+44 (0)1926 833 212 gallery@photiq.uk

Paul O’Flanagan

Derby, England, UK

I retired from work in 2008. When working, like most people, I spent time photographing family and places where we had holidays. On retiring from work I was able to devote more time to photography. Realising I needed further training I joined a photography club to develop my skills. Part of the culture of a photography club is to enter competitions. I started by entering these club competitions and then broadened it to include national and international competitions. I had good success but gradually became disillusioned with the process. I felt that there was always something missing from my work. In 2018 I stopped competitive photography and made the switch to Abstract Photography.

I found this change very liberating and creative. I could now take photographs without having to carry a tripod and heavy camera bag! All I needed was one camera and lens.

My technique involves a lot of looking to find the initial subject with which I am able to work. Once I have discovered this subject I then decide how I wish to use it in a composition. Having made that decision I then look for other elements that I can layer over the initial subject. Each final photograph may be composed of between two and six layers which the camera blends into one frame. It is easiest to think of this as a series of acetate sheets laid over each other, with you looking down through them.

It sounds like hard work but in reality it is great fun. The technique requires me to play with shapes, colour, lines and textures. This mind and visual playing is what photography is all about!

The photographs shown here come from a series taken from several adjoining allotments. I started on this series some ten years ago. My initial approach was to take documentary style photographs, which is what I did for several years. I was looking to photograph the individual allotments and also the buildings which surrounded them. Overtime I started a more abstract style, with the original subject still identifiable. From this I moved to Multiple Exposures.

This style of photography expressed the chaos that I saw in front of me. Allotments are chaotic places and not the neat rows that are the common perception.

Multiple Exposures can be made up from between two to six photographs. Each photograph starts with an element to which I then add others. The combination produces the final photograph. All this is done in-camera and not on the computer.

The design elements are texture, line, shape, pattern and colour. It is interesting that the photographs also convey a sense of decay, of breaking down. This was not an intentional decision but seems to have arisen spontaneously as I reacted to the environment around me. It is only when you look at the photographs as a body of work that this becomes apparent.

Paul O’Flanagan

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