205dpi Issue Janâ€™17
Artur Dias Artist www.flickr.com/photos/30433986@N04/
This issue Jan’17
Who we are
We are a small, passion lead, non-profit organisation, focused on displaying some of the most exciting up-and-coming arts across the globe. From working students, young professionals, to well seasoned artists, 205dpi displays the whole mix. With photography as our focal point, we document, capture and display anything we find interesting, beautiful or captivating. Follow us and our collective of photographers as we capture our adventures, our remarkable stories and our everyday lives.
It’s all about collaboration. We’ve teamed up with Graphic Design company Tony G Ltd and it’s left us feeling excited with possibilities! Read more about it in our Editor’s Note.
2 & 62
Artist Special Feature
20 StaĹ› Zawada
26 Vincent Karcher
40 Alexander Agafonov
Monthly Single Images
32 Jesse Backley
52 Leticia Batty 5.
Throughout 2016 205DPI have been in discussion with TonyG Ltd, a bespoke Graphic Design production company based in the UK, that specialise in high-end retail projects. They have a prestigious client list, that includes Ralph Lauren, Prada, and Hackett London, along with some pretty niche design agencies. TonyG have recently moved to a larger studio space, and after some exciting conversations, we are working with them to provide some creative visuals for their otherwise blank walls. One of TonyG’s key products are some rather beautiful light-boxes for displaying photographic images. They’re slimline aluminium frames with amazing quality led’s bedded in to the frame. We’ve agreed that from TonyG’s selection, 205DPI will approach a photographer whose work has been featured, and ask for permission to print an image for the light-box. The image will be displayed for 3 months and will in some way connect with the relevant season.
Light boxes of this quality are an amazing way to promote photography, and with TonyG being specialist in production including colour management and photographic printing, both the images we’ve used so far have been presented to an amazing quality.
Autumn 2016 featured our first contributor Robert Ogilvie’s story from Issue #18 ‘Photos From the Fog’. Lit up on the wall, Roberts images have such an impact, and is the first thing you see when entering the building. It’s an honour to be working with such a talented team of creatives. We’ll keep you updated with each seasons lightbox change over! Lois Golding - Editor-in-Chief
Real Talk with
“...in a sense I’m directing ‘A list’ actors as I would for a movie. It just happens to be for a single image, but I’m attempting to capture a whole story in a frame.”
From Cowgate, Edinburgh to Soho, London, photographer Rich Hardcastle has spent a storied career embedded with a who’s-who of the UK entertainment scene; working with prolific actors and figures such as Ricky Gervais and Tom Hardy. Cementing his place within the arts world with an identifiable style that utilises minimalist equipment to create striking and dramatic portraits, Rich talks to us about life as a freelance photographer, expanding his work into galleries and working behind the scene as the BAFTAs. Hi Rich, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. To kick things off, it takes a matter of seconds to notice that your portfolio boasts a who’s-who of prolific UK actors and entertainers, from Ant and Dec to Idris Elba. How was it you got into that specific area of portrait photography? I always wanted to shoot ‘celebrities’. But in the old sense of the word, meaning people who where ‘celebrated’ for what talent they had. Not the modern appropriation of the term where anyone who’s ever been on the TV seems to be termed a ‘celebrity’. I wanted to be one of those photographers like Terry O’Neill, producing iconic shots of hugely famous actors and musicians in a more reportage style. Studio work and really posed set ups just never interested me. To be honest I always felt that other people could do that better. My game plan was to end up directing films eventually. I intended to apply the career model of a few photographers from back in the day whose work I followed. That was to shoot bands, direct their videos and work up to films.
