Photographer, artist, and printmaker Tom Leighton captured Dubai and Abu Dhabi architecture in surreal picture series that masterfully blend style and photography.
Leighton, primarily based in the United Kingdom, educated at the Royal College or university of Art in London where by he figured out how to expertly layer and manipulate photographic pieces. The central theme of his get the job done is the surroundings, be it “the nightlife of foliage” in his “Variegation” sequence or potent, present day buildings devoid of environment, featured in his hottest challenge “Loci.”
“Although practically all of my work consists of images as part of the course of action, I chose to review printmaking alternatively than specialize in photography,” Leighton tells PetaPixel. “I was then equipped to investigate how diverse print media, this kind of as etching and display printing, may possibly influence on the photographic image, by the process of manipulation, stripping down and deconstruction.
“During my MA at the Royal College or university of Art, I was experimenting with these opportunities alongside my core operate with the digital manipulation of images,” he adds. “Aspects of each and every of the procedures fed into and knowledgeable the other — and I assume this has served me to produce pretty a malleable approach to photographic composition.”
Architecture Photographs That Go a Stage Further more
“Loci” was created pursuing Leighton’s experiments with isolating and eradicating the context of these huge constructions in his photographs. As he commenced to manipulate, multiply, and shade them, “they became a a lot less direct representation of the places and more of a distorted memory.”
It was the hazy gradient backgrounds that extra a surreal and disconnected good quality, that Leighton required to investigate even further in the series. For this venture, he chose buildings from Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
“My visits to these metropolitan areas were really short but the long lasting memory of going through these sites was the ambition and range of the megastructures that jostle for posture in the desert setting,” he describes.
“The elaborate and unrestricted structure produced them great for developing these surreal sculptural forms,” which are further distorted and their geometric precision are emphasized.
“Devoid of environment and context, the buildings now become sculptures that are about sort instead than their perform,” he provides.
From the Preliminary Notion to the Remaining Image
In the procedure of this and other architecture-centered series, Leighton tries to seize buildings from each conceivable angle. This generally suggests he has to seem for elevated vantage factors in adjacent structures, rooftops, and even fairground rides.
“Often diverse sights of the similar building will feature in a single composition so it is important to accumulate all of the items of my future jigsaw when I am out capturing,” Leighton describes his system. “Sometimes you can come across the perfect signing up for ingredient in a shot that was formerly overlooked.”
For the duration of the editing stage, Leighton doesn’t adhere to a rigid workflow. Alternatively, he tries distinct tactics and mixtures, which permits the final notion to evolve organically. At times, this also indicates abandoning some of the drafts alongside the way, only for them to emerge later on as section of a coherent assortment.
Foreseeable future Photograph Assignments Are Calling
For the reason that he was restricted by pandemic travel restrictions, Leighton moved his focus to neighborhood locations.
“I live in a rural region and this shift has been from architecture, to rock formations and woodland,” he explains. “There are surely some parallels in how I technique each and I hope the chance to experiment has a long lasting impact on my upcoming get the job done.”
But, with the world opening up bit by bit, Leighton appears to be like ahead to browsing new international locations and cities to acquire substance for his foreseeable future function.
Additional of Leighton’s perform can be uncovered on his web-site and Instagram.
Impression credits: Photos by Tom Leighton.