Inside this issue
Andrew Nadolski’s 2013
2013 - 14 Review
Andrew Nadolski is a professional designer and photographer based in Exeter. His series 'The End of the Land' has been exhibited in museums and art galleries across England and has been published as a book by Headon House.
We asked a number of our contributors to answer a few questions on their past year and what 2014 holds.
1) What have you been doing photographically in 2013, anything new & different or exciting trips that got the juices flowing?
Not as much as I would like! The pressures of my commercial work and the commitment to getting the pdf issues of onlandscape out, nearly on time, has often left me exhausted and that has meant precious little time for my own landscape work. My business took quite a knock after the last general election with the subsequent massive cut back in public sector spending. I spent a number of years rebuilding my commercial business and that made me a bit obsessive about grabbing every bit of work that I could. I am at the point now where I am getting a bit fed up with the fickle nature of some clients and looking for a little bit of a change in some aspects of my work. I really enjoy working with people and enjoy the prospect of helping them with their own creative development. I have been working as a designer and photographer (both commercial and art) now for nearly 28 years and hope I have something worthwhile to pass on. Of course, I hope that I can find more time for my own artwork which is my passion. I did find time to make a couple of trips to ‘a certain beach’ and added a few more images to that body of work.
2) What have you been shooting with most in 2013?
A bit of a mixture. I still enjoy the classic simplicity of working with my Hasselblad and colour neg film. I switched to Portra 160 after many years of working with Fuji Reala and I am really happy with the results. It is a lovely film for scanning and it handles subtle colours really well. I sold my digital Hasselblad kit at a huge loss - lessons learnt there I can tell you. I use my D800 for all my commercial work now and it has paid for itself many times over. However, it is the Sony A7R that I am most enjoying using at the moment. I found the process of getting used to using an EVF meant I had to ‘look a bit harder’ and that is never a bad thing. It has become my default landscape camera. Hopefully, in 2014 there will be a Zeiss 24mm the same quality as the 35 and 55.
3) What is your favourite image from 2013 and what is the background to it?
I struggled choosing a favourite but I particularly like this diptych as much for the image itself as to what it possibly represents. I have been visiting a remote valley on Dartmoor for over 15 years taking the odd image now and again but I was never sure if it would evolve into a coherent series. Ironically it was on a trip to test the A7R that I started to see how I could develop a new body of work within a defined geographic boundary. It is crucial for me that if I produce a series of pictures, or a new visual story, there is a solid concept behind it. I have already made some additional images in 2014 that are starting to expand the idea a little.
4) What does 2014 hold ? New books ? projects ? trips ? or even new gear… ?
In general hopefully a change of direction, working with people more and possibly a new book.
My wife and I are off to the US for a two week holiday in May and though it is a strict ‘non photography’ trip I hope I can sneak a few moments to make a few worthwhile images. The weight (and size) savings of the Sony A7R should really come into their own on a trip like this. I would love to add a high quality wide to the Sony. I shall need to try and find the best 24mm available in a Nikon fit if there isn’t a native mount version for the Sony sometime next year.
5) Portfolio of 6 personal images from 2013
6) What are your predictions for the industry (either technical or general)
I think it will be interesting to see how the rest of the camera industry reacts to Sony’s bold moves and as this year is a Photokina year we will no doubt see some new ideas. Whether they are borne out of desperation or genuine innovation will be interesting to see. I am convinced that Nikon, Canon or Sony will break, or get close to, the 50mp count in a 35mm format sensor but at what price and in it what body shape/size it comes will be the interesting area.
I could easily see Nikon coming out with a D4X with a 50mp (Sony) sensor and trying to charge £6k for it and at the same time Sony producing a A9R with the same sensor at half the price. I think we could see Panasonic leave the still camera industry. I can’t see how they can increase their market share or make any kind of profit. Olympus should survive given Sony’s investment (and they have some interesting tech) but again how long can one wing of a much larger company continue to make a loss without someone at board level saying ‘enough is enough’. M43, which at the time of very expensive sensors seemed a good idea now looks like the lead weight holding Olympus back (despite the fact that they have recently produced their reportedly best digital camera to date the OM-D E-M1).
As far as commercial photography is concerned I think we will see a continued decline in what clients will pay for commercial photography for all but the higher echelons of fashion and advertising. Ironically if the economy recovers and house prices continue to rise we could see a bounce back in fine art sales as people feel ‘richer’ (just don’t mention bubble).
7) What are your personal ambitions or goals for 2014
Going back to my first answer - a bit of a change of direction. This year I hit 50 and had always promised myself I would re-evaluate what I was doing when I hit that psychological milestone. I really want to diversify what I am doing and I feel teaching or mentoring in some capacity is one of the areas I will be exploring. There are some genuinely interesting possibilities ahead that I am really enthusiastic about.
I hope to publish my second book though this will be my landscape/documentary work in Newquay - quite a bit different to The End of the Land. The ideas behind it pull together my family history and it is therefore very personal.
There are many strands of the ‘story’ I need to weave together including Josef Stalin, sandcastles and Clarke Gable ! For years I have been struggling to see how it could all work and fell that it is starting to come together (a little).
I hope I can remain healthy and fit enough to continue my landscape photography which is my greatest passion. As you get older the prospect of not so easily being able to get to some remote locations does start to rear its head. This year I am determined to find the time to develop my own work - I don’t want to be retired thinking if only...