Lecture with Pete Davies

Pete Davies came as a guest with Paul Hill to give a lecture on his photographic experiences:

  • Pete discussed his life growing up, he had a bad education due to the divide within the education sector.
  • Father was a photographer so he had the opportunity to learn from him and use his camera, equipment and the darkroom which was made in a cupboard.
  • He went to Paris on a trip at the age of 14. He used to be a shy person but his camera brought him out of his shell and gave him confidence, asking people in Paris for their portrait.
  • His parent worked for a magazine creating picture stories that he also developed a passion for.
  • Went on a trip to Amsterdam and saw ‘The Night Watch’ painting by Rembrandt. This got him more interested in visual art and he spent time in the museums on Saturday mornings when back home to Cardiff.
  • Got a job as an assistant to a professor in a University, later giving his own lectures.
  • He made sacrifices for his photography. He didn’t go on holiday or have new shoes etc.
  • Spent ten years as advertising and fashion photographer but gave this up and moved out of Cardiff to start a new life. He built a studio in his new garden and he did any kind of photography going to make a living, includes babies, portraits and weddings.
  • Along side this he immersed himself in personal projects such as the landscape that he was surrounded by in Wales creating the ‘Great Little Tin Sheds’ that a lot of people hated. This made people look at their landscape it a different way, photographing everyday things that they hadn’t noticed before even though they passed it everyday.
  • He later decided to travel further a field and went to photograph Ireland were he created a series of images that talked about land and culture.
  • 80% of the work as a photographer is dealing with galleries, getting the work out on time, project proposals, grant applications and printing. You learn all of these skills through experiences and you never know when you may need this information.
  • Galleries work year in advance and as a professional photographer you must deliver as the word gets round.
  • He continued with landscapes travelling thousands of miles around England composing his images.
  • If you are passionate about photography everything else goes out of the window.
  • No preferences for time of day or year, never been one to force photographs. They happen when the time is right, if its not right pack up and go home. This can be frustrating but it is the way of photography, we have to deal with that.
  • Taking the actual image takes the whole of five minutes. The time is in walking around, seeking different view points and finding the shot before setting up the camera. This is not definitive or the only way of working.
  • When your out taking pictures sometimes things will come to you.
  • Exhibition opening in Sardinia. Was offered his own exhibition, created a series of images documenting landscapes of Sardinia. He photographs things that spoke about they way the people lived using his experiences of photographing English landscapes.
  • He had an invitation from the Professor of Art in Bermont to have a series of master classes and do some photographs.
  • Continued to create series of landscape photographs, with particular interest in long term projects.
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