artist spotlight – nicola davison reed

Self Portrait (c) Nicola Davison Reed

Nathan: If you had to describe your overall photographic vision in 25 words or less, what words would you choose?

Nicola: Black & White Photography of Conceptual photography, thinking outside the box & classic Street Photography & Street Portraits

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

Nathan: Why are you drawn to long exposure photography?

Nicola: I like to play with LE; it’s fun and artful

Nathan: Why do you prefer black and white photography?

Nicola: It’s  just my preference

Nathan: Where do you think long exposure photography is going? Has it become a cliché?

Nicola: Yes .. LE of architecture has become a cliche, and I am glad it has become less prevalent.

Nathan: Describe your connection(s) to the subject matter(s) you photograph? For example, if you are drawn to landscapes, what about the landscape, or nature, draws you to photograph it?

Nicola: I am drawn to Street because I enjoy the urban landscape; I enjoy the backstreets, the backstage of this drama called Life.  I am drawn to street portaits because I love 99.9% of Humans.

Nathan: Photography is many things … but one of its most important facets is the connection between what a photographer sees and how he or she chooses to capture it. This relationship typically changes over time— so much so, in fact, that many photographers feel it changes how they see. What are your thoughts about this?

Nicola: I agree with this.

Nathan: Do you (a) previsualize what your photograph is going to look like, (b) discover what you wish to create as you create, or (c) engage a little of both?

Nicola: I engage a little of both

Nathan: When you process your photos, do you listen to music? If yes, what music do you prefer to listen to and do you think that music influences how you process your images?

Nicola: Yes, I listen to music: from Tchaikovsky, The Smiths, Oasis, Armand van Helden, Paul Weller; music is very important to me; maybe it does influence how I process my images.  I have no idea.

Nathan: Who are three of your favorite photographers, and, more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?

Nude London, 1952 (c) Bill Brandt

Nicola: Andre Kertesz, Bill Brandt and Henri Cartier Bresson. I am sure my appreciation for their work has passed through the books and images and postcards of their work through my eye into my blood and took hold of my soul and breathed their way into way own work; I’m sure of it; in some ways, I would hope so, for they are the Masters; there are many more but you asked for three.

Nathan: Select a single photograph by another artist that inspires you. Explain why you are drawn to it and how it has inspired you. 

Nicola: This photo was one of a few that truly inspired me back when I was using film and developing & enlarging.  I used to photograph it then develop it then enlarge it and print it to see what it would look like; I just loved the high contrast and to me it was so stunning and artful back in the eighties when I was shooting with my Praktika SLR.  Again, this is one of many photographs I was influenced by.

Nathan: What artistic influences, outside of photography, have had a significant influence on how you approach your photography (for example, painters, filmmakers, musicians, poets, etc.)?

Nicola: D. H. Lawrence for his writing– and he is a local lad. Shakespeare for his wisdom and beautiful insightful literature . Picasso for his wonderful out of the box thinking and art. Tony Richardson for his gritty film direction in films like A Taste of Honey and The Entertainer. Sylvia Plath and Philip Larkin for their realistic poetry.

Nathan: What are your thoughts about trying to find the best gear possible versus working on making the best possible image with the gear you already have?

Nicola: I shoot in an ‘eclectic” ( I’m told”) studio, the studio is kitted out with things I have found, or been given, from a charity shop or a trip.  My gear is 2 cameras: one which was half-funded by the Local Enterprise scheme; I stood in front of a panel and convinced them I could make photographs that would make money to pay rent so I could continue with my conceptual and street photography … so gear is not of great importance to me.

Nathan: How would you define fine art? Is it just a label?

Nicola: Everything has a label , a label is merely a way of identifying something, of giving a reference point, otherwise we would all be just grunting at each other. So it is just a label, but i think A, R, & T are 3 great letters put together successfully to illustrate the point

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

Nathan: If you had to come up with one very important lesson that you think every photographer needs to learn, what would it be?

Nicola: Stay hungry; even if you don’t need the money, shoot like you only have 1 quid in your pocket.

