Michael Collins has had 25 years experience in photography
He works specifically with 5×4 cameras, which are large glass plate cameras.
He stated that photography is very subjective but this what photography is to him:
He started his presentation with a photograph up on the screen that wasn’t his but found in a camera shop it was from the Queen’s coronation day. The original was a glass plate and because Collin’s knew how to develop and create photos the shop owner allowed him to create a copy of the plate. He liked how you can zoom into the photo and each had a small portrait which created a large portrait.
A photography can take you away, in a similar way to listening to a piece of music. If you look at a photograph that you engage with for example a family photo or holiday snap you engage with that photo on a very deep level, you engage with the photo. He believes if you can do this with photos you take you are onto a winning photograph.
Photography is about looking -> thinking -> feeling.
So you look at a photo and your intellect makes sense of it and you engage with it on an emotional level. You look and find your own way to look at something, this is also subjective. A photograph can do many things, it will show a huge an amount of detail.
He uses a plate camera because he likes the detail, and you get a lot of detail with these cameras.
He does a lot of cityscapes. You can see so much detail that years after taking an image when you look back at it you will see new detail or make more associations.
At the heart of photography is this idea that when photography was first invented it was quicker, easy and cheap for a photography to be made than a painting.
He likes to photograph something that is interesting or fascinating to him because that way he creates a photograph that is interesting. He creates prints/photos for himself not because he thinks others will like them
He doesn’t like racing foregrounds so most of the time he is looking down.
He tries not to use bright/saturated colours so he tries to photograph things on a overcast day but it can’t be windy but it could blow the camera over but also will create movement in the photo. Usually he will take photos in the winter months.