Today’s featured photographer on the ImageBrief blog is Mark Thorpe ….
How long have you been shooting? I have been shooting on and off for some 15 years but only seriously, as a way to generate revenue, for the past four years.
Have you always been a photographer? If not, what did you do before?
Mainly military, ex-British Infantry and French Legion, I kid ye not! SCUBA Dive Instructor, Underwater Cameraman and at one time field tech/producer for National Geographic. I was the field guy for the ‘Crittercam’ series specializing in marine applications. Basically when they needed someone to jump in and fix a camera to a Tiger Shark in a chum slick I would get the job! Have also won an Emmy for my work alongside a cool team of cinematographers responsible for some of the sequences in the ‘Great Migrations’ series from National Geographic. I am also the Prix du Public winner at the World Festival of Underwater Images with a self produced short film on the macro critters found in the volcanic underwater sands of the Lembeh Straits in northern Sulawesi. Geez, didn’t see that one coming!
Are you self-taught?
Yes. I started out with underwater photography way back in my military days. I was posted for two years in Djibouti on the Red Sea so rather than drink any free time away I asked a buddy who was also a diver to teach me how to dive. That lesson took all of about five minutes and then for two years using really shaky old gear and a trusted Motormarine II Camera I dived my free time away. From there I went on to underwater video and film for the next 15 or so years only recently turning to photography, initially as a hobby and then more seriously so.
What would you list as your number one genre – the thing you’re great at?
I work with liquids, I am strong with regards to concept shots using that medium, water droplets, water studies, liquid interactions etc.
Which other photographers inspire you? Howard and Michelle Hall, David Doubilet, Brian Valentine (UK Based Liquid Shooter)
If you could have 1 day, all expenses paid and access to top-of-the-range equipment, producers, models, assistants, locations and anything else, what would you create?
Some promotional shots for my small Ocean and Watersports clothing company, based in Bali.
What’s your idea of success as a photographer? Have you reached it? When would you do an air-punch and say ‘Ok, now I’ve really made it’? Or have you already?
Not sure that you ever really reach total success with photography. The nature of the beast is that you are always striving for better. I’m my own worst critic and so just keep on going. I do get enthused with a cool shot but then I dissect it and find (my) faults. I don’t think I’ve ever reached a point where I can say I am truly, 100% satisfied with my work.
Can you attach your all-time favourite photograph taken by you? (Below)
Check out Mark’s ImageBrief Portfolio