I have always been fascinated by light and it has been a major influence on my style of photography. Going back more years than I care to remember I recall looking through the Amateur Photographer and being amazed by the low key black and white portraits and art nude images sculptured so cleverly by the light. I also remember in my early years being asked by my brother in law to photograph the band that he was part of. The half shade group shots were very much the fashion back then and so it was something I was keen to shoot. The band were resident at a local nightclub and so of I went armed with my trusty Practica and at the end of the evening when everyone had left I set up on stage and with the assistance of the club’s lighting team set about shooting their publicity photograph. It took a few weeks to get exactly what they wanted but I didn’t care, I sat through the cabaret on each of those evenings and saw some top stars. We did eventually get the image they were looking for and they did use it as their publicity photograph, sadly, I didn’t keep a copy. However, the mould was cast and lighting would remain a key part of my photography from that day on.
My move into studio photography was much later in life but from the first time I set foot in a studio there was no turning back, I knew that this was the photography I had been looking for ever since that early morning photo session on the stage of that local nightclub. The early studio years were a steep learning curve, I didn’t really know anything about the rule of thirds or the inverse square rule but over time you learn, things become clearer and hopefully, you begin to get better at what you do. I then discovered photographers like Helmut Newton and Irving Penn, both of whom I think use light in an interesting way and so they greatly influenced the direction my photography went in.
Up until this point my main focus had been on black and white photography and it was only with the discovery of gels that this slowly began to change. Initially I couldn’t see why anyone would want to use coloured gels in photography but over time my views changed and my interest grew and from there I began to start thinking about painting with light, something I think is a totally different concept but non the less interesting to me.
With light painting it’s not about what happens behind the camera but more about what happens in front of it and I was surprised to discover just how involved light painting can be, with a whole array of tools available to produce a host of different looks. I had been doing some research into light painting but then came across a remote shoot that Chris Conway and Amie Boulton were hosting down at Trident Studio, Plymouth and thought I would join them for a session. In fairness, the majority of the work was done by Chris on the day but it gave me a huge insight into light painting and made my mind up to pursue it further. My journey is still in its infancy, so keep a look out for updates. It’s in its infancy but I have made a start and below are just a few images. Some are from my remote shoot and feature Aime as the model but the rest are from back at Matrix Studio with the assistance of Andy Harris who also helped out as my model on the day. I’m looking forward to posting more images in the near future.
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