Frank Delargy Photography
As a way of introduction I have added below an interview I did when I was the featured photographer in an issue of the Photography Masterclass Magazine.
Photography for me has always been about being outdoors and experiencing the world. So it is natural that my photographic style would fall into the landscapes, nature and travel categories. I am not a documentary photographer and I look at each scene for its beauty, real or potential, and usually have a vision in mind. With that in mind I will use techniques like long exposure and focus and focal length stacking during shooting. I also try to think about how I will be processing the image.
I was born in Scotland and grew up in Scotland, Canada and Southern California. Growing up, my father loved to take family photos with the Kodak Brownie he had and I often ended up behind the camera rather in front of it. During my high school years in California I got myself a 35mm camera and started carrying a camera with me whenever I went somewhere. Film was not cheap, especially for a high school student, so you quickly learn how to discriminate about what you take a picture of. After graduating with an engineering degree I went with a couple of friends on a trip to Europe and Africa. I ended up staying in Scotland for a while and got a job with Polaroid and eventually ended up becoming part of the photographic technical team as an engineer, not as a photographer. My interest in photography waned a bit during my working days at Polaroid but I always considered photography as an integral element of any trip that I took and for years would always have the mid-level point and shoot camera as my gear and eventually worked up to entry level DSLR. I retired 6 years ago and set out a retirement goal to learn about and improve my photography as much as possible. Along with that came a step up in commitment to photography and I pursued learning opportunities and jumped significantly in the level of the gear that I use. I am still on that learning journey.
How did your love of Photography start?
Watching my father take photos with his Kodak Brownie and seeing how much he enjoyed it. As a child I would always ask to be the one taking the photos. In high school, my artistic pursuits were usually through photography with my newly acquired (very used) 35mm camera. What’s your Long-term Photographic Ambition? Always to improve. Even as a competitive person, I don’t see photography as a competitive endeavour. I want to be able to look at my work over the years and see it change and become better. I seek to be able to create not just a reflection of reality, but a merging of reality, imagination, creativity and beauty. I aim to evoke response to my images by getting as close to my idea of artistic excellence as possible through planning, framing, taking, processing and presenting my images. I have a long way to go. Ideally I would like to evoke awe and wonder in the viewer. Awe of the beautiful natural world and joy in the way it is presented.
Where does your photographic inspiration come from?
My photographic inspiration comes primarily from a love of nature and art. Rather than seek shelter from a lightning storm, as perhaps I should, I will look for an opportunity to capture the excitement that I feel about those storms. You have often heard the term ”You have an eye for it”, meaning that a person can see composition elements when they look at the world around them. I make effort to go new places and retrace old steps to find those compositional elements around me. I do look at other photographers work to help identify some of those iconic places but I also look at them to see if I can understand how they look through the lens and how they work their image in post processing. I don’t want to copy but I don’t need to find everything by stumbling upon it.
What would consider to be your greatest achievement (or achievements) in your photography to date?
Being happy with my own work is the greatest achievement. For me, this can only come about by improving so it lets me know I am accomplishing the goal I set for myself. I am not much for entering photo contests but I did enter one that was hosted by the State of Florida and did get the best in show for an image of the Myakka River. It always feels good to be appreciated. I have had photos published in The Times and other periodicals and I have had my images used for product advertising and book covers. Each of these feels good but at this point in my life it is my own assessment of my progress that matters most to me.
What’s your favourite photo that you’ve ever taken & why?
Ask me tomorrow, it will be different. This is such a hard question to answer for me as I like some of my photos for different reasons. Right now I would probably say my favourite is one of my images of Yosemite Valley from the Valley View location. I like it because it reflected pretty much what I was imagining the final image to look like while I was composing it.
What’s inside your kit bag?
Sony a7Riii and Sony a7iii and a bevy of Sony lenses. I have switched over to all Sony gear. 75% of my images are now shot with the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM but I also use the 24-105 G, 12-24 G and the Sony 85mm f/1.8. All of them are really sharp and work well. In the past I used my Canon 70-300 and my Tamron 150-600 for wildlife and focused landscape but now use the awesome Sony 100-400 GM. I love doing long exposures so I always carry a Manfrotto tripod and a set of ND filters, B+W screw on and Lee. I end up using the screw on one most of the time. My speedlite is in there but it hardly ever comes out. Lightning triggers and a Satechi wireless remote are always handy. Fortunately, the 3rd generation of Sony alpha cameras have really good batteries and I can now go with only 3 batteries for 2 cameras and get by easily if I can charge in the car or overnight.
What words of advice would you give to beginners?
For someone who is pursuing as a hobby or has a real passion for photography I would suggest looking for learning opportunities and if you can afford it take a workshop from an accomplished photographer in the field that you are interested in. I wouldn’t know what advice to give someone who is contemplating photography as a career. It is a very competitive field these days and saturated with both professionals and enthusisists.