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Visual experimentation

09 Nov 2017

Visual experimentation Image

Final year Photography Studies College (PSC) commercial major James Thorn said his creative approach to photography was one driven by experimentation.

24-year-old Thorn’s catalogue of work is striking, engaging and diverse in its visual appeal, from the creative through to the abstract.

He said that, while many visual photographers approached their work with a concept in mind, his was more inspired by a sense of discovery.

“Exploration in the studios is one of my favourites things,” he said. “I like to just go in with a rough idea and a whole bunch of stuff and really just throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks.”

“Often it will just involve spending three hours shooting everything and then coming home and loading all of the images on my computer and seeing what’s strikes me and what doesn’t.”

Having previously pursued a career in IT, James said that, when he came to PSC, photography was mainly just a hobby and that he had no expectations on what to expect.

After sampling different styles of photography, he said the studio was where he felt most at home as it provided maximum freedom for him to explore.

As a testament to his love for experimentation, he said he had captured some 6000 photos in the studio this year alone and had used a range of props and materials in the process.

One example (featured) was the culmination of a trip to Spotlight where he purchased some foam shapes and poster paint in an attempt to replicate an idea he had formulated from a TV show.

“Around the beginning of this semester I was pretty obsessed with the new series of Twin Peaks that came out and I was thinking about some of things in it that I found interesting,” he said.

“I started thinking about the whole thing of oozing and dripping liquids and all that, which can be quite creepy and unsettling but it also looks appealing in some ways as well.”

“With that particular one I found some glitter paint that I didn’t think I’d use because it looked a bit too sparkly but by combining the red and the gold together the visual impact was quite interesting.”

James said the course at PSC had granted him licence to explore different areas of photography that he might normally not have been exposed to. When he graduates, he said he hoped to become a self-employed commercial freelance photographer.

And while he had managed to narrow down his thousands of studio images to a 42-page folio, he said the intent behind his final series was to create a collective visual rather than a story.

“It comes down to the visual side of things and that’s how I’ve compiled my final folio this year,” he said.

“Mine doesn’t tell a story or a narrative. Mine is more 40 odd images together that work together visually rather than telling a story of any kind.”

jamesthornphotography.com

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