After shooting 35mm for a number of years I was intrigued by the higher resolution, and richer images produced by medium format cameras. I was a sucker for that ratio you get from a 6×7 negative too, but after seeing Joel Meyerowitz’ book Between the Dog and Wolf, my intrigue in larger formats began to build. “Why go medium when you can go large,” I thought? So I took the plunge, started researching eBay and the Large Format Photography forum (a great resource), and managed to find a kit for sale.
I used to shoot a lot of street, where the ethos is to always have the camera with you and always have it ready. Once you have that ingrained it really helps – always looking, always ready. That mindset never left me – even after I moved to a rural area with very little ‘street’ type scenes happening.
Chris asked me to write about my mindset when photographing one of my recent (and ongoing) projects – Give Way. This got me thinking a lot about why I bother to do this in the first place. I pour a huge amount of time, effort, thought and resources into photography and after dwelling on this I am still not sure I have nailed down a firm answer as to why. However, the need to make something or to be creative has always been with me and for the last 10 years it has been channeled through photography. I am constantly thinking about project ideas, concepts and getting interested in subject matter that I can photograph. I don’t really know why I have this drive within me, but if I don’t concentrate on it and exercise it, I get irritable and can be a pain in the ass to live with. Photography is a way to express myself, a way to look at specific subjects in detail – it is also a handy excuse to get me out of the house and to allow me to speak to people I otherwise wouldn’t talk to.
For more, check out James’ Instagram.
Fact: digital marketing isn’t always the most effective method of marketing your photography. That’s why photographers have been creating zines for years. Of any of the photographers in the stable of the Phoblographer, James Moreton perhaps understands this the most. He’s a man who is all about something that’s tactile, film, and aesthetics. And he’s also collaborated on and made zines.
From the perspective of a photographer, I asked him to talk about the zine making process and his newest zine.
We recently asked new Staff Contributor James Moreton to discuss his project The Kingdom, how he became interested in photography and why black and white film?
The Kingdom is a project based in the area of Northern Ireland where I now call home. Dalriada was an ancient Gaelic over-kingdom that stretched from the Glens of Antrim right up to Argyll and Lochaber in Scotland – at that time it was easier for people to cross the sea between Ireland and Scotland than to cross the hills over the land. For me personally, this project is a reaction to finally finding a place to call home; when I was 21 I had lived in 21 different places – so I am a bit of a nomad! When I moved here the landscape fascinated and intrigued me and I wanted to try and take a snapshot of my local community. I have a strong creative streak and desire to express myself, usually through photography, and this felt like a decent backbone to a series of pictures.