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.
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.
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.
Just over two weeks ago, I returned from a 5 day workshop with husband and wife team Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb in Rome, entitled " Finding Your Vision", organized by RVM Hub.
For students brought up essentially in the digital world, the world of black & white photography is more often than not now, accessed through the conversion filters of Photoshop, and is sought as some kind of creative refuge from the inherent defects of certain colour images.
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.
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.
Maybe it’s because we share monosyllabic names , or something to do with the fact that we were both trying to market the idea of documentary wedding photography back in the 1990’s ....that I have long felt that Ben Smith is in some way a kindred spirit.
Like many photographers before me, I have found myself, whether consciously or subconsciously, heavily influenced by and indebted to the work of the great American painter Edward Hopper (1882-1967).
When I started out in photography I felt an immediate affinity for the so-called artistic virtues of black and white. I appreciated colour photography, but apart from subscribing to National Geographic and admiring the beautiful images captured across the world, I did not believe that colour was anything other than the medium one used for commissioned work and it did not inspire me as a creative form in its own right.