Photographic influences, Paul Taylor, Shed Artist of the Week.

 

What first drew you to photography?

I have toyed with photography ever since I was a teenager, for a long time no day trip was complete without me taking a few photographs, I preferred landscape photography to portraiture or ‘selfies’. But often a visit to Boots chemists to get the photos developed yielded disappointing results. Back in the heyday of Vinyl records I was an enthusiastic consumer and big fan of the album artwork, in fact one of my works at the Shed is inspired my the Vaughn Oliver artwork for the Cocteau Twins -

Cocteau Tadpoles by Paul Taylor

Cocteau Tadpoles by Paul Taylor

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Any other artistic interests ?

I studied Art at ‘O’ level and ‘A’ level until I eventually dropped it deciding 4 ‘A’ levels was to much for me. But in my twenties and thirties I did a number of evening classes in Painting and Drawing

and I’ve always made a beeline for art galleries when on holiday and visiting a major city for the first time.

 

What has been the greatest advance in photography?

Without doubt digital photography, firstly because it allowed almost unlimited shots to be taken at minimal cost. Secondly the images could be transferred directly to a computer without the interim printing stage and any adjustments made to allow for any failures in the camera or photographer !

 

Why did you join the Shed Photography?

Firstly moving from Leeds to Bridport in 2010 and having all these new places to explore and the general artistic buzz of Bridport increased my interest in photography. After purchasing a new camera I started to build up a large digital photographic library, then in 2014 on a whim I entered the Guardians inPictures word themed weekly competition and won with Cornish Crush:

Cornish Crush by Paul Taylor

Cornish Crush by Paul Taylor

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That was the kickstart I needed to take my photography more seriously. A subsequent inspirational talk by Stephen Banks and chat with Chelsea Davine was the push I needed to actually join the Shed community.

Path to Enlightenment by Stephen Banks

Path to Enlightenment by Stephen Banks

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What is your favourite photographic memory, and why?

Photographs themselves are a great aid memoir, without the I don’t think I would remember half the things I had done. But it was great feeling going to the opening of the Marshwood Vale Art Awards

and in a crowded room seeing how many people were taking a close look at a large print of my West Bay Fishing boat image:

 

West Bay Fishing Boat by Paul Taylor

West Bay Fishing Boat by Paul Taylor

 

 

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Who is your favourite photographer, on the Shed and why?

I love some of Catherine Gillinghams work such as:

400 degrees by Catherine Gillingham

400 degrees by Catherine Gillingham

 

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She can take a familiar subject and turn in into an unfamiliar and magical image, she also has a nice line in one of my favourite subjects – rust.

 

And what about outside the Shed ?

I’ve been enjoying Tim Booths Show of Hands book with its deep contrast images of hands and the story behind the people:

A Show of Hands is an extensive photographic study of the hands of Britain by the photographer Tim Booth

A Show of Hands is an extensive photographic study of the hands of Britain by the photographer Tim Booth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What would be your ideal camera?

I’m not sure if exists yet. I like to have a camera with me at all times but I don’t want that to be an inconvenience so its needs to be small. Yet have high quality lenses that work in dim light, and for lenses to be able to work well as macro and wide angle, zoom is not such an issue I don’t use a large zoom that much, I could do without Video as well. I like the look of the new compact system cameras such as the Panasonic Lumix GX8.

 

And where would you take it?

When I watched Skyfall I was very taken by the evil masterminds hideout. It turned out to be Hashima Island, Japan – an abandoned island that previously supported undersea coal mines. I also would love to go to Ankor Wat, Cambodia. Both places are drenched in atmosphere.

When/where are you most creative?

Sometimes I’m excited about going somewhere because on paper its seems like a good place for shots, but often I stumble across something totally unplanned in the most mundane of places. Such as this image of a concrete farming building:

Concrete Waterfall by Paul Taylor

Concrete Waterfall by Paul Taylor

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How would you describe your style of photograph?

