An interview with De|Terrain

UPROOTED features six female artists from different cultural backgrounds working with a distinctly diverse approach: photography, installation pieces and works on paper. The unexpected fusion of each artist’s practice leads to a metaphorical understanding of the concept uprooted. The exhibition celebrated the not-yet possibilities when something or someone is rooted out from its familiar locations.

Private view: 29th May 2019, 6-9pm

Dates: 30 May - 2 June, 12-6pm

Location: Arts Hub Gallery. 509 Creekside, Deptford, London SE8 4SA


Tell us about De|Terrain and Uprooted.an.exhibition? Who does the group show consist of and have you all studied photography? We are an evolving group of six female artists from different cultural backgrounds, where photography is at the core of what we do. The Uprooted exhibition will consist of a diverse approach including, photography, installation pieces and works on paper. We all studied MA Photography at University of the Arts London in 17/18. 

Image by  Clare Hoddinott

Who or what motivates members to continue making new work?  Our practice is research driven, so this sparks ideas and experimentation. We support one another to activate momentum to try things out and create a safe space to celebrate our achievements and our failures. 

How did De|Terrain and Uprooted.an.exhibition come to the surface? What were the initial ideas and inspirations? We wanted to create a group of women to support one another in the next phase of our artistic journeys post studying a Masters. We wanted our work to be seen beyond the UAL network, to create and curate something that we had full control over and to try things we weren't able to do within an educational institution. We were inspired by the common threads running through our works and wanted to build a show around the unexpected fusion of each other’s practice which leads to the metaphorical understanding of the concept uprooted

What is the group’s biggest achievement to date? This is our first exhibition together. Watch this space… 

Individually, we are busy exhibiting elsewhere including, Photo London, Arles in France, Thomassen Gallery in Sweden and The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle. 

Image by  Nazanin Raissi

What's the main goal for Uprooted.an.exhibition? The exhibition celebrates the not-yet possibilities when something or someone is rooted out from it’s familiar location. We hope that each person that comes to the show will find something that resonates with them when thinking about the concept behind uprooted

Image by  Laura Blight

Image by Laura Blight

How can photographers get involved in what you do?  Anyone is welcome to come along to the private view on 29th May between 6.00-9.00pm and the exhibition will remain open till the 2nd June, so do come along and say hi. The majority of the artists should be around most days too. Otherwise you can e-mail us info.uprooted@gmail.com or follow us on Instagram @uprooted.an.exhibition to get in touch. 

Image by SandraF

Image by SandraF

Give one tip to new photography graduates. Perseverance. Things can take time. Our show has been 6 months in the making due to a few hiccups and hurdles, particularly in finding a suitable, affordable and available space in London. 

What does the future have in store for the group? We want to progress and expand our individual practices, collaborate with other artists and engage with the local community in practical ways.

Introducing Darkroom

darkroom is a fantastic new facility in Camden Town in north London where you can work comfortably to produce high quality photographic prints.

 
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With a range of enlargers that will satisfy most photographers’ needs, ranging from easy to use Kaiser 35mm/120 enlargers to a range of De Vere and LPLs capable of handling everything from 35mm to 5 x 4.

Initially, you will need to attend a short Induction session with an experienced technician, to ensure you understand how all the equipment works and what standard operating practices are.

Once inducted, as a member you can book an enlarger for a session of independent printing. darkroom provides all essential chemicals (developer, stop, fix, etc.), so all you need to bring is your own paper. darkroom even provides a processing service for films received at least 48 hours in advance.

No previous darkroom experience? Don't worry, darkroom offers workshops to get you started, or if you've mastered the basics there will be more advanced courses too. Head over to Courses and Workshops to find out more and book your first workshop.


Here we have an interview with one of darkroom’s directors, Phil Grey.

Run by a small group of photographers and enthusiasts, based in Camden Town, this fully equipped darkroom offers a co-working space to artists and photographers working with film based photography, as well teaching those keen to learn. The space offers membership, introductory and intermediate workshops, and aims to sustain a film based photographic community. 

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So, starting from the beginning, what motivated you to start darkroom? Well, we’re all film-based photography enthusiasts and felt that there was a need for a co-working space that supports other film-based photographers. Sadly, a lot of darkrooms are closing down, so we inherited a lot of our equipment as we couldn’t bear to see it all thrown away. A number of photographers have also very generously donated equipment they no longer use. 

We’re really keen to support the revival of interest in film based processes that has arisen over the last few years. As well as our membership, and co-working facilities, we offer workshops enabling darkroom access to people who may never have experienced the magic of one before. 

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Why do you think analogue photography is still so relevant today? I think younger photographers, who have always worked digitally, appreciate working away from screens, and slowing down their photographic process. I think there’s an increasing number of creatives who enjoy the discipline of working with film, and the therapeutic experience of spending time in a darkroom. There are also older photographers who are welcoming the opportunity to get back into the darkroom, and have that experience they had when they were younger. Few people nowadays have the equipment (or space to house it), to enable them to have a darkroom at home. 

The  darkroom  team with Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery

The darkroom team with Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery

People who come in to use our space are constantly saying how enjoyable it is to slow down and spend time with a tactile process. They also love doing it in the company of others. It’s become a place to meet people, a place to share ideas, see other people’s work - some members are collaborating together on new projects.

Who is darkroom for? Everyone! Well, everyone who loves, or wants to learn more about, photography and film based processes. It’s for people who want to continue working with film, processing film, developing prints, learning about the processes. We run workshops for new comers and people who want to improve existing skills, as well as offering facilities for those who want to get on with their own work.

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How can those interested, get involved? You can find details of our membership offers and workshops on www.darkroomlondon.org or follow us on Instagram and Twitter. We offer a 20% discount for students and recent graduates!


darkroom membership details

As a user of darkroom you can choose the membership that suits you best. Members are at the heart of the darkroom community. We have different membership schemes to meet different needs, as well as our new gift memberships for your analogue enthused loved ones. 

Resin Coated £60 - Our entry level membership for occasional users. This membership enables you to book your darkroom sessions.

Silver Bromide £250 - For those of you who imagine developing your relationship with us. In addition to your induction, you get four free long or seven short sessions, plus 10% discount on workshops and darkroom sessions.

Platinum £500 - For the safe light junkie. Free induction and one free long session per month, plus 10% discount on workshops, darkroom sessions and bookings at our partner studio 2 Iliffe Yard.

Our friends at Process Supplies are offering all darkroom members an additional 5% discount on their already very competitive prices.

Once you buy annual membership and have taken our mandatory Induction (£20 for Resin Coated members) you can use our online booking to reserve darkroom sessions.

Session Prices

Weekday Long Sessions  £45

Weekday Short Sessions  £30

Weekend Long Sessions  £55

Weekend Short Sessions  £35 

Bulk buy sessions in advance and get one free. Six-pack Weekday £225. Six-pack Weekend £285

Exclusive weekday darkroom use once a month from £80.

One-to-one guided sessions with an experienced tutor from £150

Student Discount: We offer a 20% discount to students on Memberships, and 10% on Workshops and Access Sessions.

 
 

The results are in! A brand new Brexit themed zine from Photograd.

For the last few weeks we have been working alongside our supporters to create a final list of who will feature in our next zine. It's been a tricky but exciting process and we are really pleased to present here our final selection!

