Tim Allen: “Artisans”

· 1.September.2015

At the end of 2013 I produced a small photo book called ‘3 Balls £2.50’ which raised £450 for charity and I decided to try and follow it with a bigger project. After some thought and much Googling I settled on a theme of traditional crafts, but the big question was whether I could find the craftspeople to photograph. What I was forgetting of course is that most people are actually really nice and when you put a half-decent idea in front of them there’s a chance they might be interested. On a rainy Sunday afternoon I sent 10 emails and a week later was amazed to see that 5 had not only replied but said yes – the project was alive.

This is a guest post by Tim Allen, an amateur photographer from Kent in England.
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My first visit was to a stained-glass studio in Folkestone, Kent and after a nervous first few minutes I suddenly felt right at home with what I was doing. Nick and Marek were very welcoming and at ease in front of the camera and when I got home I was pleased with the photos I’d taken. With my nerves about the project’s viability now eased I couldn’t wait to visit new people to see them working with such passion. A couple of months later saw my hard drive nicely stacked with images after visiting a violin restorer, a boat restoration yard, a stonemason and a blacksmith. Everybody I met was passionate about their craft and so enthusiastic to show me what they did in great detail, it really was a pleasure to work on this project.




As this is a Fuji themed web site I ought to talk about kit for a while. 90% of the shots I’ve used are from my original and much loved X100, with the remaining 10% taken using my X-E1 and 18-55 lens. The 35mm field of view of the X100 turned out to be perfect for this project and after it’s final firmware update it’s been perfect for the job. Of course the S and T models have improvements but the AF was fast enough for me and I love the look of what the non X-Trans sensor produces. I rarely needed to use the X-E1 but when I did it performed well and I don’t feel any need to upgrade this model either. I edit and process my work using only Lightroom 5, I don’t use any plug-ins or presets and treat each image individually. I’ve always favoured shooting in black and white and I’m pleased with the dark and contrasty look I’ve hopefully kept consistent across the project.




The book ‘Artisans’ was printed in August 2014 and so far it has raised £1,500 for the charity which has made both them and myself very happy. Due to situations beyond my control I had to put the project on hold for a few months but in January 2015 I was able to visit 4 new participants, which I hope to be able to feature in a second book at some point in the future. I photographed a coppersmith, a bronze foundry, a leather design studio and a ‘trug’ basket making company and these shoots can be seen on my web site now. I’m lucky to have 3 more people lined up too and hope to visit them soon. I still have books available and if you’d like to support the charity please see my web site www.timallenphoto.co.uk.




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