ABOUT ME, NIK STANBRIDGE
I’ve been taking photographs for as long as I can remember but it really took off in 1982 when I bought an Olympus OM-1. Being a very simple but manual camera, I had to learn quickly how to use it to get the results I wanted. Being technically-minded, I coupled that learning curve with developing my own film and printing my own images so that I could be in complete control of my (at the time) exclusively b&w image making.
Carrying my camera everywhere, I took a lot of photographs. And in those days it was 50/50 documenting what my group of friends were doing, and starting to build the foundation for the documentary and abstract images you see here.
We pick up influences from all over the place, but the artists that I'm aware have influenced me are such photography greats as Walker Evans, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Lewis Baltz, Stephen Shore, Todd Hido and Andreas Gursky. And the painter Mark Rothko. And the author William Burroughs. And the photographers, like Don McCullin, that populated the Sunday supplements I devoured in the1970s.
I still have the OM-1 despite having recently sold all my other film gear - I just couldn't part with it. I still develop my my own B&W film too but now scan the negs as my darkroom is long gone.
Digital is very different but I still retain that sense of closeness to the technical aspects of my image-making. I need to understand how the camera will react to the thing I want to capture so that I can it to do what I want rather than being a slave to it.
Along the way I've had a few exhibitions (the first one was in a lift), had some images published in magazines, and published a few books. This site is my first foray into publishing a portfolio of my work (as opposed to the succession of photoblog sites Ive had). Technically, this site showcases and presents my best work. That said, curating one's own work is notoriously difficult so the content here will evolve over time as my ability to edit and critique my work develops, and my curatorial skills ebb and flow.
You'll see that I've always been drawn to the ordinary and the decaying (and the seemingly mundane). For me, it’s always been about capturing what’s right there in front of us that we all walk past without really noticing. I look for what’s hidden in plain sight that's either transient, disappearing or so obvious we’ve all stopped seeing it.
Much of my work is about rendering the commonplace abstract - from muddy tyre tracks, to architectural details, to utility workers’ paint on the road.
I'm sensitive to transience, evolution and decay and attempt to convey it in these calm and strong images that have a solidity and an engagement with the world.
If you're not afraid of exploring unconventional, experimental and uncompromising photography, you’re in the right place. If you embrace the ordinary and the transient, you will be piqued here.
Please get in touch if you’re interested in buying any of these works or if you’d like to see what else I’ve done. All of my photographs are available as limited edition prints in a range of sizes and finishes. Or, if you like my style but there’s nothing here that grabs you, you can commission me to create images exclusively for you.
And if you downright don’t like my work, I’d like to hear about that too.
Nice to meet you BTW.