Zine photographers

Bridie Lewis
Kat Dlugosz
Lorenza Demata
Luke Archer
Tory Ho
Deividas Buivydas
Jordan Turnbull
Jakub Junek
Matt MacPake
Tony Fitzsimmons
Rebecca Sperini
Norman Behrendt
Sam Burton
Steven Holmes

Website interviews

Luke Archer
Ben Milne
Matt MacPake
Jared Krauss
Jordan Turnbull
Jennifer Atchenson
Rob Townsend
Michaela Harcegova
Yves Salmon
Alex Jones
Nicholas Priest
Chris Mear

A big thank you to all those who submitted work and continue to support Photograd, this zine is an exciting one. A big thank you also to all those who have helped us select work and interview photographers for this zine and website content; Tom Coleman, Chloe Juno, Pagy Wicks, Joanne Coates, Alex Hewitt and Paula Jérémie, Jasmine Farram and Olivia Newstead, Alex Ingram, Genea Bailey and Daisy Ware-Jarrett, Brendan Barry, and Hanna-Katrina Jedrosz.


Here are a few images from some of those photographers who have been selected.

Image from the series  Yer Not In The North Now Ya Know  by  Bridie Lewis

Image from the series Yer Not In The North Now Ya Know by Bridie Lewis

Image from the series  Whisper City Bones  by  Matt MacPake

Image from the series Whisper City Bones by Matt MacPake

Image from the series  Flight  by  Deividas Buivydas

Image from the series Flight by Deividas Buivydas

Image from the series  Fisher  by  Tony Fitzsimmons

Image from the series Fisher by Tony Fitzsimmons

We don't currently have a launch date for the zine but if you'd like early access to purchase a copy with a discount code please let us know and we will keep you posted.

Introducing The South West Collective of Photography

In this blog post we introduce you to The South West Collective of Photography, a company dedicated to promoting photography and art as a medium in the South West of England. Run by Plymouth University’s recent BA Photography Graduate Samuel Fradley.


Who are you, what's your motto? My name is Samuel Fradley and my motto is to make a positive change within this world.

What’s your background? Have you studied photography? For the last 6 years my life has pretty much revolved around some sort of education whether that be from A levels all the way to university; it always involved photography. I studied a BA in Photography at the University of Plymouth and graduated with a first-class honours degree last year.

Image from the series  A Handshake with a Martian  by  Samuel Fradley

Image from the series A Handshake with a Martian by Samuel Fradley

What's your favourite style of photography? I am a big fan of documentary photography, particularly works which are approached as a photographic study. The idea that the photograph freezeframes that moment in time and keeps a record of that story fascinates me. 

Who or what motivates you? I have always been motivated to be my own boss. I suppose I have always had this feeling of rebellion or resentment to those who control or have power to control what I do in my days; I have always wanted to follow my own goals and dreams and through photography I can explore that. I suppose that’s natural as an artist, as you create work within your own perspective. In the last few years I have been really motivated to make a positive change in the photography world. Too many young artists go through education thinking there are little opportunities and it is my absolute goal to change this. 

Image from the series  A Handshake with a Martian  by  Samuel Fradley

Image from the series A Handshake with a Martian by Samuel Fradley

Can you tell us what The South West Collective of Photography is? The South West Collective of Photography is a company dedicated to the promotion of photography and art in the South West. Founded by myself in July 2018 the Collective aims to one day have a permanent gallery or space for artists to work, exhibit and explore their artistic interests. The Collective is a business, but heavily interacts within our local community and voices its opinion on a wide variety of topics that relate to our interests. 

Primarily an online platform, we feature the work of emerging photographer’s and graduates over a variety of social platforms as well as on our own website. This will develop into so much more in the future. 

Image from the series  A Handshake with a Martian  by  Samuel Fradley

Image from the series A Handshake with a Martian by Samuel Fradley

Tell us about the team behind The South West Collective of Photography. Currently, The South West Collective is just myself; Samuel Fradley. In business terms it is just me, but in artist terms that will soon change.

The Collective was always meant to be more than just me; therefore, I am pleased to announce that starting from May, the Collective will begin to announce new members to the Collective family, with our first artist being Ella Cousins. Ella is a recent graduate from Southampton Solent University and will be a fantastic part of the team. Her inspiration, motivation and kind heart is something that is desperately needed in this industry and I am certain she will play her part in inspiring female artists all across the country.

More artists will be announced in time, but I am delighted to say that there will be a strong female presence on the collective, representing and inspiring female artists across the country and further afield with Ella taking a lead on this. 

Image from the series  River  by  Ella Cousins

Image from the series River by Ella Cousins

What were your initial aims and inspirations when putting ideas together for the collective? Honestly when I started the Collective I didn’t have a plan. I’m not really one for long term planning, I have kind of got through life doing everything last minute and it has ironically worked. I knew that I wanted to start an organisation in the South West that represented photography. The primary reasons for this was that the South West has little to no infrastructure for photography. The majority of exhibitions, galleries and institutions are in Bristol or London, but for the thousands of fantastic artists here in the West Country, we have quite literally have nothing. The goals are to change that. I don’t actually pay myself at all from the Collective because I want it to grow. Although in the future I want this to be my living, for now I have to nurture it. 

What is The South West Collective of Photography's biggest achievement to date? Appearing out of nowhere and growing it into a photography platform for artists across the United Kingdom. I have been so privileged and honoured to feature a wide variety of photographers, both students and graduates on the Collective who are so immensely talented, it has just been a fantastic experience hearing people’s stories and watching their work develop. Meeting new people has to be a highlight too, I have encountered so many genuinely lovely people it makes this all worth it.

Image from the series  River  by  Ella Cousins

Image from the series River by Ella Cousins

How can photographers get involved in what you do? At this moment in time, all you have to do is reach out to me via email, Instagram or Facebook. I am more than happy to chat to artists and give advice or discuss featuring them on the Collective. As this Collective grows more opportunities will come about, but for the time being that is the only way to get involved. I am ALWAYS open to new ideas, improvements etc. 

Give one tip to new photography graduates. Ignore what everybody else is doing. Make the work you want to make in the style you want to make it. At the end of the day if somebody doesn’t like your work it’s only an opinion. Don’t fret, figure out what’s right for you and don’t fall into trends or patterns just because something is popular.

Tell us about your goals for The South West Collective of Photography for the future. My goals are to keep on going, to make this my own living and to get out of my part time job. Obviously like mentioned before, the long-term goals are to have our own space, but until that day comes, it’s just a case of going day by day and taking every opportunity that I can to grow The South West Collective. We will be seeking to hold exhibitions, run workshops and artist talks too, to get the public to interact with photography and to inspire the next generation.

Image from the series  River  by  Ella Cousins

Image from the series River by Ella Cousins

What does 2019 have in store for The South West Collective of Photography? 2019 is a huge year for us as it will be our first full year since it was founded. In May we will be hosting our inaugural exhibition. The South West Collective of Photography have been offered the fantastic opportunity to turn a disused, empty shop space on Torquay High street at Fleet walk, into a fully operational public photography exhibition for a duration of 6 weeks beginning in early May 2019. This will be a first in Torbay with regards to photography and will hopefully be the start of something fantastic within the local community and aims to engage with a wide variety of demographics. 

The exhibitions theme is “Visual Story Telling” and will be focusing on local artists and artists from further afield, who have created gripping and engaging photographic bodies of work presenting to the public issues and stories that they may not have ever heard of. We want the exhibition to have as much community engagement as possible and will seek to be holding workshops, talks and visits from local schools, as well as working with local businesses and organisations to try and get the public engaged with photography as a medium and our exhibition. We are hoping to run a series of events and talks from historians and lecturers which will educate students and the public on the selected works themes, in order to educate them on the bigger picture that they otherwise might not be aware of. 

Not only this; we will soon be releasing our brand new website which will have a ton of new content so stay tuned for that!

