Stephen G Hipperson is a British based photographer and one that admire quite a bit. I have been following him for a while and I always enjoy the images that he puts up. There is something very British about them. I don’t know how to explain it, but I like the colours and the subject matter. He covers lots of aspects of that life, you see the old, the new and the country. I am not quite sure how to explain it, maybe I should just try showing you what I mean.
When I see images like this, they always remind me of England, or the UK. Mind you I have never been there, but it is what I think the British countryside would look like. There is not any one image, but when they are put together it is how I imagine the UK would be like.
I did ask Stephen why he takes photos and the response from him was one I hadn’t had before.
I am passionate about the photographic process. Look. See. Frame. Pick the moment. Fire the shutter. For example, in my photography, the act of seeing is about getting out there to explore my local countryside and buildings; it’s researching before I go and researching when I return. Seeing is about assessing and understanding what’s there and looking for subjects pertinent to my purpose. Framing is about getting into the place that will give me the best picture. Picking the moment, e.g. when clouds are moving across the sky it can have so much impact on how the light works. Fire the shutter – the decision point. What isn’t there to be passionate about – I would engage in photography all the time if I could.
A sense of history and time is something that I am always attracted to. With my own country only being just over two hundred years old, in terms of British colonisation, it is hard for Australians to get our heads around buildings that are centuries old. So the above building is steeped in history, and look at how it was made. I love the ceilings in them.
The next question was about inspiration.
In the first instance, I have always been inspired by light and the lack of it – the way the substance of a thing can be changed, the mystery in the shadows, etc.
I am inspired by the work of others – photographic or not – I’m not going to single anyone out. My mind often goes off on its own when I see a particularly novel idea – like a seed that bursts into life. I would encourage everyone to read, look at paintings, photographs, sculpture, architecture, craftwork of all sorts – input, input, input.
I am inspired by the past – after all, photography is about imaging the past – once the shutter is pressed the moment has gone. Of course, once that image is captured, we then bring our memory and imagination into play when we produce the image we want to present.
Then there is the new on his blog as well. I can see that he photographs what is around him, and that doesn’t exclude new modern architecture and the continual growth of what is happening in Britain right now. It really makes sense that a country that has existed for hundreds of years would be continuing to grow.
I did ask Stephen if there was anything special about the way he works.
No, I don’t think there is anything special about the way I work – except that when I am doing my thing, that’s all I do, I very much like to ‘zone out’, concentrate or let my mind wander. Sometimes, when I’m doing my work with churches, I will just sit in one of the pews and assess how the light is falling and how it might change, or look for particular architectural features I want to capture, etc.? And I nearly always use a tripod because of the length of shutter speeds I tend to use. But I don’t think it’s any different to how others work.
Sometimes it is there in the details as well. I do like the way he has captured the details as well. You all know that this is something I really want to do more of. I like the way the details look like still life images. I must start looking for that sort of thing too.
As most of us are photographers, we always want to know what gear we all use, so I asked Stephen.
My main tool is my dslr which is a Canon 30D with a suite of lenses consisting of 17-40mm f/4, 24-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8 IS and a 300mm f/4 IS – I believe all have now been superseded in Canon’s catalogue. As it happens, all 4 lenses share the same filter size, which makes it convenient for filters.
I also use a Canon EOS 30 film camera, which my Canon lenses fit. For medium format I use a Rollei SL66 with just the standard 80mm f2.8 lens, and a couple of old folders.
I have an old Manfrotto tripod with screw fitting leg adjustment fitted with an old 029 three way head – (yes, the legs do suffer that sinking feeling if I don’t do the catches up and the head has almost drawn blood on more than one occasion, it takes no prisoners).
I am not going to lie, I was surprised with this image, very pleasantly, but it was so different to everything else Stephen has on his blog. The colour is so different and it stands out so much. It is a stunning image, but not the usual greens, grays and browns that I associate with his work. I do like the detail in it.
I am going to put the rest of the images in a gallery now. I would encourage to go and visit Stephen on his blog, “Stephen G Hipperson My photography and other stuff”. I was having a hard time not picking every image, and I am sure you will find it a feast for your eyes. Again, please go and take a look, if you like it then follow, but it isn’t a requirement, it would be great if you can just visit. I would like to thank Stephen for allowing me to show you his work here on my blog.