Friday Profile-



Happy Friday everyone. Today I want to share with all of you the work of one of our esteemed instructors here at BPSOP, Athena Carey. I will always remember that day I came across her work because it was one of the few times that the work of a black and white photographer 'spoke' to me. I could not help but 'hear' a great deal of emotion emanating from Athena's work.  Her work is at times soft-spoken, while at other times loud and decisive.  It is abundantly clear that Athena's work is in every respect akin to a very focused and articulate public speaker; the message you will hear is clear, compelling and most of all lasting!


I know you will enjoy her profile and if you have yet to take her class on Black and White, don't be surprised if you feel motivated to do so after reading her story. Athena Carey is not only a great photographer but she is an equally great instructor! We are fortunate that she said yes to my request to come and join us here at BPSOP!



Bryan F Peterson/Founder





Athena Carey Interview



1) When did you first pick up a camera and do you remember your first picture?

The summer when I was nine years old, my parents sent me on my own for the first time to visit my Godparents in Switzerland. Before I left for the airport, my mother gave me her little Kodak camera - a black box with film loaded in the back and the most wonderful flash cubes that popped and burned out after one use. I fell in love with it immediately. That summer as I traveled through Switzerland, Italy and France, I found my photographic voice and it's been a part of me ever since.


2) How long have you been shooting?

I guess since the summer when I was nine, but more seriously since my teenage years. My paternal grandfather was an avid camera enthusiast, always snapping photographs of us and sharing them. When he passed away, I was given one of his Canon A-1 cameras. That was my first SLR camera, and I carried it around the world with me until switching over to a digital SLR in 2001.


3) Why did you choose your particular specialty?

Initially, I was a portrait photographer, specializing in children and their families. I have always been attracted to the innocent beauty of children and to the pure love that exists between families. When I had my own children this intensified and it seemed quite natural for me to combine that with my love for photography. Later when I moved to Switzerland, I decided to take a one year break from portrait work to try my hand at landscape photography. I fell in love with capturing the serenity and beauty of nature and have not gone back to portraiture.


4) As one who believes there is no one location that could be 'the favorite', can you tell us what are your top three destinations for shooting? Is there somewhere you have NOT shot but you hope to shoot there one day?

I am very happy to be shooting almost anywhere out in nature, particularly when there are unfettered open spaces and large bodies of water. But my top three locations are probably:

1. Ireland
2. Switzerland 

3. Bali

I would love to visit Iceland, Northern Vietnam, Borobudur, Bagan, Norway...?



5) Which, if any, photographers inspired you the most?

I have been inspired by so many photographers, both famous and relatively unknown. Among the ones living who shoot in the genre that I am most attached to, BW Fine Art, there are Michael Kenna, Joel Tjintjelaar, Nathan Wirth, Rohan Reilly, Hengki Koentjoro, Luca Cesari, Jeff Gaydash, Giles McGarry, Andy Lee, and Cole Thompson.


6) Where have you NOT shot but you hope to shoot there one day?

I would love to visit Iceland, Northern Vietnam, Borobudur, Bagan, Norway...?



7) How do you create income from your work, e.g. gallery sales,
stock, assignment, workshops, books etc.?
The majority of my photography income comes from teaching - local courses, online courses, video tutorials, workshops and photography tours.


8) What one thing fuels your photographic passion more than anything else?

I am most fueled by my love of nature and a need to express myself creatively. I am not a big talker and feel I am somewhat cumbersome with words, but with photography I can make my feelings clear to people from all over the world, from different cultures, speaking different languages, etc.


9) Where do you find inspiration?




I find inspiration from the world around us - from the smallest flower growing from a crack in the pavement to the vast and dangerously beautiful Irish coastline. My photographic passion is to capture the essence of life and of place in order to share it with others.


10) Although it is for me personally, the least interesting, others I am sure want to know what camera system/equipment you use, Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji, Pentax. Do you have a favorite lens?
Gear is the least interesting aspect for me as well. But I do understand the interest. Presently, I have a Canon 5dmk3, a Sony A7r, a Fuji X-E1, various lenses for each, an adaptor to use the Canon lenses with the Sony camera, two Really Right Stuff tripods, a few F-stop Gear backpacks and an assortment of Lee and Hitech square filters.

My favorite lenses from each brand are: the Canon 24mm TS lens, the Sony 16- 35mm lens and the Fuji 14mm lens.


11) What, if any, advice do you have for our BPSOP members?

Study composition and use it well. Understand the relationship between ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture as if it's second nature and learn to control the settings on your camera, your cable release, your tripod, your filter adaptors etc so that they are all like the back of your hand. This way, when you are out shooting, you can focus all of your attention on seeing what is around you, on perceiving it and then on using those tools to create a meaningful images. 


We are thrilled to be able to share with you a post that BPSOP instructor Donna Eaton was asked to write for the North American Nature Photography Association.  Click on the flower below to read her tip! 




Join Our Mailing List

Apr/May 2015 Classes