Andrew Peacock Photography

Andrew Peacock takes adventure travel to a new level. As a medical doctor who volunteers his time in far-reaching places like India and Nepal, he feeds his photo habit by capturing the beauty and grandeur of every place he visits. With a gift for helping people as well as creating breathtaking images, Andrew has found his calling as a traveling adventure shooter. You will find the Australia-based photographer all over the globe using medicine and photography to make the world a better place.

Andrew uses Zenfolio for his portfolio website and loves how well the system fits into his workflow. From the seamless integration with Lightroom to the infinite ways he can customize his site, Zenfolio saves Andrew an immense amount of time. As any photographer would agree, he would rather spend his days shooting than in front of a computer.

One of his favorite timesaving features is the upload from Lightroom plugin. After an expedition, he often needs to showcase images for clients and other expedition members. With this plugin, he can create a gallery in Lightroom and then upload the files (RAW if needed), right into a password-protected gallery on his Zenfolio site. He also likes pairing slideshows with soundtracks to elegantly present the expedition experience.

Where were you born and raised? Where have you settled?

I was born and grew up in the town of Adelaide, capital city of the driest state – South Australia - on the driest continent. Not sure if I’ve ever really ‘settled’. Most recently I lived on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland but have just received a permanent immigration visa for the U.S. so splitting my time between the two countries appeals right now.

What type of photography do you shoot most often? What type of photography are you most passionate about shooting?

I concentrate on photographing what I call ‘Adventure Travel’. I’ve always loved to travel and explore the world and to experience different places and cultures and I try and involve myself with interesting expeditions or journeys with a specific purpose to more remote areas where I can tell an interesting story photographically. It helps that I’m a medical doctor which has given me great opportunities in recent years to work on some awesome trips to places like Antarctica, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Nepal and India. I’m passionate about participating in outdoor activities - climbing, paddling, trekking - and I seek to document the people and landscapes I find when doing so.

How long have you been a shutter releaser? What led you to this profession?

I started shooting oh so uncompromising slide film in 1996 when I was volunteering as a doctor with the Tibetan Government in exile in Dharamsala, India. Submitting those images to the stock travel library ‘Lonely Planet Images’ (now with Getty) was the beginning of a slow burning transition into this profession.

How has Zenfolio helped your business?

Zenfolio provides a professional, streamlined product for exhibiting my images that is infinitely customizable and integrates beautifully with my Adobe Lightroom workflow making my life easier. All photographers are time poor and we want to spend as little time in front of the computer as we can, Zenfolio is a great website and service solution that enables this.

Tell us about your work flow, what editing program do you use?

I do all of my work in Adobe Lightroom 5 making use of the integrated Zenfolio Publishing Service as well as a few plugins and external editors like LR/Enfuse. I especially like to use slide film processing presets from Visual Supply Co (VSCO). Occasionally I’ll drop out of Lightroom to Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud to further process images. The Adobe Photography Photoshop Program is cheap and simple allowing ongoing access and upgrades to these two main software programs.

Do you have brand loyalty for Canon, Nikon or something completely different?

My first camera was a Canon T70 and I’ve stuck with the brand ever since. I passed a photographer on a trail in Zion National Park the other day with a Medium Format camera. Watching him work and then visiting one of the beautiful landscape photo galleries nearby in Springdale immediately had me lusting after, ahem, a camera from a different company!

What is the best part of being a professional photographer?

Having a decent excuse ready for my wife when she questions my next long journey to a far flung post with camera in tow. Oh, and seeing my images used to tell a story for others around the world to see.

Do you have an all-time favorite movie?

Two: “The Incredibles” and “An American Werewolf in London”. Two ends of the spectrum.

Are your photography skills self-taught or were you classically trained?

I am largely self-taught along with a smattering of short courses taken along the way. Of course there are always many things learned from spending time watching other photographers at work which I’ve been fortunate to do.

What advice would you give a new photographer just starting out?

Always shoot RAW files, edit critically, learn Lightroom, and get your photos out there. By that I don’t just mean on Flickr, I mean in magazines, commercial websites, stock libraries, the walls of a gallery or a home, etc. Value the time and effort you put in and be proud of the images you produce by holding out for payment for your images. Don’t believe the ‘we don’t have a budget’ line or at least learn to be an astute judge of when a contribution for free can lead to other things for you or of when it ’s okay to be generous for a cause.

What was your first published work?

An image that appeared in ‘Climbing’ magazine’s gallery of an unknown climber trying vainly to get up a horrendous looking off-width (very wide crack) in the immaculate, sheer, smooth sandstone of Indian Creek, Utah.

What inspires you as a photographer? Or who?

I’m inspired by the boundless possibilities of image making and the incredible creativity being unleashed every day by photographers across the world. At times it’s overwhelming to be honest but keeping perspective and understanding that everyone has their contribution to make means the brilliance of others can be used constructively for personal inspiration.

Is there a trade secret you care to share with us?

Don’t smoke, get plenty of sleep and exercise and eat and drink everything in moderation…oh wait, that’s my medical trade secret! Clearly this is not a secret per se but for me choosing what to leave out of the viewfinder is as important as what is included.

If you hadn’t become a photographer, what career path would you have taken?

Full disclosure here, I am a medical doctor so best instead to ask if I hadn’t become a doctor what would I have been – a photographer with a longer career!

What piece of equipment or doohickey do you have with you on every shoot?

My iPhone so I can post something less serious and of course heavily stylized on Instagram.

Do you have any final words of wisdom on being a first class shooter?

Experiment early on in your career but eventually you will need to focus on the area where your passion lies, it’s hard to do every genre well and in this digital age you’ll need to really hone your skills in one or two particular areas to stand out from the crowd.

Andrew Peacock

Adventure Travel Photographer, Queensland, Australia


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