Photographer’s Eye: Philip Lee Harvey

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Mount Roraima towers above the clouds hanging over the Gran Sabana in Venezuela, Philip Lee Harvey

Mount Roraima towers above the clouds hanging over the Gran Sabana in Venezuela, Philip Lee Harvey

Philip Lee Harvey gives us an insight into the photography of Travel, from Voodoo in Haiti to inspiration from one of modern cinema’s masters of landscape and light

Before the security check-ins, before the endless queues at check-in and passport control before weekend city breaks, and stag and hen-parties, before the journey  became a backdrop to something else we were doing there was Travel. Philip Lee Harvey is not a travel photographer – he is a photographer who explores the idea of travel, the natural and man-made spaces of Travel, the altered perceptions these spaces generate.

From the liquid landscapes of Hawaii

Aerial view of Waimea Canyon State Park, Kaua'i, Hawaii, Philip Lee Harvey

Aerial view of Waimea Canyon State Park, Kaua’i, Hawaii, Philip Lee Harvey

to the manicured light-scapes of the high-end hotel

Philip Lee Harvey

Philip Lee Harvey

It’s travel as visual sensation –  the turquoise luminosity of the water against the golden glow of the leaves in Five Flower Lake China.

Five Flower Lake China, Philip Lee Harvey

Five Flower Lake China, Philip Lee Harvey

Or stand before the cobalt dawn at Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand.

LAKE PUKAKI, MT COOK NATIONAL PARK, Philip Lee Harvey

Lake Pukaki, MT Cook National Park, Philip Lee Harvey

His work has been featured newspapers and magazines such as The Independent, the Saturday Telegraph, Condé Nast Traveller, Tatler, Vanity Fair, and his clients include Sony, British Airways and Volkswagen Mastercard.

You can see why clients might look to his work to be seduced by the idea of travel and its spaces, from the lush-futurism of hotel lobbies

Philip Lee Harvey

Philip Lee Harvey

to the vertigo of the office district.

Philip Lee Harvey

Philip Lee Harvey

On his website Lee harvey quotes Robert Louis Stevenson, “For my part I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” Lee Harvey’s skill is in capturing the dream of  Travel, the escape, escaping from work, from life, from love, to love, where the escape becomes it’s own journey.

A shot of a single object that expresses a powerful memory/event

This was my first camera, now enjoyed by my 2 young sons….. I often wonder if the best photos I ever took were on this…

Philip Lee Harvey, First Camera

Philip Lee Harvey, First Camera

An image of three books that have inspired you?

Salgado as he really showed me what the best looks like, Newby, because he brings humour to travel and McKuen as his poems create the images I can only dream about.

Philip Lee Harvey

Philip Lee Harvey

Favourite photo you have taken?

Maasai Bride on her wedding day, Kenya

Philip Lee Harvey, Maasai Warrior

Philip Lee Harvey, Young Maasai Bride on her wedding day

Favourite artist/photographer/image-maker?

David Lean

What’s the most obscure place you have taken photographs?

Voodoo ceremony,Haiti.

Philip Lee Harvey, Voodoo Ceremony, Haiti.

Philip Lee Harvey, Voodoo Ceremony, Haiti.

What is the dynamic between the photojournalist work you do and the commercial photography you undertake? Are they completely separate, or can ideas and techniques travel across?

If you mean between travel and lifestyle,then they definitely cross over. One helps and influences the other. For me, its about the emotion you can create…

Philip Lee Harvey, Moped Manie, Bamako, Mali

Philip Lee Harvey, Moped Mania, Bamako, Mali

If I am shooting a major ad campaign or a travel editorial, the desire to achieve a great image is equal.

canyon rock

Light is important to your photography, what is it about daylight only that you like?

It’s real, its what we all live by everyday, it’s timeless and full of emotion.

Philip Lee Harvey, Sand Diver

Philip Lee Harvey, Sand Diver

Do you follow the action on assignments or try to influence it to get the shot you want?

Both. Often, especially when working in advertising. The image we want to achieve has often been discussed at great length and between many people. It’s then over to me to create what we have discussed. I will sometimes spend a lot of time setting up a scene, then shooting it as if I’ve just discovered it… it keeps the spontaneity. Whatever shoot I am on, it’s very important to follow your instincts and allow time to explore. Just by framing a scene in a camera you’re influencing it.

Where does photojournalism at its best become art?

When you frame it.

Philip Lee Harvey, Tailor Tom Kashmir

Philip Lee Harvey, Tailor Tom Kashmir

To see more of Philip Lee Harvey’s work on Image Source click here,

Click here for his own website

As an extra treat, here’s a behind the scenes film from Philip’s trip to Venezuela.

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