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Chris Steele-Perkins – Mount Fuji

Creativity’ is the assessment criterion that seems to create a sense of bafflement, if not downright confusion, in many Level 1 students. As you can see from the taxonomy, the descriptors include imagination, invention, experimentation and development of a personal voice … One way you can measure‘personal response’is to tackle a popular subject that has been photographed thousands of times before. (OCA. Expressing Your Vision, p92)

In this context, I compare and contrast the work of Chris Steele-Perkins and John Davies on the same subject of Mount Fuji (see separate post).

Both photographers use Mount Fuji as a backdrop to life under the mountain, rather than choosing to focus on the mountain itself as the main subject. While the mountain becomes incidental, it is too large and imposing to be ignored. Like a studio backdrop in an old movie scene, it has a fixed presence.

The difference between Steele-Perkins’  and John Davies work is in the post-processing. The former is higher contrast with saturated colours, whereas the latter is understated, like an objective documentary. Given the similar approaches to framing Mount Fuji, my preference is for the more visually exciting processing of Steele-Perkins.


Prix Pictet (2015). Earth. Mount Fuji by Chris Steele-Perkins [online]. Available at: http://www.prixpictet.com/portfolios/earth-shortlist/chris-steele-perkins/ [accessed 17.7.2015]


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