Art

Kiwis Love the Outdoors

images by Brent Purcell - interview by Teo J. Babini

“Totally can’t control nature”, as Brent Purcell would say. The art of long exposure landscape photography is a way of painting with natural light that requires not only the right tools, but also quite a bit of patience.

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

Hi Brent, let me understand this: you and a friend travel across New Zealand with the intent of taking these astonishing landscape pictures? Sounds like a dream life… How and when did the project begin?
Me and whoever is available, lots of just me, mostly just weekends and whenever I get the chance. Would be a dream fulltime, but the funds would quickly dry up. The journey began as my love for capturing long exposure images grew. I am at this minute doing a month long roadie around NZ, so I’ll be able to capture lots from different locations.

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

Photography history is punctuated by great landscape photographers, any that have inspired you and why?
Not really many of them have caught my eye, because I try to do my own thing.

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

You say you’re in love with Long Exposure, it’s a very difficult technique to master. Tell us a bit about it and how the use of filters comes into play.
Lots of trial and error, and always learning from your last shot. Filters are a big part of long exposure, especially during the day. Balancing the light in your shot allows you to take longer exposures that’s where graduated filters are a must have.

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

Tell us a bit about the post-production of your images.
I use Lightroom on all my images, which is awesome at revealing detail in dark areas and helping with reducing highlights.

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

Do you spend a lot of time in one location waiting for the perfect moment?
Totally can’t control nature. Most of my shots are taken in the magic hours of sunset /sunrise and then I may have to revisit the same spot ten times waiting for the right conditions

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

Here and there in your shots we’ve noticed the almost ghost image of a person… Is that you? What’s the meaning of that?
Yes, most are me. No real meaning, just trying to put a human element into the shot, something a little different.

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

You obviously spend a lot of time immersed in nature. Have you begun to see the effects of climate change? And if yes, are New Zealanders aware of it and is the government active enough in fighting it?
No, not really, as I haven’t spent much time at our glaciers.
Yes, NZ’ers are aware of it and most do their bit to keep NZ doing its part. Most Kiwis love NZ and love the outdoors

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

Have you ever thought of doing a series on environmental damage?
No, I haven’t.
You spend most of your time on the Coromandel Peninsula, ever felt the need of getting out of New Zealand and cover a different territory?
For sure, was lucky enough to go to Alaska last year and Europe the year before that

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

©Brent Purcell

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