Introducing FORM

In this blog post we introduce you to FORM, a lens based collective who create and communicate on issues concerning altered identity. FORM are currently calling for work for an exhibition in Derby. FORM Fringe will coincide with FORMAT International Photography Festival 2019 which will consist of a series of exhibitions, events, and a photobook stall. Click here to find out how to submit. Deadline Sunday 24th February 10am and entry is free.


What is FORM? FORM is a collective of artists based across the UK who all work with photography. Our specialisms range from graphic design, creative writing, artist book making, event planning, product photography, socially engaged practice and teaching. Our core aim is to support the production of new projects by sharing skills, collaborating and creating a community of artists.

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Tell us about the members of FORM. Have you all studied photography? FORM is made up of Becky, Cath, Jo, June, Liz and Rachael. Becky and June both studied Photography at MA level, at London College of Communication and Westminster respectively. Jo also studied at LCC for her BA in Photography, and Rachael also studied BA Photography but at Manchester School of Art. Liz studied her BA in Brighton, which allowed her to produce image and text for her dissertation and Cath studied on a Creative Arts degree and now teaches Photography A Level.

Who or what motivates members to continue making new work? We all motivate each other, that’s one of the huge benefits of working as a collective. Photography can be very solitary, and even though we all produce work at different rates we all benefit from feedback from the rest of the group and having a deadline.

How did FORM come to the surface? We were established in response to Redeye, the Photography Network’s ‘Lightbox’ program; a creative development course where photographers are grouped into collectives and supported through talks, workshops and provided a mentor. FORM were matched with Nicola Shipley of Grain Photography Hub and since the program ended have continued to work together and with Nicola to make new work.

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What is the collectives biggest achievement to date? Our first exhibition together at Brighton Photo Fringe is the biggest project we’ve worked on to date. All of the members developed new projects responding to the title of ‘Form’ while organising the fundraising, curation and promotion of the exhibition. We were based in the Collectives Hub alongside some brilliant fellow collectives and projects and received some great feedback on the show.

Tell us about the conversations you produce for your website. What's your aim for them? The conversations started initially to informally introduce the members and give us all the opportunity to know each other better, but that format suits us perfectly because it represents how we want to work as a collective.

How can photographers get involved in what you do? If you like what we do please follow us on Instagram! FORM is currently looking to work with other photographers as part of the fringe at FORMAT International Photography Festival, details of this can be found on www.formcollective.co.uk.

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Give one tip to new photography graduates. Work with other creatives! Find people who you can work with to motivate each other, get honest feedback and collaborate with. Even if they aren’t a photographer, having someone to push you to keep making work and applying for opportunities is invaluable.

What does 2019 have in store for FORM? We have recently received Arts Council funding to produce work and exhibit in a fringe alongside the FORMAT International Photography Festival. We are all continuing to develop new work for more FORM exhibitions and events, and we want to meet and work with new people. We are also very excited about the launch of Landform, a platform for female landscape photographers run by Cath. Landform will be having their first events in 2019, and there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved in photo walks and socials this year.




Introducing Landform

In this blog post we introduce you to Landform, a network developed to promote and support the work of female landscape photographers. Supporting each other in practice and engagement with landscape.


Image by Lisa Bond

Image by Lisa Bond

Who are you, what’s your motto? I am Cath Stanley, a landscape and fine art photographer based in Manchester.  I am one of the members of FORM Collective, a relatively new collective who has just completed a successful first year.

What’s your background? Have you studied photography? I graduated with a creative arts degree and have taught graphics and photography in further education for the last 17 years. Having taught in an art department you become quite familiar with many creative techniques, my last project took on a more mixed media style.

I am part of FORM collective, a group of talented photographers and image makers from across the UK.  Last year we put together our first exhibition at the collective hub as part of Brighton Photo Fringe.  

Image by Cath Stanley

Image by Cath Stanley

What’s your favourite style of photography? That is a difficult question, I actually like and appreciate a lot of different styles of photography. Although my main work is based in the area of landscape, I often find great interest in alternative photography techniques, I like the aesthetic of film and some of the camera-less methods. I like photography with an interesting story behind it, something that opens conversations or raises questions, expresses a point of view or just simply engages the audience in different ways.  

Who motivates you? I love travel and adventure, I like exploring and different types of landscape really motivate me. I have always been a bit of a daydreamer and spent quite a bit of my early education staring out of the window at the outdoors. The idea of just being able to lose yourself amongst mist shrouded mountains, or explore wild moors, see sun rays beaming through clouds or capture forests of tightly knit trees, it is the landscape itself gives me a real sense of wellbeing. Sometimes I return to locations and document the change in seasonal colours as this particularly interests me.

Image by Joanne Coates

Image by Joanne Coates

Can you tell us what Landform is? I set up Landform as a network to develop, promote and support the work of female photographers who are interested in landscape. Through social media, meet ups at various locations around the UK, photo walks, portfolio/work reviews, workshops and possible exhibitions it is my aim to support others in our practice and engagement with landscape.

Landform aims to bring female photographers together, of all levels and abilities, to encourage a supportive group, to share good practice and skills, whilst exploring new areas within the landscape as a group. 

What were your initial aims and inspirations when putting ideas together for Landform? There are lots of reasons to why I set up Landform, firstly landscape photography can be quite solitary and some of the best light to capture during the day is tricky especially if you live in a city. Having a community, a group of like-minded individuals to support and share good practice with means we can explore and engage new locations safely.  

There is also a real imbalance of female photographers to males in industry, with just under 30%, maybe even less in landscape. As a female landscape photographer, full time teacher and a mum it is very hard to gain a balance, to juggle all the responsibilities to just be able to drop everything and go out to take photographs. Most importantly that no matter what your photographic ability is or whether using a mobile phone, I would like Landform to be open to all.

Image by Lisa Bond

Image by Lisa Bond

What is Landforms biggest achievement to date? Landform is very much within its infancy, but I have had overwhelming support from both other photography networks and groups of people who are interested in supporting or joining me at events. I am a big fan of using social media to share other peoples accounts and promote work, I think that sometimes as photography can be quite isolated and using social media can be for some quite daunting it is difficult to become lost, especially as landscape photography is so popular. I have received so many positive and heart-warming messages from followers who are genuinely surprised that I have shared their accounts. 

Image by Joanne Coates

Image by Joanne Coates

How can photographers get involved in what you do? Landform on Instagram offers a place for female landscape photographers or image makers of any level to share their images, it is a platform to promote their work and a space that is a supportive community for other like-minded individuals.   

Later this year I am running a series of social meet ups and photo walks out in the Peak District and other locations, building our community and enabling individuals to meet, share good practice, create new opportunities 

Image by Cath Stanley

Image by Cath Stanley

Give one tip to new photography graduates? Opportunities, take opportunities and then create opportunities for others because everyone needs a bit of help just to grow and to believe in themselves.

What does 2019 have in store for Landform? As Landform is still in its very early stages I am hoping to establish a community and the support for others grows both on social media and on photo walks.

Introducing Fable & Folk

There seems to be a running theme in our recent blog posts here at Photograd as we introduce you to some other online communities and networks.
In this blog post we introduce you to Fable & Folk, an independent platform created to embrace and share the tradition of visual storytelling to inform, educate and inspire.

We think Charlotte’s answers are really inspiring so we hope you enjoy a read through them.

If you have something to share or talk about on the blog, get in touch!

Kate Walker,  A Day Away From the Farm , 2018

Kate Walker, A Day Away From the Farm, 2018

Who are you, what's your motto? My name is Charlotte and I’m a recent photography graduate. I wouldn’t say I have a motto, but one of my favourite quotes is “comparison is the thief of joy”. I think this applies so much within the photographic community - I spent years looking at other people’s work and thinking it was so much better than my own. Once I learnt to value my own work and not compare myself to others, I produced my best photography to date.

