Interview | Justin Cliffe & his current exhibition in NYC

Justin, since joining the collective earlier this year how has your photography developed?

I’ve enjoyed being part of the collective and seeing it develop over the course of the year. As regards my own photography, as always never enough time to get out and take pictures but I’m having some successes which have lead to some good opportunities to broaden my portfolio. That said, I’ve a lot more to learn!

I’ve also made the move from DSLR to mirrorless, trading in most of my Canon equipment for a Fujifilm X-T1 and some lenses – to accompany my lovely X100s. I’m really delighted with the X-T1 and the quality of the lenses – the images straight out of the camera are really excellent.

You currently have a show in NYC, congratulations, how did that come about?

Thanks Nico, yes at the Agora Gallery in the Chelsea art district of New York – I’m exhibiting in their biannual exhibition -  “Illumination: an Exhibition of Fine Art Photography” - http://www.agora-gallery.com/artistpage/Justin_Cliffe.aspx.

I had an approach from them early this year via my website (www.justincliffe.co.uk) and, after some protracted correspondence submitted a selection of photographs to them, from which they made a selection for inclusion in their November exhibition – which runs until 25th November. I’ve had some good feedback so far – and been contacted by a couple of publications who are interested in my work. 

You went there for the opening of your exhibition, how was it?

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Yes, my wife and I used the opportunity to spend a few days in NYC around the opening of the reception, which took place on the 6th November. This was a lot of fun and we met some interesting and talented people.

Shooting in NYC, have you brought back some gems?

Yes, I think I have some nice images - a wet day in Times Square photographing umbrellas yielded some good ones! I am however, still working my way through all of them. The 9/11 Memorial was also an interesting, and evocative, place.

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The opportunities really are everywhere and I could have spent the whole time I was there just walking round the streets photographing the city’s diverse culture. There’s a huge amount of variety across the different areas of Manhattan and it has to be one of my favourite places for street photography.

If you had a choice, would it be NYC or London?

Now that’s a tough question to answer – I love photographing in London however New York really does have so much variety and there’s much more that I would like to do over there, so it would, at the moment, have to be NYC – perhaps for a year or two before returning to London!

I also hear you recently did a talk for a camera club. How valuable or important do you consider "passing the knowledge" to be?

Yes I did, in the middle of November, a couple of days after returning from New York. The approach actually came via Street Photography London – the club’s Progamme Secretary had picked up on the website and liked the idea of a talk on street photography to include within its comprehensive and varied programme for the 2014/15 season.

The first half of my presentation, which was entitled ‘Street Photography – a Personal Perspective’ covered my own street photography whilst the second half focused on street photographers who have influenced me – as well as explaining how I go about taking the pictures that I do. My intention was to encourage those members of the club who had not tried this genre of photography to get out and have a go at it as I do feel it important, as you say, to ‘pass the knowledge’ on.

I had some very nice feedback from the club and so I’m hoping that it had the right effect on its members!

What next for you?

For 2015, I’m going to have a go at gaining my Associateship of the RPS (to extend the Licentiateship I gained in 2013) and I’m looking to build on my Agora Gallery experience by exhibiting my work nearer to home – in London.

 

Thanks Justin, I can't wait to see what you bring us in 2015! 


If you are in NYC, Justin's work can be seen at the Agora Gallery until 25th November.

You can see more of Justin Cliffe's photography on his website and be sure to follow him on Twitter.

All photos © Justin Cliffe