I was doing my degree in photography at Edinburgh College of Art at the start of the 90’s, and every summer the city held the Edinburgh Festival. I love comedy and used to drink in a bar called Bannermans which was down in the Cowgate area where a lot of the comedy venues where. At the time the images of comedians around were pretty naff. They were always being asked to pull wacky faces or jump out from behind a pot plant. I took it upon myself to start producing ‘cool’ shots of comics. Shoot them in the same way I’d shoot a rock star. After all, the press at the time kept banging on about ‘comedy being the new rock and roll’. I approached a comic called Stephen Frost and asked if I could shoot him. He was so pleased with the result that he introduced me to the rest the folk he was out with the next night and told them who I was and that they should let me shoot them. They just happened to be Jo Brand, Eddie Izzard, Sean Hughes, Mark Lamaar, Bill Bailey and Sean Lock. This was 24 years ago. And so began summers spent shooting in the backstage corridors of ‘Late and Live’, which developed into shooting
Edinburgh posters and promo stuff for comics. As their profiles grew my portfolio became more full of household names. It was when I started shooting for The Sunday Times that I started working more with actors really. Recently you seem to have expanded your creative identity to include more big production scenes and photo-manipulations. Where as a lot of your earlier work focused more on intimate portraits using minimal props and even minimal lighting. Is that a fair comment, if so could you speak on why and how this change has happened? Only in the work the public have seen really. The work I’ve been producing for the gallery shows is actually very similar to the stuff I was doing at college. I sort of put that on hold and became more of a portrait photographer. My Mum kept saying I should get back to my initial fine art work. But I couldn’t really see anyway of making it financially viable. Until I realised I could actually marry the two worlds. Produce the work (that I really am more interested in) but using folk from my ‘day job’ in the photographs. It’s a lot more fun because in a sense I’m directing ‘A list’ actors as I would for a movie. It just happens to be for a single image, but I’m attempting to capture a whole story in a frame. Who was your first high-profile model? How much has that shoot mattered to the development of your career? I’d shot quite a few high profile comedians (but I’d shot them when they weren’t massive) before I shot Ricky Gervais. But it was my first shoot with him that was probably the start of getting to become successful in terms of a career. He let me do a portrait of him for an exhibition of comedian’s portraits that I was planning. He really liked the shot, but I think mostly liked
the fact that I’m really fast. My shoots are never really longer than 5 minutes. I then shot him and Stephen Merchant for a campaign I was shooting for Amnesty International; they were getting me to shoot comedians obviously. I shot them in their office. Karl Pilkington was also there at the time. That was the first time I met Karl. Ricky asked me, seeing as I was there, if I could take a shot of the 3 of them. That shot turned into the first ‘Podcast’ shot, I then, over the years did all of them. While he was there I also did a quick promo shot of Karl who was beginning to need one. About a year later I read that Ricky and Steve were starting work on a new show ‘Extras’. So I got in touch and explained how I’d always wanted to document something like that from conception to completion - the entire process. They luckily agreed to let me do it. So I started with some shots of them writing in their office. Plot points on post-it notes all over the walls. First read-throughs, rehearsals and then shooting. Finishing with them editing. The BBC also had a photographer on set who was also doing reportage but also the official set ups. He was an old friend of Ricky’s called Ray Burmiston. I think Ricky being mischievous was really looking forward to watching us butt heads as we got in the way of each other. Unfortunately for Ricky, Ray is one of the most beautiful human beings on the planet and we became firm friends immediately. Besides that, we were after very different shots so there wasn’t really any occasion for friction. Ricky and Steve ended up commissioning me properly to do the job, which included the second series as they’d had the idea of publishing the scripts as a book containing all my photos as well. Ray was there a lot of the time with the head of picture publicity at the BBC, Jeanette Daly. Who started commissioning me and later went on to become head of photography for BAFTA. Which is how I ended up shooting backstage at the BAFTAs.
