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August - Greg Hocking.

Greg Hocking is recognised as one of Australia’s leading landscape and scenic photo­graphers. He has won several awards and alongside commercial assignments his limited edition works are sought internationally by collectors and corporations. There are three stunning XPan images in the calendar.

Boab tree, The Kimberley, North West Australia

Greg Hocking is Australian. And perhaps that is significant when you see his work. He started photography as a boy when he received a camera as a Christmas present and immediately started snapping everything around him at the beach in the seasonal summer sun of the Southern Hemisphere. Light, of which there is a great deal in Australia, is an obvious element in Greg’s work. Though it’s not the amount but the quality that is key. Studio photographers must construct the feel and quality of light, whereas landscape workers must search, observe, wait and capture. They have to learn to understand natural light; working with it, not against it.

Primarily a landscape and scenic photographer, Greg Hocking infuses a fine art angle in his photography. Architectural work has been an interest and remains so. Here again the play of light is a prominent feature. Being a commercial photographer too, Greg uses the equipment that is appropriate to the job in hand. This might mean 35 mm or even large format if needs be, but the versatility of medium format is a favourite choice.

 He owns a Hasselblad 905SWC, 203FE and an XPan. Being able to shoot from a plane one day and doing macro work the next with the same camera is just one aspect he likes about Hasselblad equipment “… it allows me to be at my most creative for longer periods and in conditions that would severely test any other camera outfit”. And what of digital? Currently Greg shoots his commercial work digitally but can foresee going over to digital for his landscape work as well.

When not surrounded by beautiful landscapes, Greg Hocking can often be found surrounded by beautiful seascapes, as he is a keen yachtsman. But he also surrounds himself with family and friends as much as possible to make up for time lost on assignments a long way from home.

Greg occasionally heads seminars and workshops. He has the following advice for young hopefuls: firstly go your own way as the most successful photographers are leaders not followers, secondly look at as much photography as possible to develop a visual vocabulary and thirdly, don’t wait for the phone to ring, go out and take more photographs!

But perhaps he should add one more piece of advice: pay close attention to your surroundings. While waiting for the setting sun over an estuary in Northern Australia, he focused his thoughts on the fading light and on making the final adjustments to his equipment, naturally enough. There was nothing special about the large piece of driftwood just a short distance away, or so he thought until it moved. This was Saltwater Crocodile country! It’s at times like that, a sturdy tripod can prove useful - in more ways than one.

Take a look at Greg’s work from Australia in his book “Australia’s Biggest Western Australia” and on his website.