Learn how to unleash your adventurous side as Ken Parker takes us on a journey through expedition photography.
Expedition photography is just a another way of memorializing nature’s mysteries. While some photographers work in studios or at home, Ken puts the adventure in photography, traveling far and wide to capture images of natural beauty.
Show Notes for 7 Photography Questions Interview with Ken Parker
Topic: Expedition Photography
Host: Dr. Audri G. Lanford
Guest: Ken Parker
Artist’s main website: photobazar.net
Locations: Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA, and Boone, NC
This episode of the 7 Photography Questions Podcast is sponsored by Proud Photography and by photobazar.net.
The 7 Biggest Expedition Photography Questions for Ken Parker
1. What is the single biggest mistake people make when they decide to go on an expedition to photograph? Can you give some tips for avoiding this mistake? And what about the biggest myth about expedition photography and why is it untrue?
2. What equipment do you recommend taking with you on an expedition? What lenses and accessories are a “must” in your travel bag? Do you rent gear where you go, bring it with you, or do you ship it in?
How do you deal with weight restrictions? What precautions do you take with equipment to get it safely from one point to another, especially considering you are often backpacking for days to get to your destinations?
3. How do you decide on a destination and how do you find the best locations for great photo shooting? What kind of research do you do? Are you able to predetermine the best vantage points? How do you figure out the best times of year – and in fact, the best times of day – to shoot?
4. Is there a protocol that should be followed when photographing the indigenous people of these far away locales? Do I need to obtain releases? If so, any suggestions for how you approach people?
5. I know you’ve mounted major expeditions over the years to the Tibetan kingdom of Mustang. Could you tell us about that location and what makes it so special?
6. How do you manage these trips financially? I mean, the costs surrounding taking these photographic expeditions must be enormous. Do you sell enough of your photos to support such trips?
7. How do you go about capturing the mood or “vibe” of the places you photograph? In other words, how do you create the mood and feeling?
Thirty years ago, Ken started out as a field assistant to Eliot Porter, the fine art color pioneer. But Ken has another background that uniquely qualifies him for nature photography: he spent his early years as a research scientist in oceanography and climate change, giving himself a privileged view into the natural world.
Since then, he has developed his own style and now specializes in expedition photography, taking spectacular photos of pristine and remote areas throughout the world, including such exotic locales as Tibet, Cambodia, and Burma.
Ken’s goal has always been to capture evocative images of nature’s mysteries. He’ll backpack over rough terrain carrying 75-85 pounds of equipment, then spend several days observing light and composition before he takes a single shot. He is truly a master of expedition photography.