‘The Life and Times of Mark Stothard, AKA True North Mark’
By Mark Stothard
Once in a while you meet an individual that has an endless amount of energy and drive. Mark is that kind of individual. I started to work with Mark while preparing a workshop into The Kimberley region, Australia. Mark is part owner of the True North the ship we used for that workshop. He is the kind of guy who Skypes and returns emails at 3AM in the morning. What I liked most was Mark’s talent for photography and how he has thrown himself at this relatively new passion that he has found. This is Mark’s story. We will be featuring more stories like this as well as video interviews in the near future. Enjoy.
A Little Background
My name is Mark Stothard and I want to share with you why photography has become such a huge part of my life and how the journey started.
I am one of the proud owners of the luxury 50m cruise ship, the True North.
The True North cruises to some amazing places around Australia and PNG and yes I had a camera or 2, but I never came away with any photos that I felt really captured what I was seeing properly.
Along life’s journey, I have been a very high achiever in everything I have done and made a decision very early in life to experience as much fun things as I could and to get as good as I could be at many of those activities. Those activities include: Surfing, Skydiving, Scuba Diving, Water Skiing, Snow Skiing and now photography, to name a few!
I also founded 3 businesses over the years, all very successful in their own right and all based on the same basic philosophy…’do it once and do it right’!
With some 3,500 skydives to my credit over 20 years, I quickly learned that the only way to enjoy something was to be focused and learn from the best. Within 2 years of doing my first jump, myself and my 4 way and 8 way freefall teams were winning Gold at state level and continued to do so for many years.
That high end training came in very handy when I turned my focus to photography. In the initial stages in my photography journey, I had a fair bit of time on my hands which I used to my benefit.
My Photography Journey Begins
The initial journey into photography was slow and frustrating until I met my good friend and mentor, Christian Fletcher .
I ran into someone who had just done a course with Christian, so I looked him up, did a course and we found that we had a lot of things in common. I did some business coaching for him, he took me under his wing and away we went. We tended to feed off each other’s competitive nature…and still do by the way!
I adopted a learning process that we used back in Skydiving training days, which is; ‘learn it, earn it and burn it’! Which simply put means, when you learn a new process, get out there and practice the hell out of it until it becomes second nature and you don’t need to refer to notes any more, then move onto the next trick or process. If you keep doing that solidly over a few months, your editing time will be reduced dramatically and your images will be getting better and better.
In the early days I was working up at least 6 images a day and refining the skills I had learned from Christian and then one day Christian suggested I should start a blog and join the blogging community. Now that was a pivotal time in my photography career and in my life really! I have met so many wonderful people through my blog and too many to mention here, but WOW, what a ride! Through the blog and the photographers I have met, I have learned so much.
Like everyone, my initial images had some faults, like halos and using the saturation tool too much to make them pop etc, but over time and as my eye has matured I have worked out my own style and I now have a following of very loyal visitors to my blog and facebook page.
I like to try my hand at a number of different facets of photography and at the moment these include, landscapes, underwater photography, night shots, light painting, and some portrait work working in with landscapes.
One of the tutorials I found very valuable along the way was Joel Grimes tutorials. Within his 3 tutorials I downloaded, there were a bunch of tricks I now use in all my work flow for everything and I very much rate his style.
From here I want to further explore my passion with photography and am working hard to get to a semi retirement point in a couple of years that will free me up to travel to awesome locations and further develop my skills.
I have recently been doing a fair bit of tutoring with photography and I can see that this will also become a big part of my photography journey in the future.
Where to from here with photography, I am not 100% sure?
Mark’s Blog CLICK HERE
Mark’s web Site CLICK HERE