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Michael Clark Twitterview Transcript

By  May 17, 2012

Topics: Digital Photography

On May 17, author/photographer Michael Clark sat down for a Twitterview with @Peachpit. It was fast. It was furious. It was inspirational and informative. Relive the magic with this transcript.

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark Let’s get this Twitterview started! #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @PeachPit Excellent, welcome everyone. #MichaelClark 

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark First of all, congrats on your new book, Exposed! (Save 35% with this code: EXPOSED512) #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Thanks! It is great to see it out in print. #MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark What has been your most demanding assignment? What made it so difficult? #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit My most demanding assignments physically have been those where I shoot rock climbing+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Shooting rock climbing involves carrying 70 to 100+ pounds of gear up the cliff+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit That much weight makes for very long arduous days+#MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit One of my other super demanding assignments was covering the Patagonia Expedition race+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit For those races we were in some of the most remote terrain on earth + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit The racers were climbing, trekking, sea kayaking and mountain biking+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit And they traversed 600 km in ten days +#MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Following them in that race is tough and getting decent images is even harder #MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark Wow - that sounds painful! What gear do u use? Do u have special equipment for ur most dangerous shoots? #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit My gear of Choice is Nikon cameras and lenses+#MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I also use Elinchrom Strobes, Gitzo Tripods, LowePro camera bags+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit At the moment I am using the Nikon D4 and the D800+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Both of those cameras are phenomenal, especially the D800+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit In terms of lenses I my main lenses are the 14-24mm, 24-70mm and the 70-200mm+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I also have the 16mm fisheye, a 24mm, 85mm 1.4G, 200-400mm f/4+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit And I have a few tilt shift lenses from Nikon - the 45mm and the 85mm+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit For rock climbing shoots I take one camera and two lenses - the D4 or D800+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit And the 14-24mm and the 24-70mm. Sometimes the 70-200 if I will be far away+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit When shooting surfing from the water I use an SPL Water housing #MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark Sounds like a lot to carry while rock climbing! Can u tell us a little about ur post-processing workflow? #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Yes it is a lot to carry around for sure. I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for my digital workflow+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I always shoot raw images and work them up in Lightroom + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit And then I finalize images in Photoshop#MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark Do you have a favorite resource in terms of color management? #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I use X-Rite monitor calibration devices +#MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I also have a high-end Eizo ColorEdge CG243W monitor + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit The monitor shows the entire Adobe RGB color space + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit And I also use Lastolite EzyBalance white balance discs while shooting to set a custom white balance + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit In my digital workflow ebook, mentioned in this book, I explain my entire digital workflow + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit That ebook is an excellent digital workflow reference for the Exposed book #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit you can find that ebook on my website #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I don't do that much compositing in Photoshop and I don't use HDR that often either + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I know a lot of people love the HDR look and sometimes it looks really amazing but I think it is overused by many#MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark Very true.Can u give us some details from an assignment—what was the triple black diamond wingsuit jump like?#MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Well, I was just laying on the ground as JonDeVore and the red Bull Air Force made their jumps + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit It was exhilarating to see them make their jumps but I wasn’t jumping + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Trust me, I wanted to jump, but that would have been suicide with their experience and skills + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit hanging over the edge of the cliff off a bunch of tiny bushes was quite exciting on that assignment I will admit! #MichaelClark

Thompson256 Self doubt is a problem I battle with every day. How can a photographer use that to grow in the business? #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Thompson256 I think confidence in yourself and your work is key and you need to build that up one way or another #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I wold suggest seeking out photographers you respect and get feedback from them that can help boost confidence#MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark From @Philbeav: What would you say is the assignment that you are most proud of and why? #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit That is a very hard question to answer. +#MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit There are many where the weather or the conditions weren’t ideal + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit ..but we were able to still come back with stellar images. + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit If I were pressed to pick one it might be the assignment for Red Bull with Danny MacAskill + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit We worked really hard and shot for about 14 hours that day from sunrise to well after sunset + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit And we got some amazing images on that assignment + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit ..and the art director told me she had never seen a photographer work that hard + #MichaelClark -

