Pinhole Impressions is a series of photographs examining the effect of time and motion on natural subjects, using a pinhole camera. The colour and monochrome landscape images have a beautiful ethereal appearance – the lack of a lens means there is a softness which resembles some 19th century work, though the images are from a very much contemporary viewpoint.
Working with a pinhole camera can be difficult as there is no viewfinder, which means the photographs are more spontaneous and almost uncomposed. The often necessary long exposures mean that images feature more movement and reflect the passage of time more vividly. This back to basics approach demands a completely different way of working.
A portfolio of six monochrome images taken at RHS Wisley, was recognised with two awards in the 2008 International Garden Photographer of the Year competition in May 2008.
43 Gardeners’ Hands
43 Gardeners’ Hands is a series of portraits of some of the UK’s best known gardeners, focused on just their hands. They have been inspired by the fantastic working collages from the 1920s, of botanical photographer Karl Blossfeldt. His work is almost anatomical and I wanted to produce a series of images that turned each pair of hands into a botanical specimen, reversing the effect of his work.
Sitters include TV presenters, award-winning designers, nurserymen and gardening legends such as Beth Chatto, the current Gardener’s World team, the Gardener’s Question Time panel and Alan Titchmarch. Each person has a passion in his or her field, and also a character that can be seen through their most versatile tool.
The portraits were taken over a two month period, from December 2008 to January 2009. With the wealth of gardening talent working and developing in the UK the selection of people included in the project is far from comprehensive. My ambition to try to capture them all will be an on-going project.
In May 2009, the final montage was awarded first place in the International Garden Photographer of the Year – People in the Garden Category. It was exhibited at Kew Gardens through the summer of 2009.
A selection of individual portraits can be seen here. For a full set of images, please visit www.hands.pauldeboisarchive.com. To review the Blurb book, click on the link below.
Land girls is a project inspired by a ‘Land Army’ poster from World War 2. I have taken a series of portraits of women who specialize in garden media. Their link was that they all grow food for pleasure and for reference in their work.
Michael Hobbs is an allotment holder with a plot that backs on to North Sheen Station, near Richmond in London. Having worked on an adjacent plot over the last 18 months, taking photos for Gardeners’ World, I got to know Michael through his frequent visits – and through the bags of fruit and vegetables that kept coming my way.
His plot reminded me of a classic garden from the 1960′s. This fascinated me, and I decided to create a portrait of the ‘garden’, through the retro details and his involvement with it.
The Coast of Light
Part of an ongoing project on the Costa de la Luz, or The Coast of Light in Southern Spain, taking a look at the side tourists don’t often see. In a rapidly developing area with EEC and regional grants, lots of these landscapes are disappearing as the towns are regenerated.