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.