My name is James Stevens. I’m a 22-year-old photographer. I have just graduated from university with an Upper Second Class Honours Degree in Photography.
My interest is in macro photography – I love the way pictures of very small objects look massive. With a macro lens, I can make a blossom look like a volcano or a seed look like a boulder. I first became fascinated with macro images while photographing butterflies during a trip to Peru, where I worked on a rainforest ecology project.
My current series of images “Unseen” are macro, still-life images of fruit and vegetables, that are created with a macro lens that enables me to focus intently on the smallest details. The use of localized lighting intensifies the colours. The images are free from artifice. They show real objects, exactly as they are, in ways that we never perceive them.
I am especially interested in drawing out the unmediated, natural, abstract qualities in everyday materials, and maximising the impact of the unexpected shapes they form.
Another series of macro images that I have now completed, “Miniature Myths”, represent characters from Greek mythology. A selection of these images won “Best In Show – Runner Up” as voted by Calumet, in the end of year exhibition.
As part of a long-running project, I have been taking a series of pictures of homeless people and beggars, in British and European cities. I have photographed people on the streets from Prague to Barcelona, but the most shocking shots of all were taken in London.
I was inspired by Don McCullin’s images of the London homeless. McCullin says in interviews how he was ‘shocked’ by people in London sleeping in doorways. I feel strongly that it is important to be shocked by such things, and not just to edit out uncomfortable truths. I believe that photography can influence social change.
My image of a homeless man, who lives in a doorway on Bristol’s Park Street, won the Silver Award in PermaJet’s “Printed Life in Black and White” Competition.
My ambition is to work as a professional photographer.