Month: May 2017

Film isn’t dead: The large format revolution is here

Of the many adjectives you could use to describe large-format film photography, affordable isn’t the first that springs to mind. But one Brighton based start-up is on a mission to change that. Hot on the success of their £250 4×5 camera, which they financed through crowdfunding, the Intrepid Camera Company has today launched their Kickstarter for an 8×10 model. Intrepid’s founder-director Maxim Grew had the idea for the camera while mid-way through an undergraduate degree in Product Design at the University of Sussex. He’d become increasingly fascinated by the format beloved of photography greats from Ansel Adams to Gregory Crewdson for its magical, contemplative process and the incredible visual quality of images it produces. However, on finding that his student loan didn’t stretch to the several thousand pounds it can cost to buy a camera, he started experimenting with building one himself. “I was making these really simple things – essentially just boxes with lenses on the end, using instant film and using photographic paper to make paper negatives,” he remembers. Originally Grew’s vision was …

2017-05-26T18:08:06+00:00

Photobook: Tokyo is Yours by Meg Hewitt

Born in 1973 in Sydney, Meg Hewitt got into photography after studying sculpture and painting. She’s since reached the finals at the prestigious Moran Prize for Contemporary Photography and the Maggie Diaz Photography Prize for Women, and won a silver medal from the Prix de la Photographie – among other accolades – and exhibited her series Tokyo is Yours at Place M Gallery in Tokyo last year. This year, it will be shown again at the Voies Off, Les Rencontres d’Arles’ fringe festival, alongside work by her mentor, Magnum photographer Jacob Aue Sobol. Shot in Japan over two years, Tokyo is Yours is inspired by manga, surrealism and film noir, and uses a gritty monochrome that Hewitt first experimented with back in Sydney, where she was founding director of the 10×8 Gallery from 2012-2014. “When I started shooting on film I couldn’t afford to process colour, so I would develop black-and-white film myself in the bathroom,” she says. “It was a natural progression to shoot at high ISO with a flash, and pushing the film then created part of the aesthetic. It emphasises …

2017-05-25T12:37:33+00:00

How to shoot a perfect portrait: Dan Wilton, a Portrait of Britain 2016 winner

Dan Wilton is a UK-based portrait and documentary photographer who works with clients such as The Fader, Asos, The New York Times, Adidas, Nike and XL Recordings. His portraits of Dizzee Rascal and Stormzy were both selected in BJP’s Portrait of Britain award last year, and displayed on JC Decaux screens the length and breadth of the country. BJP caught up with Wilton to find out more about his approach. What makes a compelling portrait? Too many things to list, every shoot is different. I realise the importance of patience on my part. Taking my time allows whoever I’m photographing to either engage with the process or to switch off and forget it completely – both of which I’ve found can really work with the way I shoot. It’s all about connection – about finding some kind of dialogue. Sometimes that can be hard – especially with very short shoots – but that’s one of the challenges and one of the reasons I love it so much. When did you fall in love with photography? It’s been a …

2017-05-25T10:10:33+00:00

Photo London join La Fábrica to launch the Book Dummy Award

BJP is proud to present the Book Dummy Award, a new competition run in partnership with La Fábrica and Photo London.

The award offers one winner the chance to have his or her book published, in a print run of at least 1000 copies, and have it showcased through La Fabrica’s sales catalogue, presented an exhibited at festivals and fairs such as Photo London 2018 and PHotoESPAÑA 2018, and submitted to the most important photography competitions around the world.

2017-05-24T19:36:15+00:00

Mathias Depardon on hunger strike against detention by Turkish authorities

On 06 May Mathias Depardon was in good spirits – on assignment in South East Turkey for National Geographic, he updated his Facebook with a post reading “Diyarbakir I m in town. My boots are muddy and I m a bit smelly but can surely be of a good company tonight for a beer.” By 08 May his assignment had turned sour, with Turkish police arresting him in Hasankeyf, Batman Province, and detaining him in a police station for 30 hours. There the police are thought to have come across his images of members of the banned PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) via social media, leading to charges that he had created “propaganda for a terrorist organisation” – charges which Reporters Sans Frontiers’ Turkish representative Erol Önderoğlu has described as “absurd” and “designed solely to justify his arbitrary arrest after the event”. From the police station Depardon was taken to a detention centre operated by the National Department for Migration, an interior ministry offshoot, in the city of Gaziantep – and, despite an order for his deportation issued on 11 May, …

