Next up in our interview series is Paul Stoney.
please introduce yourself. what is “your style” of photography? I was trained in all sorts of things; from prosthetics to engineering, to physics, to computer science. Through all of these things, I’ve always found the beauty of form. Whether in an elegant solution to an equation, or in the solving a patient’s problem with a limb. It’s all about putting together the bits on hand to make something work; making it become functional. This is something I have always found beauty in. I guess if I have a style, it is in form. I love this shot (elegance pictured above) as it’s beautiful. But what perspective does that love come from. Is it the model’s graceful leg, or an elegant arm and elbow. For me the form is the beauty.
how long have you been shooting film? I shot a lot of film when younger. I also won a camera at school for a shot that I took. I was passionate then, but it all got lost and with it, many pictures that I had taken over the years. Life went on. I seriously got back into it again around 18 months ago with some encouragement from a dear friend. Meeting a whole world of like minded and terrific people through MSM and Flickr has also had a positive effect. I even developed my US09 image in a tank that I bought when I was ten years old.
do you prefer colour or black & white? do you have a favourite film or camera? Definitely black & white. There is something about it for me, that can deliver an image with a punch. Something that colour just doesn’t have. I love hard contrasty images. I am lucky to have quite a selection of cameras to use, mostly very old. The film I use is pretty much anything I can get, but I would have to say that Agfapan 400 is my favourite. Unfortunately its not available anymore. My favourite camera would be my Mamiya 645 1000S.
show us one of your favourite shots and tell us a bit about it, how did you take it? is there a story behind it? Warmth is my favorite shot. It’s simple and just pours out warmth. I tend to find that images often become much more than their subject matter. This one for me has always been a picture of warmth, friendship and a wry smile which I think is somewhat of the way with which we should all take life – with love. I loved it and her. The camera that I used was my trusty Mamiya 645 with HP5 film.
Melnais Kaķis by Lucian Chaffey.
show us a favourite shot from the MSM pool. what do you enjoy in other peoples’ photos? There really are too many too pick from, as the pool is the work of a lot of very talented and lovely people. I really love this one. It evoked a certain mystery and magic in me. Something that I hope my shots may also bring out in others.
why photography? It’s a medium in which we can send out our own individual message. The reasons we take or like a shot are so utterly personal – all of us are trying to say something. It might be making a statement about how we are feeling or about what we like/don’t like. In the days of the beautiful silver rich Adams or Weston pictures, photography was a very elite thing to do. These days everyone can do it. I can best some it up with the line “when everyone is super, no one is.” which is why I love photography. It’s one thing you can do that is individually and irreconcilably yours. Or of course it could all be about the “hey, cool shoot!” comments.
what question would you like to see us ask one of the next interviewees? What do you feel when you see a picture you like? Why do you like it?
Thanks for your time, Paul! You can see his work on flickr as paulxstoney.