What’s your background? Have you studied photography? I was born in Manchester but grew up in a small village in North Lincolnshire. I started studying photography at A Level then moved to Cheltenham to study Editorial & Advertising Photography at The University of Gloucestershire. I graduated in November and recently got a job as a Content Creation Manager at an independent company specialising in homeware and DIY products. I plan on travelling in a couple of years time and would like to start my own photobook business in the future.

Charlotte Colenutt,  Soul Mate , 2018

Charlotte Colenutt, Soul Mate, 2018

What's your favourite style of photography? I wouldn’t say I have a favourite genre of photography, I love and appreciate photographs that tell a story or photographs that have thought and craftsmanship behind them. My specialisation, however, is documentary photography because I love to talk to people. I love to dedicate time to speaking to someone, finding out their story and trying to capture that. Moreover, I love finding out the story behind an interesting place and trying to document every inch of it to best tell it’s story to others.

Who or what motivates you? I have been passionate about photography for years now. I guess what motivates me to photograph is I feel a need to tell people’s stories and share them. I feel motivated by what’s going on in the world and by finding stories I haven’t seen/heard told before. I also surround myself with other photography - photobooks, magazines, social media accounts, organisations and blogs - to inspire me and keep me constantly thinking of new ideas.

Can you tell us what Fable & Folk is? Fable & Folk is an online platform created to embrace and share the tradition of visual storytelling to inform, educate and inspire others. Directed at young or aspiring photographers, it’s a space I curate and share narratives and photo-stories. I want to develop Fable & Folk into more than just a blog sharing others work but an online hub - full of information from fellow budding photographers and the professionals whilst keeping my audience updated with current affairs in the photographic world.

Gweniver Exton,  Spiritual Spaces , 2018

Gweniver Exton, Spiritual Spaces, 2018

Tell us about the team behind Fable & Folk. There isn’t really a team at Fable & Folk, it’s mostly just me. I tend to be involved in every step of the process from recruiting a photographer to feature to the end blog post and sharing that on social media. I don’t feel I would be 100% truthful though if I said I did everything. Sometimes, my partner Adam Elliott and a few great friends from university, particularly Megan Bendall, are a great assistance in helping me find new and exciting work. It’s difficult running the operation mostly on my own but I consider it my baby and even if I had a full team of amazing staff, I’d still want to be involved in everything.

What were your initial aims and inspirations when putting ideas together for Fable & Folk? Fable & Folk started when I was studying at university and couldn’t decide what I wanted to do for a career - all I knew was that I love photobooks. I love designing them, constructing them and collecting them. Eventually my tutor Grant Scott and I decided the best way for me to pursue a career in photobooks would be for me to start my own publishing company. To build an audience, you first need to create a blog that naturally attracts an audience that will eventually move from the blog, to your company. I can’t thank Grant and my university peers enough for their support of Fable & Folk and if you haven’t already, I recommend listing to Grant’s podcast series ‘A Photographic Life’.

Jordan Turnbull,  A Rock and a Hard Place , 2018

Jordan Turnbull, A Rock and a Hard Place, 2018

What is Fable & Folk's biggest achievement to date? I’ve never been one to keep track of numbers or views. I know it sounds cheesy but I would say my biggest achievement is having had the chance to be in contact with so many fantastic photographers and to have built a hub of Fable & Folk support on Twitter. I feel so proud of where Fable & Folk is, who our biggest supporters are and most importantly, the list of photographers I get to consider friends and mentors.

How can photographers get involved in what you do? We always love being contacted by photographers! If you’re interested in submitting to Fable & Folk, visit our ‘Contact’ page for more details. We don’t have specifics on what the series should necessarily be or look like, we only ask you send us a strong narrative. THAT’S IT. That’s not to say we accept all work but we always want to offer something - whether it’s a feature on the blog or advice on how to develop the work to eventually get it featured. We also love getting constructive criticism and positive feedback from our audience on F&F so please feel free to message us or drop us an email.

Adam Elliott,  For ours you see, was Welsh steam coal , 2018

Adam Elliott, For ours you see, was Welsh steam coal, 2018

Give one tip to new photography graduates. If I could give one tip to new photography graduates I would stress the importance of networking - whether it’s through social media or attending events, it’s vital to make contact with other photographers. Networking so much during my course has meant that since leaving university, and trying to grow Fable & Folk, I have had endless support and mentorship from so many different photographers and influencers within the community - special thanks to Iain Sarjeant for giving me heaps of advice when the blog first started and to Chloe Juno for motivating me and offering so much help. In addition, I think it’s even more helpful if you’re struggling mentally, feeling overwhelmed or lost, to talk to someone in the same boat so don’t be afraid to reach out!

What does 2019 have in store for Fable & Folk? I don’t want to give too much away but I’m hoping 2019 will be a game changer for Fable & Folk. I really want to get more interviews on the blog and I’d like to try and get a new feature on the site where I share exhibitions, events and workshops for people to attend. I’d also potentially like to rebrand - new website, new logo - so the brand evolves with the work and the audience. I hope we can really develop into a fully realised online platform featuring lots of different important yet inspirational content for budding photographers/ photography enthusiasts.

Introducing Flourish

In this blog post we introduce you to Flourish, a magazine all about thriving in a particular place, community, culture and flourishing in the outdoors. Flourish are currently seeking support through their Kickstarter campaign to bring their second issue to life which will be all about the British Isles. Check out their great rewards here - we’ve pre-ordered ourselves a copy!


Volume 1 of Flourish

Volume 1 of Flourish

My name is Lucy Jane Saunders and I am a Bath Spa University Photography graduate. I started photography years before going to university as a hobby, inspired by the disposable film camera images my dad would bring home and develop after his travels abroad. I never anticipated it could become my job, yet it slowly immersed me into the world of photography and its potentials. At university my style narrowed and I found my preferred way of working. Photographers such as Jon Tonks, Colin Pantell and Robert Darch inspired my documentary approach to photographing. Yet being outdoors, travelling, and finding new locations really motivated me to keep making new work. 

After graduating two years ago I started freelancing alongside setting up the magazine publication ‘Flourish’. I have always adored working within print production and love magazine design. I initially created it out of pure passion, the desire to create new work, and design pages where photographs and text interacted on the page telling stories. But once the first volume was made I almost felt selfish keeping it to myself… the stories I had encountered travelling, the archive of photographs I had collected and the other people I collaborated with. I decided to launch a Kickstarter Campaign to see if other creatives would be interested in supporting the publication to get the magazine to print. To my surprise we achieved our target! People from all over the world backed the campaign and three months later we had enough funding to get the magazine to the printers. I sat in the post office for hours posting a host of magazines to backers and from there I tried to gain stockists to hold the rest.

Flourish became a brand rooted from its definition: “(of a living organism) grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly congenial environment.” As humans we are constantly seeking new, intriguing, and stimulating locations to explore, travel, and experience. Flourish aims to capture those moments we treasure; the bright colours, the tastes we remember, and most importantly the time spent thriving within that place. 

I wanted to capture not only the sensual elements of a location, but also its underlying struggles, and those who have met and overcome the challenges of sustainability. Those who live from the land, create from the land, and are protecting and flourishing with the nature that surrounds them.  

In recent years, photographic magazines have been blurring the lines between books and throwaway publications. Flourish is a magazine with stability, acting as a visual map for your mind, a great piece of reading material for your rucksack, and some inspiration to enjoy with your morning coffee. 

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Flourish will remind you that life is an experience, to capture those moments from other lives you cross paths with, to think more about what surrounds us in the landscapes you gaze at, and to speculate more on your next adventure.

