Hi, I'm Niki, a UK fine art photographer specialising in black & white images of London. I always aim to capture the true character of the city, from its famous landmarks to its vibrant street-life.

Giant Jigsaw Puzzles – How to build a Photo-set.

July 4th, 2014

I’ve now created two exhibition Photo-sets as Artist-in-Residence at the Guildhall Library, with a third scheduled for November and more to come.  It’s a fantastic opportunity to take a really close look at different aspects of the City of London.  In each one, I choose a different theme  — so far,  it’s been ‘City Life’, ‘City Workers’ and ‘City Guides’  —  aiming to give as dynamic and interesting an overview as possible, in just 26 prints.  I say ‘just’ 26 because there are many more images that don’t make the cut.  When I’m taking the photographs, I am out to capture as many different viewpoints on the subject as I can but then a strict and not always straight-forward editing process takes over.  Before I even start, advance publicity demands the all important ‘lead’ image.  This must illustrate the subject in an immediately eye-catching way and entice people to want to see more and actually come along to the exhibition:

‘City deal overlooking Mansion House’ – the publicity image chosen for the ‘City Life’ exhibition Photo-set because of its strikingly simple graphic lines and the intriguing possible scenarios for the two figures.

‘City workers on the move’  –  the publicity image for the ‘City Workers’ exhibition in which a building grid carried through suited gents is an arresting sight and perfectly illustrates the subtitle of ‘Hard Hats & Uniforms keeping The Square Mile moving’.

When choosing the other 25 images to include in the actual Photo-set, I’m looking for a dynamic mix with a variety of content, perspective and form.  Most of these separately framed images of different shapes and sizes are not the standard rectangular 3:2 aspect ratio and so a major factor is whether an image will work when cropped to fit a particular space within the overall layout.  But with this apparent restriction comes an unexpected freedom to find exciting new pictures within the original photograph.  For example, it’s fascinating to see how the contrast of the different types of walking men and their horizontal movement is dramatically highlighted when the ‘City workers on the move’ image shown above is cropped to become a slim panoramic for the photo-set itself:

Like a giant jigsaw puzzle, the Photo-set finally clicks into place.  It’s a strangely intuitive and very satisfying process.  I look forward to creating many more.

Do go along to the Guildhall Library to view the ‘City Workers’ Photo-set, showing until 19th July 2014.  http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visiting-the-city/archives-and-city-history/guildhall-library/exhibitions/Pages/City-Workers-Hard-Hats-and-Uniforms.aspx

‘City Life – The Square Miles’ many Faces’ was exhibited at the Guildhall Library from 6th January to 11th April 2014.

The next Photo-set exhibition ‘City Guides – Ambassadors of The Square Mile’ opens on 24th November 2014.

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