Current exhibition

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Theo Gove-Humphries is 26 years old photographer from Birmingham. Born & educated in the city he has been travelling for the last 10 months throughout Europe in his camper van. He is by profession a film maker & photographer. He gave up full-time employment to take on the challenge of a road trip through the wild beauty of the European countryside. Accompanied by his girlfriend Bee he created a website & started to document that journey. He has made films, uploaded blog posts of photographs & with Bee composed monthly articles for a camper van magazine along with publishing an e-book based on his experience gained throughout that time. And he took photographs . Taking his various cameras & laptop with him he has been able to document the journey through his blog , his twitter & instagram feeds. He has had massive positive feedback & met fellow photographers on the way. Above all the camper van has allowed him to get into the deep countryside & be able to absorb the unique European landscape we mostly never see . The one way beyond the car park & the road. The one over the next hill & mountain & through the next valley & up the next gorge & across the next river & ravine. This exhibition is the result of part of that journey. Here in the ParkView Gallery you can see the product of hundreds of hours of work in finding the right image , in editing that image & finally approving the printing of the images for display & sale.

Sheila Millward

Gillian Lever


Theo in his own words: " I think I was on a beach in Cornwall when I took my first real photograph. Steve , my dad , had a Nixon FM 35m camera & used it mostly to photograph jazz concerts & document hi stake on Birmingham. He shot alot in black & white & colour slide using Kodachrome 25 film. I now have that camera. I like its solidity & whilst I don't use film I see that first photograph as a memento of my first start in photography. And my love of the medium " "So on this holiday we we were on the breach when I asked , probably demanded ,the use of the Nikon. We had a discussion about what I wanted to show & what I should do. I must have been under 10. I still have that image & my grandparents hung it in their house & it remained there until my grandmother died. She made me sign it. It was colour which was rare for Steve & that was a magical time. I remember the light & the sea; the framing of what I wanted. It all worked out. " " As I got older I recall long discussions about f-stop numbers & speed of film & shutter speeds. Depth of focus & shooting in low light. Updating & 'pushing' film & developing film. All the anorak stuff you would expect. However the image is the thing. Whilst I like the technical stuff I want my images to say something more than be applauded technically. It is a bit like going around an art gallery & remarking that the painting was 'well painted'. The polite kiss of approval is not what I want. I hope that the image I take requires thought about the image not how the image was achieved & what lens, what filter, what camera , what tripod. Let the photograph do the talking for me" " I like the journey to the photograph . The hard work & the waiting. The capturing the image & the idea that I am seeing this image through my eyes & no one else. That this image , captured by the lens will be a special memory of this time. A memento of the place; the day & night & that experience of discovery". " I have always been interested in capturing memories. As a teenager I came to love skateboarding in the city . For a few years I hardly left home without a skateboard. I travelled to skateparks & was kicked off city centre cites by security guards . I got given a video camera & started to document this world. I even started to film security officers & their behaviour. That was the start of my love for documentary work. As a teenager I knew that filming & editing were what I wanted to do." "Skateboarders are a great community. Tight & they look after each other. This especially when we were skating on city centre car parks, public steps & even one occasion a shopping centre with a great set of handrails & steps. I wanted to document the energy & the passion of the skateboarding community. " "Documentary filmmaking has a rawness I love . It is about having to cope with what's in front of you. In a way film making like that has taught me the true true elements of the great photograph. It is about work & preparation. It is about research & having a plan but not being too rigid. Allowing the experience to throw up something unexpected & getting it framed by a good composition. It is all about that moment. It is your moment. It is unique & that is the great thing about photography as we all bring our experience & our way of seeing the world to bear on the photograph ." " What landscape photography does for me is to allow my experience to be interpreted by the image I take. I don't have to have the expectations of the client to worry about. I can experience complete freedom to point the camera where I wish. It is about my eye. It is my image & my moment. Every other