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The Person Behind the Camera

 

cropped-15590029_996224320481927_4006616858137338307_n.jpgAlex Tanton Photography is a company currently based in West Wales and East Yorkshire and I am in the middle of my studies of a Fine Art Masters degree at Aberystwyth University. I have always been interested in photography, architecture and historical ruins since childhood. I have vivid memories of running around and exploring castle ruins in England and wondering how they are maintained and documented.

My work has always had elements of both film and digital processes. I have a strong collection of cameras and equipment ranging from a Mamyia C30 to a Nikon D7100. I study each camera I use to make sure I am getting the best quality and best contrasted shots possible, as depth, detail and contrast are key elements in my work. From my foundation degree to now I developed a great love for digital photographs and the manipulation skills that you can achieve on programs such as Photoshop and Lightroom. Throughout my university experience I have come to understand photography in a new way, the introduction of film photography in my first year (2013) was the start of a very long process of learning, developing and experimenting. My work is normally based around architectural themes; in particular the decay and neglect have been my most recent themes. My most recent studies at Aberystwyth have taught me the beauty and skill of darkroom facilities and how you can produce stunning images using so many different methods and techniques.

My most recent collection has developed around the idea of the ‘Stone Tape Theory’; the notion that echoes of critical or traumatic events can be recorded by the surrounding environment, triggered to replay when the conditions are just right. This theory has been the turning point of my work. I have experimented with wide apertures to create an image with a limited depth of field and a slither of a detailed aspect. These small detailed sections of the scene pinpoint the key aspects of decay, uncertainty and neglect in ancient stone. Through the semi-abstract nature of the photograph they intimate at structures transfixed on the edge of an abyss with the knowledge that everything will crumble away before too long.

Throughout my work I have found many photographers who have inspired and encouraged my creative processes. A few names stand out; Aaron Siskind, William Eggleston, Walker Evans and Ray Moore (UK based), and it is these names that I remember because their works are so closely related to my own that I feel a personal connection to them. These artists are partly the reason that I create my work based around the theme of architecture. They remind me that the world is full of beautiful buildings and structures with fascinating, captivating and haunting stories and theories behind them which I need to keep on exploring and documenting.

In the words of Buck Uzzle; “Photography is a love affair with life”. He was and still is right.