Robert Law is an emerging photographer based in Wales in the UK. He specialises in fine art, documentary and minimalist photography. Throughout his body of work you will hopefully see a cohesive style of observation and picture taking that provides the viewer with a fresh honesty and reality.
Robert is a contributor to Millennium Images, London. He is also active in the photographic community where he contributes articles, images and helps promote and encourage photographers of all levels.
From stone quarries that have been active since the Neolithic period and slate quarries that provided roofing for Britain and the world, to modern hydroelectric schemes: The Snowdonia (Eryri in the Welsh language) landscape of 3000ft/1000m mountains, valleys and lakes is one of the world's most beautiful national parks that also bears the scars of man's industry.
These are studies that reveal the beauty of what is hidden underneath the surface and new topography as a consequence of man.
Your series Snowdonia Revisited depicts a distinct contrast to the usual photographs we are used to seeing of this hugely visited area, was this an intentional decision and if so would you care to expand on this, please?
Yes, very intentional. I’m proud of North Wales and we locals often feel a duty to show our guests some of the special, quieter and more interesting places. But I’ve taken that a stage further in this project. It’s not only a curious, personal investigation of overlooked places, but also a response to a deluge of very similar, often formulaic images we naturally see from this beautiful landscape. I strongly feel that it’s my role to challenge and provide an honest, alternative narrative as a local photographer. So I examined the new topography in this beautiful area, in and around our national park. The series looks at the effects of centuries of man’s industry, finding that it reveals a different kind of beauty underneath all the peat and heather. For example, slate and stone quarries provide a different palette of colours and textures, and hydroelectric schemes intrude high into the mountains with roads and dams. I’m excited with the results and they fit well with my drive to make images that are believable, connecting with the viewer. That’s the story I wanted to tell.
Where do you look to for inspiration?
I’m going through a massive learning process and although I’ve not had the chance to formally study photography, I work in the creative industry. I’m very fortunate to have a fantastic, talented mentor with an honours degree in photojournalism. We review my work on a weekly basis and I’m often referred to the work of established artists for further study and inspiration. By submitting work, I’ve learned to start to curate images and grow through the process. Being published by the Untitled Collective was not only a massive personal boost, but a chance to properly study other photographers work and different ways of ‘seeing’. I’ve found Instagram particularly powerful in finding inspirational work from like-minded photographers, with its ability for very specific searches as well as forming friendships and networking. For example, on a recent visit to Glasgow, I met up with an award winning national press photographer. We talked enthusiastically about photography on a walk for several hours! So for me, networking and face-to-face discussions can be as inspiring as online research. I’ve hardly scratched the surface, but enjoying every new discovery. The support and enthusiasm in our community is just amazing and I’m proud to be a part of it.
Do you have any new creative plans in the working?
I’m trying to ‘up my game’ every year as a personal challenge and the last couple of years have already seen me working more seriously in terms of series. Having said that, a greater body of work is also building up with the opportunity to sort images out into new collections. Beyond travelling and photographing new places, I have no firm plans for a new series at the moment, but I definitely know in which direction I want to go. Through submitting for publication and exhibition, I’ve learned that although I’ve hopefully ‘cracked’ the photography side of things, I need to engage in a series that is far more original, more edgy, if I’m going to step up again. My weakness has also been in recording people and although I’ll never be a Laura Pannack or Martin Parr, I need to include more people in my story telling. I have decent people skills, but overcoming an ever more skeptical public unnerves me. I’ll look forward to the challenge!