Nature’s Abstracts with Ralph Kerle
What started out as a Sunday morning ritual, and a few photos from an iPhone 5; has now turned into a career and passion for Ralph Kerle. Ralph is an Australian photographer who is inspired by the water, by reflections and by colours. We had a chat about nature’s abstracts with Ralph Kerle, and how the Polygon Group has helped him with his creative journey.
From the very start of Ralph’s photography journey he understood he was at the mercy of what he can see in nature, and the abstracts around him will dictate his style. He learnt to adapt to what is offered when he is kayaking or travelling via boat.
“I am greatly influenced by the modern master painters from the impressionists through to abstract expressionists. It was the French impressionist Claude Monet who said you must paint what you see, not paint to reproduce what you think you see… In that way, my style is abstract impressionist photography. I photograph what I see, not to reproduce a moment in time. A work becomes apparent only after I have downloaded the file.”
When out on the water for a day of shooting, Ralph keeps an eye out for a number of things to capture. Colours and patterns reflected on the waters surface are his primary focus, Ralph believes that the visual culture of a location can be found in its reflections. Ralph has tested his theory, with imagery from Portugal, Dubai, Florida, and Australia’s own; Sydney. Ralph is currently working towards a series where he brings this statement to life; however the pandemic of course has put this project on hold for the time being.
The ideal shooting day is calm and clear with just a touch of wind on the water. However, if these conditions differ that’s okay too.
“So much of my work is serendipitous so I can often go out on a day when the wind is howling, rain is in the offering and the weather looks stormy. Yet at a moment in time, a little glimmer of light will shine through on the lee side of a moored vessel to create a miracle of a shot! That is what is so wonderful about this work and the way nature plays with me.”
Ralph’s journey started just with his iPhone 5. However, when his first exhibition came around he found that his images couldn’t reach the size he would have liked when printed. This is where Ralph’s journey began to find the right camera for his work.
Ralph bought his first DSLR camera, but quickly found that he was limited in his creative abilities and his skills outgrew the camera. Knowing he couldn’t keep spending the money purchasing new cameras, accessories, or lenses to try out; Ralph turned to a friend for help.
“I explained my dilemma to a photographic associate. ‘Ah’ he said – ‘an easy answer. This new camera I have – a Sony RX100 Mark 1 might just suit you. I’m renting it from Polygon for 6 months to see if it suits me’.”
After hearing this advice, Ralph took himself down to his closest Studio 19 Rentals photography dealer and applied for the Sony DSC RX100 to try himself.
“Vitally this service solved an economic barrier to me developing creatively. Here was an opportunity to experiment, to find the right cameras for my work and to try new ones as they become available in a way I could afford. If they didn’t work I could return them after 6 months.
The rental service from Polygon offers tangible cost and creative benefits to my business in ways I could not have previously imagined. It is a vital element to my success.”
We are thrilled to have helped Ralph with the gear he required to grow in his creative journey as he develops into his photography style. If you want to learn or see more of Ralph’s imagery please visit his website or follow his journey on social media.