As 2018 approaches its close, it’s time for my annual post about a few of the folk who’ve inspired me this year.
A lot of you will already know Finn. He owns a gallery in Brighton and he’s also an amazing photographer and a jolly nice chap. He put on an exhibition of Sirens in September, which was very nice of him and I had a lot of fun hanging out in the gallery during that time. I’ve long been a fan of Finn’s work – subtle, classy images of the South Downs, always perfectly composed. His Landscape Editions book, Fieldwork, is probably the book in that series to which I most frequently return. If you haven’t been to his gallery yet, then I recommend trying to get there in 2019. You have to admire the generosity of a photographer who not only freely shares his locations but actually includes a map of them on the wall next to the relevant print. If you do visit, just don’t buy the print with the frosty willow and bullrushes as I’ve got my eye on it!
The world of YouTube is still mostly undiscovered country for me and, although I resolve to do better, I failed to make enough time in 2018 for listening to podcasts so I hadn’t actually heard of Nick Page when he contacted me in the summer to see if he could interview me for his podcast. A planned meet-up during my trip to Oregon had to be abandoned due to technical reasons so we ended up doing the interview over the phone later. Since then, I’ve been following Nick’s work. His enthusiasm is infectious – I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that he’s a little bit crazy, in a good way. Compared to British tastes, his landscapes may sometimes seem colourful but it certainly won’t do us any harm to appreciate that there’s a whole world out there that doesn’t necessarily share our aesthetic. I especially like the drama of Nick’s coastal work. I had a great time chatting to Nick about wave photography (he has some corkers!) and I’ve enjoyed discovering his work on Instagram.
Born to Ice, Paul Nicklen
2018 has not helped to cure me of my photo book habit. I’ve bought so many, I can’t begin to list them all so I’ll just pick one. Paul Nicklen’s Born to Ice is a passionate hymn to the polar climes he loves so well. Every turn of the page yields images freighted with emotion. Some made me gasp out loud and feel desperate to share. (Yesterday, I made my patient husband look at every single picture with me.) Photographs of amazing, intimate encounters with wildlife are interspersed with dizzying views of vast landscapes. Look carefully and you might well discover a tiny polar bear journeying across the breathtaking vista. This is a book to cherish. It’s an investment, but it’s huge, and the print quality far exceeds the standard for photo books. Very highly recommended.
Last, but definitely not least, anyone who follows my photography will probably already know that I have a ‘photo-buddy’ called Jen. This Autumn marked our 5-year anniversary of working together. On a practical level, we car pool with a shared trip to the coast most weeks and we visit Harris together every February. We’ve exhibited together several times, we have twice shared an Open Studio event, and we started the Parhelion collective. But Jen also deserves a special thank you for putting up with me, my ‘progressive’ driving style, insatiable appetite for cake and silly sense of humour. Jen, your grace and tolerance are legendary. Jen is not only a patient companion, she’s also a cracking photographer. She’s had some well-deserved success recently and there’s more to come in 2019. I couldn’t be more delighted. If you don’t already know Jen’s work, have a look at her website.
I hope everyone has a very enjoyable New Year celebration and that 2019 will be a year of changeable weather and interesting light.