Gareth McCormack

I’ve always been drawn to landscapes, the wilder and more rugged the better. My early interests were tied up in the outdoors – in my teens I pursued endurance sports and at college I discovered rock climbing and mountaineering. My decision to pursue a career in photography hinged on the chance discovery of The Art of Adventure Photography, a book by the late American photographer Galen Rowell, in a little bookshop in Pokhara, Nepal, in 1995. At some level I was already looking for a way to make a life working in the outdoors, and that book revealed a world where you could combine adventure, artistry and athleticism in a single career.

Rowell’s images and writing on photography were a big influence on my development. With no formal training in photography, I picked up a second hand Canon SLR and a few rolls of Fuji Velvia, and set about learning how to translate my love of landscape and adventure into meaningful photographs. I was on a climbing trip to Australia at the time, and had no shortage of beautiful landforms and interesting light to photograph. I traveled for several months, sleeping in the back of a 1970s Ford station wagon with a copy of Rowell’s Mountain Light for company. Another chance encounter gave my early career the launch it could so easily have missed. I began working as a hiking author for Lonely Planet guidebooks in 1998, a 12-year relationship that allowed me to travel widely and develop my portfolio of images.

Since then I’ve supplied imagery to many of the world’s most prestigious editorial titles, including National Geographic, Time Magazine and the New York Times. My work has been used in commercial advertising by corporate clients including Microsoft, Warner Bros and Air New Zealand. I’ve also enjoyed a long-term relationship with Tourism Ireland, shooting stills and video content for their advertising campaigns for almost two decades.

In 2013 I also started to offer a limited number of photography workshops. My aim is to help enthusiasts of all abilities develop their technical skills and creative vision, whether that means taking the camera off auto for the first time, or tweaking compositional and post processing aesthetics. Landscape photography can be a lonesome occupation, so I enjoy the opportunity to spend time in the field with others. Not only is it rewarding to share my knowledge, but I find it’s a two-way street: I’m constantly surprised by the individuality of the photographic eye. No two people do quite the same thing at a location. Teaching is also an education, and in photography as well as life, learning and extending ourselves is what keeps things interesting.

 

Sunset on Summit of Croagh Patrick