Over the past year Flourish has thrived and I started to stock the publication in more and more independent stores. Due to the unexpected work I had to start bringing people on board and the Flourish team started to grow. My amazing supportive family started to help me get a website together, social media sites, help package, proof read and blog. It almost became a full time job for myself. 

My biggest achievement for the publication so far was definitely an unexpected win at the Creative Bath Awards in the summer of 2018. Winning Young Creative was an outstanding achievement for myself and for the magazine team. As we went from strength to strength I found the need to make more work and I was conscious people would be expecting a second volume. Depleted of money with the print of volume 1 and the lack of freelance work I could do, I find myself back in the same position as I was in with volume 1…. It’s never easy setting up a business and the profit from print is minimal, at least for the first couple of volumes. I have set up another Kickstarter to support volume 2 titled A Snippet of The British Isles where we collaborate with more photographers, writers and illustrators than we did previously in volume 1. 

Our Kickstarter Campaign is now in its last 30 days, so we are currently half way through. We are really close to making our target to get the publication to print and we would love the support of fellow photographers, creatives, and others who are passionate about the subject of Travel, Culture, Sustainability and Outdoor Living. Our campaign acts as a pre-ordering service…. where you can pre-order volume 2 A Snippet of The British Isles but also the possibility of gaining other rewards such a one off prints, illustrations and getting your name within the volume. 

If you would be interested in supporting the publication please visit our page here.

I am always on the look out for new photographers to feature within the publication. I love collaborating and love working with other graduates and fresh graduates as I was once in this position myself. I am always on the look out for something unique… someone who can create innovate stories through their pictures and who are enthusiastic about their work! 

Introducing Fiiiirst

In this blog post we introduce you to Fiiiirst, an online gallery showcasing anonymous discussions between authors photographers. Every month, two photographers are invited to interact through an image-based discussion. To keep this dialog without a pre-formated vision, the identities of each author are kept secret until the end of their respective discussion. Each picture produced is used as an inspiration to create the next one.


Who are you, what's your motto? I’m Guillaume Tomasi, a french-canadian photographer based in Montreal. 

What’s your background? Before doing photography I was a creative developer in several design studios in Geneva and in Montreal. During that time, I was addicted to creating beautiful websites with complex animations and visual effects. When I moved from France to Canada, I discovered a new city and at the same time I wanted to capture this new place with a digital camera. Slowly, photography became an obsession and in 2016 I decided to leave my job, and dedicated my time to photography.

Thomas Bouquin , Montreal

Thomas Bouquin, Montreal

Have you studied photography?  When I left my job I decided to start a BFA in Photography at Concordia University in Montreal. I discovered analog photography; how to developed negatives and how to print in the darkroom. I wanted to be more coherent when I was working on a photo project: How can I translate a subject into visuals.

It was not easy to return to school with two kids so I studied part-time and I will finally complete my degree in 2020.

What's your favourite style of photography? Its changed over time. At the beginning, I was very interested in black and white street photography - Cartier Bresson, Winogrand, Robert Frank, etc... After that I became strongly attached to colour - Joel Sternfeld, Stephen Shore, Todd Hido, etc…

Now I am more and more interested in communicating something personal who can touch a larger audience, like a universal feeling or situation. And working with something fictional is a new method that I want to implement into my future projects. An imaginary subject that can relate to our lives or society.

Kent Andreasen , Cape Town

Kent Andreasen, Cape Town

Who or what motivates you? Ideas! The moment where a tiny and simple idea becomes something bigger, where everything is possible. It really excites and motivates me.

I noticed that I am very confident at the beginning of a project because I have many pictures in mind. After that, I feel frustrated and disappointed by my results because nothing looks like what I had in mind. Slowly the project becomes something completely different that the initial idea. It's like a short moment of grief everytime.

I find inspiration in classical fields such as literature, cinema and music, but my latest projects are often sentences that I heard from discussion or a mundane situation.   

Sophie Barbasch , New York

Sophie Barbasch, New York

Can you tell us what Fiiiirst is? Sure! Fiiiirst is an online gallery showcasing anonymous discussions between authors photographers. Every month, two photographers are invited to interact through an image-based discussion. The main detail is that the photographers don’t know with whom they discuss until the discussion is completed and published on the website.

They upload their pictures into a private area and send an anonymous email to the other artist. The first artist then creates a picture. The second one receives it and uses it as an inspiration to create another picture. The discussion continues until they reach a certain amount of photographs.

I wanted this experience to be anonymous when they discuss the images so to remove the ego complex or to dictate which style (or photographs) they will then create based on the universe of their penfriend. 

Maela Ohana , Montreal

Maela Ohana, Montreal

What were your initial aims and inspirations when putting ideas together for Fiiiirst? When I discovered photography and started to follow some contemporary photographers, I noticed that they was a small community where everyone knew the name or the works of each others. I became curious in imagining what would be the result if this artist collaborated with another one, and it was a great opportunity to challenge their creative practice by placing them with another artist whose work is very different in aesthetics or themes. 

What is Fiiiirst’s biggest achievement to date? Currently, the 3rd edition is running and I really appreciate the critical response for each discussion. I receive more and more submissions for future editions and it’s very difficult to decide which one will be chosen.

When I started the first edition I had nothing except a concept and now there are 80 photographers from 29 different countries involved.

How can photographers get involved in what you do? If people want to participate they can simply send me their portfolio at guillaume@fiiiirst.com because the recruitment for the 4th edition is open until the end of January!!  They can also follow our Facebook and Instagram page to get the latest discussions and news about Fiiiirst.

Give one tip to new photography graduates. Do your thing without anticipating awards, recognitions etc… Your work will benefit to be outside this stressful and unnecessary circle. Also, don’t tease too much of your work before a publication. Consider the quality instead of the quantity on social media. It will be good in the long term. 

What does 2019 have in store for Fiiiirst? In 2019, I am going to publish the first "Fiiiirst book” which will regroup pictures from the first two editions. It won’t be the same as the website but the pictures will be mixed or edit into a global and hybrid discussion.

I hope to be able to present to you this book in the summer. It’s difficult to say exactly when it’s going to be real, because Fiiiirst is a pro-bono side project which take a lots of time and I it’s just me working on it. I will create a kickstarter campaign in a few days/weeks. 

In June 2019 I am going to launch the 4th edition of Fiiiirst and right now I am very excited when I see the names of some shortlisted photographers.

An interview with Photograd Open 2018 exhibiting photographer Claire McIntyre

Photography students at London Metropolitan University supported in the curation of our very first open exhibition and also selected a number of exhibiting photographers to interview about their work.

Here we have an interview with Claire McIntyre.


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What was the inspiration for the project? This was my very first venture into the documentary world. Leaving the fashion universe behind, I realised that the garments are still a focus of mine. After an arduous breakup, I took to Tinder and started meeting a number of London guys. I was spending a lot of my time discovering the city though these dates, and decided to start shooting. Tinder became my agent. Through the app, I photographed around 30 men. Conversation and psychology are dear to me. As I chatted with these men, I came to realise how sensitive and genuine they became, being in the comfort of their own home. The conditioning society created - the “male” behaviour - dropped, revealing a beautiful and sensitive soul and consciousness, so often repressed. This led me to be extremely inquisitive in regards to capturing this state. I made it my project to photograph this modern masculinity, men in their comfort zone, through the female gaze. As a female photographer, having power of representation over the masculine body in todays’ society which is extremely self-conscious in regards to external approval seeking is also a theme I explore.

