How do we define photographic work as art, and can we legitimately assume the mantle of artist, without falling into the trap of sounding pretentious ?
Is there a creative edge and energy to our formative work that is never fully re-captured later on in a professional career? I investigate the subject looking back at my own early black and white film-based pictures.
As an experienced Street Photographer, I'm actually not that comfortable taking pictures of strangers. Should we shoot whatever we want in public spaces, or is it better to set personal limits of responsibility and integrity?
As the days of isolation have continued I have begun to become more and more aware of how the light at different times of the day turns quotidian household fixtures and fittings into objects of beauty. The simple duty of having to slow down has uncluttered my brain and increased my sense of perception. I literally see things today in a new light.
Around 4 years ago I discovered Niall McDiarmid’s work. Over and above enjoying and admiring his images, I felt he ticked many of the boxes that were missing in my work. The crossover of portraiture and street photography really appealed, he was saying something meaningful that went beyond personal artistic expression.
Several months’ preparatory work came to fruition with this autumn’s Street Photography workshop in Paris. From finding a suitable base to seeking out a varied set of locations, my aim is to pass on what I believe are those aspects of the craft that are teachable and reproducible in real life conditions.
Following on from the success of last autumn's workshop, a new set of street shooting enthusiasts from local photo clubs, joined me for a spring weekend in Nantes & Saint Nazaire. From the city centre flea-market to the seaside promenade: a variety of environments to capture the imagination & harness our skills.
Does Street Photography always have to include people? Is it not just more a case of transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary, whether it be objects, buildings or whatever else constitutes the urban landscape.
Delighted to have been one of the five photographers invited to exhibit their work last weekend for the 12th edition of the Pont Saint Martin photo festival, an event of growing significance in the Nantes photographic calendar.
Had the pleasure of being asked to put together a Street Photography workshop for Loire Atlantique Photo, which represents 24 Photo Clubs throughout the region, totalling some 800 members.
Last week, I took a look back at my early pictures, to discuss the creative peaks in a photography career. This week, I’ve invited Barry Lewis, World Press award winner, regular contributor to Life, National Geographic, and so many prestigious magazines, to join the debate.
Having endured a period so marked by social and cultural restrictions, it’s a real privilege, at this year end, to be able to put on an exhibition of my work at Concept Store Photo in Nantes, which can be shared with the public at large. This spacious and elegant photography boutique, provides a great setting for my selection of richly coloured street photographs.
Far from wanting to knock “star names” off their pedestals, I intend to show that one can learn just as much, from bad or error pictures, as from the good ones. Indeed it may be that the “shit photos” separate out the best shooters from the common mortals, just as significantly, as the successful hits do.
Many Street Photographers talk of a spiritual-like experience when our perceptions are truly heightened and we can suddenly order the surrounding chaos in magical ways, to capture a beautiful single moment. Is shooting on one's own the only way to achieve this - how else can we be totally concentrated, immune from distractions?
No less an authority than Alex Webb once told me that I had a good natural instinct for photographing in portrait format. I took it as a compliment! When I look back at my street pictures over this last year I find again that some of my most successful or interesting images were upright ones. There's something about the vertical frame that I consider particularly appealing: a certain elegance, a sense of form and space which is inherent to composing a scene in such a way.
Delighted to have a series of pictures published in the Guardian today for a travel feature on Nantes, my adopted home town for the last 15 years.
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When we marvel at the skill of street photographers to extract from the chaotic mass of visual information that surrounds us, a spontaneous and magical moment of everyday life, it would seem that they are just blessed with good luck. The truth however is somewhat different. We head to locations that we know are going to provide us with rich photographic potential.
There are probably nearly as many workshops around these days as photographers, but when the chance to visit a nearby capital city I’d never visited before (Brussels) arose at the beginning of October, in the company of Matt Stuart, all tied in with a Street Photography Festival, it was an opportunity too good to pass up.
I’ve always approached photography as the art of capturing reality in a way that is not instinctively obvious to the naked eye. This is one of the fundamental reasons I’ve often been drawn to the vertical format. Framing a picture within the upright dimensions of a 35mm camera, is a compositional choice which creates, by its nature, an alternate perspective.