Each week I will be asking a mobile photographer to choose the one image of theirs that they are most proud of. It does not have to be their best, or the one that has received the most recognition, just the one image that they are more emotionally connected with than any other.
This week’s artist is Albion Harrison-Naish.
This feature has been fortunate enough to showcase images from some of the best mobile photographers at work, but this week’s artist is, in my opinion, THE BEST mobile photographer around.
It’s a bold statement but it is how I feel about this photographer’s work. Strip away all that bullshit involved in ‘getting your work out there’, look through all that networking to see only the images and I very much doubt anyone would not feel that his work deserves to be right up there, alongside the very best.
A master of light and shadow, Albion uses Hipstamatic to capture his images, with no further editing and processing applied. The shots are taken with the app, as they are seen through the square viewfinder, nothing else added. Consider that when looking at images such as “Showdown In Sydneytown“, “Happy Hour“, “19 Martin Place” and my absolute personal favourite, this untitled shot of surfers and beach goers on Bondi Beach, the very image that gained him a feature in Hipstamatic’s own Snap Magazine.
No other photographer has taught me so much about mobile photography, simply from looking at their work, than this week’s artist. This embarrassingly gushing introduction is how highly I rate him as an artist and how pleased I am that he is contributing this week’s feature.
The Photo I Am Most Proud Of: Albion Harrison-Naish
It’s a hard notion to consider. Which photo am I most proud of. I definitely hadn’t thought about it much before I was asked to choose one for this feature. I have favourite shots, and indeed shots that I am rather proud of, for one reason or another. And it’s that last bit, for one reason or another, that makes this choice set before me here, so devilishly challenging. Some shots stick in the mind or the heart because they were the first time you discovered a potential new way of seeing and shooting that although you may have come across by happenstance, opens your eyes to a whole new world of possibilities.
Other shots are the culmination of attempting a certain approach unsuccessfully for a while and then, eureka! successfully. The first colour photo I was genuinely happy with is a shot I am very proud of. Sometimes you try and photograph a well photographed location, over many months trying to find a different and yet interesting way of capturing it. Pulling that off is always a great moment and I have a few shots of which I’m very proud in that way. But these are all just little milestones on the way of learning the craft and art of photography, something I’m still relatively new to.
And so I whittled it down, then again I whittled further. In the end I chose the shot you see. Why am I most proud of this one? Well that’s a complex thing to answer and not least because like in most of my photography, I’m taking that last step in my decision making, by instinct. But reasons there must be and reasons there are.
Firstly and importantly, I am proud of it as an image, stripped of any extra meaning it may have for me. I like the white silver flagstones and the energy and noir-ish mystery and slight menace of the scene. Unlike most shots I’ve taken, I wouldn’t change anything about it. That in and of itself is almost reason enough, so rare is it for me to feel that way.
But really what makes me especially proud of this one is twofold. The shot is part of a little series of four photos. A great mate of mine, who I met on flickr, and I met up one afternoon to have a drink and take a few late afternoon photos amongst the heart of the city. This fella was one of the first people to respond strongly and creatively to my photography and has become a treasured friend and someone who has often opened my eyes to what I am doing. He helped me see that one of the early themes of my work was the line between reality and imagination, something I’ve not spent as much time with lately. I’d decided I wanted to take a series of candid shots of him, drawing him into my photographic world, a character in my imaginary Sydney. He had helped me to see that aspect of my creativity and he enjoyed it so much, I wanted to make him a part of it, in a playful way I knew he would appreciate. In case you hadn’t guessed, that’s him disappearing into the shadows with his camera out, chasing down a shot. So it’s special in that way. But also and lastly, it is special to me because I succeeded in achieving what I set out to, but not in any way I’d imagined. And that combination of a half plan, or an idea of a plan and the realisation of it in unexpected ways that are led by situation and instinct is something I very much enjoy.