We caught up with black-and-white photographer, Graeme Hutton whose work captures everyday life on the streets. His new series “Am I Whole?” explores his physical self in various contexts, with his Leica Q always at hand. Read on to hear more…

Tell us about your perspective when it comes to your photography…

As a wheelchair user with a progressive illness, I use photography to explore the whole of my physical self in various contexts. I am now completely reliant on the chair, such that it is an extension of me, and I try to capture this in inventive, even beautiful ways. My sense of being at one with my disability is enabled through my creative practice. It is something over which I have complete control, now in a future that is less certain.

What do you look for when shooting? And why do you shoot in black-and-white?

Light, atmosphere, movement, character, and composition. Very much the usual things I suppose. It’s difficult to avoid clichés but occasionally one gets something extra. Shooting in black-and-white is already one step away from reality, so immediately one is seeing the world differently. I have my viewfinder permanently set to black-and-white. That, plus I’m no good at colour: I just don’t have that eye… and I’m okay with that.

Tell us about your creative process…

I guess I’m challenged by creative doubt. And my work demonstrates room for improvement. I see great photographers here and elsewhere and that niggles, but in a good way. I want to be better so practice is key. I like to try different things. For example, recently I’ve been using extremes of exposure compensation, with longer exposures too, to capture the movement and atmosphere of the city returning to life.

Why do you like using the Q?

For many many reasons! All the controls are where they should be, and the camera generates superb image quality. Most importantly, because of my disability, I can only shoot with one hand – my left hand, and so the Q is ergonomically perfect for me. I basically loop my thumb under the barrel and use my index or forefinger on the shutter. I’m actually right handed, but I now have a bad tremor in that arm due to my condition. I also need to rely on image stabilisation more than most, and this works really well on the Q.

If you could purchase another Leica, which one would it be and why?

A Leica Q2 Monochrom. This has all the virtues of the Q, but that extra 75mm crop capability at the touch of a button would be a big plus! And, it looks even more beautiful than the Q.

Graeme’s series “Am I Whole?” has been shortlisted for the John Byrne Award. Discover more here.

Follow Graeme on Instagram here.

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