Interview: Lloyd David

It’s almost been a year since we interviewed Paul Turner as part of our series of interviews with talented photographers. This time we caught up with Lloyd David to discover what inspires him when shooting. Lloyd is very much into New Topography, capturing the everyday, human influenced, urban landscape.

We’re certain you’ll find Lloyd’s work inspiring and if you have any ideas on future interviews or wish to be featured yourself, just let us know here. You can find links to Lloyd’s work here:

Website

Instagram

Flickr

Where are you originally from and where do you live now?

Iʼm from the the west country originally, and grew up in a small town called Bradford on Avon. After living in London for a few years I made a decision to move back down, and Iʼm now based in Bristol, which is where the vast majority of my photos are taken.

What first got you into photography and do you have formal qualifications in it?

I guess I have always been interested in photography, and I owned point and shoot cameras growing up. I bought my first “proper camera” (DSLR), when I was 18. At the time I was just taking photos for fun, I was quite casual about it, and I didn’t worry too much about theory, getting along by trial and error. At the time I was quite lazy, and would go months for a time without picking up the camera. It was about a years ago that I started getting back into it and was making the effort to take photos regularly. I was able to teach myself the basics of theory and technique. At the moment it is purely a hobby – something I do because I genuinely enjoy it.

Whatʼs in your bag when youʼre out wandering around?

I try and keep my bag as light as possible, as Iʼll happily walk around for hours and hours, and that is harder to do if you are weighed down with too much gear. The vast majority of my photos are shot on either a Fuji XT2 or a Fuji X100s which are nice and light, so all I need are a couple of lenses, spare batteries, and a tripod and I am good to go. Iʼll always have the smaller X100s on me, even if I am not planning to take any shots, as I get paranoid that I will see the perfect opportunity and will miss it, because I donʼt have a camera on me.

Showcase Cinema, Bristol – Taken with Fujifilm X100S

How do you decide what to take pictures of?

Anything with artificial light usually catches my eye, there are definitely subjects that I canʼt resist, such as telephone boxes, bus stops, fast food places or bright neon signs. Iʼm always looking out for interesting modern buildings, and Iʼll make lists of potential places to photograph, so if I spot something while out and about, I can come back to them another time (mostly at night).

Woods, Bristol

Looking at your Instagram, most of your recent topography work is at night, is that intentional?

At first it was due to circumstance, I work 9-5, in winter if I wanted to take pictures in the evenings after work, my only option was to go out and take pictures at night. I have always loved the look of night photographs though, and as I took more and more shots at night, I felt I was learning what worked and what didn’t, and was beginning to find my own style.

Another reason I enjoy shooting at night, is that ordinary scenes can be completely transformed under darkness, and will take on a whole different look. There is also the contrast that you get, with bright sources of light, fading away to dark shadows. I try and aim for a kind of stillness and emptiness in my images, deliberately avoiding people, which is a lot easier to do at night. When you look at the final photo, I want people to be able to imagine that they are walking through the city by themselves, and it is completely deserted.

Feeder Road, Bristol

There lots of talk about film making a comeback, especially medium/large format. Is this something you’ve experimented with?

Yeah absolutely, I love the look of film, the grain you can achieve with 35mm or the smooth tones you get from medium format. I have been making an effort to shoot more film. I have a Pentax 67, which is an absolute tank, but the quality is incredible. The problem for me with film, is with nighttime shots, it is prohibitively expensive to shoot all the time. I am picky about avoiding people and light trails from cars in my shots. With digital this is no problem, even when I took a picture of a overpass on a dual carriageway with a 15 second exposure, I had as many goes as possible, and could review straight away to check. However with film, when each shot is costing you money, you cannot afford to be so picky. It is a steep learning curve, but I hope to put some film shots up on my website in the future.

What photographers inspire you and influence your style?

There are far to many to list them all unfortunately, but three of my favourites are:

Andy Feltham – All of his shots are so meticulously composed, looking through his photos really inspire me to take my time over the composition, as you can tell he puts so much thought into every element that appears in the final frame.

Christopher Soukup – A lot of his night time shots have a real cinematic quality to them, his photographs have been a real influence to my style.

Dan Paratt – He shoots some amazing photos. He also has curates a blog and Instagram page “On Standby”, which focuses on photographs taken at night and is full of incredible night-time photos.

Are you working on any projects at the moment?

I have a couple of series I have in mind that I would like to complete. The main one I am trying to complete at the moment is of modern churches shot at night. It was inspired by a brickwork modern church just a few minutes up the road from me, which looked so striking at night. So far I have 6 images, and plenty more locations in my notebook. Most of them look best when they are lit up, or lit from the inside, which is usually only on a Sunday evening, so I have to be patient in when I can shoot them.

Where can readers find out more about your work?

The best place is to take a look on my website which has a selection of my images, as well as the usual places like Instagram and Flickr.

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3 Comments

  1. C Whiting.
    Jan 29, 2018 / 5:25 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this article. The images are extremely atmospheric. Thank you.

    • Chris
      Jan 29, 2018 / 5:27 pm

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. Rob Whiting
    Jan 29, 2018 / 5:45 pm

    Difficult to take photos at night. These are clear and thought provoking.
    Excellent