Peter Lik’s photography is well-known for its landscapes, saturation and process that combines to create the ‘Peter Lik’ style. Destin Sparks is a fellow Australian landscape photographer who uses similar methods to Lik, but adds his technique and artistry to create images that speak vividly.
Find out how Peter Lik vs Destin Sparks, and what exactly the new take on the Peter Lik style is.
There are many similarities between the two photographers. They’re both: Australians, self-taught, and love shooting landscapes with Medium Format Cameras. They’ve even both captured the untamed beauty of unusual spots in Australia and the States.
They’re also very accomplished; Peter Lik’s fine art photography has awarded him with Masters of Photography honors, while Destin Sparks already has more than 70 awards and accolades for his natural landscape photography.
Landscape Photography Approach
Destin Sparks approaches his photos with determination and patience. He has to. The skill, lighting and composition required for the photographic process he uses don’t allow for leeway. He doesn’t use any post-processing manipulation or Photoshop, either, which adds an extra level of perfectionism to his final images.
“An impressive natural scene has always had the ability to take my breath away.” –Destin Sparks
Destin’s work celebrates rich, natural landscape colours and many have a theme of just 1 or 2 central shades that create an impact on the finalised photograph. He enjoys all types of landscapes, but confesses he enjoys shooting mountains, for their varying micro climates, and exploring the tropical rain forests near his home base in Brisbane.
Peter Lik has also been known for his professional approach to getting the perfect landscape shot. Whether it’s choosing the right place at the right time, or if it’s revisiting a site he has a particular artistic affinity with, he’ll wait for his moment. Allegedly he does have an editorial team that might do some post-production work or composites after the shoot.
Peter’s work targets visual extremes that are compounded by the saturation of the colors, making the images intense. Peter Lik’s paper and the specialised mounting and lighting of his pieces give them a feeling of luminosity.
Peter Lik’s Paper & It’s Glowing Effect
One of the most integral aspects of his photography is Peter Lik’s paper and it’s ‘seeming to glow’ effect of the pieces. He uses Fuji-flex Crystal Archive ‘Pearl Metallic’ paper.
“Photography is all about capturing a mood, a feeling.” –Peter Lik
The paper has a polyester-based coating, which lends itself to a super slick gloss. The pearl-esque crystals add to the sheen of the print, giving the photo a sense of warmth, depth and the glow that Peter Lik’s style is famous for.
He also adds to the gloss by having his photos face mounted on acrylic, which allows light refraction to illuminate when his photographs are lit correctly.
The Rare Process of Destin Sparks
Destin Sparks has his own unique style of printing his landscape photos: which starts with a Heidelberg Tango drum scanner. It’s different from a flatbed scanner and is ‘more analogue,’ which is Destin’s photography forte.
The results he gets from his drum scanner are impressive: unbelievable resolution and minute detail; an increase in sharpness; and a subtle strength in tonality that coaxes life from shadows and accentuates highlights.
“When I do venture out there’s a high possibility I won’t get a single shot because conditions aren’t right.” –Destin Sparks
The drum scanner process also decreases the amount of normal printing defects that can happen, such as scratches or dust particles on the final print. In fact, the Heidelberg Tango drum scanner is so uncommon there’s just one known place in the world (Hudson Grafik Services) that can repair any broken scanners.
Destin’s printing process is just another reflection of his avid attention to detail, letting the landscape’s stunning beauty speak for itself.
Further Reading: Drum vs Flatbed Scanner: Side by Side Comparison
A New Take on the ‘Peter Lik’ Style
In comparison, Destin Sparks is a similar photographer to Peter Lik, though clearly not the same. They share an obvious passion for breathtaking landscapes and developing their own photography methods. Perhaps Destin Sparks’ photos echo Peter Lik’s images in theory; in reality, Destin’s insistence on visual perfection in his finalised prints are incomparable.