By Katy Cowan
Moving away from his usual reportage style, London-based photographer Steve Bainbridge has a new ongoing series where he loves to take photographs of brightly coloured buildings against cloudless blue skies – relying solely on taking the perfect shot instead of using any digital manipulation or fancy tricks.
After painstakingly searching for suitable locations, Steve waits for those perfect sunny days when there isn’t a cloud in the sky and the light is absolutely perfect before he grabs his camera and takes any pictures. He admits that the time between finding the location and taking a photograph can be months.
How does he choose his subjects? They’re always a mixture of commercial buildings, warehouses and architectural landmarks and they share various things in common: they have to be large; they must contain just one or two primary colours; they must have areas of heavy shadow and they are able be photographed against a cloudless blue sky.
Speaking of the resulting photographs, Steve said: “At first sight it may not be obvious what the buildings are, the strong colours and shapes teasing the visual senses almost like an optical illusion. I look to abstract details from architecture and, by limiting the palette to just two or three colours, hope to produce striking minimalist images.”
Early on Steve was heavily influenced by the photography of Tim Page and Don McCullin leading him to enrol on the NCTJ Press Photography course in Sheffield in the early ’90s. He later found inspiration in the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Elliot Erwitt and their candid reportage style. Since then, Steve’s work has appeared in numerous national and international newspapers and magazines, and his commissioned work has taken him all over the world. Discover more at stevebainbridge.net.