How has the course at The Ravensbourne University shaped your practice? I don’t feel that the institution played any specific part in shaping who I am as a photographer, nor has it had any effect on my work. The tutors, however, have been key in my personal and artistic development. Due to the self-directed nature of the course, I do feel that I had the time and space to move around with ease through a range of photographic disciplines, thus allowing me to try a variety of topics and subjects, allowing me to explore and deepen my research and skills.

Who is your main photographic inspiration? As stereotypical as this may sound, Nan Goldin has been, from day one, my original inspiration. Someone I look up to as a person, as well as an artist. Her work and subject matter, as well as her over all aesthetic seduce me overtime. The raw and genuine elements composting her shots are beautiful and admirable. Wolfgang Tillmans is another artist I admire, shedding a golden light on the scene of everyday life. His curation style is one of my favourites as well, bringing life to the static world of a photography exhibition. Mark Neville and Stefan Ruiz are equally major influences in my work. I like the interactive aspect they practice, creating a bond with their subjects. Most recently I’ve been quite keen on Campbell Addy’s imagery, exploring topics of identity and representation.

What do you want to achieve and say with your portraits? I’ve touched on this earlier. I wish to address the notion of the social pressure and conditioning men go through. My question here is: “What is Masculinity?”. Is it gender related in any way? How conscious are we of our actions and reactions? How programmed are we in relation to our gender and in regards to our surroundings? This series depicts an alternative image of the viral male, not conforming to external pressures.

Do you have a favourite image? And why? I am not precious about the final outcome. This was a very personal project, reflecting my state of mind, as well as the phase I was going through. The process and conversation I developed with the subjects was the interesting part.

What camera and lens did you use? Canon 60D Lens 24-70mm (sometimes 50mm).

What are your future plans for self-development? I am currently the in-house photographer and a booker for Ciel Model Management. In February I will be traveling to Cuba to shoot a series and explore the topic of women and femininity. The female realm has always been harder for me to connect with, thus I wish to challenge myself. I am now in the process of applying for grants and artist residencies abroad, quite keen on developing documentary stories and venturing into photojournalism. I would like to carry one doing social work, bringing the notion of art and photography to troubled youth and prisons, working with individuals eager to tell their stories, as well as their versions and views on this concept we all share and call society.

An interview with Photograd Open 2018 exhibiting photographer Natalia Poniatowska

Photography students at London Metropolitan University supported in the curation of our very first open exhibition and also selected a number of exhibiting photographers to interview about their work.

Here we have an interview with Natalia Poniatowska.


From the series  Moments I Never Showed You

From the series Moments I Never Showed You

How would you describe your project and the relationship to the title Moments I Never Showed You? For many years of being a natural picture maker and taking photographs of whatever caught my attention, I’ve noticed that people became a part of the landscape I create. Observing, sitting, relaxing. The images place the figure in surroundings that complement simultaneously two conditions – being and looking. This project focuses on my observations but also raises wider questions about photography as a medium and the act of observation itself. It is an attempt to look at my practice and question my selection of images in which unexpected connections and conversations can occur between images.

The body of work includes an animated scan of 35mm black and white negative. As some images remind me of either smell, sound or movement, I wanted to bring this photograph back to life by moving selected still elements. This project has been shot in several countries, mostly outdoors and shows places I don’t belong to and people I have never got to meet, and as such, it is a departure from previous work that had nostalgia, homesickness and concept of belonging at its heart. This project accepts personal and visual encounters that speak of a connection that is grounded in photographic composition and as such are a pause in the flow of time: fleeting. These images propose questions and allow me to evoke the conditions that occurred during the moment of taking the picture again.

Selecting a title for a project and the book was a real challenge as the project hasn’t started with the idea or research but with a selection of already taken photographs. The research came after. With a title, I could easily add any narrative, but I decided to call it directly of what it really is – Moments I Never Showed You, as it’s a selection of photographs never shown before that didn’t belong to any project or didn’t work as strong as a single image. I like that the title made the book/project more personal and direct to the viewer. My tutors were not really happy with it, but for me, it works because of its simplicity. I was happy when I could throw away an A4 page full of title ideas that were overthinking the subject and I used words of whom I had to google the meaning of. This title is more “me” than what I was trying to achieve with other titles for the project.

What was the inspiration for the project? I don’t know if that’s an inspiration but maybe more like a regret about all single photographs that I’ve taken in the past 6 years that were never included in other projects. I started my selection for the book and exhibition with more than 2000 digital and film photographs. When working on the selection, book layout and exhibition I read a lot about photography and observation. I came back to books like About Looking and Ways of Seeing by John Berger and On Photography by Susan Sontag. I think the main inspiration was my interest in photography itself. In capturing the moment. In December 2017, I attended Joel Meyerowitz’s talk in C/O in Berlin for the opening of his exhibition “Why Colour”. I asked him for the advice for young photographers and he replied with something like: “If you are passionate about it, you’ll be fine.”

While making the project I had a few moments of doubting in photography. I’ve seen many exhibitions where I didn’t feel anything, that didn’t provoke any thoughts or didn’t give me any aesthetic inspirations. That made me wonder – are my works giving some emotions to others? I meet Thomas Joshua Cooper, founder of the photography department at the Glasgow School of Art, when he was leaving his studio and told him about my feelings towards the subject. He replied with a smile: “You need to trust your work”. And for a while, I didn’t understand what trusting the art means, but now I know this feeling and I know it really helps.

I also believe that all those chats, books I read, exhibitions I visited, movies I watched, music I listen to and everything I’ve seen was the inspiration for Moments I Never Showed You.

How has the course at The Glasgow School of Art shaped your practice? It’s been a great 4 years that closed my long journey in photography education – I first started attending photography classes when I was 13 in the youth centre in my hometown – Bytom, Poland. Studying in Glasgow was a great fun and also hard work. I made friends for life and I fell in love with the city. Fine Art Photography course was very individual. If you wanted to take all the best out of it, you could but you could also just spend those 4 years taking photos at the parties and printing on any paper and putting up on the wall with pins. You could do everything without really questioning it but then when degree show comes you can easily fail with all the stress. I was thinking about every step I made and I know I used these 4 years in the best way, not worrying about the degree show.

Having access to such a great facility and my own studio is definitely something I miss since June. I also miss tutorials and crits, ability to talk about the project and also to speak about other’s work. This summer for the first time ever I sent my films to the lab and when I got them, I knew it’s the process I miss the most. If the process of developing and scanning myself is taken away, I could just stick to the digital. I like to have the control and the feeling that I made it since the moment when I put the film in the camera until I printed it.

Who is your main photographic inspiration? I would like to reply saying life is the main inspiration – everything what’s happening around. Every single moment. But if it’s about names of artists, I would name a few that I’m currently spending lots of time looking at their works: Mark Power’s book The Sound of Two Songs, Wojtek Wieteska, Harry Culy, Tacita Dean and Theresa Moerman Ib.

What do you want to achieve and say with your photographs? I think my artist statement describes it the best:

“It is enough that I come from a country that lies east of the west and west of the east” - Sławomir Mrożek.

I am an observer. Through digital and analogue photography, still and moving images, I explore the potential ground that exists between fine art and documentary photography. Drawing inspiration from various conditions of the reality around me, from the great interest in the modern, dynamic art scene but also from my personal experiences, I believe in the power of images to convey the emotions, truths and challenges of modern reality. Having spent the majority of my life away from my motherland, I often return to the theme of homesickness and belonging in my artwork.

My approach to picture making is to present ordinary, non-idealised, never staged reality. Such practice is the formulation of an interest in things as they are. By using only one lens which is the most similar to a human field of view, I am capturing the moments and non-moments that drag my attention. I am a sentimental and nostalgic artist and the camera is the best tool to anchor oneself to memories and emotions that are constantly fleeting.

