Fine Art Print #2 - Greenwich

When you’re working as a photographer, the needs of your
client always trumps your own personal whims and fancies; and that is perfectly
fine – even creatives need to pay the rent, and often, commissioned shoots and
jobs push you out of your comfort zone and ultimately make you a better

The downside to being a jobbing snapper, is that sometimes
you spend so much time with the camera working, the last thing you want to do with
your spare time is to shoot for pleasure. I’m not one of those photographers
who always has a camera on them. Mine is not in pristine condition – it’s
battered, old, worn and held together with bits of gaffer tape, and frankly, it’s
a pain in the arse having to drag it about. For a bit of context, there is a
photograph I’ve planned in my head for three years now that is only a ten
minute walk from my house and I haven’t yet…

However; a request from my best friend from school who now
lives on Australia inspired me to think about my approach, changed the way I
shoot and actually helped me reconnect with my past which in turn helped me
through some pretty tough personal times over the last few years.

I’m not sure when The Chaston Project first came about – but
it must have been around 2013/14ish. He’d lived in Australia for a few years at
this point – but I think he was missing London a little bit because he wanted me
to capture London as he remembered it for some art on his living room wall.

We grew up in the same area, we both loved theatre and Soho,
and had those shared experiences through our teens and into our early twenties
that shaped us in very similar ways. So I started in central London and then
later out to the East, where he eventually settled, but which I had little
connection with really, and then back to South East London, in and around
Greenwich and Charlton and Woolwich where we both grew up.

I hadn’t an interest in photographing places then at all. I
was massively into music and gig photography at the time and my photography was
all about capturing a moment, the electricity of the power of music; the frenetic
energy that made for an exciting visual representation that matched the soundtrack.
That was my one and only goal in photography.

I’d always thought of landscape and architectural
photography as dull and uninspiring. It doesn’t change. I always thought of it
as photography for the sake for just a pretty picture. I can’t believe now how
arrogant I was.

In this project, what I found was the emotional connection
between the photographer and the picture which made photography much more personal
and fulfilling. It was only at this point that it meant something to me, and
what I realised was that although the music photography captured a raw energy –
it was a job. Unless I loved an artist or a band, there was no emotional
connection. It was just a picture to be bought through a press agency for £20 a
time. I guess, for me, they lacked soul.

Going back to those areas I grew up for the first time in more
than a decade in a lot of cases, it forced me to face a lot of things I had run
from in the first place, and I was able to put to bed a lot of those anxieties,
find some acceptance in myself and finally be at peace with a whole period of
my life which was a pretty profound realisation.

Since then, what started as a project for a friend, has
turned into an ongoing passion project to revisit my past and document all
those places that shaped me. Sort of like therapy, but cheaper. One of those
places is Greenwich, which brings us back to the photograph.

Everyone has their own special place, that defines who they
are and their connection to the world. Mine is Greenwich. I’ve been to so many
nicer places in the world, and fallen in love with them all, but Greenwich is
where I call home and is where my heart will always be. Still. 14 years after
moving out of London. So many pivotal moments in my life happened there. I have
so many memories, good, bad, sad and happy that it is difficult to unravel it all
to make sense of what Greenwich is to me; except to say that…it is everything.

This spot from where the photo is taken is my favourite spot
in all of London, if not the whole entire flippin’ world. It’s the vantage
point from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park. Just over the barrier is a
stupidly steep embankment I used to roll down as a kid, which must have caused casualties
because it’s all fenced off now – but different times…Also, just right of the
picture is where I’d sit under a tree in the summer for hours at a time in the
afternoon with a book before walking into Greenwich to get the train to work in
the evening.

I don’t think there is a view in all of London that has
changed as much as this over the years – The Dome over to the right wasn’t
there until 1999, The Gherkin, The Walkie-Talkie in the distance to the left – the
financial centre of Canary Wharf across the river. The modernity perfectly
frames the historical beauty of The Queen’s House and the old Naval College,
unchanged in the few hundreds of years they have stood majestically proud. But
somehow, the contrast isn’t jarring as you’d expect it to be. The skyscrapers
in London seem to enhance the skyline and bring out its beauty, each building
having its own personality -  rather than
say, modern metropolises such as Dubai which don’t have history to contend with
and feels very much like an identikit city in contrast.

But for me, looking at the picture, it is just a simple
connection to my past that helps me stay centred because it reminds me of a
time when my life was a lot simpler, my outlook was unfettered by life and my
moral compass was clear and uncompromised.

So - for the next seven days,
you can get this 30x12 inch print for only £29.75 (plus P&P) using the discount code 15OFF at checkout. All transactions are secure and
handled by PayPal.

The store can be found in the menu at the
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