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News > Arts & Culture > Charles Hering (PS 65-70), his Passion for Photography

Charles Hering (PS 65-70), his Passion for Photography

Encounters with legendary West Coast Photographic Movement artist, Ansel Adams, and black & white detail photographer, Brett Weston, are a lifetime influence on Charles' way of looking at the world.

After leaving Tonbridge, Charles Hering (PS 65 – 70) gained studio experience during an internship before studying photography at the University of Manchester. In his second study year he was fortunate enough to be invited to a workshop held by the legendary photographer Ansel Adams in California’s Yosemite National Park. Charles’ participation helped fire a growing interest in landscape photography. At the same workshop he met renown environmental portrait photographer Arnold Newman who would have liked Charles to have been his assistant though sadly this did not materialize.

A further encounter on the same trip in 1975 with Brett Weston – known for his semi-abstract black and white detail photography – was to have an even greater impact on Charles’ way of viewing what he saw around him. In 1977 he moved to Germany and began working professionally for diverse advertising photographers – predominantly those specialising in cars – before starting his own business.

As years passed he became less willing to follow commercial photographic styles and Charles began mapping out his own trajectory. From the mid-eighties he increasingly took on editorial commissions and regularly returned to England to cover topics such as English public schools and Oxford and Cambridge. With the event of digital photography and the huge benefit of instantly being able to view the image just shot, he became far more self-critical when using a camera, with the result that he began taking more dynamic photos. Many images in the ‘Moving’ galleries offer the viewer a challenge – the chance to go on a journey of their own trying to work out what the subject matter is, in spite of the picture’s title. For those interested in methodology, all images were camera generated, not CGId and Photoshop was only used to fine tune.

His website with a total of 15 galleries, shows a retrospective of 46 years work, though the majority of photos stem from non-commercial projects taken during the last 15 years. Four trips to India, including a five-month visit to a Tibetan settlement, enabled him to build up a diverse body of work as seen under ‘Characters’. 

Over the years Charles has travelled to 33 countries but he has rarely been tempted to create an image which the viewer can directly associate with, for example a typical view of Kent. When it comes to a landscape shoot he prefers to extract an element of the bigger picture so that the result has a more abstract feel to it.

He has also applied this approach to limitless closer-up subjects as seen in ‘Natural’ (under Details). Beside content, form and especially lighting, are of primary importance when shooting. The ‘blue hour’ for example – when the sun is below the horizon, shortly before sunrise or after sundown – often offers some gems. By focusing on a feature at close range, Charles gives the viewer the chance to familiarise oneself with facets they would often not notice.

Other professionals whose work Charles rates highly are the Frenchman Yann Arthus Bertrand with his abstract photos to be seen in his book ‘Earth From Above’, as well as fellow Dusseldorf photographer Andreas Gursky who, like Ansell Adams was, is a master of large-format photography enabling him to produce huge prints.

The ‘Down Under’ gallery (see 'Details') is a latter series offering the viewer a less frequent perspective of nature. Photographing from ground level comes with obstacles one does not have when the camera is in front of one’s eye or on a tripod. In spite of remote control, exact positioning and focusing can be very challenging.

Charles’ most recent and ongoing project which evolved from the Covid lockdowns has resulted in the first 12 images in the ‘Clouds’ gallery (see ‘Scapes’). They were all taken from Charles’ home and include some blue hour and golden hour (just after sunrise or just before sundown) images.


For more visit Charles' website: here


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