We interrupt our favourite photographer, whilst he’s busy working hard for us, to ask a few questions.
So Jon, what’s all this talk about F-Stops?
Well… It’s a bit like fishermans’ stories, I knew an older, well known photographer who would look at the back of his hand and then up at the sky and solemnly pronounce “F8” whilst his younger disciples would gush in awe and continue to fuss over their light meters.
But all lenses do have an optimum aperture for sharpness and contrast, it’s a bit like bokeh in photographic forums; it’s a mostly a bit of swagger… almost like kicking the tyres on a used car lot!
(in case you’re wondering, bokeh is the Japanese word for blur and is used to describe the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens).
What makes a good interiors photograph?
An appreciation of light and attention to detail. I love the use and of quality of light that photographers like Richard Avedon are masters of; he uses the most sublime quality of natural light in his portraits.
What are the challenges of interiors photography?
I’m always trying to invoke a sense of personality in my photography or a narrative; creating a sense of humanity in an aspirational living space. Maybe its in the way the light of warm, evening shadows caress a sofa on a beautiful parquet floor. Or by showcasing the divine proportions of the golden section, which is inherently consistent in a visual language.
How do you overcome them?
One of my favourite quotes is from Arnold Newman “Photography is 1% talent and 99% moving furniture.”
I’m a great believer that there are no short cuts in interiors photography – it’s pure graft with a mantra of “quality in quality out”. With a great location and with a great team, you’re well on the way to achieving fantastic results.
Whose photography do you admire?
My friend, the photographer Richard Learoyd is amazing. I have travelled extensively over Eastern Europe with him and I have a visceral reaction to his portraits, they are unique and arresting with an almost painterly tone. His shallow depths of field and lustrous colour palette create an unparalleled, dramatic intimacy and are reminiscent of those great Renaissance masters of light and shade.
What inspires you?
People inspire me, especially my peers, who I trust to challenge me and my conceits! I guess travel has been a great inspiration. Spending time in Tokyo and seeing interiors there, with their heightened attention and sensitivity to the finish and detail of everyday objects. The concept of sabi (the love of the old, the faded, and the unobtrusive), impacts every part of their culture.
Thank you Jon, now get back to work! 😊
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