Morris, 2013. Sushi
What was it that inspired me to become a photographer?
The work of Czech photographer had an effect upon me from first glance.
Sudek’s images are photographic impressions which represent light as a substance which occupies its own space, which has a presence of its own rather than merely influencing the way a three-dimensional subject is shown in a two-dimensional format.
The influence of Clarence White is visible in Sudek’s earlier work – highlights glint from within deep shadows cast by dimly lit interiors, the same highlights appear to glow in a manner which can only be described as vaguely Orton-esque.
Sudek was a master of capturing the ambience of an images lighting – highlights seem to retain the character of the natural light which was their source – it takes very little effort to discriminate between images taken in cold, wintry or warm, summery light and the viewer is immediately transported to another place, another time.
I would go as far as to suggest that the highlights in Sudek’s images have an aura.
The paintings of the old Dutch masters were also a significant influence.
Perhaps, though, the actual catalyst was an article, published in a popular photography magazine in the autumn of 2010, describing how to use light painting to produce still-life photographs in the style of the oil paintings of the Dutch golden era. By the time I read this article I was already using a camera but had yet to find my genre and had yet to find my style.
It is fair to say that this article set me firmly on the route which I now take.
Returning to an early example of my work.
Sushi is an image taken in 2013, in the early days of my food photography – having found a genre which worked for me, a genre which I felt comfortable working with.
I remember taking this photograph. Working intuitively the result was a close up shot which placed the viewer in the scene with the subject, achieved by shooting ‘over the shoulder’ of some minor subjects.
It remains an image I am both pleased with and proud of.
As previously discussed, this image has considerable value for me in evaluating how my technical and creative ability have developed over time.
So much for looking back. Why do I continue to photograph?
Photography can, for me, be a double-edged sword. I want to produce beautiful images of food, I want to produce beautiful still-life images. Some of the work I produce excites me, some work disappoints me. Some manages to do both at different times.
Working with my camera is a way for me to interact with the world. It is a way to explore – often producing more questions than answers.
I am increasingly interested in the way that photography can be used as a tool for visual anthropology, as a tool for social science.