When we viewed Ben Thomas’ photo series ‘Chroma‘ and ‘Anti-Chroma‘, we knew we had to get a hold of this Aussie photographer and ask about his photography. His Chroma series has stripped out the darker details of life and focuses on a flurry of colour in everyday images, while his Anti-Chroma series does the exact opposite by exploring the darker side. Wanting to know all about Ben and his work, we asked him a handful of questions that’ll get even the most amateur photographer excited to shoot.
You’re well known for your tilt shift photography. In your new series Chroma and Anti-Chroma you take different approaches to the art of photography. Can you explain your inspiration behind them?
My work over the years has had a central theme around the cities and places we live in. I have used different techniques to deconstruct these places (Cityshrinker, 2007 utilising tilt-shift and Accession, 2012 using mirroring techniques), this time with Chroma I wanted to use colour as the primary method. In essence, a hyper-real representation of the cities we live in.
My primary inspiration was to seek out architecture and place design that give cities their unique feel. It was after shooting Chroma that I developed Anti Chroma which explored, in essence, the other side of the spectrum utilizing muted colours, darkness and highlights as a way deconstruct urban scenes.
Can you tell us how you achieved the colour treatments in both series?
The overarching colour treatment is something I had been tweaking and experimenting with for over a year before shooting Chroma. My aim with Chroma was to make the pictures as vibrant and flat as possible, to almost have an illustrative feel. Anti-Chroma’s treatment is basically the opposite in that the pictures have a lot of their colour stripped out, utilising darker tones and smaller highlights that deconstruct the scene.
When do you decide something is worth photographing?
Right now, flat colours with minimal detail are serious triggers for me to pull out the camera and take a shot. I’m really enjoying working on really diverse projects at the moment and getting right out of my comfort zone.
What places did you travel for both Chroma and Anti-Chroma? Do you have a favourite city you love to photograph?
I shot the series as part of a residency with the Villa Lena Foundation in Italy. I shot in Hong Kong, Shanghai, London, Paris and throughout Italy. They all had their own awesome bits but La Défense in Paris was out of control. Some of the best architecture that is not what you would think of when you typically think Paris architecture.
What do you want your viewers to take away from both photo series?
People can appreciate cities we live in an infinite number of ways. My aim for Chroma and Anti-Chroma is to use colour as a method to deconstruct the cities we live in to bring emphasis to the details that can sometimes go unnoticed.
Do you photograph something every day?
For sure!! I feel like I’ve almost wasted the day if I haven’t taken a shot of something.
What kind of photography can we expect from you next?
I have new work showing in London and Seattle later this year and just about to kick off a new project centered around Tokyo that will be shown in early 2016.