Fishy photos: Barry Ord Clarke
Over the past eighteen years, Barry Ord Clarke has built a niche market for himself within game fishing writing and photography.
Barry Ord Clarke is an Englishman living in Norway. He is a well known photographer and writer - both in Norway and internationally. We approached Barry with our usual set of fishy photographer questions, and here are his answers.
a) How did you start photographing - and what made you choose fishing related photos in particular?
As a child in industrial Lancashire in northern England, I was attracted to water like steel to a magnet, and all my free time was spent fishing with a split cane match rod, on the banks of the river Calder, Ribblel and the Leeds and Liverpool canal.
The fascination of water and fishing has been with me all my life, with the acceptation of a brief break during my teenage years when it took a back seat for the unavoidable onset of male hormones and the pursuit of the fairer sex. Later on in life my chosen career lead me to London, where, of all places - I was introduced to the world of fly fishing... It didn't take long before I was hooked again, and my passion for angling was rekindled.
I fished our local waters in central London, surrounded by skyscrapers and to the ever present sound of city life, on reservoirs made to supply Londoners with drinking water in Hammersmith and Walthamstow. After many years of chasing urban trout, I ventured further afield in pursuit of wilder sport, and over three decades later, my work as a fly fishing and fly tying photographer has taken me to over 40 different countries and four continents...
In 1977 I attended art school in Northern England on a BA in fine art. This was based on traditional arts & crafts so I was lucky to have such subjects as book binding, calligraphy along with fine art training like life drawing and painting. Fine art photography was also on the curriculum and I was encouraged to use this as an expressive art form through out my course.
After leaving school I became studio assistant to several of England's leading photographers. Working in advertising and the music business. I then became freelance and worked from my own Nottinghill based studio in London.
In April 1994 in London, when my Norwegian wife was expecting our second child we had discussed looking for a larger apartment, one afternoon a sixteen year old boy was shot through the head on our doorstep! Three days later we moved to Norway... A huge career change followed and over the past eighteen years, I have built a niche market for myself within game fishing.
b) Do you have a particular subject, region or a style of pictures that you mainly shoot or are you more all-round?
Most of my work is within fly fishing and fly tying, although I do work on commission through publishing houses and magazines to cover other types of sport fishing photography. With regard to my style of photography I guess I am best known for my Macro images, where I try and take the viewer on a journey into the world of fly fishing that is rarely seen. On first encountering these images, they are sufficiently recognizable as images of fish and fishing, but as you view them at close range, they transform into a graphic and sometimes abstract, overlapping of organic patterns and colour.
c) Where are your photos used? Books, magazines, brochures, ads, web sites, prints, gallery exhibits or other places?
Through my previous life as a advertising photographer I learned to maximize my market, so I sell photographs to all the above mentioned along with many others, i.e. T-shirts, postcards, caps, calenders, packaging for fishing tackle...
d) Is photography your main source of income - if at all a source of income - and do you do other jobs as a supplement?
Yes I work full time as a photographer from my studio here in Skien, but in addition I am also employed as a consultant to O Mustad & Son the worlds largest hook manufacturer. Since 1996 I have also written and published many books on the subject of fly tying and been responsible for the photography for over 20 more. I also write fly tying and fishing articles for magazines all over the world, I deliver approximately 20 articles per month.
e) Can people buy your pictures and if so, then in which form and where?
Yes, I try and have at least one photography exhibition each year, where prints are for sale. I have made prints in exhibitions as large as 260 cm X 160 cm but normally these are too large to be accommodated at home and are intended for public buildings. But my regular size for fine art prints that are for sale is 80 X 40 these can be ordered from me firstname.lastname@example.org
f) Where do you currently live and work?
In Skien Norway. I am situated 15 minutes from the sea to the South and 20 minutes from the mountains in the north a great base for a fishing photographer.
g) What's in your bag? Preferred cameras, bodies, lenses and other gear?
Throughout my career as a photographer I have never really been obsessively occupied with the equipment, as long as it can deliver the image I am trying to achieve!
I use various digital Canon and Lieca cameras with a large selection of lenses but in addition there are certain pieces of equipment I have with me always. Reflectors in various sizes and reflective colours to bounce natural light and add warmth or cold light to a subject. A portable light weight versatile flash system. A waist level finder, with this I can get real low without having to lie down or submerge myself in water, large tripod, cable release etc.