Alex Wasmuht is a photography student at Plymouth College of Art inspiring to be a landscape or documentary photographer, he has been been doing photography for two years now and hoping that after his degree he will have more knowledge of photography as well as more experience. Before doing photography he was studying production arts, this included lighting, sound, stage management, set construction and events management for productions like theatre or music gigs. After finished the three year BTEC he then decided that it wasn’t what he wanted to do and that he would rather focus his career on his hobby, photography.
After completing his BTEC he went on to do a foundation diploma in photography, he doesn’t particularly specialise in anything but landscape and documentary is what interests him the most. His year of doing foundation diploma would probably be the main highlight of his career so far as it’s the first time that he did photography properly and it was where he first really understood the different camera settings and photographic techniques. Also that year is the year that he decided on landscape and documentary being his main interests, this was due to the projects that he was given, his favourite and most success being his documentary project he think. This project was looking at derelict buildings and juxtaposing the two different buildings, looking at the difference of one that is left alone and nobody really takes any notice of and the other being looked after well but left the same. These two buildings were Moorlands Factory, which is a derelict sheepskin factory site and Glastonbury Abbey.
This documentary project is also the project that got him his place in university as it’s what he brought to the interview as his portfolio. His interest in landscape and documentary photography came from taking his camera on various holidays like France, Spain, Portugal and Turkey and photographing the various sights there, for example the different beaches and street views, he’s also photographed urban street scenes, mostly being graffiti.
Since his foundation diploma, which he graduated with a merit and since then being accepted at Plymouth College of Art he is doing a BA (Hons) degree. Alex mostly photographs landscapes because he’s always liked the outdoors and nature so capturing those different scenes and moments is what he enjoys. The documentary side of things is mainly because he finds that things change very quickly so he like to document various subjects while they’re still there, for example; derelict buildings and graffiti. Also with the urban and street photography he likes the detail and textures of the different subjects you can find, from rusty pipes and smashed glass to architectural building structures.
For a while he focused on graffiti quite a lot, taking photographs of the various places he knew had graffiti; mainly bypasses and skate parks, but then after looking more into it he found out about a street in Bristol called Nelson Street, this street was covered in graffiti due to graffiti project there called See No Evil. Unfortunately he missed the project that year so had to wait for the next year’s project and document that one instead.
After the graffiti photography he decided that he wanted to try out a different photography project and moved onto photographing more architectural subjects instead. He chose architecture as he thought there is a lot of it to be seen wherever you go so it would benefit him with it being all around him, also architecture is quite an interest of his.
To start with his architectural photography was taken in London, this was when he took a day long photography course called Shooting The Square Mile, this course was a day spent photographing the different financial buildings in London including, The Shard, 30 St. Mary Axe, Leadenhall Building, Lloyd’s Building, Heron Tower, The Pinnacle, Tower 42, Willis Building, Broadgate Tower and a few others.
That photography course then inspired him to photograph more building structures and carry on looking into architecture and photographing the different shapes, lines and patterns that can be seen within the structures.
Alongside photographing architecture he also experiment a bit with macro photography, this was mainly due to buying extension tubes to experiment and see how big of a difference they can make to a photograph. After liking the outcome from the extension tubes he started to photograph various subjects using the extension tubes to get up close and personal, these subjects were mostly still life subjects.
Since being on the degree course at Plymouth College of Art he has started working with 35mm film, whereas before he was purely digital. This has been interesting for him as the thought of having to wait to see how his photographs came out and seeing the image emerge onto the paper when developing in the darkroom excited him, he finds that it is rather magical.
Although it took a while for him to get the hang of processing and developing film he’s glad that he had to do it because otherwise he would not have the knowledge of photographing using film that he now has after being taught how to use film rather than digital. His next step now is to practice the process and development in the darkroom more so that he can learn to print his photographs to the best quality that he possibly could. As well as this he would like to learn medium format so that he can broaden his knowledge of the different equipment available to him, he will hopefully get the opportunity of doing this as part of his next project.
He would also like to gain more experience in photography and the photographic industry so hopes to find a photographer that he could assist as part of work experience so that he can see what it’s like to work in the industry and what to expect when it comes to working as a photographer as a career in the future. As well as this he would like to spend time in the studio, working with studio lighting as he’s never photographed in a studio before or done any portraiture so that would be interesting to try out.