"WHAT SHOT" PORTRAIT : DAVID M. CLARKE

LIS : Which camera do you use?

DMC : Fujifilm xt2


LIS : For what reasons?

DMC : Like most people buying their first real camera, you look to see what other people are using. I loved the colour rendering and there seemed to be a strong street movement with Fuji x users. The rest is history.

LIS : What brought you to photography?

DMC : Spending a year in London in 2016/17 opened my eyes to a lot of great things, it was my first big-city living experience. I wanted to make sure I took plenty of great memories back home with me. This helped fill the creative void left from playing far more guitar home in Melbourne.


LIS : Why with chosen Street Photography?

DMC : Initially street photography didn’t really grab me. I had only seen the usual black and white, wide, chaotic shots which I didn’t have appreciation for at the time. It was while in London a work colleague showed me various artists which fell more into the ‘fine art’ sub-genre. The strong colour and more focused subjects is what I fell in love with, plus the spontaneity of it all. You can go shoot street anytime anywhere which is a beautiful thing.

David Clarke portrait what shot
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LIS : What do you want to express through your work?

DMC : Recently I’ve been interested in shooting more of the suburban streets which I frequent and have spent my life on. As much as exciting cities are filled with people, movement and contrast I want to dial it back and show how the normal person in my world goes about their Australian lives. After a while a lot of Modern cities can start to look the same.


LIS : What is your favorite picture of you?

DMC : I think it might be a fairly recent one. The lady with black boots and metallic accordion style dress on the wet pavement.

David M Clarke Interview


LIS : What is the most absurd anecdote that happened to you while photographing in the street?

DMC : Unfortunately most of the note worthy stories are negative and involve an angry man or two, which I seem to attract. The one that stands out was a handy man with a hammer in hand. Having taken his photo he realised almost immediately after, I kept moving and he pursued me on foot until I turned to faced him. With the hammer raised and his chest out we had a very tense stand off until a few witness gathered around and it was then that he came back to his senses. No harm done, just a couple of racing heart rates. Something I don’t take personally anymore because I can see it from their point of you. Australians are the least receptive people that I’ve photographed.


LIS : Who is your favorite famous photographer? And why?

DMC : I think it’s William Eggleston, no surprises there. He’s influenced so many. His work is obviously inspiring but it was just at the right time in my life. I found his work at the National Portrait Gallery in London, this happened fairly recently. I had a camera but it was fairly basic, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to shoot and then I saw his work. The colour, shadows, minimal and still life subjects I found intriguing for the first time. I think that’s why he will continue to be a source of inspiration for me.

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LIS : On the other hand, who is the famous photographer that everyone likes, except you? Why?

DMC : He’s very well known, and to be honest I don’t know that many famous photographers at all. If I had to say one I’d say Bruce Gilden. I’m far more fascinated with his approach and technique than his work. Very cool to watch but his images don’t excite me. Did I just fail a trick question but mentioning someone?


LIS : What great photographic project would you like to realize one day?

DMC : I actually have no idea, in fact that’s one of the most inspiring things. I’m not sure how far street photography can take me or in what direction. The images I’m trying to take today of suburban Melbourne are the first where I envision a long-term series, which I hope to sustain and build on. We’ll see how it’s received. Cheers, David M Clarke


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