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Nick Knight – ‘Roses From My Garden’ iPhone Photography Exhibition

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Yesterday, I had the greatest pleasure to attend world-renowned fashion photographer Nick Knight’s still life exhibition Roses from my Garden at Waddesdon Manor (a Rothschild House and Gardens), in partnership with Albion Barn and Michael Hue-Williams.

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‘Sunday 4th June, 2017’ ©Nick Knight

The show itself takes place in the Coach House Gallery, a short walk on from the Manor House within the gorgeous gardens. The exhibition is comprised of 18 images, the exquisite skills of Knight’s iPhone photography is of course of primary interest to us.

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‘Sunday 6th September, 2015’ ©Nick Knight

Richmond based Knight, started photographing roses that he had picked from the garden of the small house that belonged to his parents. Working with his iPhone with natural light, gave him greater freedom, he discovered that he could move around his subject at will, not being limited by a tripod and heavy camera. He also enjoyed working solo on this project without the usual input of a designer or art director when working on fashion shoots.

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The photographs for this exhibition span ten years of creation by Knight, commencing in 1993. The scale of the blown up Roses (some between 6 and 8 foot) perfectly reveals in the life and times of each flower, each petal, each stem. Decay and demise is an attribute to these still life captures, the palest colours of rose showing the greatest signs of each. Almost mimicking traditional 17th and 18th century Dutch and Flemish paintings, each bouquet is relaxed with asymmetrical rhythms and a willingness to overlap the flowers to create a more natural sense of depth.

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‘Tuesday 23rd May, 2017’ ©Nick Knight

As each new iPhone model was released, Knight upgraded and continued to refine his process of capturing this series. Each photo shoot extended often over a four hour sitting, at his kitchen table and from the thousands of images that he shot within each session, he would select one to work on. Once selected he applied an Instagram filter, Sierra or Hudson and sometimes Ludwig are his preferred. He makes adjustments with colour and contrast before running the photograph through Topaz Labs, sharpening unfocused areas. From there he sends the file to his retoucher, Mark Boyle for additional work with software using artificial intelligence and also additional layers. Each image is then printed in the United States and posted to him in London for the final stage of editing with a chinagraph pencil whereby he sharpens the edges of petals, emphasising the painterly qualities of the flowers.

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‘Sunday 29th September, 2019’ ©Nick Knight

After we did the first one I was really surprised at what it had done to the image, if you step back and look at these images they’re very reminiscent of the Dutch and Flemish flower painters of the 17th and 18th century, there’s a romance to them: they’re soft and gentle. But if you stand close to them, you can inspect the structure the AI has invented and see they’re actually quite mechanical, brutal and tough. And I love that“, he said.

Each photograph is titled with the day, month and year it was captured and it is possible, when looking closely to tell which images had been taken with earlier iPhones. The definition of the petals have become softer. Knight said “I’m slightly worried the iPhone is getting a little too contrasting and vivid for its own good – that sort of subtlety you could achieve a couple of iPhones ago was probably better, but I’m not sure“.

Knight has a very popular Instagram account with over 795k followers. He has explained that when he first started using an iPhone he received a lot of backlash on social media but he doesn’t see it that way. He sees the traditional camera as a barrier, in-between the subject and the photographer but loves the fluidity of the iPhone to break that down.

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Waddesdon Manor is the perfect backdrop to this beautifully saturated exhibition. The exhibition itself runs until 31 October 2021 and entry is free upon presentation of a grounds ticket of£15. Booking is recommended and to do so, go here.

Waddesdon Manor is a National Trust (NT) property and all NT members get free access to the House and grounds. Waddesdon is also an RHS partner garden and RHS members get free access to these beautiful grounds.

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By Joanne Carter

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said.
Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London.
Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art.
Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK.
She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: joanne@theappwhisperer.com

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