A Conversation with Nick Prideaux

Meet Nick Prideaux – an Australian photographer and visual storyteller based in Bangkok. His photos vary from minimalist compositions with saturated colour, to atmospheric shots in delicate light.

Prideaux uses 35mm film and approaches photography in a “diaristic manner”. Prideaux explains, “My approach is guided by my intuition, rather than preconception. The camera gives me a way of looking at the every day in a more conscious light, and gives me a way of surfacing thoughts and feelings that are otherwise difficult to access and express”

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You say that you approach photography in a diaristic manner – do you display your work in collections, or do you let each of your photos speak for themselves? 

I shoot as the mood strikes, and across time I go through kind of ‘micro collections’ where I’ve tended to capture in a particular way or focused on a stream of light or colour. Over time, there is a thread that intertwines through them and then that eventually becomes a collection as such. I never set out to create in a preconceived manner, I just try to let it happen naturally.

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Do you have a favourite kind of camera or kind of film to use? 

I change cameras depending on my mood, but this year I have been shooting most of my work on a Konica Hexar AF and it has quickly become my favourite camera. It’s a very forgiving camera, and it works well for my slow style and captures images wonderfully. I like simple point and shoot cameras, and this model is a testament to this. I shoot mostly on AGFA Vista 200 stock, it’s a really lovely film for how cheap it is and I’m usually pretty chuffed with the results. It’s such a shame it’s now been discontinued – I’m going to miss it.

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Who are your photographic or artistic influences?

I majored in film at university so a lot of my big inspirations to create come from cinema. I love the films of Wong Kar-wai,  Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Claire Denis and Terrence Malick – the really visual directors who know how to place and move the camera. As for photography, I always come back to Wolfgang Tillmans, Nan Goldin, Lina Scheynius, Ren Hang and Araki as artists whose work I find inspiring.

As to whether or not his style could be classified as minimalism, Prideaux says, “My photography is about subtraction. I approach it with a simple process – focusing on the smaller details, the beauty of the little things. I love light and colour”

Hands seem to be one of these smaller details that Prideaux often focuses on, and it can be noted that in all of his photos, we never see the faces of his subject. This peaks our curiosity, as we feel that we know bits and pieces of the subjects, whether it’s their hair, hands, or their shadows, but their identity is kept turned away from the lens.

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The way that you keep the subjects’ faces out of frame adds an element of mystery to your photos – is that intentional?

This is definitely a conscious decision as I like to try and let the viewer interpret the photo how they see fit. Subtraction plays an integral part in my photography so I enjoy playing with this notion. ‘Less is more’ is the way in which I approach my work.

Many of your shots seem to focus on the subject’s hands – is there a reason for that, or is it purely coincidental?

It’s my favourite part of the human body – hands can tell so much and I adore how they look on film. I’m just naturally drawn to them when I am taking photos, the way they can bend, fold and gesticulate. They tell a story. I think as a photographer it’s all about honing in on detail, and hands are just quite often at the centre of my frame.

Prideaux’s photos have a certain melancholy to them, a lonely echo that leaves you wanting more. Luckily, he has lots of other amazing shots that you can explore on his website, his Instagram and his Tumblr page.

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vulgarismagazine

Kira is an avid enthusiast of photography, poetry and the arts in general. She holds a degree in Communications and English Literature at the University of Ottawa.

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