As the newest member of the Galloway Photographic Collective, I would like to introduce myself and tell you about my work. I am a conceptual Fine Art Photographer who specialises in compositing. I don’t mean the sort of compositing that deals with head swaps or removing objects from images to make them more picturesque.
Let me explain - the RAW photographs I take are effectively my blank canvas on which I begin to build. I then add additional content, texture, colour and light. Photoshop is my paintbrush that I use to add further mystery, to defy the laws of physics and create surreal worlds.
Although my work is technically complex, really my intent boils down to sending a message, telling a tale or making people look deeper and ask questions. All of my work has a story and everything within each image is added for a reason which is to create a dialogue between me and the viewer. I’m not saying we always have the same story within one image - that is the beauty of conceptual photography, everyone reads them in different ways based on their own experiences. I can only point in the right direction; the viewer creates the story that is relevant to them.
Photography isn’t always about capturing one precise moment in time; there can be a whole series of happenings in one image. We ask ourselves ‘who is this person, why are they here, what is going to happen next?’ and then from the symbolism and the context present, we begin to answer these questions. These are the images I find intriguing and they are the images I love to create.
In order to do this, I must have a clear idea in my head of what I wish to create. Before I even think about setting up my camera to photograph something, I think about the concept. I create the story in my mind, I decide what symbolism I can use to best deliver the story and then I sketch it out and make notes of exactly what images I need to create my vision. It is not the case that I can merely throw images together and make a finished piece. All of the images I photograph must be taken in a manner that considers perspective, lighting, colours and tones, camera focusing, depth of field, shutter speed and wind direction. All of these factors must be spot on or the composite will fall apart in the postproduction stage and all must be carefully planned out before pressing my shutter button.
Once I have gathered all the necessary photographs, the real fun begins. There’s nothing I love more than sitting down with a glass of wine and layering my images on top of each other and blending them together to create a story. It is also very fulfilling when hearing how others respond to my images.
Something that I’m working on right now is producing moving images that will document my entire process from raw images to the completed piece. It showcases the precise connecting of the many images I require to create the surreal and fantasy based Photography. I hope these will offer a greater insight into my working process and I will look to include one of these sometime in the future.