Feature Photographer Inteview: Clayton Perry

Clayton Perry
Clayton Perry

Greetings, Ladies & Gentlemen!  Welcome, once again, to the latest edition of the Feature Photographer series on TIA International Photography’s official blog!  I really love doing these features, and I am very pleased to have Clayton Perry of Clayton Perry Photoworks as our guest for this interview.  Similar to previous feature photographers, Clayton and I crossed paths on Flickr probably three or four years ago.

Not only is Clayton a resident of one of the most magnificent and naturally beautiful regions of the world, he also has formidable, extensive experience and incredibly creative talents to produce stunning photographs of British Columbia and other locations from around the planet. His images of Vancouver and the vicinity are what drew my attention to Clayton’s photography from the beginning.

In addition to that, Clayton has a keen knack to capture ordinary day-to-day scenes at sunrise and sunset and present them — or transform them, rather — in a most extraordinary fashion. You have to really take the time to view his work and not take my words at face value. There is no cliché here.  When you see several of his images, you will understand why Clayton’s photography is cherished by so many organizations, groups, peers, family, and friends in the metropolitan Vancouver area, and frequently published and promoted at multiple venues in his native province of British Columbia.

Although we have never met — which needs to change, since we live so close to one another geographically — my interactions with Clayton have always been positive and enjoyable. In spite of his many years as a professional photographer, I find Clayton to be very humble about his wonderful talent.  It is evident that he lets his photography do all the boasting on his behalf — and do so proudly!  Such is the mark of a true professional, in my view.

Let’s take some time to acquaint ourselves with the guy behind the camera for a little while, shall we?

On second thought, let’s pause for one moment.

As part of his introduction, I would like to take a moment to provide you a sample of the type of photography that makes this fellow very unique in his craft.  Below, please find my ultimate favorite image from Clayton.  Look how he has created this dynamic, fascinating image of Vancouver, featuring both its urban and natural splendor, and made it his own in the form of photography.  Magical!

When The Lights Go Down In The City

See?  Incredible, right?  Alright, now let’s have that chat with Clayton.

NAME:  Clayton Perry

CITY & COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE:  Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

OFFICIAL WEBSITE:  www.flickr.com/photos/claytonperry

FACEBOOK WEBSITE:  www.facebook.com/Claytonperryphotography

TIA:  Welcome, Clayton!  I know you’re an extremely busy photographer.  Many thanks for taking the time to do this interview.  We finally got our schedules in sync to do this!  To kick things off, please give us an idea of the subject matter you love to capture on camera.

Clayton: I would have to say my favorite is sunsets. I love a good sunset but landscapes and architecture are a close second.

TIA:  We have a terrific example of all three subjects in the image above.  I know your photography has given you the opportunity to travel domestically and internationally.  Which place would you say you have enjoyed taking photographs the most?

Clayton: This is a tough one. I would think my favorite sunset I took was while on vacation in Jamaica.  As I love taking sunsets, I can’t think of a better place to be for that.

TIA:  Definitely! I have faint memories of spending time in Kingston when I was a child.  Not appreciating world travel then as much as I do now, I didn’t really grasp the enjoyment of being there until I returned to the States. Gorgeous sunsets every day!  Where else would you like to capture the sun’s exit on camera?

Clayton:  I have never been to Europe. I think I could get some great sunset shots there.

TIA:  Please share how you came to discover your love for photography.

Clayton:  I first discovered it while looking through old Life magazines that my dad used to keep around his place.  The images always blew me away as they would say so much in just a single black and white image.

Please have a look at one of Clayton’s personal, all-time favorite photographs.

Sunset Silhouette

Clayton:  I think this photo would be one of my favorites of all time. This is my daughter, who was 11 years old at the time. I dragged her up to the dike to take a picture of the sunset.  I managed to talk her into posing for me for one of the shots. It’s a three-image HDR (high-dynamic range).

TIA:  It’s a magnificent photograph, and a perfect example that showcases your affinity to sunrises and sunsets in your images!  With so many outstanding photos in your inventory and your years of experience in the field, what do you find to be the most frustrating situation when it comes to photography?

Clayton:  I would like to photograph more posed people shots.  I guess my frustration with this lies in the lack of people to shoot, and the lack of time to track these people down on my part.

TIA:  In your view, what are the components to produce a fantastic photograph?  Tell us your ingredients.

Clayton:  I think this is a personal thing.  What I love most about a photo is that the image should make you look closely at it. I always try to capture something that you see every day but don’t necessarily recognize the image right off the top.  The image should tell some kind of story and capture a certain moment in time.

TIA:  Are there any photographers who you look up to, or who provide inspiration for your own photography?  Who comes to mind? 

Clayton:  I love the photos from Fred Herzog.  He captured Vancouver in its early days, at the time when most of his images were considered basic, almost non-exciting images taken randomly around Vancouver. But what they captured was a time in Vancouver that doesn’t exist much anymore.  Different buildings. Different landscapes.  Different people. I can stare at his images for hours. I hope in 50 years they say that about my photography.

TIA:  I’m sure many people are already saying that about your images at present.  You’re just too humble to take notice!  Vancouver is one of my favorite cities in the entire world.  I love traveling there, spending a few nights there, exploring the city, the suburbs, and the mountains.  It’s also the indelible birthplace of my passion for night photography.  As a native of the area, please tell us what you love most about Vancouver.

Clayton:  Vancouver has everything.  Mountains, ocean, beautiful architecture.  Although they are losing a lot of heritage buildings, there is a real drive lately to save what is left. . .and we have great sunsets when it’s not raining!

TIA: Thanks, Clayton.  I wish you the best with all your future endeavors in your photography.  We’ll conclude this interview with another one of my personal favorites from Clayton’s collection.

Shangri-La In The Fog

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