2017-05-25T10:00:29+00:00

On the era of mass appropriation, and inventing new colours

Nick Thornton Jones and Warren Du Preez, the London-based experimental photographers, call their work “the de-familiarisation of surrealism”. In Immortal, their beautifully-produced new series of photobooks, the pair explore this idea with portraits of the human form shot with a dizzying intensity of colour and lights, as if we’re seeing, printed on paper, a fevered dream. “We were fed up of everything being watered down and diluted. It feels like everything’s hyper-referential,” Du Preez says of the genesis of the project when we meet in their Bethnal Green studio. “The editorial and art world can feel like a pool of brown mud to me. There’s a lack of process to a lot of art out there now and for two process junkies, that can feel quite depressing.” “It’s important to make your own stuff,” says Thornton Jones. “People don’t do that anymore; they sample everyone else’s and call it their own. They’re not inventing and making stuff. It’s an era defined by mass appropriation. So this series was born out of a sense of frustration …

2017-05-25T12:16:47+00:00

Q&A: J A Mortram on his ten-year project Small Town Inertia

J A (or Jim) Mortram was born in 1971, and studied art in Norwich. In his third year of college he dropped out to become the primary carer for his mother, who has chronic epilepsy, in a small market town in Norfolk called Dereham. In 2006 he started shooting people in and around Dereham, focusing on those facing disadvantages and social exclusion, and went to create a blog called Small Town Inertia, featuring his images and their words. The blog was critically acclaimed early one, and in 2013 Mortram was one of BJP‘s Ones to Watch. Mortram has made publications of three of his stories with Cafe Royal Books, and is now finalising a photobook called Small Town Inertia, which will be published by  Bluecoat Press in June. BJP: When did you get into photography? J A Mortram: About seven or eight years ago, in the months before I started the Small Town Inertia blog. It both saved and completely transformed my life. After years of being a carer for my disabled mother, I’d become highly marginalised. Being a carer …

2017-05-25T10:42:29+00:00

Any answers: Hilary Roberts

I saw a rough-and-ready exhibition about events during the Prague Spring. It was 1977, and I was a student visiting the Soviet-controlled Czechoslovakian capital. The show was very basic in its curatorship and design; what we’d now call a pop-up. But it made me realise how photography can transcend language barriers. Photography has the ability to tell a story on multiple levels. The Prague exhibition complied with the state messages of the time, and yet, when you looked at the photographs, there was a subtext telling a very different story. The exhibition was about the reassertion of law and order. But it was also clearly an exploration of popular protest and a demand for democracy and freedom of expression. I joined the Imperial War Museum in 1980 as a junior curator. I’ve worked here ever since. I thought two years would do it, but then The Falklands conflict happened. At that point, the subject leapt off the pages of the history books and into the present day. The role of a photography curator was very …

2017-05-25T12:58:45+00:00

Awards: Provoke wins Best Photography Book in the 2017 Kraszna-Krausz Foundation Awards

Provoke: Between Protest and Performance by Diane Dufour, Matthew Witkovsky and Duncan Forbes has won Best Photography Book in the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation’s 2017 Book Awards. A celebration of the short-lived Japanese magazine, which ran for just three issues from November 1968 – August 1969, the book gathers the ground-breaking black-and-white images published by Provoke and combines with critical theory and interviews to show how influential the publication was. Exquisitely printed by Steidl, and checking in at 680 pages, it’s a comprehensive guide to the social and political manifesto which was put together by NakahiraTakuma, Daido Moriyama and Takanashi Yutaka. Provoke: Between Protest and Performance accompanied the exhibition of the same name held at the Le Bal gallery in Paris, from 14 September-11 December 2016, co-curated by Le Bal director Diane Dufour and Matthew Witkovsky with Duncan Forbes and Walter Moser. But, as the judges made clear, it stands on its own right as a book. “The publication is the product of an extraordinary amount of work, its content is historically important, and the four-party international collaboration that brought it into being should …

2017-05-25T10:43:37+00:00

Photobook: Roxane II by Viviane Sassen

“When I unbutton the sleeve of a shirt/Shades of sky under my skin awaken,” read the opening lines of Maria Barnas’ poem You and I, used at the start of Viviane Sassen’s new photobook, Roxane II. Abstract though these lines seem, they possess a subtle symmetry with the images which follow, in which expanses of pale skin sit in stark juxtaposition to graphic, almost blindingly bright streaks of colour. In Roxane II, the human and the organic seem to bleed into one another with captivating results.

2017-05-25T10:44:19+00:00

BJP Staff