Predominantly, I try to approach photography more like a painter approaches a canvas rather than the traditional documentary approach. I love the interplay between the manmade environment and nature and the results when these materials decay. I do not stage my photographs instead I like to capture the beauty of the mundane and overlooked as I come across them and I concentrate on closeup flat perspectives. My colour photography is very much about texture, colour and sometimes re-intepretation of the scene so it becomes something else. My black and white photography concentrates on pattern, simplifying the image into repetitive textures.

What are the most important elements of a successful photo?

Keep your eyes open you need to find the image and try and go for something not so obvious. The most important element is composition, especially consider the edges of the frame. Then you need to work with the light you have not against it. If photo editing is required it can be much slower than the original composition so try and concentrate and getting it right at source, and take a few additional images as digital images are cheap.

Artist of the Week, Paul Taylor, on his photography.

Originally from North Oxfordshire I obtained a degree at the University of Leeds and spent many years in the great Northern cities of Leeds and Manchester. However I had always been attracted to the South-West and have been based in Bridport since 2010.
Beer Rocks by Paul Taylor

Beer Rocks by Paul Taylor

In order to keep away from cliches and provide a fresh perspective it helps to know the area well so I concentrate my photography in West Dorset with regular forays further west into Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. I have always been interested in localism and where the photograph is taken is very important to me so I catalogue all my images by their location. I am always drawn to the less obvious and the overlooked. For these reasons the site is called Secret Dorset, although of course not all the photographs are taken in Dorset.
Durdle Door - The Other Side by Paul Taylor

Durdle Door - The Other Side by Paul Taylor


I try to approach photography more like a painter approaches a canvas rather than the traditional documentary approach. I enjoy the interplay between the manmade environment and nature and as these materials decay they harmonize better with their surroundings. I do not stage my photographs instead I like to capture the beauty of the mundane and overlooked as I come across them. I concentrate on closeup flat perspectives, and my colour photography is very much about texture, colour and sometimes re-intepretation of the scene so it becomes something else. My black and white photography concentrates on pattern, simplifying the image into repetitive textures.
S J Bowles 16A by Paul Taylor

S J Bowles 16A by Paul Taylor


All my work is available to buy either as a high quality and highly durable aluminium print that is ready to hang or as a high quality photo print that can be framed and mounted to your requirements. Just click on the shop link to purchase any image on this site.
Paul.

Just A Walk In The Park – Day 5

Day 5-

I woke early. I had no TV so checked out the state of my feet which was pretty bad. I was getting ready to meet Liv so I got my gear ready, had breakfast and set off to the meeting point. It was here that I decided to carry on a bit more. I remember seeing that Lifeboat in rough seas and was thinking if they can do that I can carry on for a little bit. I also wanted to prove to myself that I could push myself when needed. I know I can mentally but physically??

The Hut by Matthew Wardle

The Hut by Matthew Wardle

I headed up towards Charmouth. Looking back from here you can see all the way back to Weymouth. It reminds me of how amazing Dorset is and how lucky we are in this country. I reached the top of my final climb and smiled. I knew Liv would be waiting for me and I took one more look around to see what I had done. This was my 71st mile and the most I have walked before. I have raised £560 for cause I believe in. And I have pushed myself all the way.

I headed to Seatown with the Foals in my ears, Again I was singing away with no one around. I got to the beach and took a deep breath. I hadn’t done the full distance but that was a hell of a walk, and an experience I will not forget!

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Just A Walk In The Park – Day 4

Day 4-

The breakfast was as I expected it to be. I remember watching Darling Buds of May on TV years ago and it reminded me of that. I said this to Jane the owner as she seemed delighted in that. I was informed that the eggs were out of the chicken that had just walked past the french doors and the chicken gave me a cheeky look to make sure I was enjoying them! It was a great start to the day and I was a little sad to leave. But I set off and made my way around Fleet water to get to my destination of West Bay.

My feet were really painful today and every loose stone under foot made me wince in pain.

I stopped every mile to photograph this stretch of coast and it really is stunning.

These locations don’t get photographed enough.. But I think that is a good thing!!

