Fragile : Photography of Valda Bailey

Valda Bailey is a freelance photographer living in Sussex. Use of blur, multiple exposures, and intentional camera movements give her work an abstraction that is subtle and distinct. No use of Photoshop or rigorous developing on computers! Her digital images are post-processed minimally while most of the blending is done in-camera. More from this very talented abstract/impressionist photographer:

Valda bailey photography (2)I am largely motivated by colour and form and the tension and dynamism that these components can bring to an image. My objective is not so much to portray a literal representation but rather depict my feelings evoked by the landscape. I try to find something extraordinary in the mundane.

Valda bailey photography (3) Valda bailey photography (4)My approach to photography is greatly informed by my background in painting and influences come as much from artists as photographers. I think as a consequence of this, I am drawn towards flat, abstract renditions. I have found a way of working using multiple exposures and intentional camera movement which helps me simplify the detail in a scene. It is a way of working which is controllable to a certain degree, but still has a great deal of unpredictability about it and it is this aspect that is both challenging and rewarding. There are seemingly limitless combinations of settings which can be employed – my camera will combine up to 2000 images into one file. This, together with variations of shutter speeds, white balance settings, lenses, exposure values etc gives me an endlessly fascinating array of options as to how I approach my work.

Valda bailey photography (5)Perhaps I am a rule breaker at heart – for me, nothing is more dispiriting and destructive to the creative process than somebody telling me that the rule of thirds, f/16 and a golden sunset must converge in perfect harmony in order for an image to be deemed successful.

Valda bailey photography (6)My work has been featured in national and international publications and I have exhibited most recently at the biennial Masters of Vision in Southwell Minster. I have images in private collections worldwide and my work has been purchased by notable members of the art and photographic community.

Valda bailey photography (7)The images highlighted here are from an ongoing project entitled ‘Fragile’, some of which have been featured in a book of the same name, published by Triplekite Publishing (details below).

I am fascinated by all manner of contrasts and contradictions and the project is an attempt to reconcile some of the conflicting aspects that are of interest to me in the landscape. In much the same way as a colour will appear most luminous when placed next to a non-colour, i.e. grey, or its opposing colour in the colour wheel, so it is in nature.

Valda bailey photography (8) Valda bailey photography (9)The images here are an investigation into how the most fragile elements seem to have their very existence challenged and their vulnerability magnified when set against the strength and solidity of their surroundings.

Fragility can be conveyed in many ways. It can be expressed with light or shape or colour or movement and I have tried to represent this diversity. Paradoxically, fragile elements often appear to embody a tenacity and strength which refers back to the contradictions mentioned above. It is the embodiment of all these characteristics that I have tried to portray here.

Valda bailey photography (10) Valda bailey photography (11) Valda bailey photography (12) Valda bailey photography (13) Valda bailey photography (14) Valda bailey photography (15) Valda bailey photography (16) Valda bailey photography (17) Valda bailey photography (18) Valda bailey photography (19) Valda bailey photography (20)All photos © Valda Bailey : Website | Twitter | Facebook | Book

About Nishant Mishra

Nishant studied art history and literature at the university during 1990s. He works as a translator in New Delhi, India and likes to read about arts, photography, films, life-lessons and Zen.

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