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Jacky Parker: Photographer of the week

by Yvette Depaepe 

Jacky Parker loves to explore the macro world of flowers and gets continuously inspired by the many small wonders of nature. The deeper she can get into a garden, the happier she is. She grows a lot of plants in her own garden to build on a true relationship with flowers and wildlife. Her passion for horticulture is to be seen in every single image she makes. Today, Jacky takes us on a journey through her best work and reveals more about her charming personality by answering the questions in this interview.


Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs, Jacky.
I am 60 years old and grew up in Hong Kong.  Currently I am living in Sway Village on the edge of the New Forest National park in the South of England. I studied for a diploma in horticulture when I developed a deep interest for flora and fauna photography.


What first attracted you to photography?
While studying for the diploma, I began to realise that there was a beautiful macro world within our garden that went largely unnoticed and set about trying to capture the intricate and delicate nature of flowers and wildlife.

'Lady in Blue'

Describe your overall photographic vision.
The technology available in photography today is incredible. We have the opportunity with modern cameras and ever improving software to create a picture we could only before simply imagine.


Why are you so drawn by florals and macro shots?
My keen interest in horticulture lead me to explore flora and fauna closely. The deeper I entered into the macro world of flowers the more I was inspired by the wonders of nature. To fully appreciate this beauty, it needs to be immortalised in an image and enjoyed at leisure.

'Globe Thistle'

What is more important to you, the mood/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
What I try to achieve is to uncover the tiny details in the texture of a flower. It is not always possible directly in camera, but something I try to achieve it in post-production. Occasionally I will focus by stacking several images using ‘helicon Focus’ to give a perfectly sharp impression of a flower. Other times I prefer to open up the aperture and focus on the centre of a flower giving the petals a more soft and dreamlike effect.

'Simple Nature'

What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?
The deeper I can get into a garden the happier I am. I grow a lot of the plants as I want to photograph in my own back garden. So, I can develop a relationship with the flowers and wildlife on a daily basis without distraction.

'Summer reverie'

What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
I use a Nikon D750 with a 105mm f/2.8 macro lens. I carry a small fold away white reflector and a polarising filter, which all fits very neatly into my discreet Thinktank retrospective 7 camera bag.

'S P R I N G Lady'

What software do you use to process your images?
I use Photo Mechanic 6 an image browser software, Photoshop CC, Topaz labs, Helicon Focus Stacking and Photomatix pro 6 for HDR work.


Can you tell us something more about your workflow?
After downloading to my Mac I view the entire card using Photo mechanic and delete any images that are not up to standard. I edit images using Camera Raw then into Photoshop, sometimes using texture overlays, multi layers, paintbrushes, plugin actions from Topaz labs. It really depends on how I imagine the image I want to achieve.

'Spring Treasures'

What is your most important advice to a beginner in flower or macro photography and how do you get started?
It really helps if you are interested in the subject you are photographing, if not try and do as much research as possible. Have a lot of patience and allow more time than you think before embarking on a shoot, paying attention especially to the weather forecast, avoiding strong wind and bright sunlight which can produce harsh shadows.


Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?

My favourite photographer is Christopher Beane, an American photographer known for his unique and vibrant flower photographs. Also, Georgianna Lane, who is known for her romantic, light-infused images of flowers, gardens. I am also inspired every week by creations displayed by countless talented photographers particularly on 1X.

'Prunis shirotae Mount Fuji'

Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you and why?  
There is not just one photograph that has been inspirational, but for me, Harold Davies’s “Floral Tapestry” Light pad images have been truly inspiring. Flower Light pad work is now common place, but when Harold first produced his floral work in this way it gave a whole new dimension to photographing flowers during the winter months in controlled conditions.



'Hellebore Tutu

Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
I create a great many images which I generally only share online. When I see a quality framed, printed image on display it gives me a tremendous sense of satisfaction and would really like to explore this direction.


Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why is it so special to you?
My favourite image is my Allium Bulgaricum image. It was taken early one morning, whilst getting ready for work. I noticed the tiny bells covered in dew and I managed to take three frames before heading off to work. I thought maybe I could reproduce this image by spraying the flower with water but to my dismay it was not possible, since then I have never seen the dew rest on this particular flower.

'Dew Bells'

Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1x as a home base for your work?
Ix is the perfect platform to display my images. I admire how each photograph is curated by several independent and talented photographers. Often you can be blinded to imperfections in your own work therefore only your finest works goes on display.



Great interview and wonderful pictures...!
The work of Jacky is a real marvel, I like very much his photos, the poetry in his images is a wonder. Thank very much Yvette for this splendid interview and thank to Jacky to make us dream !!!
As an admirer of your work I enjoyed this interview very muck, Jackie. Not as extensive as the one on, but a pleasure to read as well. Great, thanks a lot.
Thank you Mike appreciate your kind words :)
Great interview Yvette! Jacky is a fantastic artist. I love Jacky's images .+++
Larry, thank you so much :)
Have been a Jacky fan for a long time. Know how to display flowers in a beautiful atmosphere. Thank you.
Thank you so much Piet, appreciate your kind comment !
Thank you for this beautiful article and wonderful photographs. Congratulations to Jacky and Yvette.
Thank you so much Izabella
Thank you so much Thierry appreciate your kind words
Lovely gallery and artist!
Judy, thank you so much
I like!
Many thanks Brian
Great interview Yvette! Jacky is a fantastic artist , I love your gallery and the passion that transmit about your garden and nature. Thank you. Congrats!! Best wishes Piera
Thank you for such kind words Piera, greatly appreciated :)
Dear Jacky, thanks a lot for your fine collaboration and for letting us know more about the person behind these beautiful images. Cheers, Yvette
Thank you so much dear Yvette, thrilled to be in the magazine :)