Hands up who’s heard of Jeanloup Sieff?

Cultural trends are difficult to spot when you’re in the middle of them. They look like ‘normal’, it’s only with the benefit of distance can you join the dots. It’d be useful to recognise current trends because generally they are followed by the polar opposite. In fashion, plain is likely to be followed by pattern, natural by synthetic, subtle by loud. When type was set on film and photographic paper, Art Directors and Designers were obsessed with sharpness, because perfectionRead more

INTERVIEW: Jay Maisel.

I’ve worked with, met, written about and interviewed a lot of photographers over the years. But only one has made me run out and get the same camera he uses. Going through his work again for this interview reminded me that photography needn’t be big, complicated or scientific, it can simply be about the joy of seeing. Photography can be anything; two colours vibrating next to each other, light bouncing off a wall or simply someone doing something unusual. IRead more

Hands Up Who’s Heard Of Bill Brandt?

I think Photoshop gets a bad rap. Yes, it can make models thinner and teeth whiter, but it’s not Adobe’s fault. I wonder whether it being associated with cheating and fakery may be behind the current trend for real. Take #NoFilter, fine if you’re taking pictures of a crime scene or for medical records, but being so pure can lead to some very bland images, and for what gain? Surely the goal should be to create the best image possible?Read more

Hands Up Who’s Heard Of Andreas Feininger?

My first office didn’t have a computer on the desk. The key piece of kit Art Director’s needed to operate in those days was a pen. The people who were best at drawing were generally the best at Art Directing. It probably seems like a weird coincidence now; what has drawing go to do with Art Directing? It wasn’t the drawing. Because they could draw they ended up in art colleges, the better they could draw the longer they gotRead more

Hands Up Who’s Heard Of Pete Turner?

Sad to read of the passing of Pete Turner, one of the early pioneers of colour photography. He pushed the limits of film, colour and lab technicians to produce some of the most vivid, colourful images ever committed to film. He started early, developing colour pictures by age 14, ‘I love black and white photography, but somehow I got seduced by colour, I remember going to the art supply store as a kid and looking at water-colour paint boxes and thinking,Read more

Hands Up Who’s Heard Of Norman Seeff?

Taking good portraits isn’t as easy as it looks. The instant a camera appears people change, they stop being themselves and attempt to become someone else. Sucking in cheeks, arching an eyebrow or tilting their head to the preferred angle. Take a look at the profile pictures on Facebook, they look like they were taken a split second after someone popped a balloon behind them, or they’ve just spotted a long-lost friend from Junior School, surprise seems to be ‘in’Read more