michaeljayclark @Peachpit That made me feel really good about the assignment!#MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark Wow, that's high praise! #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Yeah, I was surprised by that comment - i thought all of us Adventure photographers killed ourselves on every shoot #MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark From FromPicturestoP: What've u learned on location that has been invaluable to u but might surprise readers? #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit This is another hard question. There are many things..+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Details count. To get the best images you need to be conscious of the little details + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit By this I mean everything from your digital workflow to that distracting light pole in the background + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I also think most photographers underestimate how important the post-processing is these days + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I see a lot of good images that suffer from poor post-production + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit people can see what goes into finalizing an image + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit One other thing I thing i think people underestimate is how much hard work is required to get great images + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Creating a top-notch image is a LOT of hard work and requires a lot of pre-production to set up the shot + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I also like to tell people in workshops that setting yourself up for success will really help your images + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit by this I mean go scout the location, check when the light will be best, find the best athletes or models + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit and really plan out the shoot if possible, then when you shoot it will be a lot easier to get good results #MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark Are there other photographers that really inspire you?#MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I am inspired by a lot of photographers and I am constantly looking at new work from my peers + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit especially those in the adventure sports world, and also many who are not in the sports world + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Platon, Dan Winters, Joe McNally, Vincent LaForet, Henri-Cartier Bresson, and many others to name just a few + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Those are just a few of the photographers who have and continue to inspire me #MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark That's definitely an amazing group of photogs! So... what’s the deal with the “sweat factor?” #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit The “Sweat” factor is how much I physically perspire while setting up or getting the shot + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Usually the more I sweat, the better the image +#MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit By this I mean that a lot of my images require intense physical exercise to get into position + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit rock climbing images, for example, require huge amounts of effort just to get into position #MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark Photography must keep you in good shape. Maybe you should release a workout video? ;) #MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark Speaking of video, your book also comes with a DVD. What can readers expect to see there? #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I do usually workout most days - go on a road bike ride, go climbing...I am going climbing later today! #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit The DVD has Lightroom and Photoshop Primer videos+ #MichaelClark -

michaeljayclark @Peachpit It also has a basic video on color management +#MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit And the DVD also has 16 individual videos showing how I worked up individual images from start to finish + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit For a lot of people I think the DVD will be a very valuable learning experience. #MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark Absolutely. You gave us your most demanding assignment, what about the most breathtakingly beautiful? #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Some of the most demanding assignments are also the most beautiful + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Patagonia, for example, is one of the most beautiful places on earth + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Alaska is in that same category + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Of course, shooting surfing in Hawaii and Tahiti is pretty nice as well + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Though if you are shooting in the water surfing can be very demanding and dangerous - and beautiful #MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark True! From @Philbeav: How did you capture the Teahupo'o pipeline shots on your website? Those are fantastic! #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Teahupo’o is a wave in Tahiti and the wave forms right in front of a fishing village with the same name + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Those images were shot from a boat that was sitting on the shoulder of the wave. + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit we went over the shoulder of the wave along with the surfer so we were right in the action + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Shooting at Teahupo’o is really quite easy - it is getting there that is hard - and expensive + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit All of those images were shot with a Nikon D700 or D300 and a 70-200mm zoom lens+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit You can check out those images on my website here: #MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark Sounds like an amazing trip! #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Amazing and tough. Lots of time on a rock hard boat going up and down like a cork on the ocean - literally #MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark Many people just see the glamour and not the reality of adventure photography... #MichaelClark

Peachpit @michaeljayclark How much time do u spend shooting/traveling to exotic locations vs. marketing and business details? #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit There is a chart in the book that shows this visually +#MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I think I spend less than 10% of my time shooting +#MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Most of my time is spent marketing my work, working up images...+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit ...talking with clients, setting up and producing shoots, networking, accounting, etc. + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit This job isn’t nearly as glamorous as it sounds though it does have it’s moments + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Part of Exposed was written while sitting on the beach in Tahiti waiting for the swell + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I know that sounds rough...+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit But the reality is there is a ton of hard work that goes into those brief glamorous moments #MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark If you could go back and start over, is there anything you would have done differently during your career? #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I am not sure I would do anything different. I got lucky with many of my breaks+ #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit If I knew at the beginning what I know now about the life of a pro I might not even start.. + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit as a freelancer is incredible rewarding and I love my job but it is also very tough way to make a living + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit I suppose I wouldn't want to do anything different - it has been a good ride so far and I hope it continues! #MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark You definitely have some incredible stories to tell about your photography experience! #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit yeah, i have had some amazing experiences and I have suffered a lot - those make for great stories now... #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Shoot what you love and are passionate about +#MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Work hard, be efficient with your time, get stuff done (if you want to make a living doing this) + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Be creative with your photography and your marketing + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Make images that are different from what is already out there on the market + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit And don’t get down on yourself when you get rejected or someone else gets the assignment + #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Keep plowing ahead and believe in yourself#MichaelClark

Peachpit @MichaelJayClark That is fantastic advice and a great note to end on! Thanks for a great Twitterview!! #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Thank you PeachPit! And thanks everyone for tuning it! #MichaelClark

michaeljayclark @Peachpit Whoops, I meant tuning in! #MichaelClark

Peachpit Thanks 4 tuning in 4 our Twitterview w/ @MichaelJayClark! Save 35% on Exposed w/ code EXPOSED512: #MichaelClark