In the tenth of our special features celebrating our favourite Instagram photographers with links with our city we feature Dave Tuckwell @davetbythesea.
Can you tell us a little about yourself, where you are from and your links with Portsmouth if no longer living here?
I am a photographer who lives in the Southsea although I’m originally from the other side of the water in Fareham. After university like many of my friends I decided to make the move to Portsmouth. The opportunity to more from a town to a city intrigued and excited me.
Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?
At present my camera of choice is a Canon 5d mk ii with a 17-40mm f4 lens. This enables me to get a lot within the frame and also pushes towards a more conventional standard lens at the top end. I also use an iPhone6 to take photographs whilst on the move due it being far less cumbersome than the SLR. I don’t crop any photographs which stemmed from the influence of Walker Evans.
Can you tell us more about your photographic experience, is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby which you’ve developed?
I studied photography at Plymouth University, I would say classically trained as all of my work was shot on film. My final project was all shot on medium format using a 6×6 or 6×7 camera. All in colour and all printed by hand. Over the course of the final year I found a consistent level of colour and light within all photographs I shot which helped produce the book I made to accompany the project.
Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others?
Post university I took a few photographs here and there but nothing like the scale I do now. I originally took them for myself trying to emulate what I did at university which proved to be troublesome, due to location, materials and lifestyle. Fast forward a couple of years of thought processing and experiments I feel that I have found my style again. Unlike before I now show my photographs online. Online platforms hold the key now with a view to ‘get out there’. Gaining praise and recognition spurs you on to do more. The more photographs that are taken the more the opportunity arrises, for example an up and coming collaborative gallery with a handpicked bunch of Portsmouth photographers and also being the first artist / photographer to be asked to exhibit work at my the Yes Creative studio in Albert Road. This will all happen in the very imminent future.
Exploring the theme of the “Local”, Portsmouth has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any local places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph for a particular reason?
There are many a places in Portsmouth and even more so Southsea that inspire and never tire to photograph over and over again. I started taking photographs of Hilsea Lido before it reopened to the public have now built a substantial collection of work demonstrating the grandeur of a historical place that should never have closed.I am fascinated by the seafront. The piers in particular Clarence Pier fascinate me. I think that is due to the colour. Colour plays a massive part in photography, the punchier, more saturated the better. Old Portsmouth and the sea side of the hotwalls in more recent times have been an inspiration to me. I think it I like the area due to its dated feel, most of the photographers that influence me most are from the 1930’s to 1980’s.
…the photographers that influence me most are from the 1930’s to 1980’s.
You are heavily involved in the Free Art Friday movement. Could you tell us about it and why you decided to get involved?
Free Art Friday is something that I have been involved in for about 2 months. It is a very unique way of exhibiting your work and nothing beats finding something whilst on a stroll on a Friday. I was introduced to the Free Art Friday movement by My Dog Sighs. It was after a conversation whilst photographing him that I started putting a plan together to start doing it myself. At first being a photographer I thought it wouldn’t work but in a couple of months it has evolved from a couple of small 4×4 photographs blu-tac’ed to a wall or sign, to photographs in envelopes, to photographs in milk bottle and now to an original idea of mine with a jam jar and spray painted lid with a photograph inside it. The latter ideas have been very popular and keeps the steady rise of recognition and praise with many a people after a jar.
Are their any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to also check out?
My work is heavily influenced by William Eggleston, by far my favourite photographer. His work fills me with such excitement and inspiration. The colour, mood and depiction of the time and place is beautifully displayed with every photograph.
More recently an English photographer called Simon Roberts is creating work that inspires me particularly his ‘Pierdom’ series, of which features both piers in Southsea among many others around the country.
On a last note another English photographer called Michael Marten should not be overlooked for his awe-inspiring book called ‘Sea Change’ which shows the same photograph whilst the tide is in and then when the tide is out. These two photographers should be read by any photographer living by the sea.
If you would like to get involved or know of a photographer that you think should be on our radar then please drop me an email at [email protected].