Traditional Photography Portfolio by Surendra R A Jones 


Leaves, Japan


Mature Pears




Fallen Apples

  Artist's Statement:
BACKGROUND Senior students at a school in the UK where I was teaching inspired an interest in photography quite late in my life. A City and Guilds course at the Exeter Darkroom then gave me the expertise to work professionally and later teach the subject. I have remained committed to traditional darkroom methods as I prefer the results and enjoy the wet process more than sitting in front of a computer. My work has been exhibited in Bath, Exeter, India and Tokyo. SUBJECT MATTER I like natural subjects: rocks and vegetation; sky, water and earth; portraits and figure studies. A lot of my images come close to abstracts. My interest is not in recording events or familiar views of reality unless they embody an exceptional quality. I am looking for beauty and substance in what surrounds us and can often be overlooked. Erosion or decay sometimes features as an indication of time enriching and inducing more complexity into forms and surfaces. There are series of organic forms, rocks, barks of trees and water taken at close range to reveal patterns and textures. The print size, paper/developer combination and any toning is standardised for each series where possible. As they remain open ended and thread their way through time, materials disappear and like all of us, I have to find substitutes. My approach is studied and selective, relying on a tripod and not an attempt to portray the random or accidental. I am very selective and often do not get my camera out of the bag. I do pre-visualise the print but without getting technically sloppy, I try not to think too much about the whole process as I still enjoy surprises.
  Technical Information:
Since my 35mm finally died in Thailand, I use a medium (square) Bronica and sometimes a Linhof 5 x 4. Fuji Acros (100 asa) or Presto (400 asa) developed in Paterson FX39 are now my regulars for negative production. I sometimes use Ilford Delta 100 for the more dramatic effects possible and I am about to revisit HP5 for a 5 x 4 portrait project. I am fortunate in finally having a good sized darkroom and not 'another shoebox' as a friend once remarked. Except for greeting cards made on resin coated paper, my prints are made only on fibre based papers, either 12 x 16 or 16 x 20 and sold in signed, limited editions of 50. Favourite papers have been disappearing so rapidly over the past few years that I feel grateful that we still have some choice of surface and manufacturer resulting in different print qualities. My standard paper developer is still Agfa Neutol WA with Fotospeed Lith for lith prints. Lith printing is increasingly favoured in my work. If Forte Polywarmtone is resurrected as mooted then I shall be more than happy. I loved the rich deep chocolate colours and smooth tonal range right up to the amber highlights. Fotospeed Lith was also a favourite, excellent for different reasons: the infectious blacks and dusty pinks. For some subjects I still choose traditional methods but do not go the route of lith. I use toning to change colours and densities and also for preservation. Untoned prints are always treated with an image stabiliser.
  Contact Details:
Print Sales: Click here to view a selection of my prints for sale. I currently have 11 print(s) listed.


 All work copyright © 2013 Surendra R A Jones

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