Christian Fletcher has been a professional photographer for 27 years and still retains all of the passion and enthusiasm for taking a great photograph. At the core are three aspects of photography: capturing the beauty in landscapes, teaching his technical skills to others, and using his photography to reinforce the connections we all have with our natural environment.
When Christian moved to Dunsborough back in 1990, he dived into photography as a career; which meant that he took photos in between paying the bills with two manual jobs not related to photography. In the pre-digital and pre-Photoshop days, Christian had to perfect working with the only tool at his disposal—his camera—which remains the essential skill in creating the best images possible even today. He ‘marinated’ himself for many years developing black and white images in a secluded darkroom in his parents’ house, and eventually started to sell his images in a local restaurant.
Following six hard years of effort doing commercial, portrait and wedding photography, he was ready to give up, until he walked into a gallery in Esperance that inspired him to focus on building a gallery full of landscape images. He returned to Dunsborough with a renewed purpose, and sold his images in market stalls and in a small gallery space at the local framing shop. As his sales increased, he then established his galleries in the early 2000s and Christian Fletcher Photo Images was born.
Christian has perfected the art of light, composition, colour and post processing. He believes that all great landscape images have to have the ‘perfect light’ at their core, and it is this light that he is most respected for:
“Christian’s pictures are not souvenirs, but images that help us to ‘see’ and to understand landscape as art. Light literally exudes from Christian’s pictures like few others, and this luminescent enlightenment startles us with its clarity and perception”.
-Les Walkling, professional photographer
One of the highlights of Christian’s work life is imparting his knowledge to others in a series of workshops and online tutorials. If you have ever participated in one of his sessions, you will have experienced his enthusiasm, passion, humour and incredible depth of knowledge of both technical and creative skills. He does it for the love of passing on some of his knowledge, but admits that there is a ‘bit of a perk’ to traveling around the world to places like Cambodia, Iceland, Antarctica, and the many amazing locations in Australia for ‘work’.
Christian is also a humble and passionate advocate for the very environment that allows him to do the job he loves. He is involved in many projects with other professional landscape photographers who share his philosophy about respecting the natural world we live in, and he is a vocal supporter for sustainability and action on climate change from a grass-roots level.
His foray into the aerial world of industrial photography reveals a beautiful, but dark side to environmental destruction. His images of ‘altered landscapes’ evoke a cascade of somewhat conflicting emotions—from the beauty of the composition and colour, to the disbelief and shock that the subject matter is of the utter destruction of our natural landscapes. Christian believes that you cannot force anyone to change, you can only give them the images and let them change themselves.
Christian’s work has been recognised many times over the years. In 2011, the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) awarded him both the Western Australian and the Australian Professional Landscape Photographer of The Year. In 2014 he was again awarded the Western Australian Professional Landscape Photographer of The Year. He won the inaugural 2014 International Landscape Photographer of The Year competition with his aerial industrial images (http://www.internationallandscapephotographer.com/) and was awarded the 2015 AIPP West Australian Travel Photographer of the Year. His galleries have also won tourism awards for excellence.
His images are on display in his two galleries in Dunsborough and Mandurah in Western Australia (and on http://www.christianfletcher.com.au/), and he teaches both online and in workshops across Australia and around the world (http://christianfletchertraining.com).
Christian uses his creativity and the best equipment available today to push the boundaries of landscape photography into areas that invoke serious reflection in the viewer’s mind. But having said that, he keeps his first camera (a Rolliflex SL35) on display in his Dunsborough gallery to remind himself of where he has come from. He currently uses Phase One medium format digital equipment with Schneider lenses. The compact Sigma Quattro cameras are also in his bag for those times when ease of use is required.