Paul Thompson (b 1977) is a British born photographer based in London
He studied a H.N.D. in photography at Newcastle Art & Design College (1999), when he then moved to London where he assisted many leading photographers before setting up his own studio in 2005.
Thompson set up his studio in the heart of the photographic community, Shoreditch, London, where his commissioned work continues to span a diverse range of projects both on a European and UK level.
His real passion lies in his personal works, where he thrives on capturing people, lives and the everyday, in refreshing and extraordinary ways. All of his personal work is shot on a large-format film camera.
For the past 2 years, Thompson has been producing his “Moonlighting” project, a large-format film based exploration of landscapes and seascapes, that push the boundaries of night photography. His scenes are remarkable, powerful, painting-like photographs, which take up to two hours to expose. Each image is a representation of time and movement, where light, clouds and water shift and stir, leaving the viewer with a disconcerting feeling of knowing, but not knowing the context of his scenes. Often his images look like moon photography, or filmic scenes that have been put under tremendous post production and gradient filters. However, they are produced through natural phenomena and not created through photoshop. Often Thompson cannot see his camera when he opens the shutter, as it’s pitch black; it’s only after the 2 hour exposure that the outlines of the landscape and his kit become barely visible. Each scene only gets one chance, he can’t see and he doesn’t test. Over the process of a 2 hour exposure, the cloud and tide change, sometimes dramatically, allowing him to document scenes which he cannot control and unfold uniquely over time. Thompson describes the process as, a respect for the artform of film photography, basing shots on instinct and fundamentally, the simple creation of unique pictures, unable to be repeated. His photographs are unlike what we are used to seeing when we envisage night photography.
Thompson is motivated by shooting the familiar in different ways; allowing the viewer to make their own interpretation on the inspiration and emotion behind the subject. His expertise resides in cutting edge portrait and landscape photography, as recognised by both his industry and peers.