A photographer’s notebook

Eight shots from James Harvey-Kelly's latest exhibition

(Words by)
James Harvey-Kelly
A photographer’s notebook

Boat, Capri, 2010

I shot this just off the coast of Capri a decade ago. Rather magically it was from a handful of rolls I’d completely forgotten to process. I found them a couple of years ago when moving house and when they were developed, there were all these perfect pictures from this super idyllic summer that feels like a lifetime ago. I love pictures like that.

A photographer’s notebook

Midriffs, Marrakech, 2017

This was shot on the roof of my friend Victor’s house just outside Marrakech. That’s him on the right. We used to come here for late summer breaks. I love the colour palette, and the self-conscious gentleness to the way Anastasia is adjusting her bikini top.

A photographer’s notebook

Motorbike, Gundagai, 2017

This is a shot of my friend Patrick from a road trip we did in Australia in 2017. We stopped at a friend’s farm for the night and took out some dirt bikes just as the sun was setting. This was the last frame I shot before the light completely disappeared.

It’s a personal favourite because it looks exactly how it felt. The bikes didn’t have any headlights, so making our way back in the dark we got ourselves completely lost.

A photographer’s notebook

Trees, Australia, 2018

This was shot about two hours outside Sydney, just after sunrise. That’s Patrick in the foreground. We’d driven out of town whilst it was still dark to do the shot. It’s a strange one as to me it doesn’t feel like the kind of picture I take. There’s a mysteriousness and slightly foreboding fairytale quality to it.

A photographer’s notebook

Narragansett, Rhode Island, 2019

Narragansett is one of those perfect Rhode Island seaside towns. This is a house we were guests at for the weekend. It was shot just after the sun had dipped below the horizon, so the light was soft and everything was glowing.

It just felt like one of those very pure American moments. I’ve often though it would be amazing as a fashion picture, but I think even with all the resources in the world, you wouldn’t be able to replicate that level of authenticity.

A photographer’s notebook

Logs, Satellite Island, 2019

This was taken on a small island just off the coast of Tasmania, where we spent a couple of days shooting a campaign for Lucy Folk. The seas and the landscapes there feel prehistoric, which of course they are.

There was this beautiful lateral light from sunrise to sunset which gave everything a wonderful three dimensional feeling. I don’t know why someone had left the logs like that.

A photographer’s notebook

Palazzo Brandolini, Venice, 2018

This is of the hall of the Palazzo Brandolini, which sits rather imposingly on the corner of the Grand Canal. The family were very involved in Murano glass so that’s what all those wonderful colour pops are.

I’d flown out there to shoot a portrait, and the person hadn’t shown up so I had a day to wander around and do what I wanted. I love shooting grand spaces on 35mm. There’s a lovely juxtaposition between the gravitas of the setting and the lo-fi intimacy of the medium. I have a 7ft print of this on my living room wall.

A photographer’s notebook

House, Northern Ireland, 2019

I did this picture whilst scouting locations for a Drake’s campaign in County Antrim. One of the enduring scenes throughout Antrim is pebble-dashed houses with rather unambitious topiary. The frame organised itself rather well, which I’d suggest is more to the credit of the home owner than to me.

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