During December 2013 and the early part of 2014 I was looking for a new job so my photography took a back seat. I'd also just bought a Fuji X100 and was struggling to get anything other than out of focus rubbish.
I found a role in Edinburgh and moved up there in February and during my first weekend Enna took me to an underground car park in the city centre. We walked down the stairs to level -4 and when we went through the doors I knew I'd found my new project. Taking place, far underground, was a car boot sale.
When I think about my photography it's all based around people standing and waiting on platforms, perfectly lit by spotlights with loads of texture and depth around them. I pull people out of the crowd and freeze them; constantly fascinated by interesting and unusual faces. With my Nikon I'd been getting closer and closer to my subjects on the London Underground but when I bought my Fuji it's focal length was 24mm and the autofocus was much slower. As it turned out the underground car park was perfect for the new camera, I was stepping back and observing so a lightning fast autofocus wasn't always needed, also the wider lens actually brought more to the scene. Each bay was lit by a spotlight and also down the centre of each corridor, this meant that everyone was steeped in light and shadow which made for some excellent shots.
I went back to the car boot sale every Sunday morning for four months, I played with using my Fuji on numerous settings, took the Nikon a couple of times and eventually bought a Sony A6000 but the best shots were taken on the Fuji on almost auto settings. It brought back my days at Borough Market but enhanced by the months and months on the London Underground building up the nerve to shoot people who were looking straight down the lens of the camera.
After 4 months I felt the project was finished, I’m not sure why but it had come to a close. I used a website called The Newspaper Club to create a newsprint tabloid of the project and had 10 copies made, I sent them to various magazines and in early 2015 my shots will appear in Amateur Photographer.
The Sony did allow me to get back into close up work on Princes Street in Edinburgh, my Lunchtagram project was a combination of the new super fast autofocus on the Sony, it's Wifi function to send a shot directly to my phone and Instagram. I had wanted to get back into using Instagram for a while but never saw much point because the camera on my phone was just not easy to use. When I got the Sony suddenly I could go out at lunchtime and have a shot up on Instagram as soon as I got back to my desk at work in the afternoon.
During my time at FreeAgent Roan Lavery asked me to take some pictures for him as an Australian magazine called Offscreen was doing a piece on him. They gave us reasonably strict style guides and we shot lots of pictures around the office, in coffee shops and the back streets of Edinburgh. The resulting article and shots looked fantastic. It's also reignited my curiosity in taking portraits.
Coming back to London in the Autumn ment back on the Tube! I had missed it so much and now my commute involves going through two major stations, St Pancras and Paddington, and using a very busy tube line. Using the 35mm lens on the Sony means my shots have been wider and much more like the car boot shots. I’m hoping to build another portfolio of tube shots that are less portrait and much more about the life of the commute and find some interesting scenes. I’m also looking for another project, something like the car boot sale that I can regularly go to and build up over time.
So overall this year has been excellent, I feel I’ve grown and expanded my work while still maintaining the overall themes and style.