CALVENDO self-publishers in conversation: Rory Garforth

Yorkshire-based photographer Rory Garforth has a knack for black and white images. His evocative pictures make you look just that little bit longer. Here, he tells us about his photography, what influences his work and why Yorkshire is the perfect ‘shooting ground’.

Rory Image

1. Rory, we need to talk black and white with you: Tell us a bit about your specific preference for black and white photography and how it developed.

My first camera was a Russian Zenit 11 SLR, bought for me by my parents. Back then, aged 11 in the 80s, I instinctively wanted to shoot in black and white and asked my father to get me black and white film. I’ve always loved noir and the look of old movies. I’ve stuck with black and white because I love the timeless, classic feel it gives. I also love the drama in a black and white image with its strong contrast and texture; something I’ve never really achieved in a colour image. I’m also colour blind and have often wondered if this has influenced my photography. My black and white images tend to be strong, high contrast and sometimes powerful – I’m working on soft, gentle and subtle!

Isle of Skye Copyright: Rory Garforth

Isle of Skye
Copyright: Rory Garforth

My appreciation for landscape and wide open skies comes from early trips to the coast in Yorkshire, and my love of mountains from hiking trips to Scotland and the Lake District. Photography wise, my earliest influences were Ansel Adams, Fay Goodwin and particularly Michael Kenna. I felt that his photography showed me what I really wanted to learn and aspire to. Another is Bill Brandt, who really got me interested in street photography and whose dramatic landscapes of Skye first drew me to that location. I really admire the work of Susan Burnstine, she uses handmade cameras and lenses creating a really unique look. I love her book, ‘Within Shadows’.

2. You have a passion for landscape photography and the great outdoors. Looking at your portfolio, it becomes clear that your ‘home turf’ of South Yorkshire definitely plays an important role for your work. What specifically is it that you find so inspiring (apart from the fact that the scenery is indeed stunning!)? And can you tell us a bit about how you find the places and motives to shoot? Continue reading