Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A new Light

When our lecturers taught us how to develop our own photographs in the colour dark room they said you are going to either love it or hate it. Turns out I loved it and so spent most of my time either in the studio (with a  couple of soft boxes and behind a macro lens of a Mamiya, medium format camera) or the colour dark room for hours on end (in pitch black, trying to fight any urge to sleep - as nature would persist with producing melatonin in such conditions). And so four years past and my journey had well and truly began with photography establishing a style that evoked a sense of nostalgia and took you back to your childhood. I used toys, flowers, colour and a play on scale to achieve this. Of course everything was still film - and the Mamiya such a work-horse would offer big colour and sharp focus where needed to achieve the feel and bright lights of consumer advertising.

Tea for Me & Alice in Wonderland
Clockwise from top left: Put em Up, Red Lips, Noodle Soup & Lucky Strike
As most New Zealanders do - I found myself now living and working in London. I had a photography itch but did not know quite how to scratch it. I have to admit it was travel, visits back home and the work of well known photographers such as Alicia Bock that influenced my style. Being able to sell through the likes of etsy that gave me a reason.

On visits home to New Zealand I would spend hours at the beach with my Digital SLR and an old viewfinder Argus trying to perfect the unperfected look of a TTV image. This would require digitally shooting down the old viewfinder through a homemade paper funnel as such to block out any light. I would use this effect at home also - using the natural light of my Maida Vale apartment to capture the vintage effect of the kitchen or a vase of flowers - with scratches and dust all adding to the effect (once my worst nightmare).

Sometime Ago
Without use of the studio, natural light soon became my friend and a room with white walls and big bright windows that would bring a sea of warmth and clarity to my photography would be my home. I would take photos morning, noon and late afternoon in search of the best light. Being able to instantly see the image with digital cameras was fantastic and led to a whole new level of experimentation to then achieve an effortless look. Photoshop was now my new dark room. I like to think some of the effects I learnt in the darkroom have influenced my later work. I like to enhance an image in photoshop but are aware of possibly taking it too far. I like to stay true to the original image. That said I do enjoy playing with papers and textures and again colours and grain to offer a vintage feel. 

Peony Pink
As seen on the book cover for Random House novel 'Other Words for Love'. 
I am now living back in New Zealand and have taken my love of the beach and rugged landscapes further. Setting up studio at home and whiling away the afternoon with my 6D and a 50mm f/1.8 lens to let in light, with small focus. Vintage toys a few peony stems or roses. Light and their new camera technology is something I have come across recently and is very clever and exciting. I feel taking photographic technology that one step further in ultimately achieving amazing imagery with convenience and ease.  I can't wait to start a whole new journey with what is to come. 

Be Free
Peony No. 3


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