Last week I went to Photo London 17 – I booked myself into a talk – to hear photographer Jack Davison and Kathy Ryan – Picture Editor for The New York Times Supplement, in conversation.
Davison is a young British photographer whom Kathy has championed early on in his career, by commissioning him to work on several projects for the NYT supplement.
He initially started with photography as part of his Art GCSE when he was 15 yrs old; he is self taught – later he was mentored by a few photographers – mainly Brett Walker, who Davison initially contacted through his Flickr account. Walker made Davison pound the pavements and visit him in Portobello once a month to work on street photography to begin with – making him see and respond quickly to ever changing situations.
Davison shoots mainly natural light and loves working in harsh light with high contrast shadows. He says he has an unplanned aspect to his work and often thinks on the hoof when he is there, shooting through ‘found’ objects frequently – as per the first portrait which is part of a series taken of the actors of Moonlight (A NYT commissioned piece). The link to the published article is here.
His influences include Dali and Picasso for the more surrealist aspects ; Saul Leiter, artist Georgia O’Keefe and photographer Viviane Sassen.
Link to his website: Jack Davison
The talk was very relaxed and Davison came across as a really down-to-earth, genuinely nice guy…. very unassuming and very conscious he has had recognition and success at a relatively early stage in his career (he is about 26 I think). It was engaging to hear his anecdotes of how he achieved certain images and to hear him talk about his thought process – it seems to be very intuitive for him.
As well as The New York Times Davison has worked with many other established publications, fashion houses and global companies. He is currently working on his own projects as well. He shoots digital and film.
I liked the work where he uses other items within the shot to create a completely different creative perspective and feel to an image – I am looking at utilising something like this within my own project for the Dreams and Reality subject.
Interestingly, as I was looking around the main exhibition after the talk I saw another series of portraits that appealed to me – also shot through other materials – image shown below:
Jack Davison &Kathy Ryan:
Examples of Davison’s work:
Criteria: 1.1, 1.2