April 6, 2008

Gavin Bell's interview


"Quite often I may run inside and grab my camera to shoot something, inspired by how light falls across it (an insect, a flower, my kids, a sunset)." Gavin Bell













" I am inspired by the photographers of old... The nudes of Ruth Bernhard, the surealism of Man Ray, the detail of Ansel Adams, the simplicity (and complexity) of Harry Callahan...

I like the way shadow falls across a face, the body... ...the texture of stone, of bark on a tree...

I like to shoot in Black & White film and the grain of a silver gellatin print, the solitude of a darkroom, the control of a studio...

Moreso I like meeting and shooting interesting people to capture interesting images..." Gavin Bell







"Statue of Jennie"











"Beauty treatment"

" ... a behind the scenes image... I think she was in shock when she saw herself !" Gavin Bell




Gavin, could you tell us how did your passion for photography begin ?

I started photography as a distraction after my father died. The more I learnt, the greater the hunger. My first art nude was a copy shot of Man Ray’s Le Violin d’Ingres with my wife. Then it became a ‘runaway train’. I was addicted to the whole process, the planning, the directing, the problem solving, post production, all with the aim to produce an image to be proud of.










"Dusk"
Art Model Dollybeck

"This was taken in the middle of a vinyard at sunset. I have tried options of B & W and sepia, but lose the sunset effect." Gavin Bell










After your father's death... The way for creation is so strange. And did you learn your art somewhere ?

Most of my technical knowledge and influences came from the Centre for Creative Photography here in Adelaide, South Australia. It is a great melting pot of fine art photographers of every genre. I am still learning and self evaluate after a shoot of what I could have done better as well as welcome critique from others. Hopefully I never stop learning and my photography continually evolves and improves.









"The Red Rose"
Art Model Isobella





An artist never stops learning... Is it your only job ?

Photography is a hobby (although my wife would call it an obsession). I am self employed in finance, which allows some flexibility when I shoot.


Talking about obsession, how long could you be far from your camera ?

Not far these days. Quite often I may run inside and grab my camera to shoot something, inspired by how light falls across it (an insect, a flower, my kids, a sunset). With digital photography a lot of spare time is also spent on Photoshop, playing with images.


Who are your favorite photographers ?

My favorite would be Marc Riboud. I never tire of his images, the subject matter, the composition. I like the way Harry Callahan thinks. He was a master of composition, from the complexity to the simplicity. My favorite nude photographers would be Ruth Bernhard, a pioneer in figure studies and more recently Helmut Newton.










"Picture This"
Art Model Anne Duffy










"Things of Shade and Colour..."
Art Model Anne Duffy









You work on a wide range of themes. Could you define your style ? What do you prefer ?

Actually I try hard to work any many themes. My first choice of where to shoot would be the studio, regardless of the genre. In the studio my first choice would be an art nude. However, I love shooting portraits, fashion, etc. The process is the same, as is the model interaction. My first love is to produce an image with artistic merit. I was once referred to as a nude photographer and this didn’t sit well. I prefer to be known as a photographer… someone who can shoot any topic of any style with some degree of proficiency.







"Highlights"
Art Model Anne Duffy





So, your photography isn't mostly nudes ?

Most of what is seen on online portfolios would be heavily weighted towards art nudes. I quite often shoot in both 35mm and Medium Format B & W film of a broad range of themes. Rarely does this get scanned, preferring to develop with traditional processes. I think there is something special about film that doesn’t translate to a digital image.


Do you plan every details of your shootings ?

I usually start with an idea. When you shoot against a blank screen, there is little to inspire (other than the model) from the environment, as apposed to an outdoor shoot, where the scenery is part of the creative process. I usually have an idea of a lighting style, whether it is high key or low key. I quite often plan ideas for days ahead of a shoot, but once I am in the studio it becomes more organic. Once I see how the light falls across the model ideas come quite quickly. I encourage the model to contribute to bring out their personality.










"Soaking Up The Sun"
Art Model Dollybeck

Hi all, "I have worked with Gavin and wanted to let you know that he is extremely professional in his work and trustworthy. He is both creative and fun to work with !!" Donna










"The Stable"
Art Model Dollybeck










Some kind words about your models ?

With art nudes there has to be trust for the model to be comfortable. I have a great deal of respect for all the models I shoot who have placed faith in me to produce an image that shows them in the best light. More importantly, without the model I cannot practice my art, so they are the most valuable resource to me.










"Dream Catcher"
Art Model Peach

"Working with Gavin was a real pleasure and honour. Not only has he got great talent and comes up with interesting ideas, he let me have an input and use my own creativity, which not all photographers allow. I really enjoyed working with him and will certainly go back down to Adelaide before long! PS: Gav also makes the best pasta!" Peach, Sydney





How do you feel at the end of a shooting ? Tired, I presume...


Pretty exhausted – mentally and physically. My friends think it is glamorous, but I am constantly doing calculations of exposure and interpreting, lying on my belly for a particular angle or climbing a chair or ladder. Once I shot up to 2am, then was up for the morning light… whatever it takes to get that image.


Have you some challenges you're dreaming about ?

Always dreaming, always looking for a challenge ! I have a few ideas lined up for some art nudes. The challenge is to always shoot something different, to nail the perfect picture.










"Bella Dona"
Art Model Isobella









When and where will be your next exhibition ?

I have regularly exhibited some of my work at the Centre of Creative Photography. I would like to exhibit my work later this year, but no firm dates.










"Ottobresosso's"
Art Model Jodie










You'll tell us ! Have you published a book ? In magazines ?

I have no publications to date, but I would like to time a book with an exhibition.







"The Corset"





Received ! A message to send before we leave ?


Art nudes have been depicted since man could draw on caves. It has always been the fascination of both artists and the viewer throughout history with paintings and the evolution to photography is just an extension of this genre. The only difference is light and shadow is the paint and the camera is the brush.

When some people can’t discern art nudes from porn, this is usually spawned from ignorance. Sites such as yours is great for spreading art nudes to a wider community and it is exciting to be introduced to many fine artists and images that inspire and influence.



I agree, of course !!! And I'm deeply honoured dear Gavin !!! Thanks for playing the game !









"Diamonds"
Art Model Isobella






Gavin Bell ©




1 comment:

Gavin Bell said...

Hi Chris
Thanks for the support. You should be aware that the image you have of the photographer is not me, but another photographer with the same name.
If there is a way to remove this, perhaps it would be the correct thing to do to avoid confussion.
Thanks as always.
Gavin Bell