Tom Lakeman’s entry to our ‘Simple Beauty’ contest was a staff favourite here at theprintspace. We invited him to share some more images from the fascinating ‘Moonshine’ project.
My dad and his father before were big photography fans. Never without a camera. So i guess i had little choice in being anything other…
I studied graphic design & photography at Kingston university. I fell in love with photography there, my tutors were amazing and lit the flame thats been burning since. I put my style of photography down to the graphic element of the course and feel this moulded my style pretty early on.
Colour and Texture
I’ve always been drawn to colour and texture, having an obsession with having to touch everything… Naturally this bled into my work. The moonshine project was one of the first series of prints I did. I collected a huge amount of chalks over the space of about a year, drawn to their amazing colour and unique markings. The process of actually shooting them took around a year till i got the result i was happy with.
The frustration of not being able to produce the image that i saw in my head pushed me to carry on testing and testing (with the guidance of a few photographers i was assisting at the time). I’d managed to crack the lighting and camera system that would allow me to capture huge files capable of showing off the texture and grain of my subjects.
Going to Print
It was great, seeing this project grow and having some great feedback from people i looked up to was a huge boost in my confidence as a photographer. Seeing my first test print at theprintspace was a great moment too, i’d seen it on screen obviously but as a print i couldn’t believe i’d made it! A 20″ x 20″ C-Type print which i still have.
I remember walking back home with it in the tube, as i beamed from ear to ear. This project had driven me to capturing the image i’d wanted to make, having to experiment with techniques that never seemed to work until one day when it finally did. Everything i shoot now is compared to the moonshine project; It’s my bar and probably always will be.
In terms of inspiration, I get it from all over. I look at things with an artists eye now: “How could i make people view that differently?”
Seeing beauty in something so mundane like candy-floss or a snooker chalk and capturing it so people can see – how you see things is probably the starting block of a project.
Photographing a sunset is not challenging as its already beautiful, but making someone stop to view an image they deem beautiful from an item they may use or see everyday without a second thought, is what i love and keeps me making/looking at the world a lot closer.
The moonshine series is being exhibited as a large window display for Talisman in January. They can been seen as an entire series amongst some very beautiful antiques in Parsons Green, west London.
See more of Tom’s work in our feature on his project Daughters of the Wind
The complete Moonshine project can be seen at The Blackout Studio