INTERVIEW WITH SUE ATKINSON
採訪蘇·阿特金森


Sue Atkinson

Focusing on food photography, Sue’s client list includes most major food brands and retailers in the United Kingdom. Graduate from Royal College of Art in theoretical studies of Photography, and now is precise on how she sets up her work.

蘇·阿特金森

專業領域於食物攝影,客戶包括 英國大多數食品製造商與銷售 商。碩士畢業於皇家藝術學院攝 影理論專業,如今更加能夠準確 地定位自己的攝影手法。

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ART.ZIP: So tell me a little bit about how you got into photography.


SA: Well, I was always interested in painting and fine art. And I felt, right from when I was quite young that this is sort of the area I want to move into the most- English and Art- that would be my subject. And when I actually left school, I left school at 16 because I want to go to further education college, because that was the only opportunity I had to take the art subject further. I actually had a space in my timetable. My best friend said she’s studying photography. I thought that sounds fantastic because I’ve never realized that you could actually study photography. So that was a great opportunity to start looking at it. And funny enough that was actually where I met Mike who was my photography tutor. He had a particularly good way of analyzing and talking about images, which I think, made me more interested in it as a subject more than just painting and art. So actually I went with the art interests, with the intention of doing art and history. When I finished my O Level, A-Level in photography, I went on to do an art foundation course. I just found that I was getting more
and more involved with photography. It was much more
sort of a spontaneous way of making an image, but it was
still very expressive in the way of working. So I thought
that was probably the best way to move ahead in terms of
my career. So instead of going off to do art and art history
and teaching art, I decided to go off to photography.
There weren’t any degree courses in those days, so the
only course that was open to me was then PCL, which is
now Westminster University. There was a part-time day
release course- one day a week, part time day release
professional photography. So I studied that for three years
and I worked in between times. I did a little bit of working
with Mike in the studio- he had a studio then- and I did a little bit of teaching as well. I actually was just teaching O-Level photography so I got more and more involved in it. While I was at PCL, I met two people who were very influential. One of them was my tutor Peter Carey who was an advertising photographer, very successful advertising photographer, very focused, quite frightening sort of person. But he really was committed to photography. And you felt that if you could actually do something to please him, then you could do something. I remember one day I heard him talking to one of the other students about food photography. And he was saying ‘no I don’t think you should be a food photographer.’ And I thought, ‘that’s interesting.’ I’ve never thought of being a food photographer, I think maybe that’s what I’d like to do. But I’d spent weeks in the studio with a set of sherry glasses trying to get the lighting right. And I just couldn’t get on with these very sort of finite objects that needed lighting in a particular way. I just felt, I want something more exciting, something more organic would interest me more. I didn’t want to photograph people either. I was quite nervous in a way. I felt working with objects might be easier than working with people. I was very wrong. So I met Peter and he really inspired me to work on food projects. Obviously I had to do a lot of other things but that was something that came to mind. And then my tutor who was the Dean of the university, Margaret Harper, she was a very successful photo historian. She inspired me to do research into the history of photography because she’d been successful commercial photographer in her own right and there was nothing that ever has been written about the history of commercial photography in Britain. So that seemed another opportunity, in a way I got the two sorts of replacement things for the painting and art history. I found I could turn to photography and the history of photography and they had further opportunities available.

ART.ZIP:能介紹一下你是怎樣開始接觸攝影的嗎?

SA: 我一直對繪畫和美術很感興趣。我從小就覺得文學和藝術是我以後 想從事的領域。我16歲離開了學校,當時想去繼續教育學院讀文科,因 為那是我唯一學文科的機會。所以,我就有了一段空暇時間。我的好朋友 她去學攝影。我想那很好啊,我以前從來沒想到攝影也可以當作一門課 程來學習。當時確實是很好的一個機會。巧合的是,正是在那裡我遇到 了我的攝影老師邁克(Mike),他對圖片的分析、認識非常獨特,正是他 激發了我對攝影這個專業的興趣。而其實,本來是去學美術和歷史的。 在結束了攝影課程O-Level(普通程度考試)和A-Level(高級程度考 試)之後,我又去讀了預科班,漸漸地對攝影的接觸越來越多。攝影這種 創造圖像的方式比較隨性,但仍然很有表現力,所以我覺得攝影可能是 最適合我的職業。我因此放棄了藝術、歷史而選擇了攝影。當時並沒有 很多攝影的學位課程,唯一有設這個專業的學校就是PCL,也就是現在 的威斯敏斯特大學(University of Westminster)。我參加了一個在職 攻讀的攝影課程,每週上一天課,為期3年,期間我一邊工作一邊學習。 我曾在邁克的工作室工作過,也教了一段時間的O-Level課程,我對攝影 的接觸也越來越多。在威斯敏斯特大學學習時,我遇到了兩位對我影響很深的人。一個是我的導師彼特·卡裡(Peter Carey),他是一位非常成 功的廣告攝影師,做事很專注,獻身攝影事業,也有點讓人畏懼。能得到 他的肯定,你會覺得是對自己實力的認可。記得有一次我聽到他在對另 外一個學生說:“我不建議你去做美食攝影師。”我當時很感興趣,之前 從來沒有想過當美食攝影師,當時覺得或許可以試試。我記得連續幾週 在工作室裡拍攝一組雪利酒杯,嘗試解決佈光的問題。這樣的拍攝對光 線有特殊的要求,我感覺拍攝有生命的物體或許會更有意思。我又不想 拍人像,會很不自在。那時的我認為拍物品應該比拍模特容易一些,其 實這樣想是錯誤的。導師彼特啟發了我,開始拍攝各種美食,同時也會 做其他的事情。我的另一位導師瑪格麗特·哈珀(Margaret Harper)是 系主任,也是一位攝影歷史學家,她鼓勵我研究攝影史。瑪格麗特曾經 是位很出色的商業攝影師,當時在英國還沒有關於商業攝影史的學術作 品。這給我提供了另外一個機會,也使我找到了可以替代繪畫和美術史 的另外兩個方向,即攝影和攝影史。這兩個領域都蘊藏著機遇。


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