I was pleased to be asked to feature in The Transmitter again, when Editor Andy Pontin contacted me and fellow past contributors with photography and writing commissions. I wanted to take photos of dog walkers in our local Crystal Palace Park, but when I emailed Andy to find out and discovered that the lovely Louise Haywood Schiffer (who photographed my cat Jasper for a previous issue, see page 39) had beaten me to it, I suggested I could take B&W iPhone photos which I hoped would be sufficiently different from what Louise was doing. So that was how I came to be wandering about in the park, slightly anxious about approaching strangers as my natural shyness came into play, armed only with an iPhone and not a DSLR and wondering if my potential subjects would think I wasn’t a ‘real’ photographer because of this!
However, when I saw Owen with Lily the bulldog, I thought he looked approachable and knew that I had to get over my nerves and just ask. I explained that I was taking iPhotos for the local magazine The Transmitter, of dogs with their owners, but specifically only featuring the legs of the owner in the manner of Elliott Erwitt, a favourite photographer of mine whose dog shots I love. After doing it once, the second time was much easier, and soon I had all the photos that I needed, shot using the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone, with the GSQUAD lens and D-Type Plate film, which gives the photos an old fashioned look coupled with really punchy monochrome with a hint of warmth.
Some of the dogs were very vital and didn’t want to sit still – Lily only allowed her rubber ball removed from her mouth with great reluctance, and Barnaby and Gemma tied their owners in knots with their leads, whilst one sat still the other wouldn’t and then vice versa. Got there in the end though, and really enjoyed the experience which took me out of my photo comfort zone a bit – I’m even thinking of continuing with the series and taking some more After Erwitt iPhotos!
Featured here are the pages from the magazine, and larger versions of my photos below.