Antony Cairns

British photographer Antony Cairns is an artisan who doesn’t shun experiments. His futuristic photos show the cities of tomorrow, inspired by writers like H.P. Lovecraft, J.G. Ballard en William Gibson. For BredaPhoto he made a selection of his work.

Antony Cairns (United Kingdom, 1980) is a craftsman who likes experiments. ‘It is dead simple to make a technically perfect digital photo nowadays. Anyone can do it, on Instagram, with Photoshop, you name it. But it is soulless. That is why I go back to old photographic, chemical processes,’ he told De Morgen newspaper. He develops his negatives half, bleaches them, leaves them in the sun or manipulates them in other ways, before he develops them further. Those imperfections contribute to the charm, he says. But Cairns also combines old with new. For example, he hacked e-readers, loaded his electronically processed analogue photographs onto them and published them under the title LDN EI (2015).

He describes this slow way of working as a ‘relief’. He finds inspiration for his photographs in nightly cities. He made black and white series about his home city of London, Paris, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Osaka. His manual, timeless method contrasts with these rapidly changing metropolises. They are analog images of futuristic cities. He is inspired by the books of sci-fi writers H.P. Lovecraft, J.G. Ballard and William Gibson.