A series celebrating the talent of our friends over in the Londonist Flickr pool. Here, they introduce themselves and share their favourite London shots. Today, meet Where The Art Is, AKA Malcolm Banthorpe:
When I was 12 years old I saved up pocket money for what seemed like a very long time to buy a tiny camera that took a rare type of 16mm roll film. Despite its small size and relatively low price it had a good range of shutter speeds and apertures. Therefore I had a pocketable camera that I could take anywhere and get photographs in most situations. The downside was that there was no local shop that could process this obscure film format. As a result I learned to develop it myself in an almost dark kitchen, in a small jug covered with a saucer to keep out the remaining light. From the negative I would produce miniscule contact prints that required a magnifying glass for viewing. Occasionally I managed to persuade relatives of friends who had an enlarger to make bigger but blurry prints for me.
I eventually progressed to a proper 35mm camera and my own darkroom equipment which I continued to use for several years. When digital cameras first arrived on the scene they gave low quality results but they were no worse than my first camera and I became an early user. Despite their shortcomings, the possibilty of making prints without the paraphernalia of a darkroom was an immediate attraction.
Since then the quality of results obtainable from digital cameras has improved somewhat more rapidly than the early pessimistic predictions about them. Although I own a DSLR (often seen as a requirement for "serious" photography) most of my photographs are taken on a compact camera. This is because I still want a camera that I can carry with me all the time, that's unobtrusive and allows me to take photographs in any situation with minimum of fuss. I rarely go out with the specific intention of taking photographs but always keep a look out for interesting shots as I move around around London.
Many of my photographs of London are taken in museums and galleries. I am particularly interested in photographing people interacting with artwork. This follows from my belief that all art is a two way process and, as well as an artist, requires the actve participation of the viewer to complete it.
Visit Malcolm's Flickrstream for more.
Browse previous Londonist Behind the Lensers.