Feature - Real Talk with Richard Hardcastle
A couple of years after Extras, Karl asked me if I wanted to do the photos for a travel show he was doing for Sky 1. That happened to be ‘An Idiot Abroad’. So I ended up travelling to the 7 Wonders of the World with him. I’ve shot Ricky more times than anyone else; he’s always up for doing something interesting. He was the first person I shot for my first gallery show ‘Dark Tales’. And having someone that high profile to show prospective subjects certainly helped immensely. You have been an official photographer at the BAFTAs for a number of years now. Backstage access to the winners and guests, it seems incredibly exciting, and within this role you get to flex your reportage/photojournalism muscles much more. How do you feel about the difference between those two styles of portraiture for your work; do you prefer candid portraits, or is more control over lighting and pose better? The BAFTAs is my favourite gig of the year. I’m the only person backstage with a camera and I get to shoot candid shots of the biggest movie stars on the planet. A lovely mix of reportage and documentary portraits. It’s the type of stuff I got into photography in the first place to do. What was it like the first time you documented the BAFTAs? The first 30 minutes was terrifying. Felt like I just wasn’t getting anything special. Wanted to blow BAFTA away, get better shots than anyone who’d done it in previous years. Then in quick succession I got the shot of Helena Bonham Carter, then Jon Hamm, then Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman. That’s when I thought, “ok, you’ve got this”. From that point on it was just a lot of fun.
Feature - Real Talk with Rich Hardcastle
Through this work, you’ve presumably met and spoken with some of the world’s most recognizable faces in TV and film. Have you ever felt intimidated by a person because of their fame? Similarly, is there an actor or actress you really want to shoot a portrait of, that you haven’t had the chance to yet? No. And this is quite important to the way I work. They’re just people with interesting day jobs. And if you’re shooting their portrait or whatever, you’re there as part of a collaborative creative process. So there’s more of an even footing. I really haven’t had bad experiences with anyone yet. Their publicists - yes, a few times. I really wouldn’t want to meet any of the people whose work I admire outside of that scenario. That’s when
you can get disappointed; most of these people view fame as an unfortunate by-product of their success. When they’re not working, they’d probably rather be left alone. I really would like to work with Christopher Walken one day. I’ve been quite lucky in the fact that I’ve shot a lot of the people I used to dream about working with. But Christopher has escaped me till now. A lot of your work portrait work is contracted by magazines and newspapers. How have you found working with picture editors and building up relationships within this world? Picture editors are creatures of habit. They tend
Feature - Real Talk with Rich Hardcastle
to work with the same photographers over and over. This is because they know they can rely on them and they trust them. You just have to be very very lucky to be able to fit into a slot that becomes vacant. It’s really only The Sunday Times who’ve ever commissioned me reasonably regularly. And that’s because when they only have about 10 minutes with someone, and no budget, and need a cover shot. They know that I’ll come up with an imaginative idea that will make a great cover. And can do it for no budget, anywhere. They use other photographers to shoot the higher budget studio based stuff. Because they can do that better than I can. And I can do my stuff better than them. The last couple of years you’ve been much more prominent in the gallery scene. Was this something
that just came to pass organically, or did you push for your work to be presented in this way? When I decided to start creating the more ‘art’ based work I knew that it would have to be shown in the proper setting, ie: a gallery. I was past the stage of having stuff in cafes or venues. You have to think of yourself as a brand. If you want people to take your work seriously as works of art you need gallery representation, which also comes with their access to collectors. I was following a painter called Charming Baker for the year off and on, as he prepared for his first big LA show. He took me to Art Basel in Miami where I was suddenly introduced into the Art world at a very high level. I spent a few days hanging out
with folk like Jonathan Yeo, Jose Parla and lunching with Damien Hirst. I became friends with a few folk from the Art scene back in London. I’d started work on what was to become ‘Dark Tales’ but had nowhere to show it. Back in London I was invited to a party thrown by one of these people and was chatting to Jonathan Yeo about wanting to find a gallery. I was showing him the stuff I’d shot so far on my Iphone when a friend of his called Nigel Mead wondered over. We were introduced and he asked to see what we were looking at. He then told me he had a gallery in Mayfair and I should come down to their next private view that Wednesday. So I did. Then met him for lunch the next day where he offered me a show. Seems easy, but if was really just a series of serendipitous events, backed up by the fact that he thought the work was good enough to represent me.
