• Spencer-wilton-hero

    Spencer Wilton: The Konkan Coast (detail)

Photography

Multi-disciplinarian Spencer Wilton is a travelling graphic designer and photographer to boot

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

It is one big universal truth that our immediate environments and those we share breathing space with will inform what we do and make. Not everyone can pick themselves up and transplant everything they know with foreign architecture, questionable cuisine and/or whole other languages, but Spencer Wilton has. For this travelling graphic designer, new landscapes brought out a different sort of work from him and, for some time now, he has been photographing his way about the place, producing images that appear to hold all the studied attention of his original occupation…

  • Spencer-wilton-01

    Spencer Wilton: Mumbai Blocks

You work as a graphic designer, how, if at all, does photography influence your design work?

I would say it’s vice-versa, that my design influences my photos more than my photos influence my design. When you’re trained as a designer you learn to see shapes and ratios and relationships  between shapes in space in a unique way, and I think I carry that eye for shapes and relationships with me when I’m shooting.

I often find myself drawn to structures that are fairly simple; big blocky structures with little embellishment. I think that attraction comes from being a designer and loving when things are meaningfully unembellished. I like when photos look flat and two-dimensional at first glance, I like photographs that feature typography prominently and boldly (especially when it’s not in english). I love when things in photographs look like they fall into a grid, as if they were meaningfully placed there with care and attention.

What can you tell us about the stories behind your images?

I suppose the story is that I have been living a semi-nomadic existence since leaving design school in Canada some five-or-so years ago. The places I photograph are ones that I’ve lived and generally really love and miss. A lot of time they are places that I would pass on a daily basis while commuting to work, or immediately around where I live.

Over time I grow to love the mundane places that confront me every day and I try to take pictures in a way that shows those places in as interesting and compelling a way as I see them. I don’t have very many photos of London yet, I’ve only lived here for like eight months, and I’m still coming to terms with what those places are for me here. There are bits of Hackney that I really like, though.

It’s not your average travel photography and focusses quite heavily on architecture – how would you define this sort of documentation?

I’m not really sure. I’ve been calling it sort of “urban landscape” photography. It’s kind of new-topographics-ish. The words “photographs of a man-altered landscape” have a ring of truth to them. I don’t think of it as travel photography, but I suppose it is.

  • Spencer-wilton-04

    Spencer Wilton: Mumbai Blocks

  • Spencer-wilton-07

    Spencer Wilton: The Konkan Coast

  • Spencer-wilton-02

    Spencer Wilton: Mumbai Blocks

  • Spencer-wilton-05

    Spencer Wilton: Mumbai Blocks

  • Spencer-wilton-03

    Spencer Wilton: Mumbai Blocks

  • Spencer-wilton-08

    Spencer Wilton: The Konkan Coast

Portrait9

Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Photography View Archive

  1. List

    It’s the first day of August, and we’re celebrating with the hazy, sun-drenched work of Italian-born, New York-based photographer Samantha Casolari. Incredibly skilled, she’s crafted an aesthetic that injects ethereality into the least likely of scenes – tequila distilleries in Mexico, high-end fashion editorials, huge BMX festivals included – without losing the element of photo-reportage that’s so integral to her work. She’s shot for clients so diverse that you’d have a job summing them up, and exhibited all over the world too. Prolific? Yeah, just a tad.

  2. Cv6list

    Take some sexy shaped candles and photographs of naked women lounging around their houses and sprawling over the Crystal Palace dinosaur statues, and you’ve got yourself photographer Camille Vivier’s portfolio. Odd? Yes. Intriguing? Certainly. But I think that’s the point.

  3. Main

    Freelance photographer and photo-editor Geordie Wood is a man with tricks up his sleeve. His role as “a one-person photography department” at The Fader, not to mention innumerable commissions for publications from The New York Times and TIME to Vogue and Nowness, prove that he knows his stuff, and his skill is there fore the seeing in his photographs.

  4. Phlist

    It’s about time we featured photographer Peter Hapak on our site; his portraits have sure graced the pages of many a prestigious publication. His portfolio is the photographic equivalent of a box of Quality Street; not only packed with famous faces, but also cracking clients like TIME, The New York Times Magazine and The Times. In case you were wondering, he doesn’t exclusively work for publications with “time” in the title – he shot an Emmy portfolio for Variety earlier this year. Born in Hungary and no less than a fourth generation photographer, Peter has a timeless (sorry, couldn’t resist) style, finding something in these familiar faces which hasn’t quite been captured before. Thankfully, unlike a tin of everyone’s favourite Christmas chocolates, the treats in Peter’s portfolio seem to last forever. Feast your eyes, my friends.

