Making a Moment: @grenville's Simple and Clean Composition

In our article series, Making a Moment, we’re asking photographers to share one of their favorite photos that they’ve taken. We want to know the story behind the final image and everything that went into making it.

In this edition we meet John (AKA @grenville) who came to film photography after retiring from his scientific job and deciding on a complete change of direction. He has dabbled in painting, writing and video, but film photography has been his most enduring hobby. He tells us that he’s fascinated by the way different types of film transform the look of an image, and browses the LomoHomes of fellow photographers whenever he needs inspiration for different styles and techniques.

Credits: grenville

John: I like to take photos in art galleries; uncluttered white walls, carefully curated exhibits; it’s ideal for black and white photography. When you’re in the street, there is always a waste bin, or an extraneous passer-by. Art gallery spaces are often deserted, apart from the attendant. It’s easy to strike up a conversation about the exhibition, or about art in general. The attendant may be an artist themself, and understand your creative practice. They are often happy to pose for you. When I say pose, I mean continue to read their book, and allow you to include them in your composition!

This photo was taken in the upper space at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh. It gets flooded with light when the sun shines. The attendant kindly agreed for me to use her as the focal point of the image. I love the simplicity of the composition; the small details - the water bottle under the chair and the outsize boots.

It’s never easy asking anyone if you can take their photograph. There’s a power imbalance in favour of the photographer. It’s a one-way transaction. But there’s also pressure on the photographer not to mess things up: to make the whole experience a pleasant one for the sitter, and to come up with a worthwhile image. If you are going to try this, then an art gallery is an ideal place to start.

This photo was taken with Kodak Double-X 5222. I’ve found it ideal for shooting in gallery spaces. Having said that, I don’t stick to one type of film. It’s important to experiment; to find a film which suits the effect you’re trying to achieve. I’m often trying to produce images which are dark, blurry, and enigmatic.

To see more of John's photography be sure to check out his LomoHome.

In this series of articles we're asking you to share the story behind your favorite photo. Interested in being featured? Email with the subject line - Making a Moment.

written by alexgray on 2024-02-25 #making-a-moment #gallery #black-and-white #experimental #edinburgh #community #making-a-moment

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