We've really been looking forward to sharing this week's In Focus interview with you. We've been long time followers of Tyler's work and were thrilled when he agreed to take part in this series. As described by Allie Evans 'He makes you feel like the impossible is always possible'.
I shared this image because it is one that without Ilford I would have never made, I fell in love with black and white film all over again when I started using Delta and that film stock inspired and entire series for me. There is no better feeling that seeing something in your head and executing exactly what you imagined.
My name is Tyler Shields I am a photographer. Director. Writer. I live in Los Angeles, photography is the love of my life.
I am a results based person and as much as I understand digital makes things easy film gives me quality detail heart and soul that I have never achieved with digital, I make large prints and have over 23 galleries around the world and if I put a film image up next to a digital image the film image sells every time before the digital so I gave up on digital a long time ago and have not looked back. Also the process I really love it makes you choose, when I load Ilford film into my camera I have an intention I know exactly what I want to make, there is a freedom to that, which digital does not provide.
Newton, Penn, Avedon, to name a few.
Use a light meter.
I have a series right now which is being shot completely on Ilford called Silhouettes, A series of 8 by 10 portraits and I am also working on a series of large scale productions we just built a massive 40 by 40 foot set to achieve the look, I normally have 5-10 projects going at once as some take longer then others to build or set up.
The next shoot is a Silhouette of horses and it will be a Deardorff 8 by 10 with Delta, I love this set up as it gives me the most detail of any black and white and any camera I have ever used.
My goal is always to be the best I can be to challenge my self and to carve out my small piece of art history. I know that probably sounds crazy but we must aim for the stars even if we land on the moon.
We all need a bit of inspiration and love so this is your chance to tell the community about yours – from the film photographers whose work inspires you, the labs you trust with your film, your ‘go to’ film photography stockists, your favourite community darkrooms or just anyone in the community who you feel deserves a special mention.
Section 3 - Favourite kit
Hasselblad 503 cw if my favorite.
Zeiss lens wipes and a Milky Way bar.
I was gifted a rare Leica by my best friend Lydia Hearst for Christmas a few years ago.
As this is an ILFORD interview it would be remiss of us not to ask about your favourite ILFORD products. Tell us you favourite ILFORD film, paper or chems and why?
All Images ©Tyler Shields
Tyler Shields has made a name for himself as one of the most celebrated fine art photographers. But before the world knew Shields as the photo provacatuer that he is today, he seemingly lived a life as complex and diverse as his pictures.
As a child growing up in Jacksonville Florida Shields became a professional in-line skater and went on to compete in the x games and win the world championship. At an early age Shields became custom to success and the unwavering dedication that it takes to be the best. So it should come as no surprise that shortly after starting his photography career Shields became the youngest living artist to be in auction at Sotheby’s. Countless auctions later Sotheby’s deemed him “the Andy Warhol of his generation.” Stating that “Shields has produced images that play with notions of the gaze, power structures, hyper-realism, iconoclastic-tendencies and cinematographic practice”. He has galleries with record breaking attendance across the globe and his limited addition prints are some of the most sought after images in the world, with a total of just 3 images ever made in each of his available sizes.
Name a celebrity and Shields has probably shot them; from Hollywood legends like Bruce Willis to industry titans like Elon Musk and everyone in between. His earliest work broke the internet with images featuring Lindsey Lohan running wild through LA, Emma Roberts jumping off of buildings and countless other young A-list stars doing what every magazine told him could not be done. At the start of his career Shields was turned away by every magazine in publication all of which told him that there was no way a celebrity would ever shoot outside of a studio and that his lavish stunts broadcasted across every website meant nothing because and I quote “the internet was never going to replace magazines”. Today the very same magazines would need a miracle to find a time where Tyler was available for a commission with his constant revolving door of galleries. Galleries with the very images he was told would be “impossible” to take. Once you witness him in action behind the lens there are few words that can describe what shooting with Tyler Shields is like. Shields has had his models run from planes flying feet over their heads, and holding $100,000 Burkins on fire next to their faces. Not to mention his image titled Lady And The Lion where Shields had me dangle a steak over a live lions mouth. The list of life threatening things we have done in the name of art is a mile long. But not once have I been scared when shooting with Tyler. He makes you feel like the impossible is always possible. Perhaps that’s why his best work is nothing short of magic. The shots shouldn’t exist. People shouldn’t want to be set on fire or climb naked up an electrical tower during a wind storm, but they do and they do so happily. In fact most people show up asking Shields to push them. Everyone is simply transfixed by his presence and are willing to do whatever needs to be done to bring his vision to life. Watching him work is when you get to see the real magic that is Shields. In a way he is both the photographer and the model. His vision is so clear that he will adjust you right down to your pinky finger before he takes a shot. He has perfected the art of making anyone and everyone feel comfortable in front of the lens and understood by the images he captures. Now well into his career Shields still has a never ending list of images stored in his mind just waiting to be captured and he plans to do just that for the rest of his life. Constantly pushing the envelope and the concept of what can be done with a man and his camera.
Follow Tyler and find out more about him and his stunning images at:-
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