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CANDID Competition Winner

Marcus James Wheeldon

Diana – Marcus James Wheeldon

“My name is Marcus James Wheeldon and I’m 24 years old. In addition to taking pictures, I play guitar and keyboards in the band Airship. Most of my captures are from touring Europe with the band. I carry my 35mm film camera everywhere I go and particularly love manually creating double exposures. I love trying to ‘sum people up’ in one shot. Whether it be their profession, their ambitions, emotions or personality and I find that double exposures enable me to do this perfectly. I have always loved photography from an early age and never really need any motivation to go out and shoot. I still do it for self pleasure rather than on a commercial basis and probably always will. I just love capturing the natural beauties of day to day life on our planet and sharing my moments and adventures with others.

“I came across theprintspace via a fellow photographer’s facebook profile. I noticed there was a competition with the theme CANDID and instantly recognised that I had various images stashed away which had potential to be short-listed. I liked every finalist’s photograph for different reasons, despite the fact that some of them weren’t candid captures at all! I also noticed that none of them were taken on a film camera I don’t think. As much as I love the quality and endless options regarding digital I personally don’t think you can beat the way in which film captures moments especially with people. I find it’s very forgiving and love the surprise element of not being able to view your captures instantly. I like the idea of putting some thought behind every shot and manually adjusting settings, rather than snapping away on auto like a croc on speed and hoping for the best. I think it’s cool that most people these days own a smart phone and use ‘Pixlr-o-matic’ and various other apps to transform what may initially be stale, badly lit photographs to vibrant, retro looking shots. I like that people who may have never really taken an interest in photography before have been turned on by these features. But I will always swear by doing it ‘properly’ as it gives me so much satisfaction. In a lot of cases even more so than music.

“Whether or not I deserve to be the winner of this competition is open to debate, but I feel my image was the most ‘quirky’. I found it amusing that the chap that judged my photograph stated it was an ‘accident’ due to the double exposure, but in truth it was completely on purpose. The girl in the photograph is a lovely person and I have been meaning to obtain a large print of the image for a while as it is one of my favourites. Now that I have an acrylic reverse mounted image in the post makes me very happy indeed! I also found it amusing that the photograph closest to beating me (titled ‘Chain Smoker’) lost by 4 votes. We were literally neck and neck for the entire voting week. Arguably a very good shot, if I’d have lost to this image I wouldn’t have been too annoyed.

“The top image, Diana, came from the same day as my winning photograph. A slightly messier feel to the image but I just think there’s something about it. It shows how truly beautiful the location is of where we were, as well as how cool the girl is with her Diana + Lomo cam! The photograph may look to some as if it’s been photoshopped, but I assure you that it hasn’t been. It was another purposely set up double exposure and came out exactly how I wanted. It has a strange ghostly feel about it too which certainly adds effect. Shot in Autumn using Fujica STX-1 camera.

Inspired – Marcus James Wheeldon

“Inspired – captured in Airship’s tour van whilst venturing through Germany in the height of festival season. The person in the photograph is the band’s front man Elliott. He has a wonderful personality filled with mystery and for me this photograph captures this. Being in a touring band means having your photo taken constantly, but none that I’ve seen really feel right. They always seem to have a sense of awkwardness behind them. I’ve been friends with all members of the band for 8 years and being ‘brothers from other mothers’ allows me to capture more intense and personal moments that the public don’t usually get to see whilst on the road. Image shot in August 2011 with Fujica STX-1 camera.

Untitled – Marcus James Wheeldon

“This untitled photograph was captured in Leeds outside of a music venue named ‘The Brudenell Social Club’ a charming place that reminds me of Phoenix Nights or something. It was a scorching hot day, everyone was feeling good and could remember on our journey up there from Manchester I saw that tall, flowery looking street light on the road side. I instantly knew if exposed another layer on top of it it could turn out to be quite a cool photo. In the end I chose our drummer Steven whilst he was on the phone. I wouldn’t say that in this case this shot alone tells a story as such, but I like it. Shot at some point during 2010 with Fujica STX-1.

Kids – Marcus James Wheeldon

“Kids – I decided to take on the responsibility of creating the sleeve artwork for the band’s first single release titled ‘Kids’. Working with our front man we came up with the idea of having a slightly demonic looking shot of a young kid with their identity hidden and holding some kind of weapon. It just so happened that this haggard old car was parked in the back garden of the kid’s neighbour’s garden. This wasn’t the chosen image in the end but definitely one of my favourites of the day. Shot in June 2011 using Fujica STX-1 camera.

I have new ideas sprout from my head every day! It’s deciding on which to pursue! But I have begun planning a project with a friend of mine ‘Christopher Parton’ which will be titled ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’. Without giving too much away the idea is to capture portraits of people that portray one of these three qualities. When exhibited the final images won’t be labelled or put in any order, the idea will be that the viewer decides for themselves. Some may be obvious, some not. I am also planning to do a shoot for my friend’s new surfer rock project named ‘Spring King’. It will involve the images having a psychedelic, nostalgic feel to them mainly by double exposing.

For updates and more information about this, and/or to view more examples of my work visit For those that may be intrigued ‘Handsome Jewel’ is an anagram of my middle name James and my surname Wheeldon.