You’ve spoken openly on your Facebook profile about the difficulties with pursuing freelance photography full-time, having a young family and doing it all in London. Was there a specific point where your career had to make a dramatic change to accommodate your growing life? I wonder specifically, because of your son, Cooper appearing in several of your exhibition images, if you have any words on the realities of career and family? The death of freelance work was what prompted me to really give the fine art side of me a proper go. There’s less and less work for a far greater number of photographers now. And a lot of them are young and naïve and work for free on the promise of future commissions. Never, ever work for free. You devalue your work and the work of every other professional photographer. They wont give you
a commission in the future; they’ll just find someone else willing to work for free. And your name being credited is not payment. They have to credit your photograph. But being an artist is quite a selfish pursuit. It’s ok when you have no dependants and can live on beans. But living in the one of the most expensive cities in the world and having two kids makes you really have to question if you should just get a ‘proper job’. But I have enough people willing to invest in me and my work that I trust. If I can pull it off, I’ll be able to provide for my family better than I ever could working a 9-5 job and having to work less hours at it. Oh, and of course, it’s not really work because I’d do it for nothing anyway. Interview: John Liot
Feature - Real Talk with Rich Hardcastle
Maren Klemp Monthly Single Image www.marenklemp.com
Hafnarfjรถrรฐur Staล gives an honest view of his town and culture in Iceland.
I moved to Hafnarfjörður in 2008. You could call it suburb of Reykjavík, but for me it was always a very different place, a separate town, although I didn’t know it very well. I don’t know if it’s because of the weather or the city planning, but people in Iceland don’t walk much. We know our neighbourhoods only through our car windows. Things changed for me when my son was born and I started walking him in his stroller for 10 kms every day.
In tourist brochures, Hafnarfjörður is depicted as the sunny town on lava, full of smiley Vikings. It’s also place with biggest population of elves in Iceland. I haven’t met any Vikings on my trips, nor elves. Actually, as I wandered further and further from downtown, I hardly met any people. It wasn’t sunny either.
Portraits of the World Vincent travels the world capturing the beauty of different communities.
This is my travelling portrait series from around the world. It is a work in progress, documenting the streets and landscapes, both countryside and cities. I move around mostly remote places to contemplate people and culture, and photograph the results.
From the streets of Dhaka to the villages of Rajasthan, the Ganga river and the suburbs of Varanasi. My journeys take me far and wide, I have covered the jungle of West Papua, the Caribbeans, the Namibian desert, and remote villages of Malawi; the list goes on! I have admired and captured the differences in locations, but for me the highlight is the unique beauty of the people I meet.
Shooting in black and white limits me to one dimension. The artistic intuitions, understanding of natural light and
composition choices allow me to really focus on the subject. The exaggerated contrast that black and white creates, darkens the reality and lightens the beauty. The landscape around the person is just as important as the portrait. I compose my frame with proximity of the person, with a 35mm lens as my vision. The proximity of the subject reflects on the final portrait, it shows an intimate representation and observation of the individual and his expressions.
Different cultures, different environments, different social and political conditions, I capture portraits; light, shadow, lines and the love of people bring beauty on reality. This series is a selection of portraits of few a years travelling around the world.
From Above, So Below Jesse explores the deserts of Arizona, expanding his viewing pleasure through his camera.
A lot of times while traveling, I feel like natureâ€™s true beauty only reveals itself to me through the lens of my camera.
