New influences

 

As a man with two young children, the hours spent at home have increased from what they once were. This change in lifestyle has greatly influenced my working methods and thoughts on photography. Whereas once I would have identified myself as a street photographer in the style of my photography heroes, time spent at home has given me the space to develop new ideas and styles. A big influence for me has been the work of the American photographer, Doug Rickard. Rickard is best known for his book, ‘A New American Picture’, in which he documents the urban landscapes of the USA. With this work, Rickard worked more as an editor than a photographer, as he searched through thousands of images from Google Maps to produce his work. The book fits into certain photographic traditions, it’s a journey of sorts across the USA, just like those made by Walker Evans and Robert Frank, yet it also suggests a new path for photography.

 

Rickard’s working method involves selecting images and then mounting his camera on a tripod and photographing the screen. My own work is based around similar ideas, although at present I am mostly photographing video with slow shutter speeds. With my shutter opening and closing at one, two and three second intervals, it feels like I am sucking the images on my screen into the camera, to produce something new. The wider themes I have been dealing with this year include power, and the construction of narratives which lead to the attaining and maintaining of power. To represent this visually, I have been focusing on symbols of power and making images from those. Military parades, state funerals, mega sports events, red carpet events. All suggest force and certainty. By picturing them in a blurry state, they take on a chilling quality which suggests a darker nature under the appealing surface.

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