Vintage Photographer & Artist
real beauty can’t be faked
“Once upon a time in the wonderful world of images, a few brave engineers discovered how to turn light into digital signals. But they were unaware that their invention would eventually lead to the pixellation of our entire visual world and that this new technology would soon create upheaval in the longstanding pairing of image and time.”
The first time we met Dave, we couldn’t resist the temptation to ask a hundred questions. We had already fallen prey to the charms of a vintage aesthetic that is both crude and kind, but who was that man and why was he carrying equipment that made us wee in our pants at the science museum when we were kids?
Dave Shrimpton is a rare artist, not just because of his humble demeanor, his child-like sense of wonder or his unprecedented knowhow around vintage cameras, but because he understands the transcendent nature of beauty and the importance of honest discovery. Maybe his creativity is fueled by a desire to keep us aware that beauty cannot be faked, or an inner drive to preserve what little remains authentic in times like these. It makes sense. We desperately need to be reminded that beauty is in danger of becoming invisible in this world where phone apps can simulate the square-format photos of the old Brownie and the warm colors of the Polaroid. Whatever it is that fuels his passion, it’s clearly working.
Dave Shrimpton is a portrait, people and street photographer who uses vintage and classic cameras from 1890-1970, both on location and in his Cambridge studio. Dave works in large and medium format film and also uses the 1851 wet plate collodion process to capture images on glass, metal and Perspex.
Nostalgia for an era when photography was less about instant results led Dave to reconnect with photographic methods of the past using vintage cameras. An image that passes through the lens of such a camera is processed in a dark room by the skilled hands of the technician. The end result should be valued as a unique piece of artwork.
In 2016 he was flattered to be runner up in the Royal Academy of Arts ‘Street Photography’ competition and shortlisted for the 2017 British Photography Awards (both taken on film cameras).
Dave’s recent solo exhibitions presented a snapshot of his photographic journey from film to digital then returning back to film. The exhibits also demonstrated the art of photographing on to tin, glass and Perspex.
Most recent adventures involve the exploration of wet plate photography, shot with a modern twist.
Limited Editions – Works on Glass
Photographed using a 1948 camera and produced on glass plate using the 1851 Wet Plate Collodion process
These photographs & plates are produced by Dave in his darkroom using entirely traditional analogtechniques involving the alchemy of Ether and Silver Nitrate
Each plate is unique and individual with its own beautiful Wet plate collodion plate edge swirls and movement.
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