Kingsdown Lowdown is the name of a new project that I’m putting together. My aim is to have an exhibition later this year to present this work.
The idea behind the project is to document some of the great talent involved in the Bristol music scene. This project won’t be just about musicians though. I also want to concentrate on the unsung heroes and heroines of the scene like the promoters, venue owners and the technical people who help put on shows and record the music that we listen to and buy. I’ve also lined up a couple of the great instrument makers we have in the city, one of whom has been based right in the heart of Kingsdown for some time.
All photographs in the project will be shot in the Kingsdown area of Bristol. Kingsdown is a favourite part of the city for me because I’ve always liked the feel of the place and I even lived there for a short time in the early days of my residency in the city. The area is also significant for me in that it was in the Kingsdown Vaults in 2012 that I first began documenting the live Bristol music scene that I know through my photography.
The Kingsdown Lowdown project is being shot on film using a large format 4x5 camera made by Intrepid Cameras in the UK (see pic). It’s the first time I’ve ever used a large format field camera and its an interesting choice in some ways because you would normally see these being used to shoot landscapes or in a studio portrait setting. I like working with people and I like being outdoors and finding interesting locations so that’s that.
I love the large negatives this camera produces. The quality of the image and the depth and tone is really special. You need to look at one with a lupe on a lightbox to really see what I mean.
I’m shooting mainly on Fomapan black and white film stock and I’m processing all the negatives myself using the fantastic facilities at St Pauls Darkrooms in Bristol. I’ll be selecting favourite images from each of the shoots to hand print also at the same premises. Printing has already started and the portfolio box has had its first additions recently.
An exhibition is in the early stages of planning for later in the year and an issue of Trickbox will be published to accompany the exhibition.
It’s been a lot of fun so far in putting this together. The people I’ve worked with have been so supportive of the idea and have been extremely patient with me while I get up to speed with the camera. The beauty of this type of photography to me is the need to slow the process down, concentrate on what I’m doing and take my time. It’s a far cry from live music photography where I’m having to be alert all the time and quick to respond to what’s happening in front of me. It makes a nice change to slow the pace down and have a chat.
To date I’ve photographed:
……… and there’s plenty more to come over the summer.
Get in touch if you want to be part of this project and I’ll give you more information. Those people who have contacted me recently will be getting booked in shortly.