Published on 27. 1. 2012 at 11:33 am
Alec Stageman is a student of photography at Nottingham Trent University. His ChooseFilm album is a brooding collection of images that might well be the storyboard for a Tim Burton motion picture, albeit set in the heart of suburban England.
Hoping to become a professional photographer in the future, Alec has developed a systematic approach to his work throughout his course: “I find the thing I want to photograph, think of how I want it to look, and then I think of how I will construct the image, I deal with the technicalities and then I photograph it.” Entering his final year, the results have been striking.
Such an approach may be time-consuming, and carrying an MPP camera and tripod around may be no small effort, but this is all a vital part of the process: “each photograph becomes an event”.
Citing Gregory Crewdson as an inspiration for these images, Alec also includes the work of another American photographer, Stephen Shore, amongst his influences. And those transatlantic reference points are obvious throughout much of his work – for instance, this outhouse would look quite at home in Edward Hopper’s back yard.
Taken on a long exposure, Alec achieves both fluidity in the setting and permanence in the subject. The everyday has been given a second dimension that removes it from what the viewer expects.
It’s a recurring theme. As part of a series concentrating on ‘dreams’, he has been careful to remain rooted in the commonplace and not indulge in fantasy: “Dreams are another reality which we go into most nights… With the use of lighting I have tried to take these simple scenes and transform them.”
While acknowledging the unique use of digital cameras in photography, Alec points to the advantages of 5×4 film composition in his slower and thought-out method to capturing precisely staged scenes:
With his work already featured and selling in exhibition, it’s a style that certainly works.
Alec uses an MPP 5X4 camera, a Mamiya RZ 67 pro, and Kodak Portra 160 VC film.