Digitalab Featured Photographer: Graeme Stark
At Digitalab, we know that you can’t underestimate the power of a truly exceptional image. The beauty of photography as an art form is in its diversity – with so many wonderful genres and so many utterly unique photographers out there, photography means many different things to many different people. That’s why we asked Graeme Stark for one of his images and asked him a couple of questions to find out exactly how he fell in love with photography and what he’d say to any aspiring 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.
The image is of Lintzgarth Arch, near Rookhope in Co. Durham. The arch is a listed building, one of a number of arches that used to carry a horizontal chimney across the valley. I chose the image as it’s recent, being part of an ongoing project I’m undertaking; photographing the River Wear and surrounding areas of Weardale. I’m seeking to explore how the past remains with us, in the landscape, and in memory. In doing so I’m trying to create images that represent the past of the landscape, as it is today. The drama of the image is, for me, in the tension between the dereliction of the man-made structure, and the harsh beauty of the landscape in which it remains, as stubborn monument to a lost industry.
Which styles of photography most interest/inspire you?
I can’t say I’m inspired by a single genre of photography, I don’t like the way photography is broken down and categorised. I do like photography that tells stories, whether in a single image, or a series of images; I try to do both. I do still love working with film when I can, and darkroom printing is a real creative outlet for me, a tactile activity that produces unique prints.
What one piece of advice would you give to an aspiring photographer?
Two things, if I may; firstly, read about and look at as many photographs as you can, in books, exhibitions and talk with other photographers, an understanding of the history and context of the medium is of great benefit. Secondly, don’t get hung up on equipment, simply get the most appropriate kit for the images you want to produce.