This week Alistair Ogilvy meets Glasgow born photographer Emma Crichton.
Emma Crichton is one of those artists who doesn’t make a song and dance about their work, but she should! It is artists like Crichton that make Glasgow art so special. When first seeing her images, I was immediately struck by her individual sense on style.
Crichton mainly works from her two homes of Glasgow and Galicia, she has conjured an impressive body of work and exhibitions. Working mainly in film, Emma’s work has a beautiful grainy, atmospheric ambience. Her photographs of people capture an innocence and a snap shot into their individual personalities. Crichton even manages to personify the animals and landscapes she portray's and her shots of plants seem to hold court in the picture as if they were speaking to us.
Working mainly in film, Emma’s work has a grainy, atmospheric ambience with a sepia tone quality to them exposing an nostalgic light almost making the viewer remember a time past. From that nostalgia Emma also captures a very clear, real movement in her photos for example in Apalossa she has caught the horse’s knowing look which gives off an almost enigmatic mysticism.
During a very relaxed interview I asked her some questions about her work;
When you decide to capture an image what goes through your mind? is it a very natural process or a technical one?
I would say it’s a mixture of both. The majority of my images aren’t set up unless I ask to take someone’s portrait therefore the decision to capture an image is quite natural. However, after making that decision there are always technical aspects that you have to consider for example the exposure, depth of field, film speed etc. In general though the procedure is quite spontaneous, I use mostly natural light and tend not to direct the subject too much.
There's a definite atmosphere around your photos, how do you create this ?
I always photograph subject matter with which I have a personal connection so that may add a certain intimacy to the atmosphere of the photos. My projects also represent periods of time in my life therefore the images within each series are probably also affected by how I was feeling, who I was with and where I was living at that specific time. Despite these factors which are constantly changing I’m always looking for constant factors in my photographs which in the end I think define my style and create a similar atmosphere in many of the images. I consciously focus on expressions and body language when photographing people then other aspects such as colour and form when it comes to still lives and landscapes.
I think light also plays an important part in creating a certain atmosphere within photographs. Whether you under or overexpose an image for example can completely change the way it feels.