Winter in Tasmania means celebrating the spark of creativity. This year, LARK joined the party by asking five innovative Tasmanian photographers to show us how they “Follow the Amber Glow”, inspired by our elusive winter release of DARK LARK single malt whisky. In this series, we go behind the scenes with each photographer as they capture their special DARK LARK portraits.
Encountering the photography of artist Nick Green is like making eye-contact with the elements. Nick is known for his skill in capturing Tasmania’s wild places, going great lengths to photograph the island’s infamously rugged earthscapes of stone and water. It’s clear that this level of artistry results from a deeply intimate relationship with place. In Nick’s case, this comes from the harmony of his two passions: photography and surfing. Nick’s photography has been recognised worldwide through the surf community and beyond, through editorials, prizes, exhibitions, and campaigns. But when asked to show us his vision of what it means to “follow the amber glow”, Nick found himself drawn to a much more familiar setting: the hearth of his seaside home in Tasmania’s idyllic beach community Eaglehawk Neck. We shared a dram with Nick, as he spun some records and lit the fire in preparation for his DARK LARK photoshoot.
LARK: Nick, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
NICK: My name is Nick Green, I'm a photographer from lutruwita / Tasmania, currently living on the Tasman Peninsula. I spend time here and on the road in the van, and this has been home for the past three years.
LARK: What got you started behind the lens?
NICK: Photography started as a way to capture the things me and my mates were doing, but I guess it’s evolved over the years into a way for me to connect with others; a way to share the way I see the world. It’s been such an important part of my life to have photography as a creative outlet, to be able to focus my time and energy into something has been really beneficial, a sort of meditational practice that brings me a lot of joy.
I was definitely doing it socially at the beginning, but it became a lot more introverted as I spent more time by myself going out on photography adventures. And that was where I really managed to get into those real zones of creativity, that flow state feeling, that got me really hooked on photography as a creative outlet. I think just the ability to witness amazing things and spend time in the ocean was the main draw card when I was younger, and still is to this day.
LARK: Can you explain the idea / process behind this shoot, step by step?
NICK: When I got the brief from LARK, I spent a few days listing a bunch of scenes that came to mind, things that resonated with the brand, places where I drank whiskey before, or even of places that I thought would be nice to do so. They also shared with us the campaign slogan, which was “when the lights go out, the party ignites, follow the amber glow”. That immediately made me think of a night time, of fire, of friends, of social settings. This sparked heaps of ideas, I started to get a little overwhelmed with the infinite options. I spoke to a few close friends and family members; I would read them the slogan to see what their immediate reaction would be, and the consensus was all similar, and pretty close to what my own was. So I decided to try and keep it simple.
I’m really fortunate to have a very cosy open fire place in the lounge room of my home, which has been the focal point for many parties and dinners and all sorts of evenings over the last few years. I wanted to encapsulate that feeling of warmth, of intimacy and of romance in a scene that was very close to my heart, as well as also really authentic, because I think that’s important.
So the next step was reaching out to some close friends to come and share some whisky with me by the fire, which was pretty easy.
LARK: What are the technical challenges of a shoot like this?
NICK: I think creatively I work best when I can rid myself of any unnecessary stresses or anxieties and really get into the flow of things. I wanted to shoot it as natural as possible, so I used a bunch of candles to light the scene which was definitely harder than getting studio lights involved, but made it more interesting.
I think to be able to work in a space you’re so familiar with and comfortable is such an important thing, especially if you’re trying to capture something authentically. Also to be able to work with friends allows for a really safe and relaxing space which I think helps, for me anyway.
Nick’s DARK LARK portraits capture the warm pleasure of a winter’s night with friends. To see his Follow The Amber Glow series, visit The Still from June 6th. You can find more of his work at http://www.nickgreenphoto.com/.