Luke Archer Photography

I have recently relocated from Bristol to Hertfordshire. Inheritance remains my current long-term project. In 2011 I was nominated for Black and White Magazines under 30’s Photographer of the Year. I was the joint winner of the 2011 South West Graduate Photography Prize. I have exhibited extensively in Bristol as part of the 2010 and 2012 Bristol Festival of Photography as well as the 2011 Royal West of England Academy’s Open Photography. My portrait of the Marquess of Bath is held in the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection. The book version of Inheritance was displayed at Ffotogallery’s Book Arts Fayre 2012. I joined the Vignette Magazine team in winter 2011 and I am now features editor.
If you would like to know more about any of my projects or purchase a print please get in touch.

Thornton Pickard Royal Ruby

The camera is a British made Thornton Pickard ‘Royal Ruby’. Its shutter is an instantaneous roller blind, one of the earliest forms of timed shutter. It works on tensed fabric and has only four shutter speeds. The Taylor Hobson Cooke Aviar lens is more modern, being physically screwed onto the shutter at a later date. The combination of camera and lens would have been the best available at the time.

The project conceptually tackles the idea of continuity and change; using the camera reflects this combination of old and new. Though the camera is from a time of glass plates and daylight studios, I use flash lighting and modern films.  The wood and brass remain untouched, but new ground glass and bellows have been fitted.

The camera is similar to the sitters photographed: both have a strong link with the past. Some may see them as outdated, due to modernisations in their respective fields.

Despite the camera’s heritage I see no merit in copying the original Bassano images. I consciously do not look at the original portraits before a sitting.  Coincidentally sometimes there is a similarity,but this is due to the strength of family characteristics, often visible in expression as well as physical features.