Acclaimed Warwick photographer passes on the magic
AS FAR as photographers on the Southern Downs go, few have reached global heights like Chris McFerran.
In 2014 the Bureau of Meteorology chose his photo "Van Gogh” for their 2015 calendar, which saw him gain maximum exposure.
The remarkable photograph appeared in the New York Times, and closer to home, the Australian Weekender magazine.
His photography has captured the colour, beauty and fury of the region's weather and at the same time, the imagination of people everywhere.
His photos are vibrant, sometimes almost three-dimensional and a common feature is his use of clouds as a focal point.
"I've always been fascinated by them,” he said.
"Even from a young age, I recognised their visual importance to a landscape.
"Look at the great artists like Roberts, Streeton and Robert Pengilley and their use of clouds as a source of light and a major part of the composition of their works.”
Reluctant to be know as a storm chaser, Mr McFerran calls himself a weather photographer.
The long-time Southern Downs resident knows the area so well, and has seen enough weather come through to have a good idea of where he needs to set himself up to take that next winning shot.
"The side of the road is my studio I guess,” Mr McFerran said.
"But storm chasers can be a bit reckless and they seem to be a dime a dozen these days.
"I take photos of frosts and people might commission me to take a photo of their farm under a sunset.
"I definitely like to keep my distance from storms though.”
Prior to the advent of social media, mobile phones and the rise of the pocket photographer, Mr McFerran was a moderator on popular photography website, Australian Photography Forum.
Over the years he read millions of comments and said this was the catalyst for his learning about photography and editing.
"I essentially did my diploma there,” he said.
"I learned so much and would put what I read into practice.”
Mr McFerran said social media had changed photography forever.
"Everyone is a photographer now,” he said.
"And feedback is almost instantaneous. And it's usually positive from friends and family.
"There are lots of pages you can join to get constructive feedback and criticisms as well.”
In the past month Mr McFerran has started running Photoshop classes for Warwick photography enthusiasts.
"People want to make their photos pop,” he said.
"We talk about the golden rules of photography, which most people don't know about.
"And how to make a good photo into a great photo without over-processing.”
Mr McFerran has already been inundated with requests for tuition, showing his already successful side-hobby has more opportunities up its sleeve.
To find out more message Chris at SE Qld Weather Photography on Facebook.