Richard Hume

Richard Hume is a landscape photographer totally dedicated to his craft. He specializes in producing stunning fine-art limited edition photographs which have sold all over the world. He lives in New Zealand but travels widely in search of the next image.

How did this all begin?

From the earliest time I have been drawn toward all things creative but it was upon picking up a 35mm SLR camera as a twelve year old that I first saw my ability to compose an image and I was hooked on photography. I am completely self-taught and from early on I focused on the niche I was most passionate about which is creating excellence in art photography. It was while living in London that I discovered the awe-inspiring ability of medium format panoramic photography and I was completely hooked.

What inspires you?

I am eternally inspired by nature in all of its guises. Coming from New Zealand we are somewhat exposed to the elements and all of the wildness of the natural environment so this works well for me. I am never far from a beach or a forest and can easily access mountains etc. But life in New Zealand can often seem to exist in a bubble so I am always inspired by my travels and very fortunate that through my photography I have been able to go to some amazing places.

What is your favorite photograph?

This is difficult to answer because there are many that have genuine meaning for me beyond being nice photographs and when I start to list them then this list quickly expands. However Antelope Canyon, Guardian of the coast, Misty Morning and Sacred Waters are all high on my list of favorites. I have loved seeing which photographs people have taken into their own hearts as they have purchased them and they have become part of their lives.

Why do you mostly shoot Panoramics?

From the moment I discovered medium format panoramic photography I was a convert. The panoramic format is actually very close to our own (human) field of vision so it is a very natural viewing platform for us. Every element that goes into these images is the very best quality and I strive for absolute excellence in every photograph. Nothing beats standing before a huge panoramic print and just absorbing the stunning color saturation and grain quality that can only be achieved through large format photography.

What is the greatest reward you get from your photography?

In the first instance there is a huge buzz I get from seeing brand new images for the first time – I am a perfectionist so new images have to be very good to make it into my collection. I am fortunate that many of my images have been brought by people all around the world and it the knowledge that my photographs have made their way into other peoples lives that is another great reward that my photography provides to me. The reaction I get from people when they see my work is also very humbling and a big driver for me to get up early on some of those very cold mornings to go I search of the next photograph.

What is the main ingredient to a successful landscape photograph?

Light, Light and Light. The best time for me to be shooting are the hours directly before and after sunrise and sunset. This is the time when light can become surreal and sometimes multi dimensional - when Mother Nature is at her best. I will often wait hours for the light to do something special and this can really test your fortitude however when all the elements come together it is a magical feeling. So patience is certainly a requirement also - often I find I am the only person there when the magic happens and I need to pinch myself. A sense of composition is of course necessary but I am not a great one for ‘sticking to the rules’. Sometimes you need to look at things from a new or different perspective to be able to frame up an interesting images.

Have you ever faced any danger in taking a photograph?

Like most landscape photographers I have had my share of cuts and bruises which sometimes goes with the territory. However we had a relatively close call on boxing day in 2004 when I was shooting in Sri Lanka. We were in a small village just one hour from the coast and due to head there the following day when news filtered through of what was to become known as the Asian Boxing Day Tsunami. While not directly affected, being witness to the unfolding human tragedy was beyond comprehension as everybody in Sri Lanka was affected with missing friends or family in one way or another. While donating what we could the feeling of hopelessness was overwhelming. After five days the death toll in Sri Lanka alone was estimated at 35,000.

What equipment do you use?

Everything about the final art-works we create is designed to be the highest quality available. So for this reason I have a Nikon D800 36 mega pixel camera with a range of lenses for my core digital setup. When I want to get traditional again I use a couple of specialist medium format panoramic film cameras – the first is a Fuji GX617 which produces 6cm x 17cm transparencies. I also use a Noblex 150 6cm x 12cm medium format camera which features a rotating lens. For these cameras i shoot on the worlds finest grain film which is Fuji Velvia 50 asa. All images are taken on a Gitzo tripod.

What is next for Richard Hume?

I am continually inspired to take ‘the next image’ and to this end there are still many more photographs I have planned both in New Zealand and internationally. Some books are in the pipeline as well as exhibitions. I would also love to have my own Richard Hume gallery in the not too distant future too.