Neuroscientist and photographer Dr Paul Preece is an Oxford-based photographer who uses view cameras, shooting on 5″x4″ negatives. His current exhibition Cloisters presents large format photographs of a range of cloisters from Portugal, Spain and England, and runs until 9 March 2019 in The North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford. I was drawn to this exhibition on many levels: I was interested to see the work of another scientist; much of my recent research focussed (somewhat coincidentally) on view camera photographers, so it tied in well with that work; the subject matter linked closely with my stained glass windows practice – indeed there were two examples that included stained glass; finally, it is The North Wall where I hope to exhibit my work.
The opening evening included an exhibition tour with Paul, prior to which I spent some considerable time talking with him about his camera, subject matter and stained glass. Working with large format is a protracted affair – there are no shortcuts and mistakes are costly both in terms of time and finance. This necessarily slow process allows for plenty of time for reflection and the planning of future shots. In the Cloisters series, there is a mixture of faithful photographs in addition to others that are mirrored images. All are exhibited in an impressive size (typically around 100cm x 150cm) with outstanding clarity thanks to the negative size.
Paul was a little disappointed by the fact that he was unable to represent the true beauty of the stained glass in his images, as allowing sufficient light into his images to portray the interior of cathedrals resulted in overexposure of the windows and bleaching of their colours.
Paul Preece WEBSITE