45hz042 – Elliot Holbrow
May 17, 2012 § 2 Comments
Elliot Holbrow is a name I have seen cropping up increasingly over the last six months, having first noticed his stark and gritty portraits of Ben UFO, Monki and Squarehead. At just 19 years of age, Elliot is building significant momentum within the photography scene and has established an impressive portfolio of uniquely stylised works in and around the streets of Sheffield and documenting the bustling night life. Whether it’s derelict warehouses, dingy corridors, portraits or club nights, his shots all make clever use of lighting and shadow to create particularly bold and striking compositions. Often taken in low light conditions at high ISO, there is a plenty of noise present in many of the photographs adding a running grainy theme, something that translates so well to the underground nature of his subject matter, and a style we are most definitely feeling.
Recently featured in The Guardian’s Camera Club and having just supplied the vinyl sleeve artwork for Coyote Records’ inaugural release, we have showcased a few of our favourite shots and caught up with Elliot for a quick chat.
45hz: Easy Elliot, just to get a bit of background out of the way, how long have you been taking photography seriously for and how did you initially get into it?
EH: Ez, I think I first got into it when I was asked to do some press shots for a friend I think that was early 2010. The whole documentation of nights and heads is quite recent – probably in the last 5 months.
You are involved in a lot of UK bass music journalism and have taking some photos for some pretty sick DJ’s/ producers – are those pre-arranged link ups or done on an ad-hoc basis?
If there’s someone I find interest in and the sounds they produce/play I’ll do my best to contact them or if someone contacts me we can arrange some photos.
Most of your shots are club/ street focused. Are there any other areas of photography you are interested in exploring?
I can’t really imagine me taking photos anywhere else, it’s where I feel comfortable – I think maybe for commercial work I would consider a studio if in need.
My experiences of taking photos in clubs have usually ended up with never taking the camera out of the bag. Ever tempted to just sack it off and go and skank out?
When it’s popping off all I want to do is capture the vibe and document what’s around me, but I do sometimes have a little dance.
Some people seem to think to get into photography you have to go out and buy a dick-load of expensive equipment, whereas I have seen the dopest of shots that have come from a pretty basic DSLR. What are your thoughts on that, and how easy is it for people to get started?
Not at all, I mean it helps having a good camera and lens but I sometimes shoot on a disposable camera as its literally just point and shoot. You can also pickup a Olympus Trip 35 SLR camera for about £15 off ebay and providing you take the shots correctly, when developed they will look real nice.
I’m really feeling some of the repetition of pattern in some of your shots, especially the ones that have been chopped up, a good example being the artwork for the Mella Dee Coyote Records release. Is sleeve artwork something you would like to more of, and how did that link up come about?
Cheers – always up for that kind of stuff, big props to any label putting out vinyl. The artwork for that release came about from chatting to Mella Dee (1/2 of MistaMen) & seeing him at nights in Sheffield and he put me forward to the to design the cover and identity for the label.
Are there any particular techniques that help you achieve your aim in your shots that you are able to share?
I have a very complex grade (Colour Correction) that I use for my photos that I made about a year ago and it works perfectly with most shots with a tiny bit of tweaking – I use Adobe After Effects, a lot of people think I use Photoshop/ Lightroom.
How much of the final shot we see is from the original source photo and how much is from post-editing?
Post-production does make the difference, but I just adjust colours, I never Photoshop people out or change stuff around.
There are some very dope bass focused artists/ photographers out there currently putting in work, people like Shaun Bloodworth, ashes57, Will Bankhead, Jimmy Mould, Fooishbar etc. Have you worked with/ been in touch with any of those guys?
I work with Shaun quite frequently and he has really guided me the last few months. I’m in contact with Ashes57, love her work. Fully into Will Bankhead’s stuff and thanks for the heads up on Jimmy Mould and Fooishbar really feeling.
Any other photographers/ artists we should be looking out for?
What’s good in the Sheffield music scene right now?
There are are some killer nights in Sheffield at the moment and a lot of warehouses – If your ever coming into Sheffield from elsewhere and are looking for a good night be sure to check the ‘Sheffield Scene‘ thread on Dubstepforum.
For enquiries contact email@example.com