photographer will have a different perspective. Sometimes I will hike for miles & never take the camera out of the bag. The moment has to be right. It is not just shoot & shoot endlessly. It is about choice & where & when but mostly why? Why this angle ; why this composition; why now ? All of these things go through my mind. I think all photographers of landscape have a deep love of nature & the freedom from normal city rules. It doesn't mean it is not controlled it is just that ability to see the horizon, the mountain, the snow, the glistening light on a leaf & then to be in a sound scape that is different; the wind blowing across the contours of the rocks, the bird sing, rivers crashing over gorges & the waves lapping on the shore. You slow down & focus & concentrate in a different things. All of this allows you choose your moment" " I am a digital photographer of the digital age. I have seen work made using film but never ever professionally used it. I always shoot RAW. This is for all my images & I frame the image in the place , the landscape ( whether city scape or landscape ) & only very rarely crop on the edit. What's the point ? In the landscape of the country I am about taking time to compose & choose what image I want. Digital allows me to choose that framing. In the editing I spend time- sometimes hours choosing what to enhance & why. All my editing is done on my MacBook. This is not about manipulation it about choosing the image that best reflects what I wanted when I pressed that shutter. " " A very famous photographer said that 90%'of the work of a great photograph is done in the darkroom. Whilst I don't use a darkroom the editing is the key & an integral part of the image. There is a lot of talk of the purity of the image . The minute you choose a type of camera, lens , filter, setting for speed & light then you are manipulating the image. Witnesses to a landscape scene see different things depending on who they are. That is why police witnesses describe people differently in a crime scene. They are seeing what they see through their experience & their own special take on the world. My photographs are just my view of that world. But it is one that I think best interprets what I want it to show. What I have seen at that moment " "I don't shoot in black & white. I love the warmth, the subtlety of a large palate of colours that I can organise & conduct in getting the right image for the experience I have had. Colour is what we all see & why restrict yourself to black & white.? I do like some of that work but now we have full colour & reliable colour , at that , why not use it ? The world moves on I think. If the great Ansel Adams , Edward Weston or Margaret Bourke - White ( all favourites with my father ) were working today they would shoot mostly in colour. If you are a composer & you have a chance to compose for a full orchestra then you would wouldn't you? Why compose only for a string quartet ? " " Landscape photography allows time to think. To place yourself as that speck of life in the wild. To consider your place in the world. There is a deep silence that we miss living in cities. Not silence as such but a deep still of contentment. Occasionally I will lose myself wholly in that aspect but all the thinking long & hard about the image as I am taking it. I spend time in landscape image- making ; composing , thinking, framing & checking the view & the equipment almost without being aware of the water rushing into my boots or the cold from the snow I am lying in. I get swept away by the experience." " Since making this exhibition selection I have been to more countries & landscapes. I am still marvel at the environment I see & am never bored. I am always learning & filing away an image to store for a future The journey continues & when I return to Birmingham I will be making arrangements to travel & live in Scotland for as many months as I can. Parts of Scotland are wild & unexplored & are on our doorstep. The light in the west coast, the islands, the mountains & lots more tramping the hills & finding that image that best reflects what I see & what I want to portray. " It is going to be a great journey. I can hardly wait. I hope you enjoy this exhibition & would like to thank Roger Palmer for the opportunity to show my work & supporting me & encouraging me; Rob Johnson for layout & support & putting up with my obsessive streak. And to my family for always believing in me. But especially to Bee for understanding that the next valley, the next coastline , the next waterfall will be the great image. And that yes it is necessary to wait for the light for hours on end. And for waking her in the middle of the night as I bounded out of the van to see the aurora again & again & to lie in a graveyard at three in the morning didn't mean I was bonkers." "So if you want to contact me to discuss any technical aspects or comment please do so. I would love to hear from you & hope you enjoy the exhibition. And please buy some work & help me onto the next leg of my journey into the Landscape of imagination & the unknown." Thank you, Theo

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