  5. Dbglist

    We’ve posted before about how David Brandon Geeting creates striking images of seemingly ordinary objects and revitalises the age old still life. With these shiny new photographs, he bumps the beauty up to another level of aesthetic glee. Hyper-colourful, vibrant and sharp, these images are meticulously crafted compilations of – well – stuff. But looked at through David’s lens this stuff is seen in all its glory; never has a pepper looked so brilliantly, crunchily, juicily red, or a rubber glove so squeakily, summery yellow. This is a man who clearly delights in design – if I was a banana, I’d want David to take my picture.

  6. List

    I’m not sure how well Only Fools And Horses translates as a cultural reference point to our international readers; there’s something quintessentially British about the sitcom featuring a get-rich-quick ducker and diver in his (pre-trendy) Peckham flat. But young London-based photographer Nadia Lee Cohen took Del Boy’s now-iconic home – with its charming hodge-podge of faux sophisticated stylings – and used it as the backdrop for this slightly unsettling shoot. Nadia’s work has a very pronounced slick, shiny and colour-saturated aesthetic that fits this slightly odd narrative perfectly – this mysterious femme fatale seems at one moment confidently at home in Del Boy’s surroundings, at others slightly bewildered. It’s weird, and I love it.

  7. Boy7list

    Shot at his house in Brooklyn, New York, David Armstrong’s series 615 Jefferson Avenue creates an aura of mysticism around the young male models. Some are muscular, some are boyish, but they all seem strangely ethereal. They exist in a world apart from the everyday; free from work, from worries, from the washing-up. Armstrong’s apartment is a wonderland of sorts, filled with masks, gilded mirrors and flower wreaths. His “muse,” Boyd Holbrook, even has pixie pink hair (although I suspect this particular Peter Pan left Neverland quite some time ago). For you, dear reader, we’ve picked a selection of portraits which are free from bed sheet, ruff and top hat.

  8. Main

    Where is the limit of what the camera can capture? Can the paranormal be pictured? So asks Alexander Gehring’s series Messages from the Darkroom, exploring photography’s ability to portray paranormal phenomena.

  9. Main8

    With over 600,000 snap happy visitors a year, you can imagine that Elvis Presley’s infamous Graceland mansion is pretty well documented. But it takes someone truly special to photograph something famous and still make it seem brand new, which is why we’re glad that Hedi Slimane – lover of rock and roll, and young, good-looking, rebellious men – took a trip to Elvis’ Memphis home late last year and brought his camera along.

  10. Main

    Stripped of snow, Ettore Moni’s alpine landscapes are scarred by access roads, crisscrossing electricity wires and ski lift cables. The raw beauty of his scenes is interrupted by ugly concrete buildings, plastic fencing and piles of pipes. If Maria and the von Trapps came skipping over these mountains, the sound of music would hit a rather discordant note.

  11. List

    This time last year Sam Bradley had just moved up to London to concentrate on his fashion photography – which we have to say, he was pretty damn good at. This year he’s still busy working away on fashion editorials, including a lovely shoot for the latest Wonderland, but he’s been getting outside a lot more, shooting mountaineers, skateboarders and racing drivers in a style so crisp you feel almost able to reach out and touch the scenes he’s captured. I’ll admit a certain bias towards photographers working in nature – I go mad for a mountain view – but Sam’s managed to make even tedious, high-budget motorsports look exciting and unusual, for which he deserves an enormous amount of praise.

  12. List

    When Rapha launched their brand ten years ago they did it with an exhibition on cycling history and a book that documented some of the greatest stars and stories of competitive road racing. The book showed candid shots of legendary riders like Fausto Coppi hanging out in his pyjamas and Bernard Hinault in a grump on the train, exposing these famous gents out of the saddle, carrying on like normal human beings. To celbrate their tenth anniversary Rapha have re-printed and re-released the book (no long out of print) upping the print and finish quality in the process. The results, we think you’ll agree, look pretty spectacular!

  13. Main8

    Whether catching a glimpse of a funeral ceremony over a black-clad shoulder or seeing young boys play football in dappled sunlight, Noah Rabinowitz’s beautiful images truly make you feel like you’re observing something intimate, something special.