One of my all time favourite photographers was actually a gardner, Charles Jones, who worked on many estates including Ote Hall, in Sussex. He received recognition for his gardening talents in the Garden Chronicle of 1905, but his photographic talents remained undiscovered for another seventy five years. When historian and photographic collector, Sean Sexton, found a trunk full of prints in Bermondsey Antiques Market in 1981 Charles Jones was lifted from photographic obscurity. These photographs consist mainly of vegetables, but also fruit and flowers. Charles Jones was a meticulous photographer both in the initial photography and the final print process which were Gold Toned Gelatine Prints from Glass Negatives. We, todays photographers, would do well to take note of his working practices, slow down and think the shot through and not take hundreds of shots of basically of the same thing, film in those days was precious. The lasting beauty of his photographs are reflected in the subtlety of his arrangements, lighting and focus and can be compared to work from Felix Nadar and Etienne Carjat. But also he predicted the styles of later modernist photographers like August Kotzsch, Josef Sudek and of course the great Edward Weston. Appended below is my homage to the man and his inimitable style. Now where is my 5×4!
Working on a new food photography project for a client at the moment so decided to get organised, made up shoot list, got ingredients and found locations for the shots that required a background. The client said he would bring the cutlery and plates etc. Once we started it soon became obvious ( to the client and myself) that the goods he had provided where simply far to “New”.
What we needed was that photographic cliché ……..”battered props”
Believe me I see nothing wrong with clichés, take a look at the shot below and imagine this being shot on a hygienic nylon cutting board, brand new spoon and gleaming grater, photographically horrid. So the shoot was delayed for another day and I brought along my “battered, scrubbed and loved” props which I have collected over the years. This has made me realise that there is very little in life that I don’t prefer a bit “battered and worn” including cameras, jeans, cutlery,tools etc, you name it all the better for some use and a patina that comes with loving that item.
I have decided that my studio needs to be cleared of some of its contents and, in this now wholly digital age, the decision has been made to archive all of my “Analogue” library of images. There are shelf after shelf of transparencies and negatives to sort through. For a fact I know that I have not looked at the majority of them for many years, and will certainly never want, or need to look at them ever again. SO WHY IS THIS SO DIFFICULT? …………………………………………………. There are shoots whose location is now long forgotten, pictures of people I don’t remember and studio shots taken in studios long gone. I have to make way for todays medium in the studio and although I do not really need a single one of these “Analogue” images I am struggling to understand why this endeavour is becoming so emotionally charged and difficult to action. I even find myself becoming a little weepy…………………… Photography can be a powerful influence on the human soul…
“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there”
L.P.HARTLEY- The Go Between.
With our state of the art, self contained, battery powered studio lighting and a large range of technical accessories such as ring flash and fibre optics we are able to visit your premises (or any other location) where you require your products, building, machinery or staff members to be photographed. In the case of staff photography, carrying out this task on-site causes minimum disruption and downtime to your business.
“In a world where technology allows us to be anywhere, then what does it mean to be somewhere?”
Those powerful words are what draws on my inspiration when out on a commission. I feel my job as an Architectural Photographer is to define the meaning of somewhere. When going about translating architecture for the viewer I look for what the architect is saying with his designs, in the same way a person would observe a painting to find the artists intent.It is that idea which should be portrayed in the photographs, in doing so I look for the following key elements: Details, Context, Light, Environment, Time, Elements, Season and Materials.