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Camera House : Better Pictures 10
and is nicely lit. Experimentation and a degree of luck is involved in getting the perfect shot.” Ranken believes that the more time spent taking photographs the more likelihood of a serendipitous moment being caught on film. “There is a difference between making images and finding images. When I am ‘making’ an image it’s not always the right place and the right time because I am the one who’s in control. When I am ‘finding’ images, that’s more about being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes I have gone out to make an image but along the way end up finding one.” While Ranken started her career in film, she’s embraced the digital revolution and insists that she enjoys editing her images on computer as much as she did when developing film. “Back then I used to spend days printing in the darkroom. This included processing the film, making contact sheets, proofing, printing, toning, and spotting prints. If I want to I can still shoot film, I still have my film cameras and can still process the film. I don’t have a darkroom but I could scan the film and print it digitally. Today Ranken and her partner Mike run the Queenstown Centre for Creative Photography – sharing their passion for photography with beginners and enthusiasts. “We like to encourage individuality as well as good camera craft. Our clients become our friends and leave the workshops feeling inspired and energised, to be more open and expressive in their photography. “ We aim to help our students improve their personal vision and discover new ways of seeing and making photographs. We believe that the most rewarding images come from the heart...” ■ • Canon EoS 5D MKIII • EF16-35MM F/2.8LII USM • EF 40MM F/2.8 STM • EF 17-40MM F/4 USM • EF 24-70MM F/2.8L USM • EF 70-200MM F/2.8L USM • EF 100MM F/2.8L MaCro USM • EF 50MM F/1.2 USM • SpEEDLITE 580EXII • EXpoDISC (For CUSToM WhITE BaLanCE) • nD GraDS p120, p121 • nD 8, nD 400 • CoKIn p007 InFrarED FILTEr • CIrCULar poLarISErS For aLL LEnSES • hoME MaDE BoKEh FILTErS • Canon rEMoTE SWITCh rS-80n3 • hoT ShoE BUBBLE • LEnS CLoTh • GaFFEr TapE • SparE BaTTEry • pETzL hEaD LIGhT InsIde JackIe’s bag ideas than techniques’, a statement she credits to her husband and fellow Canon EOS Master, Mike Langford. “We now both say ‘ideas rule’. Meaning that you can have the best equipment you like but if you don’t know how to use it then it’s not going to help you make consistently good images that communicate.” These days Ranken says she photographs work “for herself” rather than considering any commercial undertakings and says she really “enjoys the abstract”. “I love finding subtle shapes and images within the layers of my work. I will often subtly incorporate one of my family member’s eyes into my images, no-one else may find it, but I know it’s there.” She describes her process as “organic”. Saying she will walk into a scene and “respond to what is in front of me”. “Once I have worked through that initial response I then turn on my ‘ideas’ brain and work on a particular concept. ‘Kitchen Stories’ is conceptually based. “The kitchen implement ‘is’ the subject of the photograph. It is the sharpest, most obvious shape within the frame. It is flying through the sky without the aid of Photoshop. All shot in camera. And it represents my need to feel free and fly.” She adds: “When I am getting prepared for a photography trip I will often sneak into the car a few kitchen implements or objects that I have found and like the look of. My plan is to photograph them in a totally out of context way, to have them take on an identity and take an active part in the landscape. When I come across a landscape that suits I just start shooting and shoot until I make a composition where the subject is clear of any distractions 12 FEaTUrE FINE ART PhoTos 012_Bpics10_JackieRanken.v3_final.indd 12 3/09/12 10:59 AM
Better Pictures 9
Better Pictures 11