The Right Path by Matthew Wardle

The Right Path by Matthew Wardle

Heading on from fleet I walked a good few miles before deciding I need lunch. My energy bars were running out and my energy was going. The pain was getting to the point where lose ground was getting to painful so I decided to head to a road a walk from there to Wet Bay.

I found a pub in a village called Langton Herring (typically Dorset) and grabbed a bite to eat. I spoke to the guys behind the bar and he said you could walk it footpaths. After lunch I set off. I passed many fields that were once open land and where footpaths allowed you to link up tracks to take you to Bridport but they were all now blocked. I decided that I would walk towards the main road and hope there was a footpath on there.

As I reached the main road I was begging for a footpath but there was nothing. Not even a verge! I had no choice but to walk down the road. It was busy and trucks and cars were missing me by inches. I was not happy doing this but it was my only way to get to where I wanted to get to.

After 30 minutes of heart stopping traffic dodging I came to a bus stop! I knew I could get to West Bay from here but I didn’t want to fail by getting the bus. At this point I had done 65 miles in 4 days. I had only 8 miles to go today. But I decided I couldn’t carry on. I waited for the bus and when it came the bus driver cheered me up by asking me what I was doing and where did I start from? He said ‘Well Done Lad. You should be proud’ to which gave me a little smile.

Heading to my accommodation that night I managed to walk and additional 2 miles. I stopped at South Field Bed and Breakfast. The welcome was again warm and friendly and I was shown to my accommodation.

I called Liv (my missus) and told her that could hardly walk so would she pick me up from West Bay the following day?

I had dinner and fell asleep early that night. I was knackered!

Just A Walk In The Park – Day 3.

Day 3-

I woke up in pain. I counted 4 blisters on my right foot and my Achilles tendon on my left was killing me. I knew today was going to be a good walk. Portland was on the agenda for today and this was a location that I had never really photographed.

After my Breakfast at the cosy Fosters Guest House I walked down the prom. The weight in my bag was staring to hurt my shoulders and my feet were giving me a lot of grief. But I knew I was doing this for a good cause so I carried on. I walked around Weymouth before heading towards Chesil Beach. I have always been meaning to stop here and knew I had today and part of tomorrow to take it in. It is a stunning location and as I walked on to Portland I got the view that looks across towards Devon. However I didn’t have my tripod with me so I couldn’t get the shot I wanted!! Maybe next time!!

Still Waiting by Matthew Wardle

Still Waiting by Matthew Wardle

I headed through Castletown a place that time has seemed to forget. The old navy town is no more than a ghost town. I wondered on looking to pick up the coast path again and found it climbing through rows of houses in a council estate. It reminded me of Wythenshawe, My home town and thoughts of playing football on the roads, while being shouted in for my dinner ran through my mind.

By this time my feet were still hurting but it was the music getting me through. Oasis and pearl Jam were giving me inspiration and the odd Kurt Cobain lyric was egging me on and after what seemed like a day’s walking I reached Portland Bill.

The way back was a lot easier, although the descents were playing havoc on my feet.

I headed in to Wykes Regis at 4pm. I found a pub which had a Juke Box that seemed to be playing nothing but Rod Stewart and didn’t serve food until 5pm. So I headed to the overnight stop of Swallows Rest. The welcome I received was warm and friendly. I had an upgraded too! And the only way to describe it was perfect.

I jumped in the shower. Checked out my feet, which made me wish I hadn’t as they were in bits and went to the pub to get food. The Juke Box was even playing an indie mix of music and as I order the scampi and chips and an ale The Stone Roses came on. I was happy, Manchester music, ale and food. I was even given a paper to read. I left a little merry but happy..

I must admit I was feeling the pain a bit. I had not really done any training for this and even though I had all the correct gear I still felt I could of done with more. I was also running out of plasters which were being used up every night on my ever growing number of blisters. Despite this I was happy. I am doing something worthwhile. I know it is not walking the Alps but it is still a challenge and just being away from home is a pretty tough test too