Our ‘Brought to Light‘ interview section explores the mobile photographers and mobile artists behind their art. Each question has been carefully crafted and is designed to allow us to get to know them a little more intimately. To view others that we have published in this series, please go here.
Today, we are featuring Tim Bingham a street photographer from Ireland who manages to bring poetic realism into his photographic work. Bingham combines a passion for in-depth recording of people’s lives whilst at the same time demonstrating deeply empathic artistry. Bingham’s humanistic photographic eye celebrates life in all of its inexhaustible diversity. Each image enchants us with its social documentary. Facial expressions seem to vary between guarded and nonchalant, in many of the images the subject appear to lock eyes with the viewer. Bingham has a knack of imbuing his images with a sense of tension and unease, he has an original eye for depth and detail within urban imagery and there’s a truthfulness to his work, shining a humanising light into the dark spots of our lives today.
This body of work drew us to Tim Bingham.
All photos ©Tim Bingham
Describe a moment that changed your life
There have been many moments and decisions that have changed my life and molded me into the person I am today . Looking back I remember the first time I came face to face with homelessness , moving from middle class area where homelessness didn’t exist to a city in the UK (Southampton) where I discovered people sleeping on the streets . I remember the feeling of complete injustice as this was a world I never knew existed. A few months later I decided to give up my job and started working in homeless hostels in and 23 years later I am still working in the area of homelessness and addiction in Ireland .
Along the way I have met individuals with incredible stories , I have met people with heartbreaking life stories that I wonder how they have kept going , I have met too many families who have lost loved ones . There are people along the way and moments that I will never forget, these moments along with my Wife, Son and Daughter have and will continue to mold me as I expect my life to take new directions.
Describe a childhood photographic/art memory
The first childhood memory I have is watching Top of The Pops in 1978 and a song ‘Matchstalk Men & Matchstalk Cats & Dogs’ was sung and I fell in love with the song . I remember the following day running down to Woolworths and buying the single vinyl record. It was this record that introduced me to Lowry and the fondness for Street Paintings .
Describe your photographic/art studio
I have two studios , one when I am on the train, I plug my earphones in an generally listen to classical piano music and then start the post production process on the photos. My other studio is on a Friday evening or a Saturday morning on the settee with a coffee, I generally use two apps Snapseed and VSCO
What do you like to think about whilst you are creating images
How I can capture the humanity of the individual
Share one photo tip
Have fun and look at new ways of seeing the streets and challenging yourself
Who or what ignited your passion for mobile photography?
I had been using my phone for a while without knowing there were particular people who specialised in the genre. My passion has grown particularly in the past 2 years where I discovered other Mobile Phone Photographers Allison Taylor, Brendan O Se , Liz Stowe, Andy Butler, Mark Fearnley, Lee Atwell and Sheldon Serkin to name but a few.
I have had my photographs exhibited , most recently at the Mobo Photos Fest in Galway which exhibited photos from people all over the world, the feedback from those who visited the exhibition was very interesting as many people didn’t realise such photos could be produced on a phone. Last weekend I held 2 mobile phone workshops for the Liberties Festival where participants will display some of the photos . The participants went out of their own comfort zone and shot some wonderful photos. My passion has gone from taking photos to having the confidence of encouraging members of communities from Child to Adult to capture their streets using their phones, it’s so interesting to see other peoples perspective of the street.
What is the most unusual subject you have photographed?
99.9% of the time I shoot candidly and never take photos of young children Its not an unusual subject however I saw these two very young girls brushing the footpath outside their house in an old part of Dublin, my attention was caught as its unusual to see young children being outside on the street having such freedom it reminded me of the 1970’s when children could be children and being in close neighbourhoods . I did something I have never done before and approached their parents to ask if I could take some photos of their children playing on the street, they kindly allowed me afterwards I had a lovely conversation with their grandfather who explained the history of the area to me, its these moments you don’t forget.
What are your favourite mobile photography/art accessories?
A good protective cover is a must and my phone . I may use the Samsung lens kit in certain situations but 98% of the time its just my phone. I have purchased various lights for night time Photography but I haven’t really had a chance to use them since
Describe your dream Photography assignment
I thrive when I am able to provide a visual mechanism when hidden or disadvantaged communities are able to create visual narratives . The advantages of using my phone it allows me to be intimate when I am on a particular assignment and it doesn’t feel intrusive .
I have a few proposals in the pipeline at the moment which I am hoping will turn into a visual and audio projects
What does mobile photography/art mean to you?
Its means freedom also it enables me to see the streets in a new way and to capture those unexpected moments and gestures between humans that often get missed as we are all so busy
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