When Christian moved to Dunsborough in 1990, he dived into photography as a career; which meant that he took photos in between paying the bills with two casual jobs not related to photography. In the pre-digital and pre-photoshop days, Christian had to perfect working with the only tool at his disposal—his camera—which remains the essential skill in creating the best images possible, even today. He ‘marinated’ himself for many years developing black and white images in a secluded darkroom in his parents’ house, and eventually started to sell his images in a local restaurant.
Following six hard years of effort doing commercial, portrait and wedding photography, he was ready to give up, until he walked into a gallery in Esperance that inspired him to focus on building a gallery of landscape images. He returned to Dunsborough with a renewed purpose, and sold his images in market stalls and in a small gallery space at the local framing shop. As his sales increased, he then established his galleries in the early 2000s and Christian Fletcher Photo Images was born.
Christian has perfected the art of light, composition, colour and post processing. He believes that all great landscape images have to have the ‘perfect light’ at their core, and it is this light that he is most respected for:
“Christian’s pictures are not souvenirs, but images that help us to ‘see’ and to understand landscape as art. Light literally exudes from Christian’s pictures like few others, and this luminescent enlightenment startles us with its clarity and perception” -Les Walkling, professional photographer
One of the highlights of Christian’s work is imparting his knowledge to others in a series of workshops and online tutorials. If you have ever participated in one of his sessions, you will have experienced his enthusiasm, passion, humour and incredible depth of knowledge of both technical and creative skills. He does it for the love of passing on some of his knowledge, but admits that there is a ‘bit of a perk’ to traveling around the world to places like Cambodia, Iceland, Antarctica, and the many amazing locations in Australia for ‘work’.
Christian is also a humble and passionate advocate for the very environment that allows him to do the job he loves. He is involved in many projects with other professional landscape photographers who share his philosophy about respecting the natural world we live in, and he is a vocal supporter for sustainability and action on climate change from a grass-roots level.
His foray into the aerial world of industrial photography reveals a beautiful, but dark side to environmental destruction. His images of ‘altered landscapes’ evoke a cascade of somewhat conflicting emotions—from the beauty of the composition and colour, to the disbelief and shock that the subject matter is of the utter destruction of our natural landscapes. Christian believes that you cannot force anyone to change, you can only give them the images and let them change themselves.
Christian’s work has been recognised many times over the years. In 2011, the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) awarded him both the Western Australian and the Australian Professional Landscape Photographer of The Year. In 2014 he was again awarded the Western Australian Professional Landscape Photographer of The Year. He won the inaugural 2014 International Landscape Photographer of The Year competition with his aerial industrial images (http://www.internationallandscapephotographer.com/) and was awarded the 2015 AIPP West Australian Travel Photographer of the Year. His galleries have also won tourism awards for excellence. In 2018 his gallery won “Most Outstanding Business” at the Busselton Business Awards. In 2019 he was awarded "Excellence in the Creative Industry Award" at the Margaret River Region Business Awards. And in 2020 he won the Busselton Art Awards.
His images are on display at his bespoke art gallery in Dunsborough, in the Margaret River region of Western Australia or online at www.christianfletcher.com.au, and he teaches both online and in workshops across Australia and around the world (http://christianfletchertraining.com).
Christian uses his creativity and the best equipment available today to push the boundaries of landscape photography into areas that invoke serious reflection in the viewer’s mind. But having said that, he keeps his first camera (a Rolliflex SL35) on display in his Dunsborough gallery to remind himself of where he has come from. He currently uses Leica digital equipment.
Christian has used many different camera systems over the years. Images from most can be seen in the gallery. They are –
Leica SL2 mirrorless full frame digital camera. The SL2 is the only mirrorless camera designed and crafted in Germany. The unprecedented resolution of the SL2’s CMOS image sensor in full-frame format results in an unparalleled level of detail rendition and image quality. This is Christians current camera system. He uses three lenses from Leica the SUPER-VARIO-ELMAR-SL 16-35mm f3.5-4.5 ASPH, the LEICA VARIO-ELMARIT SL 24-90mm f2.8-4 ASPH and the LEICA VARIO-ELMARIT-SL 90-280 mm f2.8-4.
Phase One IQ280 80mp Medium format Digital Back Phase One XF Camera Body A range of lenses from Schneider for this system.
Sigma SD Quattro H. A range of Sigma Art Series lenses (14mm, 50mm, 85mm) Offering breathtaking resolution, rich gradations and colors, and exceptional realism, the Foveon X3 Quattro direct image sensor is a symbol of this never-ending pursuit of excellence. Value for money, you can’t buy better.
Christian prints his own work on two state of the art Epson printers. The 44” wide Surecolor P10070 and the 64” wide Surecolor P20070 offer unrivalled performance and output with superior resolution, gradations and colour density. To ensure colour accuracy he uses professionally made icc profiles from Dr. Les Walkling.
When editing he uses software such as Capture One for RAW image processing. Photoshop CC for detailed precise image editing. Other third party software such as PT Gui, 3D LUT Creator, Sigma Photo Pro and Helicon Focus.
To maintain an accurate colour managed workflow he uses a Wacom Cintiq 27HD display.
SELECTED GROUP & SOLO EXHIBITIONS
The Pilbara Project, FORM Gallery, Perth, February 2011
The Pilbara Project, Courthouse Gallery, Port Hedland, February 2011
The Pilbara Project: The Photographers’ Cut, Midlands, Perth, March 2012
The Pilbara Project, Sofitel Hotel, Melbourne, May 2012
ND5 Travel Expo, Exhibition Halls, Perth, June 2012
The Pilbara Project, Oz Fest, New Delhi, India, October 2012
At The Edge of the Light, Australian High Commission, Wellington, New Zealand, May 2013
South West Light, Yallingup Gallery, Yallingup, November 2012
At The Edge of the Light, WPPI Exhibition, Las Vegas, USA, February 2013
At The Edge of the Light, The Digital Show, Melbourne, September 2013
2016 Shark Bay – Inscription, Lynton & Kay Gallery, Perth, December 2013
2016 Shark Bay – Inscription, Maud Creative Gallery, Brisbane, February 2014
At The Edge of the Light, Millennium Public Art Gallery, Blenheim, New Zealand May 2014
North + East, Maud Creative Gallery, Brisbane, March 2015
Earth Matters, Monash Gallery, Melbourne, April 2015
Mid West, Linton + Kay, Perth, August 2017
Rottnest Island, Linton + Kay, Perth, September 2018
A Different View, Dunsborough Gallery, 2019
Common Place, Dunsborough Gallery September 2020