Last week saw a large smattering of the who’s who in World Cycling pop along to Loweprofessional Geoff Waugh’s latest Lowepro supported Photography Exhibition at the Look Mum No Hands Cafe in London’s trendy Old street. We caught up with Geoff after his opening night to get the lowdown.
So Geoff tell us about this new exhibition? Why Selectism?
Well, we (me and the designer) pondered over names and most of them sounded too hifalutin to be honest. Selectism came about because in cycling there are many choices to be made. Some of us select which bike we want to ride, we chose the clothing we want to ride in whether it be to complement the weather, the bike or both, we chose the tyres, the gears and we select the actual lines we ride out on the trails. Occasionally, we select not to ride at all. I liked the look of the word too; thought it would look good on a layout.
Are there any special unique stories on show then?
Two I can think of. First the Holgaramas which are panoramics shot on the toy Holga camera. I showed the designer at Orange bikes company a pano I had shot and he got excited enough to commission me to use the techinque for some images for their brochure. The pressure was on. I had never shot this style before for anything but fun and Holga shooters know the results are unpredicatble to say that least. The cameras work best inbright sunshine and this job was inside a murky welding shop. So, I took my Multiblitz lights and some high-ish ISO negative film. The results were better than I could have hoped for and gave me a lot of confidence to use the method at anytime. I suppose the second is the contact sheet montage of Hasselblad images from this year’s 3 Peaks cyclocross race in Yorkshire. These have never been seen before.
So you seem to be a big fan of film, do you think this changes your attitude to taking pictures?
For me it has re-kindled a creative spark that has lain dormant for a while! When digital photography first appeared it was novel and fun. Now it is the other way around. I shoot film for the pleasure of not seeing the results instantly, of taking the film to the lab and interacting with a real person. I saw a good quote recently where a surf photographer Erica Doria said: “I think it is important people undertand that those who chose to shoot film are shooting blind and are aiming to score our best shots in one attempt not one out of a 100 frames.” That says it all really. It also exposes (excuse the pun) those who don’t have the goods. But I would like to emphasise that I am a digital shooter 90% of the time. I use film for certain looks and in certain situations where a commission allows it.
Your famous for your bike pictures, but you’ve got the full package of genres in your portfolio, do you like pushing the perception of your photography with each shoot?
I will shoot whatever I am asked to shoot in a commercial sense. I doubt I will ever shake off the ‘he’s a bike photographer’ label but I don’t have a problem with that, it’s natural when a percentage of work is bikes. But recently I have shot a printing company’s products and a wedding which is pretty far removed from the two wheeled thing. It’s always been a case of have camera will travel!
What’s next for Mr Waugh?
Back up the road to Yorkshire to shoot more Orange bikes this time for Privateer magazine, over to Belgium for cyclocross and six day track racing and some personal projects I have bubbling away in the background that will turn into published work in the long term. All good.
Geoff Waugh’s Selectism Exhibition is on at Look Mum No Hands till the 30th of November. For more details click here
For more information on Geoff Waugh check out his site here.