I remember exactly, when I met Peter Jones for the first time.
I was working at Third Floor Gallery, when an older man came in. First thing I have noticed about him, before a single word was even spoken, were his hands. They were shaking (as I've learned later it was due to Parkinsons disease). He greeted me and asked about requirements to present his work during upcoming TFG's Stand Up Slideshow (SUS is something like an open mike for photographers). He stayed at the gallery for a while and when leaving dropped simple 'see you on Friday'.
SUS is for fun, so we never have expectations about people's work. We just enjoy to talk about pictures. Few times however, we were surprised. Even fewer the way we were with Peter's work. Before the presentation Peter introduced himself to a small crowd gathered at the gallery. He said he is over 60 years old farmer from West Wales. He said he used to take a lot of pictures before and he'd like to share some of them with us...
I was moved by his work. The guy is really talented, it seemed unbelievable he was never published or exhibited before. Recently I saw some of his new shoots on Facebook and I couldn't stop myself from asking few questions about his life and practice. Below is what he had to say. The images come from his 'Welsh Farming Community' project.
Because I achieved some moderate success I went and bought a Leica m6 along with 2 lenses: 35 and 50mm which I still use. My method of taking photographs involves being as unobtrusive as possible, looking for a likely situation or person that catches my interest I move quietly around them hoping they're unaware of me. My equipment list is still very minimal... Developing tank and cheap Lidl scanner.
My difficulties start with trying to load film onto spiral with hands that tremor and fingers that don't respond to instructions. Also when confronted with an exciting subject I shake all over. I have overcome this problem somewhat by doubling film speed to 800 so I can use faster shutter speeds. I don't shoot a lot of pics and am disappointed if I don't get a meaningful image per film.
I crop my images because it's an essential tool in concentrating the elements within a frame to make a picture more meaningful, in other words cut out the crap. I use white borders because I like velvety blacks which are enhanced by the use of them.
The project "Welsh Farming Community" was born several years ago when I found several images in my collection with a similar theme I organized them into a file and have added to them since. The objective of the project is to record, in a non judgmental way a disappearing way of life. Some of the images span a period of 40 years and will come to it's conclusion when my shutter stops blinking. The project consists of shots which have been made within a small area of Ceredigion.