You may all know this months featured photographer as the man who combined the work of 49 photographers, to bring us the amazing book ‘Beauty in Decay’, but this month we find out a little more about Jeremy Gibbs aka RomanyWG and his passion for street art…..
My very first SLR was a Pentax Spotmatic, then in the 80′s I bought my first NikonFE and then I followed that up with a Nikon F3. So when it came to upgrading to my first DSLR I decided to save money, as I had a few lenses already, I would buy the Nikon full frame D700 as it could take my old Nikon lenses. Of course, once I bought the body and decided to ‘break it in’ at Hellingly Asylum the lenses weren’t auto focusing and I hated having to focus in the dark, as my eyes aren’t what they used to be, so bought a whole range of new lenses. so now I have:
- Nikon D800 Body.
- Nikon D700 Body.
- Nikon 14-24mm f2.8
- Nikon 24-70mm f2.8
- Nikon 50mm f1.4 (30 years old)
- Nikon 50mm f1.8
- Sigma 15mm f2.8 Fisheye
- Nikon Speedlight SB-900
- Nikon Speedlight SB-50X
- Manfrotto D55XDB Tripod
- Manfrotto 222 Head
I love the fact that the tripod can extend to around 8ft high but I need to change it and the head.
Now I have the D800 with full HD, I need a more fluid head for shooting action.
All this kit, but remember, owning a Nikon doesn’t make me a photographer, it makes me a Nikon owner.
And as Ansel Adams once said “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it”.
My Technique and Tips:
I started to document Street Art around 5 years ago and decided to make a documentary about it. So I bought an HD camera and being a feature film editor I invested in an Avid editing machine and set up a small studio in one of my rooms at home, (next to the washing machine). A year or so down the line I became disillusioned with Street Art finding it was just another version of advertising
with the ‘product’ being the artist themselves. But I was enjoying taking photographs of the art instead of filming the artists so I just dropped the movie camera and started to take stills.
When I started to document abandoned buildings I was also coming across some great art in these places, especially in France and parts of Europe, so now I just document Art in abandoned building. ‘Out of sight’ art.
Because I am showing someones art and not showcasing my photography it is important that the art is not compromised by the photograph. So as far as techniques go I keep the colours exactly as they come out of the camera, and the D700/800 is perfect in that respect.
Don’t use contrast at all as that tends to lose the detail in the blacks and only use HDR if the sun is in the wrong place and the wall is in shadow.
I have 2 speed lights but I have never used them, yet. I prefer natural light in all my work be it street art, nudes or abandonment.
So, a little bit about me.
I’m an oldie, never come across anyone my age that’s interested in Urbex. But I’m young at heart and have a passion for abandoned buildings.
I’m as fit as some half my age so I can jump fences and run from security just as fast as most. Climbing 72 floors though? Maybe not.
I am a father of 2. One boy Ellis 18, who now comes exploring with me and a girl of 17 Romany whos name I stole and she has never forgiven me.
I am a film editor by trade but have been out of work for the past 3 or is it 4 years. I need to get back to work this year and take the pressure off my wife who is an Interior Designer and works far too hard.
Three things you probably didn’t know about me
Tricky! I keep myself to myself and don’t even open up to friends after years of knowing them.
1.I’m happy to explore by myself, not because I’m a loner but just that I can get around in my own time and know I won’t be in anyones way.
2.I was sacked by Guy Ritchie from ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrells’, having set the style for the film that has been copied more than I care to mention. I should have patented it.
3.I would love to travel the freight trains across the States with Mike Brodie the Polaroid Kidd. Now that’s a photographer.
Big thanks to Jeremy taking the time to share with us, a little more about him and his work. You can see more of his street art images in his book ‘Out of Sight’ and you can also keep upto work with Jeremy’s images on his Flickr Photostream.
Check out this link for more of Jeremy’s books.