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What were you doing aged 24? Finishing university? Still living at home? Or neck deep in the fug of work and family life? Not Mark Clinton. The Sydney photographer spends his time dodging the mundane by hanging out of helicopters, riding jet skis, climbing mountains, and shooting stacks of impressive photos at the same time.

When did you first pick up a camera?
I remember the date actually – the 25th of March, 2005. A huge storm had formed off the coast of Sydney and (world champion surfer) Kelly Slater was surfing my local break. I managed to get some photos and it blew my mind.

What do you love about photography, compared to other artistic mediums?
Art can be quite abstract, and sometimes I find that hard to relate to, but with photography you can generally see yourself and humanity within it.

Norway, because, aside from having to pay five dollars for a cucumber, everyone has a good outlook on health and wellbeing.

Name a favourite place to visit and what makes it so special?
Norway, because, aside from having to pay five dollars for a cucumber, everyone has a good outlook on health and wellbeing. Everyone also seems really optimistic and creative.

What subjects do you love shooting the most and why?
I love shooting people doing amazing things in an incredible location. That’s my ideal.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get a shot?
There’s always something crazy going on! I often get lost in the work, which can be dangerous. Like earlier this year, I was scaling a volcano on a shoot and there was lava coming out of it, and I wasn’t even think about staying safe. I had to be brought back to reality by someone else on the shoot.

What’s the biggest compliment a person could give you and your photography?
I really love it when someone tells me my photo has taken them back to a happy memory or experience.

Is there a moment that sticks in your head, when you saw something amazing, and didn’t have a camera handy?
There are so many! Countless sunrises, sunsets, storm clouds, and ocean scenes.

Best bit of life advice you’ve been given?
Try and find the perfect balance of work and life. It’s hard, but it’s worth striving for.

To get a memorable photo you need to…
Have purpose behind why you’re taking it, and have a connection with the subject or location.

What’s a country you really want to visit?
I’d love to go to the Middle East. It can get a bad rap, but that’s only ever a small portion of society. There must be so many interesting stories there that are just waiting to be heard. It still seems a little out of the ordinary, and I’d love to see it all before it becomes part of the well-trodden tourist trail.

Follow Mark on Instagram. Visit his website. For commercial photography in Australia, Mark’s represented by Photoplay.

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