Interview with Anthony Lamb

Please introduce yourself
I’m Anthony Lamb and I’m a Fine Art Photographer and have been shooting digital for 15 years. My photography is based on a minimalist approach which aims to reduce distraction by eliminating objects that sit outside the main subject. By using negative space in my photography, I intend to draw the eye into the main focus of the photograph. This simplicity opens the door to self-interpretation and mood, similar to that of abstract art and makes the photograph that little more intimate. I’ve always tried to incorporate stillness, seclusion and silence in my work and these elements reflect back at the viewer, drawing your interest deeper into the soul of the image. I have an infatuation with water and open space, so you will see this appearing in many of my photographs. I’m also interested in capturing less recognisable locations to add more intrigue to the composition, making the image more personal.

I’ve exhibited work in Dubai, Singapore, Brazil and the UK with future exhibitions planned in the USA and South America for 2019. My work has attracted the interest of the commercial world, recent clients include LG Electronics, The Park Hyatt and Orlebar Brown as well as articles in magazines such as Timeout, BnW minimalist, Outdoor Photographer, Practical Photography, Airgate to name a few. I’m represented globally by a selection of fine art galleries.

How did you get interested in photography?
The interest in photography was a combination of a number of things, such as – when I was young, I was lucky enough to travel to some fantastic locations such as the Alps, Lake District (UK) and Scotland and had an appreciation for large open spaces. This love of the outdoors and interest in art & design inspired me to pick up a camera and allowed me to document my experiences. However, it wasn’t until 2002 that the digital market allowed me to fully control the whole process from my living room and I invested in some more serious equipment.

Do you have an artistic/photographic background?
My family are all very creative – my father did a lot of painting in his spare time, my mother was interested in photography and art and my grandfather was an artist all his life. This certainly inspired me to pursue a career in the arts and I attended art college and studied furniture and product design at university.

Which artist/photographer inspired your art?
I’ve always been inspired by musicians, artists, photographers, designers and even mountaineers. So I suppose this comes back to creativity and the outdoors, the two main drivers behind what I do and why I do it.
Photographers that inspire me include Michael Kenna, Michael Levin, James Balog, Ansel Adams, Nick Brandt, Jonathan Smith and David Burdeny. These photographers each hold a distinct style that transpires into beautiful fine art photography which appeals to my personal taste. Whether it’s their technique, composition, mood, tone, subject or colour, each will inspire me in some form or another. Art has always been close to my heart – Turner, The Impressionist’s, Canaletto, Rothko, Braque, Hirst……currently my big inspiration is Zaria Foreman and Ian Davenport. Design has always been an influence with minimalist furniture by designers such as Matthew Hilton, Tom Dixon and Jasper Morrison. I’m always looking at colour trends and cinematography colour editing as this can also influence my post edit workflow to some extent.

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How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?
Sometimes you just get lucky with conditions, and stumble across a new location / composition and other times you prepare to the minute and the photograph just never turns out the way you expected. When heading to a location I will always try to research the area using Google maps, Google images etc but I’m also an advocate for searching out hidden gems when on location. I will also look at tide times, sunrise / sunset times and weather conditions 12-24 hours before heading out. By doing this it allows me to choose wisely based on my location selections on Google.

A recent project I’ve embarked on is a series of images taken in the Arabian desert and the conditions had to be very specific in order to relay the aesthetic I was looking for. I wanted cloudy and flat light conditions and by using the filtered morning light, the dunes took on a soft painterly effect, which tends to suit my style and edit. It’s also the opposite conditions to what most photographers would shoot, which is low light, high contrast and colour. But the conditions I look for only tend to happen between February and March in the UAE and the cloud layers have to be a certain thickness or the image will have no depth or contrast. I would visit the locations in unfavorable weather, so when the right conditions arrived, the subjects and compositions would be pre-programmed. But in order to find those locations it meant wandering the dunes for hours, which can be tough when carrying a lot of camera equipment!

Could you please tell us something about your technique and creating process?
I have used Photoshop since university and Lightroom for the past 7 years, but I tend to use Camera Raw now for the majority of edits. The workflow will always change dependent on the RAW file, but the techniques tend to stay the same. I’ve opened some files straight out of camera and added only a small amount of dodge and burn, clarity and sharpening and in 10mins it’s finished. Where as some images for clients can be a bit more complicated when there is product placement within the photograph. It took me almost a whole day to process one image for LG Electronics, but the overall result was just what the client was expecting (or as so they said….). In general terms, my images consist of gradients, masking, dodging and burning to provide the contrast as well as sharpening. I steer clear of removing anything in the image unless it is a badly placed telegraph pole, small rocks, smudge or a smear.

What do you do in your life besides photography?
I love climbing and have climbed a number of mountains in Europe including Mont Blanc and the 24hr Three Peak Challenge in the UK. I’m also a keen runner, golfer and love travelling to new places. I was lucky to travel around Australia for 4 months in a combie van which was such a free way to see a country and I intend to visit as many countries in my lifetime as possible. I’m a family man and married to my beautiful wife Zoe and have two beautiful young girls, Amelie and Savana.

What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
I have a list of locations that I will hopefully be visiting over the coming years – Glacier National Park, Venice, Sri Lanka, Key West, Bali, The Alps. A lot my work is linked to climate change and some of these stunning locations may be effected over the coming decades, it’s my job to document these pockets of paradise and spread awareness through fine art imagery.

I’ve been working on two projects simultaneously for about 3-4 years:-
Water, which is a collection of images that explores the relationship between man and the waters edge and concentrates on what we stand to loose if sea levels continue to rise. Desert, which is a collection of images taken in the Arabian Desert 20-40mins from civilization. Will this pristine desert landscape still be here in 10-15 years? I wanted to document the serene beauty that’s still left on the doorstep of an ultra modern, evolving region, which may struggle to survive the onslaught of human expansion.


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