Q&A: Derek Henderson

Date posted: 19 Mar 2012Author: STC

The wheels are turning for our upcoming production of Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood, and joining the spectacularly talented creative team is New Zealand-born photographer Derek Henderson, will this month capture some images of the rather Welsh-looking landscape to be used in the production. In this quick Q&A, Henderson gives us a glimpse into his creative process...





(Images all from Derek Henderson's Mercy Mercer series, taken in New Zealand, 2006-2008)


What features do you look for in a landscape you are interested in photographing?
I work mainly on creating a series of photographs, so if a setting works in that specific context then I will photograph the landscape.


What are you trying to capture in a landscape photo?
How it was when I was there… A portal for the viewer to hopefully feel what I was feeling when I encountered the landscape.


What are the key challenges of photography in the great outdoors?
The weather!! I normally use a 8 x 10" field camera for landscape so strong winds and rain do cause a few problems.

Who are your favourite landscape artists?
J. M. W. Turner, John Constable, David Hockney (paintings), Joel Sternfeld, Stephen Shore, William Eggleston, Eugene Atget, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Walker Evans, Thomas Struth, Ed Ruscha (both photography and paintings), Gerhard Richter (paintings) and many more.

Name a landscape would you love to photograph one day.
I'd like to go to Afghanistan and take landscape photographs that we don't really get to see... we only see the ones of war...

Any simple tips for taking a good amateur landscape photo?
Don't make the assumption that a wide-angle lens is always the best, try a standard lens.


Under Milk Wood, Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House, 22 May - 7 July, 2012.