‘I stay present and see where my feet take me’
PUBLISHED: 13:00 24 April 2017
Bridget Galton talks to a photographer who stays in the moment to capture the capital with fresh eyes
A keen photographer is publishing his pictures of the capital through a Kickstarter campaign.
Growing up in Warwick Avenue, Maida Vale, Richard Morrison started taking photographs at the age of 12 with an Olympus he bought with money from his paper round.
Now living in Highbury, he decided to fund his book Seen London through a £9,500 Kickstarter campaign because it was “much quicker and more direct,” than the regular publishing route.
“I like to wander around London. The French call it the Drift. You don’t go out with any agenda and you are not too possessive about where you are going. You just see where the moment takes you,” says Morrison, whose day job is running a branding studio making title sequences for TV films such as Batman and Sweeney Todd.
On his way to work and when going out and about at weekends he carries a lightweight camera around with him “at all times”.
“I don’t get bogged down with too much technology and kit,” he says.
“I am not a geek photographer. Thousands of pounds doesn’t mean you have a good eye. That moment you are looking for, you can’t manufacture it. You have to be prepared, and in the present. Not messing around with lenses and technical stuff.”
Morrison got his “eye” from his film editor father Allan and spent his boyhood watching him work on film sets.
He did an Art Foundation Course but skipped further training after being offered a job in the film industry.
“To me the camera is just a tool. It helps me with my visual language, connects me to my own emotions and experiences, some people use words, some paint, I use a camera.”
The 80 images in the book range across the capital from portraits to landscapes including Hackney, Dalston and Highbury. The cover features a French tourist near the Barbican using an eyeglass to scrutinise an A-Z. Other shots include swimmers at Hampstead Heath ponds and a soldier on Horseguards parade.
The father of two says he’s “very self critical” and tries to avoid the usual clichéd shots of London.
“People see my shots and say ‘I’ve never seen it like you have seen it’.
“A lot of it is down to being in the present. You see lots of people on their phones as they walk, and they are missing the stuff that’s going on around them. If you are not present you won’t see things.”
Donate at kickstarter.com/projects/368698869. Once published, Seen London will be available on Amazon and in local stores including Aria in Barnsbury and Provisions in Holloway Road.