Australian photographer finds art in Hawaii and nature

You may find him roaming the beaches of Maui, climbing the mountains of Colorado or scouring the deserts of Australia on a quest to take the perfect picture. He is sometimes spotted in his straw cowboy hat and a sleeveless vest, but also can be found in a ball-cap and jeans.

He is Peter Lik, a self-taught photographer from the Cairns Islands in Australia, and has been awarded numerous times for his images taken from around the world.

“It’s just something that comes from inside,” says Lik. “It’s something I can’t explain. It’s just a passion I’ve had forever.”

When he started his photographic career, Lik tried every style he could, ultimately finding his passion in nature and landscapes. “I feel comfortable when I’m out hiking and shooting nature. That’s what I love the most.”

The vibrant colors, intriguing textures and imaginative shapes seem to be a continuing theme in each of his shots, with each picture having a variation of each element to make a truly unique image in every frame.

“When I’m out shooting, I’m looking for a special moment or feeling,” he says. “I’m here to tell a story. So the photograph has to explain a certain mood, feeling or presence.”

Lik has traveled to nearly all the Hawaiian Islands, taking pictures and compiling them into calenders and coffee table books for those who don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a full-sized image.

“Hawaii’s a very important place for me,” he says. “I opened my first gallery (in the U.S.) in Lahaina.”

Lik also says shooting and spending time in Hawaii is like his home in the Cairns Islands. “Hawaii reminds me a lot of home,” he says. “I love the humidity and the warm weather.”

Lik’s book of images on Hawaii features Waikiki, the Pipiwai trail on Maui, and the Na Pali Coast on Kauai. Each shot takes advantage of the brilliant colors Hawaii has to offer: the gold in the sands, the blues in the water and the greens of the mountains all bring each image to life. “Hawaii’s just got a great vibe to it,” he says.

Lik uses mostly film to capture his images specializing in the 617 format, which is a type of film that needs a certain camera to capture a high saturation in a medium format. His main cameras are the Fuji GX 617 and the Linhof 617, both wide-angle cameras. He also uses a selection of German- and Swiss-made lenses.

Lik also admitted to using digital cameras for some of his pictures because it’s impossible to ignore the technology. “I have to,” he says. “Digital technology is just blowing film right out of the water.” He continued to say that even though he’s been shooting with both types of cameras, he feels more comfortable with a good piece of film. “I’ve had film all my life. I’ve shot film all my life, but I can’t ignore digital.”

Celebrities who collect Lik’s work include Justin Timberlake, Aerosmith, Ivana Trump and Bill Clinton.

Lik has nine galleries open in the U.S. and another two set to open soon. Three of the galleries are located in Lahaina, Kona and Waikiki.

For more information on Lik and his work, visit www.peterlik.com

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