Redeye Network Event – Moy Williams

Last week saw the Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester playing host to another of Redeye’s Network events. On entering I was directed initially towards a series of photos in the upstairs space entitled “The loneliest road in America”,  of what I would call heavily processed photos to enhance surface and texture whether of the landscape or skin. This confused me somewhat as I had been expecting a talk by someone introduced as “Manchester’s Best known fashion photographer” to be talking about their fashion work, (note to self – read the blurb first) so this was an unexpected joy, as I most definitely prefer looking at scenes of Americana that people pouting in expensive clothing.

Moy Williams has been ‘in the business’ for approx. 25 years. This trip in 2010 was the first time he’d taken time out for a personal project.

© Moy Williams

He started the talk by showing a slick presentation of his commercial work from the past 2 years including a very well known Beckham shot (above) and Fashion shoots for brands such as Henri Lloyd (some gorgeous black & white shots on film!) and Rohan, and he kindly answered all manner of technical questions related to his fashion work and the behind the scenes processes. However I’m not ashamed to say that I was just eager for him to get onto the road trip photos after the speak preview upstairs.

© Moy Williams

Williams was there to promote “The Finest Piece of Black Ribbon” a book he’s created of images from his three week East to West Coast road trip along Route 50. Somehow whittled down to only 30 shots (I think that’s how many he said were in the book), it’s taken almost 18 months of selecting and re selecting to come up with the final book of images. It’s a shame I can’t find a link to it online as it’s a really beautiful book, maybe I was more interested than most as we also did parts of Route 50 in Nevada / Utah on our Honeymoon Trip earlier this year.

Williams’ talk was filled with amusing anecdotes including how he nearly got killed by Hells Angels, and when asked if he could do it again what would he change, he replied “I’d talk to more people” although the book does have quite a lot of interesting characters already.

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