Guy Duke photography

 

Hi, my name is Guy Duke I am a photographer based in the North of England and you can see some of my work on my web site. My interest in people and photography stems from my grandmother the portrait artist Doris Duke who travelled the world painting and drawing. As a child I gazed at her images and absorbed their influence.  At 14 my father gave me a camera and the journey began, leading to an Art Foundation Course at Leamington Spa followed by a BA in media – specialising in photography at Sheffield Hallam University

After university I travelled, like my grandmother, to other countries taking photographs and working, living and teaching in Thailand for 3 years. When I got back to the UK I trained for two years as a professional commercial photographer. I worked mostly with a photographer named Graham Atkins-Hughes. The experience involved working on big budget shoots, learning studio lighting, Photoshop skills, client liaison and the production of top quality professional results. The commercial photography world never really suited me as advertising is usually the art of selling stuff we don't need. I prefer Art for art's sake as it means I can remain eternally poor but do what I want.

The five years I had spent in Sheffield drew me back. The landscape offers great opportunities for climbing, out door pursuits and of course photography where the people, the peak and the urban sprawl give me constant inspiration. Just walk down to Castle market and feast your eyes on the fascinating characters, or go for a walk in the peak district and take in the rugged, barren, weather beaten land. In 2008 I established a professional wedding photography company, Duke’s Weddings, because I enjoy working with people and see this as a way of satisfying my creative needs and keeping the wolf from the door. I have seen some pretty poor wedding photography out there and am also aware of the wedding photographer's stigma and hope to go against the grain by providing perfect pictures which are not 'cheesy'.

I have exhibited my works in numerous locations over the years and sold work through The Archipelago works in Sheffield and Curve gallery. I have sold work privately to individuals and organisations. Whilst living in London I joined a collective called “Photography not bombs” and we exhibited in the Spitz gallery under the heading “What is British”. For this show I spent many hours on the streets of London talking to people and photographing them. I aimed to highlight the diversity of our population. My next group show was In Sheffield in Burngreave Chapel. The title of my show was “Madness and sadness.”
I photographed people shouting and screaming at me and then animated all the shots live with a soundtrack I made by moaning and groaning and then looping the samples. It created a harrowing and slightly uncomfortable but also humorous piece.

Currently I am working on some book orders from a wedding I shot in December (Bob's books) and am designing and building a web site for a Sheffield circus performer. I have a project in mind which involves a disused building on Spital hill in Sheffield. I recently visited Australia and Singapore. Australia because my grandfather lives there and Singapore to visit my sister who runs 'Give Art'. I took an old Nikon FE 35mm film camera and rolls of Black and white and colour film. I enjoyed using this camera with it's clunk and the superb manual focus lens. A nice contrast to the Canon 1D I use for weddings where I shoot 1000 shots in a day. I focused on the idea of leading the eye through the image using one of my favourite subject matters - subways. I did the same with the long, straight roads of the sub continent. I took many portraits using Ilford HP5 and f1.8.

It's now late June 2011 and the longest day has passed us by. Don't worry the night's aren't drawing in quite yet and hopefully we'll get a good 'Indian' summer in a few months. After months of hard work Emily Rose Greenwood and Guy Duke have launched emilyrosecircus.co.uk

We are both very happy with the result and look forward to your response. The project started as an enterprise taken on by Digital Entrepreneurs who designed the beautiful logo. This funding body assisted me with my wedding photography web site Duke's weddings.

Unfortunately funding was pulled and Emily was left with a partially started web site. She approached me and asked me whether I would be interested in taking over the project and I agreed. Emily is an incredibly talented woman with a huge variety of awe inspiring abilities. Most of the acts she performs are far from achievable by the average woman or man. She has a collection of strong images thanks to various photographers. With these elements combined I had all the ammunition I needed to create a visually powerful site. Hope you enjoy looking at it.

I have recently been embarking on barking mad bike rides south to visit family. It is 120 miles from here to Tysoe, Warwickshire and I have been doing the journey in about 8 hours. Although at the time it's a fairly painful and grueling experience there is a enormous sense of well being once it is over. The other great thing about long distance cycling is the fact that it's all in your hands, or rather legs. You can stop whenever you want there is no traffic jams no waiting on a platform for a train. the only fuel you need is of the edible variety rather than the million year old fossil variety. Cheep at half the price. In fat it costs about £10 in food to sustain such a journey. There are of course the added health benefits apart from the sore rear. Whilst on the road there is a camaraderie between cyclists which is really cool. Funny how friendly people become when sharing a common interest and not stuck behind a wheel inside a metal box.

I am pretty focused with my climbing at the moment and have various Peak District projects to achieve including The Green Traverse which I am annoyingly close to achieving.

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