Local interview with Richard Hammerton Photographer

I met Richard Hammerton at The Silverton Hotel, in Frankwell. All around us, decorating the walls hangs his exhibition for the Shrewsbury Open Studios 2012.  The work is based on Richard’s enchanting observations of our beautiful town, and he does not disappoint.  From a macro shot of a neglected shed door to a lady with an umbrella in the rain, he takes his inspiration during his walks through town. Doing the shopping or the school run, he has an ever-present purposeful distraction, and he takes his camera everywhere in a Swedish World War II gas mask bag.

An irrepressible creative, he has always had a fascination with science and the natural world. He ignored the advice of his art teachers and went to York to study Environmental Science and from there Architecture in Applied Environmental and Energy Studies. He has worked as project manager and a lecturer, but his interest of the natural world is evident in this, his new career as a photographer.

“I got started in photography about ten years ago when I bought a second-hand digital camera on eBay.  It was a 3.5 mega-pixel Hewlett Packard point-and-click and looked like a small toaster with a lens on the front. I was immediately captivated by digital photography; the freedom to experiment and see what worked, and being able to see and edit the photos immediately seemed revolutionary to me then, and still does now. I worked with that camera for about three years and found inventive ways to overcome its limitations, stitching images together to improve the resolution, and attaching a pair of binoculars to the front with duct tape as a primitive, but effective, zoom lens.”

The self-taught photographer has been busy; at the start of the year he embarked on a personal project to take a photo every day, which he immediately publishes online. The project is almost at day 200 and is going well. Richard says that it’s been a demanding, obsessive journey and has been one of the most effective ways to learn and improve his photography.  (www.blipfoto.com/richardh) The sell-out exhibition at The Silverton has been extremely well-received and Richard is becoming a well-known part of the Art Scene in town. He has commissions for portraiture, promotional work, a local publishing company and is developing a series of photography courses that will be launched later this year. He is also a really nice bloke and I really like his bag.

Written by Sam Pooley

Email – [email protected]

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