“Recently, I have taken a ‘I can do what ever I want’ attitude – I might be naïve, and it’s probably not a totally truthful way of looking about it, but I have become a little more liberated in how I work and what I make.” Tristan Hutchinson
Tristan Hutchinson (born in 1980) is a contemporary photographer from the UK currently based in Dublin, Ireland. He studied Fine Art in the UK, and then an MA in Film Production in Ireland. For Tristan Hutchinson photography means everything; it’s frustrating and rewarding at the same time.
Artist statement: “Working in Medium and Large Format photography, I explore themes of contemporary community and ‘place’, examining the impact from political ideology, and economic and industrial endeavor.”
Tristan Hutchinson, why did you become a photographer? And what does photography mean to you?
Photography has always been there in the background, I’ve always had a camera, taking pictures. I bought a smoke damaged Olympus 35mm while studying Fine Art and had it with me as a companion piece to my conceptual video installations I was making at the time. After moving to Dublin, and taking a break from making art, I enrolled onto a Film Production Masters course, and this introduced and instilled in me a sense of narrative. Then, after a brief stint thinking I would become a filmmaker, there was a point that I decided to become a photographer – that would be my thing.
It means everything to me; it keeps me awake, makes me worry and distracts me. It can be incredibly frustrating, and rarely rewarding. But it’s all I know.
How would you describe your photographic language and creative process? How do you plan and execute a project? Both technically and conceptually?
It changes all the time. I’m discovering slowly over time, little by little, what my language is, to be honest. Sometimes its to describe the world I’m moving through, other times its to create images I know will work. I go through extended periods of being disenchanted with what I am making – I find it incredibly difficult to fall in love with what I make, be it single images or bodies of work. But occasionally I ride on this wave of inspiration, I believe in what I am doing and I go with it – I shoot lots and enjoy it.
“I’ve broken through a self-imposed sense of confinement and cautiousness in myself, and I am allowing my way of working to loosen up a little.”
Recently, I have taken a ‘I can do what ever I want’ attitude – I might be naïve, and it’s probably not a totally truthful way of looking about it, but I have become a little more liberated in how I work and what I make. I’ve broken through a self-imposed sense of confinement and cautiousness in myself, and I am allowing my way of working to loosen up a little.
I plan quite a lot and make lists, maybe more than actually shooting. It can be quite serendipitous, other times a photograph works and clicks after repeated visits. At the same time I read lots and lots, photography books, fiction and poetry.
Which photographer has inspired you most?
There’s too many to describe – Doug Dubois, Daniel Shea, Muge, Bryan Schutmaat. Martin Parr’s early work. There’s also a lot of fantastic contemporary and young American photography being made right now, which, I feel, has influenced my sense of liberation aesthetically.
What’s your favorite inspirational quote about photography?
“Perhaps instead of standing by the river bank scooping out water, it’s better to immerse yourself in the current, and watch how the river comes up, flows smoothly around your presence, and gently reforms the other side like you were never there.” Paul Graham
Just utterly beautiful.
What kind of camera and equipment do you use?
I mainly shoot film because I love the look. It’s slowed my process down too, and made me think a lot more about what and why I photograph. I use a Mamiya 7 and RZ67 Pro II cameras. I have also been shooting again on an OM1, which I have been really enjoying.
What’s your favorite website about photography?
So many blogs offer me avenues into work I wouldn’t be aware of: “Je Suis Perdu”, Bryan Schutmaat’s blog, Mark Patrick Drolet, The Photographic Image, Its Nice That, BJP. Tumblr exploded what we could be exposed to – good and bad.
What book about photography would you recommend?
“The Non-Conformists” by Martin Parr. I think it’s his first body of work. It’s such a beautifully constructed and heart-rending view of traditional community ways of living that slowly disappeared over time.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to get started with photography?
More information about contemporary photographer Tristan Hutchinson
Official homepage “Tristan Hutchinson Photography”: www.tristanhutchinson.com