My work starts with a strong interest in the moment, light or a situation. The process of looking begins before taking a photograph and continues afterwards. Selecting pictures, printing, making connections, framing or setting up an exhibition space, all of it seems connected to the way of seeing. I immerse myself in the medium fully and utterly.

What camera and lens did you use? This is the most common question I get on Instagram and the most annoying one in commercial photography world. “Photos are amazing, you must have a great camera”. Sometimes I say what camera I used, sometimes I say it’s about my sight, not a camera. I’m completely not interested in the technical aspect of photography. I can’t help when friends asked me what camera they should buy as I simply have no idea what’s on the market or what lens would be the best for their needs. I use Nikon F3 and Nikon D800. The digital one for commercial, colour and moving image work, a film for black and white. I mix the film and digital photographs when it comes to exhibitions or books and I usually carry two cameras with me. There’s something in black and white digital photographs that I am not a big fan of and there’s something in a black and white film that I really love. I only use one lens - 50mm 1.8, as it’s the most similar to what we see with our eyes. And the reality is what I like in photography. Presenting reality but in such way that we don’t notice it every day.

What are your future career plans? I’m currently exhibiting work in the Scottish Portrait Awards. In March, I’m showing my work at the New Contemporaries exhibition in the Royal Scottish Academy, for which I’m super excited. This summer after graduation was busy – I started working on two projects – I travelled with my grandma to Ukraine where she was born and has not been back since childhood when her family had to leave due to the war. I know I need more time and conversations with my grandma to finish this project. I would like to go back there during winter. The second work was my residency to Iceland organised by WeTransfer and The Jaunt. I can’t wait to print this work and just put it up on the studio wall. I’m sharing some of it on my Instagram.

I’m supporting myself by working as a wedding and commercial photographer, but ideally, I would love to work for a photography gallery. Well, of course, I would love to be just an artist and pay rent from selling my works, but we all know how it is. There’s a huge gap between emerging artists and established artists who can hire hundreds of assistants. I just wish these two worlds, especially in contemporary photography, could somehow connect and there would be more paid opportunities for graduates. I’m sick of hearing about unpaid interns or even internships that artists have to pay for. Or paid entries for open calls (for example Fotofilmic $50 entry fee). And as I know from the experience there are young artists whose parents would pay for it all. They have a way easier career start. I’m sorry for speaking about money so much when the question is about my plans, but I get a feeling that this subject is neglected, especially in the art schools. We are not told how to make living. And then there’s also this look – how can you be an artist when you shoot birthday parties and use a camera in a commercial way? I disagree and I presented my disagreement with a project called Celebration where all photographs come from events I worked at.   So… coming back to my future plans – I know that photography is what I love and I’m super passionate about. If in the future I can survive as an artist, that’s amazing. But I also would like to do something for contemporary photography – either working in a gallery or teaching. And commercial photography? I also enjoy it. Client satisfaction and some good words about my photographs make me really happy. And weddings are fun! 

An interview with Photograd Open 2018 exhibiting photographer Lottie Wilson

Photography students at London Metropolitan University supported in the curation of our very first open exhibition and also selected a number of exhibiting photographers to interview about their work.

Here we have an interview with Lottie Wilson.


Why do you still use film? Is there a reason? I started using film in my first year at university. Initially it was something new and exciting (we hadn’t used film at my sixth form) so I enjoyed learning about a new process. However, now it is integral to my practice.  As an artist I believe that the working process is just as important as the images, and the beauty of analogue is that there are so many different opportunities for the final image. When working with digital all of the editing happens post production, however, the analogue process is totally organic. The process can go wrong at any minute – you can over expose or under develop – and this is the magic for me. The final image has always felt like a collaboration between the darkroom and myself. I can never quite predict what is going to happen.

From the series  Observing

From the series Observing

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Your work shows a lot of experimenting in the darkroom, what was your best ‘Mistake’? My best mistake was made out of forgetfulness! With images that no longer have any meaning for me I like to disrupt them and alter the memory past recognition. There’s no science with the experimentation that I do – it’s simply a case of trial and error. One particular image was not reacting to my chemical solution so I decided to leave it for another few days. Fast forward ten days and the whole image had disappeared. Whilst this was never my intention it was a real learning process for me. I really began to understand my medium. By leaving the image for too long I broke down the layers of the negative until there was pretty much the bare film left. Whilst a photograph distils a single single moment forever, this photochemical process allowed me to change history. It was as if that captured moment had never happened. This is my favourite image to date.

How was your university experience? I loved going to university and am missing it so much. My university journey wasn’t easy though. My school encouraged academic subjects, so originally I applied to study English Literature leaving Photography as a well loved hobby. Once being accepted into the another university I realised that this was not what I truly wanted. I decided to take a year out to fully consider my options and decide whether further education would be the right choice for me. After visiting the University of Brighton there was no other option, this was where I needed to be. Throughout my three years at University I met an eclectic mix of individuals who encouraged both creative and personal growth. I’ve never looked back. Going to university made me a better photographer in every respect, yet the most important lesson was finally understanding and accepting myself.  

From the series  Observing

From the series Observing

What photographers help inspire your work? I am a huge fan of Miho Kajioka. Whilst very different in concept (Kajioka’s work discusses natural disasters), I particularly like Kajioka’s printing style. The images appear so delicate and whimsical. I am also greatly inspired by her working style. Kajioka draws off the Japanese tradition of “wabi-sabi” – the appreciation of beauty in imperfection and transience. This appreciation allows for mistakes and even encourages them. As an artist I constantly re-evaluate my work and my belief in “wabi-sabi” underpins my whole practice. I love that my work is always changing and may not always be as I first planned, it gives me confidence to make work without any concern.

From the series  Observing

From the series Observing

Your work will be on display at the Cass as part of Photograd Open 2018. The Cass has a great darkroom- what would you say to students or any photographers thinking about working with film or in the darkroom? I’d say just go for it! I spent so long being scared of the darkroom but it’s the most magical place - I still get excited watching an image develop in the wet trays. Whilst you will be taught traditional darkroom processes you do not have to stick to them. There is never just one fool-proof way to make work, and this notion definitely applies in the darkroom. Experiment with exposure times and chemical reactions and see what happens to the original image. The darkroom is full of endless creative opportunities and all you need is the confidence to try something new. 

From the series  Observing

From the series Observing

Do you have any plans for your photography in the future? Any current ideas for this project or any new ones? Since graduating this summer I have spent a lot of time contemplating what it means to be a photographer. For me, it is the opportunity to capture a single moment and the power to change it. Much like memories, images are pliable and I am fascinated how their meanings are constantly adapting. 

I have just joined a community darkroom so am excited to start my next project. I am planning to further explore the transitional elements of a photograph - of course with my “wabi-sabi” beliefs fully in tact. I am excited to see what comes next. 

An interview with Photograd Open 2018 exhibiting photographer Joel Biddle

Photography students at London Metropolitan University supported in the curation of our very first open exhibition and also selected a number of exhibiting photographers to interview about their work.

Here we have an interview with Joel Biddle.


Images from the series  Tectonic

Images from the series Tectonic

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Which photographers inspire you? I find my inspirations come from a mixture of landscape photographers and conceptual artists. The simplicity that some conceptual art can have has always been a draw for me, and a lot of the time that kind of work is more about only showing what is absolutely necessary and simplifying the message. I think one of my earliest influencers was Michael Kenna, whose work was a huge inspiration for me to create and experiment in the darkroom. The minimalist aesthetic and his approach to a mixture of geometric, manmade shapes and the shapes of the natural world has always been impactful. Hiroshi Sugimoto’s work was introduced to me just prior to university and has since been influencing my approach to my work as well. I think these photographer’s work changed my mindset about photography and made me take more time with my work. 

