Interviews | January 26, 2024 |

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Image courtesy of Clare Page

Interview: Clare Page
Luca Curci
talks with Clare Page, one of the winners of PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE MONTH – JULY 2023.

“Photography stimulates me to grow as a person and as a Fine Art Landscape and Seascape Photographer, I draw my inspiration from nature and persistently experiment in developing and advancing my work to new levels, using quality filters, selective shutter speeds, lenses, and focal lengths; whilst experimenting with new creative compositions during each photo shoot”.

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Image courtesy of Clare Page

Luca Curci – How did you get into photography?
Clare Page –
My father’s cinematography (home films) influenced me; he was passionate about his craft. His gift was to draw emotions from those who viewed his work, which was inspirational. The home films he captured of our family were entertaining. As a family we’d gather over popcorn and a soft drink and watch with excited anticipation, waiting for the next poignant moment. Those memories still linger in my mind and, as a family, the impact my dad’s work had on his children, influenced, and inspired us to each pick a camera and explore the wonder of creation, experienced through a camera lens. To this day, we still discuss his work, and the warm memories of my dad capturing his family spontaneously, was a true gift of illuminating the imagination and pondering on the wonder of everyday life. At the age of 50, I was given a camera. The story flows into the next question.

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Image courtesy of Clare Page

LC – Do you remember why you took your first professional photo?
CP –
Yes, I do. At the age of 50, I was given a camera by my husband. It was more than a gift; it was a purpose. A tool, used as leverage to release me from decades of depression and anxiety, which resulted in isolation. From the moment I wrapped my hands around my camera, memories of my dad came flooding back to me. I knew it was time to do something to make a difference in someone else’s life by taking photos that are as individualistic as my fingerprint. Yet, that introduces warmth, evokes emotions, and draws something special that resonates deep within, humanity, who view my work. Fulfilment. Peace. Purpose. Transporting one to another space and place. The realisation of a tool, my camera, was transformational. When I applied the gift of light, photography, to break the bonds of darkness from my life, associated with depression, anxiety and hopelessness, a heavy weight, a burden, had been lifted from my mind. Healing and hope were evident. In maturity, I’d realised how many years I’d spent hiding from society because of emotional pain and heartache, due to dealing with loss, grief, and mourning. My pain became my purpose to bring healing to humans. My camera was my navigational tool that accelerated my passion and purpose, to reach out to humanity who are hurting. To extend myself, with an outreached hand, and to touch those who are in need, who are struggling. Engaging in their world. Making a difference. Being the difference. Leaning into their world. Listening. Loving. Learning. (…)

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Image courtesy of Clare Page

LC – According to you, what makes a good photo?
CP –
Personally, for me what makes a good photo, is: Composition – Light – Colour/hues – Reflections – Features (boats, buildings, trees, jetties, lighthouses, etc.). The principles of art, whether acrylic or oil paintings, or fine art photography, originate with composition, light, colour, and features. Eye-catching photography or art is a process of predominantly working with light/colours/hues/features, to either soothe and calm the soul or alternatively, to stimulate the senses. To capture a mood, for it to impress upon the soul and to linger in the mind, involves deliberation and an accuracy of working with features, such as a jetty. Composition and excellent light/colours/hues, features, take photography to another level when they are captured through the eyes and soul of a photographer who appreciates fine art and to thread those thought processes with the principles of light, composition, colour/hues, and features. As in art, composition involves a focal point. (…)

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Image courtesy of Clare Page

LC – Which details do you focus on?
CP –
The first thing I focus on is the light. And what it is doing. I always arrive at my destination just before the first light. With experience, I have learnt to read the sky in the early morning, before first light. It does not remain constant, particularly with clouds. But through experience, I’m able to identify the cloud type and whether the light will penetrate through them, at the start of my shoot. That sets the scene as to whether it is going to be a soothing shoot or an exciting one. Depending on where I’m shooting, whether it is an iconic landmark, or it has wonderful features, such as a jetty, a headland, or a lighthouse, I always give the features preference. There is an instant intrigue with light emanating through a jetty or a specific landmark that will draw interest to the image. Irrespective of how many times I have visited the same location, the sunrise or sunset varies. I look at what the light is doing before I compose my shot. I capture my work through the soul of an artist.

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Image courtesy of Clare Page

LC – Is there an unrealised or unrealisable project, even a crazy one, that you would like to work on?
CP –
My heart beats for humanity. My desire is to teach photography to the lost, the lonely, the desperate, the hurting and those who consider their situation hopeless. For a long time, I have had a vision from God to return to my home country, South Africa, to reach and teach photography to the Africans in the townships. My passion is people, philanthropy, travel, and photography. My passionate purpose is to help humanity to fulfil their God-given destinies. To have the honour to teach the present/future generations, through a purpose, that they can come out of homelessness, violence, addictions, hopelessness, heartache, and pain. Enabling the Africans to emerge with dignity, hope, purpose, joy, and peace. Every fibre of my being beats to the rhythm of extending myself to help the hurting, the marginalised, the overlooked, and the ‘untouchables’. Photography would be the vehicle and the fuel to transform their lives, not just the Africans I would teach photography to, but they in turn, could transform the lives they encounter daily by being teachers of photography, in time. Purpose cancels, and removes anger, frustration, overwhelm, doubt, and depression, it disarms discouragement, disappointment, and disillusionment! I know from experience! It would be an honour if I was fortunate enough to receive sponsorship to make a change in the future generations, in a project of, ‘Let your light Shine!’ Thank you. I am praying for this dream to become a reality! And to occupy it!

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Image courtesy of Clare Page

LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
CP –
As a Fine Art Landscape Photographer, I enjoy the slice of paradise, the solitude, and the opportunity to break away from the throb of life, living at an accelerated pace, by experiencing the peace and slower pace of the countryside. Where I gather my thoughts, in peace and I plan for the next project or photographic opportunity. Where peace is almost audible, and silence surrounds me, those are the moments I cherish and linger in. Landscape photography, coupled with seascape photography is not an escape route for me, instead, it’s an intentional break for my wellbeing whilst introducing balance and inspiration whilst I stand in awe and wonder of God’s Creation. Whether I’m surrounded by majestic mountains, scintillating lakes, rivers that thread through the countryside, wading through lush landscapes, or at the coast with huge waves that thrash against the rocks, it represents the same to me, natüre inspires, intrigues, and invigorates me. The tranquillity of smooth water and mountains reflected to perfection, represents perfect peace to me. Or, alternatively, experiencing the power of water pulsating past my legs, whilst standing in the middle of a fast-flowing river, as in my image, ‘Catch the Rhythm’. Alternatively, observing birds nesting, or soaring overhead, and slipstreaming the thermals. It is everything about nature that soothes, and yet stimulates my soul, and subdues me, depending on where I am, as to where I find my inspiration. I always come away refreshed, renewed, and recharged! Nature is a prescription for the weary soul.

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Image courtesy of Clare Page

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