Shiri Lee Webb

Where are you from/based now?

I am from North West London, now based in North East London.

What is your background in photography?

My father was a photographer and was keen on getting me into it in my teens. I don’t think I shot anything too great but I learnt quite quickly how to use an analogue camera and work with aperture and shutter speeds. I really did enjoy it. I went on to study Photography at University, that was a joy at times and a pain at others. The theory and history modules were where I thrived, and also working in the darkroom alone for days was an honest achievement. I’m still working in the field of Photography but it doesn’t directly link to my own work.

How did you get started?

I just made a Flickr account one day and decided to share my work. From that point onwards I have made some wonderful friends, seen some awe-inspiring work and have had the opportunity to connect with a wide community of photographers and artists.

What equipment do you use?

I’m very simple. A tiny MJU II point and shoot camera is my best friend. Next is a Canon rangefinder and a Nikon SLR from my father, and another which had been to the Vietnam war and back but it’s so heavy. It’s just 35mm for me.

What are your feelings on film vs digital?

What is your creative process?

Oh, I don’t think there’s much of a competition between them. Film is film and digital is digital. Although they both produce a photograph as a final product they will always be different in their technology and science. I will always love the grainy and rich quality of a film photograph but I also absolutely respect digital photography in its pace and as practical tool for work.

My creative process functions purely on a visual basis. I see something I think looks great, I photograph it and wait for the results. It doesn’t always look how I expect and it doesn’t always evoke the same feeling. Many of photographs end up become referential documents of things I once saw and cherished.

Are all your shot spontaneous?

Yes ! But in the future I would like to work on more projects that might involve some planning. For my degree show with the British shrubs series, I spent an awful long time trying to over-analyse my work and the process became so contrived - I wasn't happy at all with the end product. A year or so before I photographed the portraits of a group of eccentric men and women who attended an accordion club in Bulwell. They practiced in an acid green room and had so much devotion to their instruments. It was brilliant.

Who or what inspires you?

I cannot pin it down to one specific thing. Life inspires me, that is what creates the energy in a photograph. It is everything that I encounter daily, it is what represents me and I hope that that comes through in my work. And I would be nowhere without light and light at different stages of the day, light through trees, light at dawn through the blinds, patterns of light on the wall.

Are you working on a project at the moment?

See above !


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