My passion for traveling started at a young age, going on cross-country camping trips with my family in the USA. It was my love of travel that originally inspired me to take up photography. Now my love of photography is what inspires me to travel. A passion for photography causes me to research and find new interesting places to visit. I am always in search of locations that are a little less known and off the beaten path. This is what led me to the deserts of Northern Arizona. There is great beauty in the desolate nature of the desert. The colours of the rocks against the strident sky can be as vibrant as any flower. All at once the land can appear violently harsh and yet gentle enough to be formed and moved by the wind. My recent journey to Arizona lead me out into the desert further than I had ever been. I began at a place called White Pocket on the Paria Plateau. It took many hours driving a high clearance 4X4 vehicle through sand to get there and once there, I spent a few nights in a tent. Itâ€™s all worth it when the light hits the rock formations. Underneath its namesake, White Brain Rock, the layers of sandstone appear as though a heavenly touch twisted and churned the rock creating the most breathtaking shapes. My trip to Arizona would not be complete without visiting some slot canyons. Although the beauty of their shapes is evident, the splendor and depth of their colour is not seen without a camera. These beautiful formations are found mostly in the Navajo Nation. Access to these canyons is limited and Navajo guides are required. Every time I walk down into one of these wind and water formed canyons, I am amazed at the quietness and darkness. I can feel the wind but never hear it. As the light floods in the top of the canyons, sometimes 150 feet above the floor, it bounces off the Navajo Sandstone walls creating an amazing cascade of colours. Though barely noticeable with the naked eye, these colours are brought to life in my camera using long exposures. Without the art of photography, some of the beauty of these canyons would never be truly seen.
â€œI believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.â€?
- Terry Richardson
Summer in Germany Alexander spent three months volunteering in Germany photographing his journey.
This small photographic series is about my summer trip to Germany. Unintentionally, the project is a crossover of composition and landscapes with reportage and history.
I started volunteering abroad back in 2011, and ever since, no other way of travelling has come close in comparison. I find it is the best combination of exploring, meeting interesting people and doing lots of different types of work. Plus, it is great chance to explore the culture of a country that you wouldn’t otherwise see by visiting tourist attractions. I first fell in love with Germany many years ago, but by 2016 I managed to lead 20 groups of travellers in international volunteer camps, each lasting 2 or sometimes 3 weeks each. Being a camp leader is not the easiest job but you have the benefit of meeting amazing people and teaching them to do what you love. For me, that passion is travelling, photographing and communicating. The camp I work at is placed in the middle of nowhere in a territory of former DDR socialist part of Germany. We host participants from Western
and Eastern Europe, North and South America, Asian countries and from former USSR.
My most recent trip was relatively short and lasted only three months. It didn’t start out very well, with some logistic troubles peppered with catching a cold and leading one of the worse groups, but eventually things turned around. In between my 4 groups, I needed to take some time out, so I combined it with making a trip to Minsk, Belarus. I crossed half of Germany, then Poland, around bits of Lithuania to get there. I had a great time with two very nice groups of volunteers in two of my favourite castles in Thuringia region, met my old and beloved friends from number of different countries and was back in my brilliant state of mind by the end of it. I felt alive. All that time my analogue Nikon was by my side and sometimes let me get away from harder thoughts and situations. My camera helps explore and discover both new and well-known places in ways that I couldn’t without it. I returned back home with eight rolls of black and white film, and they are here alongside my words for you to enjoy.
Shop Dogs John Liot provides a simply enjoyable series featuring the Dogs of Falmouth Shops.
Photography; is important.
Photojournalism has given us accurate, often alarming, insight into world affairs that the written word is unable to give due credence to. Moments of golden history are forever etched in our culture’s collective psyche because of the staying power of the frozen image. For some, photography is the noble pursuit of factual preservation; back when ‘the camera never lies’ had a semblance of truth behind it. However, as photography has become more widely accessible and its honesty diluted, the value of photographs has changed. Some, the old school, will maintain the valiant purpose of the still image and use it as a medium to dutifully tell the hard stories of this world. These stories, such that only a dedicated journalist and passionate storyteller can rightly convey. These are tales born in warzones, illuminating our culture’s mind’s eye to horrors and injustices that deserve resolution. The men and women in this noble profession risk life and limb to tell harrowing stories, documenting their findings within their images so that you, may be educated, that you, may be the change this world needs. Others photographers, however, take nice pictures of dogs.
