creative conversations 4

31 Oct

Welcome to episode 4 of creative conversations. This week I visit Weymouth seafront, where I meet local photographer Paul Russell. He talks about the difference between a documentary photographer and a street photographer.A definition of street photography is; “the ability to see the unusual in the everyday and to capture the moment.”

http://www.archive.org/download/CreativeConversations4/04CreativeConversations4.mp3%20

Right click (or Ctrl click on a Mac) on this link (Creative Conversations #04) to download (Save Link As).

Paul mentions a couple of his themes and how they need to be broad enough to allow him to take a range of photos, but tight to hold the pictures together. His Country Show  theme was featured on the BBC website and had over 220,000 hits. We hear about how the internet helps him reach a global audience and about the strength of having a good website. How over promotion can be counter-productive and though he uses social networking sites like flickr he does not link to these from his website.

Paul is a member of in-public, which is made up of twenty photographers and whose aim is to promote Street Photography and to continue to explore its possibilities.His membership of the group has helped him gain exposure and to being invited into contributing work for exhibitions.

We hear about the ranges of exhibitions he has been in lately and about his work being included in the “‘must-have book for anyone remotely interested in the genre” Thames and Hudson book “Street Photography Now“. This book presents 46 contemporary image-makers noted for their candid depictions of everyday life in our streets. www.thamesandhudson.com/streetphotography.html

We hear how even though successful his photography does not really earn him any where near a decent wage. And how it has become more and more difficult for documentary photographers to make a living. The opportunities to earn money from his art is fairly limited and the traditional source of commissions from magazines has disappeared in the last few years.

We then go onto hear about his motivation for spending so much time and money on building his portfolio. A typical day out with Paul hunting a good picture is getting up at 5.30am to get a train to someplace and after a day ‘on the streets’ getting the train back, getting home around 11pm. A long tiring day. His practice is to capture people out and about, usually from five or six feet away, but in a non-threaten way.

Elliott Erwitt: “It’s about time we started to take photography seriously and treat it as a hobby.”

We then end up and briefly talk about the “smarting up” of Weymouth seafront, and about the Olympic legacy and how he feels that a small gallery can drastically change the nature of small seaside towns. That though transient events are good the investment in a permanent gallery space would create a creative focus to the town and be a meeting point for artists in the area. He thinks that the seafront has improved recently with the new style huts, that the general toning down of the beach huts make it look nicer.

To find out more about Paul Russell and see his portfolio: www.paulrussell.info

Bees vs Punch & Judy I

I hope you will find this new show on art, culture and the economics of being an artist in Dorset interesting and engaging. I welcome your input to future episodes.

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One Response to “creative conversations 4”

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  1. creative conversations episodes « creative conversations - May 9, 2012

    […] I meet local photographer Paul Russell. He talks about the difference between a documentary photographer and a street photographer.A definition of street photography is; “the ability to see the unusual in the everyday and to capture the moment.” https://creativedialog.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/creative-conversations-4/ […]

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