From above - James Whitaker - Photographer
James Whitaker, Photographer and winner of our f22 competition talks us through his approach and some work he has produced using cherry pickers, Tom Crew reports.
"With a background in architecture I now work as a portraiture and lifestyle photographer, shooting people on location in their own environment for magazines and commercial clients. Some of the most satisfying work that I do though is when I am able to combine the rigours and strong geometries of architectural photography with the human curiosity of portraiture.
Over the last year and a half I have been working on a series of photographs looking at interesting moments of activity from above. This has taken me to a quarry, a harbour, a farm and a bmx track, and in coming months hopefully an outdoor swimming pool and a vineyard.
With the help of Facelift I've been able to pass my IPAF and get my hands on their Ascendant 17 and Ascendant 22 machines. Using their cherry pickers I have been able to move my camera into some terrific positions, with the land below forming strong, structured lines for the photograph through which the activity can pass. If this series of photographs were taken from the belly of an aeroplane the people on the ground would just be tiny ants going about their business.
However, the cherry pickers have allowed my to place the camera close enough to the action that we can see the shoe laces on the runner’s feet and the scales on the fisherman’s catch, and yet still be high enough that we can view the activity within its context. The result has been a terrific set of images which can be read from afar as bold, striking geometries, but reveal more and more detail the closer you get to them."