What do you find interesting in landscape photography? The possibilities involved in landscape photography are the reason I’m drawn to it, and the challenge of finding somewhere that connects with you is very rewarding. It can be a timeless for of photography, and you can create a landscape that can be very hard to place location wise, leading to an image that is very open to interpretation.  

From the series  Tectonic

From the series Tectonic

The juxtaposition between the smooth, changing shape and texture of water against ancient and seemingly permanent and harsh shapes of rock structures in the sea fascinates me and I try to highlight this. It’s almost an instinctual thing for me to photograph the landscape, and I sometimes don’t even see my work as landscape, as it can be broken down into a shapes and textures very easily and become abstract. 

Do you prefer using digital or analogue camera? Why? I’m in the process of moving to 100% analogue photography for a few reasons, one is the look of film grain has a lot of character to it, its quite organic. There is no instant gratification involved in analogue photography, which I find very motivational to get out and work more and concentrate on capturing what is in front of me. Film suits me very well as I found myself shooting a handful of images a day with a digital camera, which almost seemed like a waste of the potential of a camera that could easily shoot a thousand images a day, so it seemed obvious to move to a slower medium. The hand made element of a print produced in the darkroom is very appealing to me as well, and it’s a very expressive way of doing things. 

From the series  Tectonic

From the series Tectonic

What do you want to transmit with your photography? I want a calming sense of tranquillity to be found from my photography, and a sense of quiet that reflects the locations I photograph. There are no people in my work landscapes and very rarely any buildings, which leads to a sense of isolation, but its not a bleak isolation, its more of a break from chaos, and a choice rather than something forced.  

I don’t seek dramatic imagery when I choose my subject, and this is reflected in what I’m trying to say with my landscapes, and the feeling I hope to generate within the viewer.  

What did you try to achieve with this project? I started this project as a way of experimenting with the contrast between hard, rugged element, hence the use of the aggressive title ‘Tectonic’, and the flowing of glassy waters, with a focus on attempting to avoid any stereotypical landscape. This is why I was opposed to using vivid colour, avoided the golden hour and used telephoto lenses instead of wide-angle lenses and I find it very natural to photograph in portrait orientation, something that is somewhat ironic about my landscape photography. 

From the series  Tectonic

From the series Tectonic

I wanted to create something that had staying power, something that I wouldn’t get bored of looking at. A lot of the images I was taking before I wasn’t even printing, I was leaving them as digital files and looking at maybe once or twice. I had a different mindset when I started to create work for ‘Tectonic’, which was to work towards a body of work rather than a standalone image.  

Have you worked on other photographic project that are not landscape-based? I have been working on and am continuing to work on an astrophotography based project that involves photographing starlight with expired film that equals the age of the light of the star, for example I photographed Capella, a star that is 42 light years away with film that was produced 42 years ago. The idea that the film and the light were produced simultaneously but it takes decades for the light to reach the destination is fascinating and I hope to move the project on to use expired photographic paper to capture starlight and create one of a kind works, though this has many technical challenges. I have a broad interest in conceptual based photography and alternative processes, and may apply this to my landscape work at some point. 

An interview with Photograd Open 2018 exhibiting photographer Katie Hayward

Photography students at London Metropolitan University supported in the curation of our very first open exhibition and also selected a number of exhibiting photographers to interview about their work.

Here we have an interview with Katie Hayward.


How would you describe your project and relationship to the title Between Darkness and Light? Between Darkness and Light is an observation of the landscape of the coastal town of Lowestoft in Suffolk. The town occupies the most easterly point of the country and so is positioned as one of its extremities. The body of work seeks to provide a subtle acknowledgement of industries won and lost over time, giving a glimpse into Lowestoft’s tumultuous past and tentative future. It is a town, like many in the UK, forced to live through governmental decisions made at a distance, which directly impact upon the communities that live and work there. While our government negotiates for our exit from the European Union, potentially using our fishing waters as the bargaining tool, this is more prominent now than ever before in this town.

From the series  Between Darkness and Light

From the series Between Darkness and Light

The title of the project is derived from my research into the writings of W. G. Sebald and his book titled The Rings of Saturn whereby he narrates his journey along the East Coast.  When describing his experience of Lowestoft, he recalls looking out towards the sea through a bay window of the dining room of his rather lacklustre hotel, stating that “Outside was the beach, somewhere between the darkness and the light” (Sebald, P.43). These words resonated with me as they seemed to fit with the general essence of the place that I had experienced and also politically, socially, economically and emotionally in a metaphorical sense.  

What was the inspiration for the project? I had developed a genuine interest in the concept of place photographically and having recently moved to the East Coast I was curious to see how documenting a place with which I had no knowledge of, or emotional connection to, would impact upon the images I produced at the other end. Would my photographic exploration create an emotional connection or attachment of sorts or would my role in documenting it keep me distanced from it? This was the catalyst for starting the project. 

How has the course at the University of Suffolk shaped your practice? When I started my course at the University of Suffolk, we were taken right back to basics with 35mm black and white film where we learned to develop and print our own work.  This really helped me connect with where photography had grown from and allowed me to join the dots with where photography is now.  I had never stepped foot into a darkroom and so the learning curve was a steep one for me, but very rewarding.  I’m quite an impatient person and the medium of film photography truly challenged me and took me out of my comfort zone.  It made me a more considerate photographer as the process was considerably slower. This helped me to truly appreciate the photographers of the past who never had digital as an option and what an undertaking it must have been for the work that they produced at that time.  The course structure was also a huge thing for me, it really guided me through how to produce a project from proposal through to exhibition and everything in-between, with group critique sessions and presentations of my work I gained the confidence in critiquing my own work as well as the work of others in a constructive way.  

From the series  Between Darkness and Light

From the series Between Darkness and Light

Who is your main photographic inspiration? It is impossible for me to put this down to just one person, but I will try to be as concise. Gerhard Stromberg and his Coastline Catalogue work. Chris Killip and his Inflagrante and Seacoal series. Michael Collins and his Landscape and Industry publication and Hoo Peninsula work.  There is also a small independent publisher called Another Place Press run by photographer Iain Sarjeant who publish books focusing on contemporary landscape photography. Everything they publish is in line with my interests photographically. Iain’s photographic work is also quite something.  

What do you want to achieve and say with your project? I wanted to present images which provoked thought and questions. I wanted to convey a sense of place, an acknowledgement of its community, of its past via the apparatus of its landscapes. I like working in a series-based format with narrative imbedded in the work and I hope the work achieved that in some sense.  

What camera and lens did you use? Initial location scouting and test shooting was done on my trusty Canon 7d mark ii. The formal images were shot on a Shen Hao 5x4 XPO 45-A camera with a 150mm lens.

From the series  Between Darkness and Light

From the series Between Darkness and Light

Why did you choose that equipment? Shooting digital to initially test locations, times of day and compositions enabled me to quite quickly find what worked and what didn’t, I had a lot of ground to cover. I knew I wanted to have the final images on large format as this felt right for the subject matter and detail within the landscapes. I also wanted the images to be presented in large scale and large format is best placed for this to retain as much quality as possible when taking prints large. I also really enjoy the pace of large format and the fact the lenses are fixed focal lengths, it forces me to be more patient and considerate about what I am doing and to really focus on composition. 

What are your career plans? The aim and intention is to continue to grow and progress as a photographic artist, and to push forward with developing bodies of work for exhibition and publication. I am currently in the process of researching several projects of which I am incredibly excited about. I believe I have some very captivating narratives to put out there and hopefully I can do this in a visually compelling way. I want people who engage with my work to feel compelled to enter into wider discussion and debate about its subject.