From Japan to Jackson Hole!
At the start of the show I mentioned that if you have a web site it pays to have a “contact us/me page”. It so happened that is how I came across this weeks guest David Brookover. He had kindly sent a message to me via my contact page congratulating me after watching one of my shows. That got me thinking I just had to check David out. I went to his website and Wow! I’ve got to get him to join me on Photography “Live and Uncut”.
You see David has a great story. He first picked up a camera in 1986 after his, one would say abortive attempt to practice Acupuncture in Japan since getting his degree. He realised very quickly though, that it just wasn’t going to work out for him when he he was told that the practice of acupuncture in Japan was not only going to be difficult as an American but also the locals preferred locals it was to a Japanese ‘a personal thing’. So what to do? He had saved his money up for an extended stay in Japan. He had nothing else to do, nothing at the time that would tempt him back to the States, apart from his family in Kansas, so he decided to spend some free time in Japan and travel around and decided to buy a camera. How often do you read or here this? – Just on a whim people buy a camera because they want to record their travels and experiences? So, he went to the local camera shop got him self sorted with a camera and a lens only to bump into a professional photographer who later became a good friend and changed everything that he had originally chosen!
With a Nikon ‘film’ camera and a few lenses off he went to explore Japan. at the outset a lot of his photography was of the Towns a Cities scenes, street photography basically, but it was the lure of the countryside and nature that eventually pulled him in the direction of his passion. Along the way he was fortunate to meet photographers that he was able to glean some knowledge from, he also took a photography course and was then later, when showing his work, told that his images might/could be of interest to some stock libraries. Well to coin a phrase at this stage of his photographic career he was ‘off and running’. He then got an invite to test then ‘new’ film being produced by Fujifilm. For which, he was asked to journey around and test FujiFilm’s Provia, and this opened a whole new world for him. He then started to take an interest in larger format cameras with 6×4, 6×7 and then eventually the 10×8 plate camera. Using this format he found his images came alive! He had found his dimension. The 10×8 inch negative gave him all that he needed to develop his landscape, his fine art, photography.
David then by now married, returned to the US and decided to settle in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was just right for him even though his wife wanted to live in Maine, he knew that Jackson was the place to be. Surrounded by National Parks and the mountains it was just ideal for him to expand on his landscape library and in addition allow him to fulfil a dream (like all photographers I suppose) of owning his own Gallery. And what a Gallery it is! Owning your own gallery is not easy! You don’t need me to tell you that. To do this successfully you either have to find the right photographers to sell for, or if its your own work, then it has to have a ‘unique selling point’ something special for the buyer/collector.
It is this that I found to be really interesting and as I said ‘inspirational’ part of the show and of David’s career. Overtime he had started to realise the uniques photo papers and materials that were available from Japan. Some materials ‘backed’ by the Japanese government had been in production for thousands of years by the same families, that also maintained the exceptional longevity requirements for collectable prints. By sourcing printers (who had an understanding and could work with Platinum Palladium, Silver Gelatin, Photogravure, and Bromoil materials), mounters and frame makers that would produce the ‘best’ quality, plus keeping to just a maximum of just 25 prints per image, sometimes less (!), David has created his ‘unique selling point’, one which the buyers/collectors of his work really appreciate!
There are not many photographers out there that produce work like this. Using a plate camera (10x8inch at that) is unique itself, but to add on to this unique Japanese hand made materials, brings a total package, that I feel you would have to go a very long way to beat.
I hope you enjoy the show just as much as I did.
But mainly, thank you David for making contact with me and for joining me on my show.
Until next time, (although David can’t do this – he’s got too much gear!)
“Leave your camera bag at home”
Nb. My apologies for the loss or drop off during the show – please stick with it – we get back online quite quickly, and thanks David for not panicking – LOL)
The all important links…