NYC-based street photographer Adam Powell was one of the five photographers, we recently equipped with some Lomography Film for a group trip to Mexico City. Back then, we were chatting with Adam about exploring the streets of an unknown city and culture. This time around, however, his summer vacation took him back to his roots. With his camera in hand and again plenty of his favorite film, Lomography Color Negative 35mm ISO 800, Adam traveled to Suffolk, UK, a place he has plenty of childhood memories of.
Hi Adam, welcome back to the Lomography Magazine! Please introduce yourself real quick to our community again.
Hello! I am a British documentary and street photographer based in NYC. I’ve been taking photographs for about 3 years, my bread and butter is taking photographs of people out in public, but I also do documentary editorial work for a few magazines.
How did you find your love for street photography?
When I first moved to NYC, my favorite way to pass time was to walk around the city for hours, watching how the neighborhoods and the people in them change. My dad sent me his old 35mm camera and I just kept doing what I was doing but with a camera in my hand.
This time, you visited Suffolk with some Lomography Color Negative 800 film – Tell us a little about your trip.
Throughout my childhood and teenage years, my family used to take trips to the coastal town of Southwold, this summer I travelled back there with them for a 5 day break from the city. It’s a beautiful part of the UK, full of tradition and community, I spent a lot of the trip walking along the seafront, on the pier and around the local towns.
How was visiting a place that was once your home with a camera? Did you feel like a local or tourist?
It’s an interesting question, perhaps a bit of both? Although I am in familiar surroundings, I am looking at it all in a far different way than I used to, picking up on small quirks and paying attention to all of the nuances that I would never have noticed when I was a child, pre-photography.
After years of taking street photos in New York, has your perspective in the UK changed?
As mentioned above, photography has taught me to be much more attentive to the world, and I think that this has made me fall more in love with the UK. Every time I travel back home I am desperately keen to experience as many truly British things that I can, car boot sales, local fairs, cricket, but maybe that’s just a separation thing.
What are the main differences of shooting street in New York vs. Suffolk?
Shooting in Suffolk I found far more challenging than shooting in NYC. In NYC, there is activity on every street corner, and if someone doesn’t like that you took a photo of them you can for the most part just stroll off into a crowd. In Suffolk, like any more rural area, you have to work a lot harder to find the moments that you want to capture, there’s a lot more waiting around. And once you do take a photo, you’re left really exposed if the subject notices you, luckily most people are just curious about why and I didn’t encounter animosity, just lots of friendly conversations,which you don’t get too much in NYC.
Can you pick one photo of the series and tell us the story behind it?
This man is named Peter, he’s been a working fisherman in the town of Southwold all of his life and you’ll notice that he has half of his ear missing. Yes, you guessed it, hedge-trimming accident.