Trees stretch to sky, vexed waves crash outward, that moment of peaceful calm of sunset… These magical pockets of time are captured by Hove based photographer Bernard Webb in an atmospheric and breathtaking exhibition at the Naked Eye Gallery for two weeks in February. In this interview, we get to know the photographer a little better...
What is the role of a photographer in society?
The main role for me is that we can, without a single word spoken or read, make people see things differently, open peoples minds, and expand horizons.
What are your goals for the future?
Branding my name, more exhibits, there are books coming up and commissions I would like. I want to be a strong presence in the industry this year.
What's your favourite piece of work you've done and why?
That is something that is constantly in flux, with this exhibit there are several favorites but as I can only have one it has to be the "ride home". You can make your own story up, there is an urgency there, the drama of the passing storm, the bike rider, it all adds up to a strong image.
What are your tips for aspiring photographers?
Oh my..dont worry too much about gear, it isnt about that, develop your eye, take your camera everywhere, shoot all the time, style and preference for what you love to shoot will come soon enough. Be absolutely relentless in your pursuit, for everything really but especially for your career, ask for it, dont wait for it to come to you!!!
What does photography mean to you?
It is the medium that I can truly communicate through, more than words on a page.
In your opinion, what makes a memorable photo?
A truly great picture must grab you emotionally, it has to affect you, tell it's story, leave you with questions, makes you want to see it again.
What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?
I truly want people to be moved somehow, I am always trying to find a story within my work so I hope I put that across.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Usually I will wake up with a desperate need to take pictures, its just there, sometimes… a lot of the time it is the light outside and that is enough.
What photographers have inspired you?
Early on it was Armando Gallo and Phil Kamin, both fantastic concert photographers, I was and still am a big music fan and musician, and to see their work as a young kid was inspirational on many levels. Both amazingly are friends of mine now, Phil has especially been of great support. As I got older and photography meant more I looked to the French pioneers; Atget, Cartier- Bresson and Doisneau. I always go back to them, even after all the young turks come and go, its these guys that hold sway.
What camera do you use?
Nothing terribly grand, the main one is a Nikon D7000 with a selection of super wide to normal telephoto lenses, my "street camera" is a very well traveled Fuji x10, it has been amazing. I will be looking to Full Frame Nikon soon and something a little more powerful in the Fuji range too.
What's camera accessory could you not live without?
Well down here with the salt spray it has to be a lens brush or chamois, everything else is second place!
How do you know when a piece of work is completed?
There is something good inside when you are taking pictures on location, everything is working and you know post processing will be a cakewalk. I have a set up, I know the levels of contrast, print tone, structure and sharpness that I want, I know the lenses that I use, I understand exposure and usually it is just a formality of getting the image to the printing stage. Having said that… some pictures just get away from you, you knew what you shot, the idea was strong and yet no matter what to do post process it just doesnt work, its knowing when to walk away from it that is more important these days.
Bernard's exhibition 'Wet Feet' is at the Naked Eye Gallery between 7th and 20th February 2015.