Nathan: What are your thoughts about the benefits of online sharing? Are there any particular social media or image sharing sites you prefer or do not prefer?

Nicola: Online sharing has been my international encyclopedia; it took me from my small midlands town some years ago and allowed me to discover photographers; it helped me research photography and has inspired me 100%; I’ve loved the whole adventure … the sharing has been essential. I prefer Instagram, Ello, G+, Twitter and FB.

Nathan: What are our thoughts about photography contests? Do you think they are (a) a true measure of artistic success or value, (b) just an opportunity for a business to make money off photographers looking for exposure and validation, or (c) something in-between a and b?

Nicola:  I entered lots of competitions. I now have a camera bag, a pistol for my tripod; i won a Nikon camera ( which I sold for cash because it was Nikon after all– and I’m a Canon Lass). I have no problems with contests, but i am getting tired of all the ones asking for money; certain sites hold one contest and then as soon as that is over they run another with a different theme … that reeks of money grabbing, and that i do not like.

Nathan: What photographic cliché or common photography question, if any, irritates you the most (e.g. did you use Photoshop or is your shot straight out of the camera)?

Nicola: What camera should I buy my kid … just annoys me … I think because I’ve tried to answer it so many times.

Nathan: If you were stranded on an island, and you could have one camera, one lens, one filter, one tripod, two books, and ten CDs, what would they be and why?

Nicola: Hasselblad H5D-40 medium Format Digital Camera.  I won’t use a tripod, will use rocks or make one (this will give me something to do).
No filter and will use whatever lens comes with that spacecraft of a camera that is the Hassy

Dove by Robin Lee Graham and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

Nathan: Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?

Nicola: yes there are but one thing ive learned is to play my cards close to my chest

Nathan: Is there any specific place that you would like to visit to take photos?

Nicola: Paris … because I went there taking photos in my film days and I want to do it again; I find Paris compelling, romantic and important.

Nathan: Is there anything else you wish to add?

Nicola: Nope

 

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Explore more of Nicola’s photography: Website | Facebook | Instagram (@nicoladavisonreed)| Twitter | Ello

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Spotlight on Two Images

Tommy (c) Nicola Davis Reed: This is my most fearful portrait to date.  Without wanting to indict anyone– I cant go much into the ins & outs of this portrait– it is safe-to-say I saw ‘him,’ and, on my approach, I took a deep breath and asked: “would you mind if I took your portrait?”  Of course, he asked “What for?”  I explained I am a street photographer &  interested in characters of which I thought he was one. I explained the picture would not be used against him in any negative way.  He said “go on then”; he allowed me to snap away whilst he walked around his trove of treasures he had ‘acquired’ from the towns back gardens.  What I think I like about his portrait is this: he reminds me of a Sheikh, which is so polar opposite to the truth of what he had “become.” Also, after stepping over the boundary of fear, I think he showed me a part of his soul, albeit a still slightly veiled one; I don’t think I was the only curious one.

 

The Art Student (c) Nicola Davison Reed: I am very fortunate to have an Art Gallery as my neighbour because sometimes the curator has art students over. As a collaboration with Gosh Gallery next door, I was asked to open my studio to the art students and give them an insight to how a photography gallery functions. As my studio is far from contemporary (although I like to think the images I produce are), I decided the best and perhaps only way for me to teach these art dudes and dudesses anything was by asking them to be my sitter. This portrait I love because of the sitter;s generosity of soul, looking straight down the lens and sharing with me his spirit (I thought , although he may have just been thinking what he was going to have for lunch). I love the textures in his coat and his hair too. I often ask a sitter to lean on their hands; this way I get to see their hands, which are as important a character in a portrait as the face I think.

 

A Gallery

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

(c) Nicola Davison Reed

 

All images on this page– unless otherwise noted– are protected by copyright and may not be used  for any purpose without Nicola Davison Reed‘s permission.
The text on this page is protected by copyright and may not be used for any purpose without Nicola Davison Reed or Nathan Wirth‘s permission.