We’re honored to present the photography of Connor Daly, a photographer from London, UK. In his series called “Altered States,” Daly captures a unique combination of vibrant colors, minimalist shapes and architecture, and interesting textures. Enjoy the images and interview below in our latest photographer feature.
All images are provided by Connor Daly and used in this article with his permission. Please do not copy without the permission of the artist.
What inspired you to create these photos?
I’ve been working with this specific aesthetic and visual style for around 6-7 years. Lewis Baltz was the main inspiration behind a lot of my “minimalist” work originally, as he was the photographer who propositioned the Minimalist aesthetic in photography in the 1960-80s as part of the New Topographics Movement. Baltz’ book “The New Industrial Parks” (1974) was my baptism into the strange and unusual world of Minimalist photography. Beyond this, I will occasionally fall back on my fine art training and look at works of Rothko, Pollock, Newman and Knobel (to name a few) to inform my process.
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of these photos?
The main challenge in this work is finding new locations to photograph. I do not seek these places out; they just reveal themselves. This process of slw revelation means that the creation of work is slow and often sluggish. Often, I’ll find a place I want to photograph, and come back years later to take a picture (an example of which is “Step”, 2022). I’ve walked past that location hundreds of times of the years and only recently got around to photographing it.
What cameras, lenses and lighting gear were used to create the photos?
My main body is a Nikon D810 (and two D800’s as backups). The D8 series is (in my opinion) the best line of digital cameras Nikon has produced. They are tough reliable and produce incredibly detailed images. Coupled with these is a series of Sigma Art prime lenses (35mm, 50mm, 85mm). I also have a Nikon 45mm TS lens, which I use occasionally for specific architectural work. My Art lenses are my standard go to for most of my work. 10/10 in Sharpness, contrast, clarity, design and function.
Do you have a favourite photo from the series? If so, what is it and why?
“Step”, 2022 is my favourite image in this series. It’s a perfect example of what I strive for in this type of work. That is the intersection of colour, shape, form and texture which make something uninteresting and mundane, beautiful and intriguing.
For photographers looking to create impactful images like this, could you share your process of coming up with your concepts and ideas?
Don’t just look to photographers for inspiration, as this is a relatively new process, full of limitations and falsehoods. If you want to create colourful and vibrant work, then I recommend researching Colour Field painting, Abstract Expressionism and Impressionism initially, and see where it leads from there. Whilst the technical aspects if photography are important in the creation of work, do not allow it to stifle your creative intuition.
What are you currently working on? What’s next?
I’ve recently been wrapping up long term projects and updating my archive. I’ve recently started my next long-term project “Phantasmagoria”, where I am photographing hall stages around the UK. It’s set to take about 2 years to complete, after which I am planning to publish a book. Alongside this, I am planning several local projects in the UK and a few in the US, including a series on the Civil War.
About Connor Daly
I was born in Jersey (Channel Islands) and spent most of my life there. I’ve creative since I was able to pick up a crayon, and through the encouragement of mentors and teachers, I was able to keep this determination through my formal education. I studied mostly in Jersey, in a few local arts programs, where I experimented with different mediums, eventually landing on photography around 2012. I went onto The Arts University Bournemouth in 2014, graduating in 2017 (BA Hons, Commercial Photography). After a short break post-graduation, I ended up in London in 2018, and went onto to assist several photographers (whom I thank immensely for the opportunities they gave me) until 2020, at which point I decided it was time to concentrate on my work solely.