Featured Photographers

Digitalab Featured Photographer: Jonathan Bradley

25th November 2013 by Alex Ingram

At Digitalab, we appreciate the power of photography, whether it’s personal or professional. We asked Jonathan Bradley for one of his images and posed a couple of questions to find out exactly what it is he loves about photography and what he’d say to any enthusiastic photographer hoping to make a career out of their passion.


Tell us a bit about this image and why you chose it to be featured.

This image is called “Waiting in the Dark” and it is a photograph from my latest People : Space work “Mailrail – a photographic exhibition” done in conjunction with Royal Mail and the British Postal Museum and Archive. It is a photograph of an old Mail train on London’s lesser known underground railway – the MailRail system. It was, up until 2003 when it was mothballed, a purpose built mail haulage system that ran under the streets of London from Paddington to Whitechapel 22 hours a day.

This particular mail train is one of the older ones and one of the reasons why I chose this particular image is to do with the whole reason behind the project. The project is about human spaces and, during its lifetime, this train has seen so many pairs of hands service it, load mail on it – and eventually park it in a tunnel where it has rarely seen light of any kind in the past ten or so years. To capture this photograph was difficult and it was facilitated by utilising a multi-light painting technique – the other reason why I chose this image. A BPMA curator and three of the MailRail system engineers assisted me in controllably bathing this veteran machine in light – some of the very staff that kept it serviceable for all those years. For me – it was if the photo had somehow come full circle in one sense.

I think that’s why I wanted it to be featured as there is so much context in one image and, for me, that is one of the true great powers of the still image – the preservation of time at its most fundamental level.

Which styles of photography most interest/inspire you?

I can’t answer this one succinctly as the list is big!! Photography that captures context, history heritage…imagery that has a sense of place and time.

Portraiture that has a sense of reality…landscapes that show just how beautiful Mother Nature is.

What one piece of advice would you give to an aspiring photographer?

There are probably so many pieces of advice I could give to aspiring photographers but if were forced to choose one, I would probably advise them to never, ever give up on your long term vision.

Bradley Photography