IQ180 and Rodenstock, Contax with IQ180 and Nikon DSLRs.
Lighting is Profoto.