I am one of those photographers. The later. Not to downplay the importance of the battle-worn photojournalist, but my art is less ‘challenge your audience, so they may better understand themselves’,
and more, ‘D’awww, isn’t that dog cute! Look at its little face!’
Subject matter may differ tremendously, as does desired response, but the heart and purpose of photography remains the same. My images of dogs are a gentle substance to digest, which may make them seem of lesser validity to the history of photography, yet they still represent the integrity and purpose of image making as a whole. As a businessman, I have struggled to sell the value of photographs to my would-be clients. It seems that in 2016, images aren’t what they used to be. Much like the music industry, photographers have had to change with the times and roll with the punches, less they be swallowed by a professional mentality decades out of date. But for those of us who would maintain a belief in the skill and integrity of our craft, we must exist together to fight the good fight. When I walked around the Poly gallery in Falmouth, 12 of my recently shot dog portraits hung in beautiful frames across all four walls of the room, I found myself stood in the centre of it all. I paused and mused to myself. Here I was, a photography graduate from an esteemed art school, at my first solo exhibition, and the images I’m showing are of dogs. Just dogs, as dogs are known to be. These dogs, specifically, from local businesses in Falmouth who exemplify the Cornish seaside town’s dog friendly attitude. The project was light and approachable. It did not ask difficult
questions, it did not expect a degree of empathy or consideration from its audience. It simply existed then, as it does now, to highlight and celebrate one of the many things that make Falmouth a lovely place in the United Kingdom. My purpose for writing this is to give a bit more weight to a project I myself have been guilty of underselling. Because whilst photography is an important and necessary tool to revealing the hard truths of the world, it is equally purposeful towards highlighting the good and simple joys we may take for granted. Sometimes we should enjoy life for what it is, and less of what we think it should be. In the context of this magazine, consider the countless projects that have been featured within its digital pages, projects that speak of deeply personable and moving narratives. Issues of mental health, poverty, disability, class division, racism; these are important stories that deserve a platform. But as with everything, we always come back to maintaining a balance. Before you naysay the necessity of highlighting a project so gentle and dismissible as ‘dogs of the shops of Falmouth’, consider what it does in a wider sense. Photography can facilitate any emotion within a viewer, why then, should images purely designed to elicit a feeling of warmth and happiness be any less important in a media diet than images that cause negative, albeit purposed, responses?
After I finished musing in the middle of the empty gallery I concluded to myself, ‘don’t overthink it, just enjoy the images.’
Steel City Leticia photographed the city that was once the largest steel producer in the world.
Steel City is a common nickname for South Yorkshire city, Sheffield. Once one of the world’s biggest producers of steel, demand for the British material declined rapidly as foreign imports increased. My photographic series frames how this once huge industry quite literally shaped the way we live, and the mark that the trade left on the landscape. Whether you see it in the forefront of Sheffield’s hospitals and student accommodation, or deeply hidden within hundreds of other more subtle structures, this history is unavoidable. Over decades Sheffield has undergone a slow shift in trades, industry and exports, much like many cities across the UK. And sadly all as a result of the post-industrial world, decline in retail, and reduced necessity for British ‘product’. These cities rooted in industry have been forced to rebuild new jobs and exports. But although times are changing, the Steel City will never completely rid its permanent architectural history, seen in these images.
“In Happier Times” - Syria, 1999 www.flickr.com/photos/wildirishman37 Monthly single image
4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Issue #34 coming soon... Featuring Miguel A Blanco (right)
Lois Golding Editor-in-chief
Special feature photographer
Send us YOUR work: firstname.lastname@example.org 63.
Artur Dias Artist www.flickr.com/photos/ 30433986@N04/ All images and text published in 205dpi are the sole property of the featured authors and their subject copyright. 2016 ÂŠ 205dpi