● 8th March 2016 – ArtIn Print

Tom Bird is a visual photographer, taking on commissioned projects as well as photographing immersive spaces in Birmingham and beyond.

Through his company, Infinity Project, Tom creates high-end professional photography covering design, lifestyle, portraiture, architecture, landscape and documentation. The works have strong compositions, often making something very ordinary look extraordinary. The colour palette is beautiful too; somewhat monochromatic as well as akin to Pantone’s colour of the year.

We asked Tom a few questions about his process and projects he’s been involved with.

Your photographs have amazing tones and compositions; is this a pre-meditated approach?

I wouldn’t say it was a pre-meditated approach; everything you see is natural and created in camera.  All of my work is spontaneous with nothing more than a potential location to set it off.

What’s your favourite part of the creative process?

For commissioned work, it would be the reception; a pleased client makes me happy!  With my personal work, it is all very spontaneous, so it would be the cognitive instinct from when I see a shot, looking down the lens and taking the photo already knowing the end result.  Occasionally, I will have a preconceived idea – for example, the gas holders which are no longer there off the M6.  I read an article on the BBC news that they were coming down, 2 hours later I was standing underneath them, so here the concept was the enjoyable bit, but also knowing how I would execute the photos too.

What other cities or places inspire you?

Any city, any place can inspire me – it is what you are able to pick out and visualise within a space that inspires me.

If you could photograph anywhere/anything what would it be?

Chernobyl or Tokyo

You capture a sense of stillness and calm in the series, is this hard to achieve in such a lively city?

I do enjoy photographing people, but photos like these are better without them – less descriptive.  Most of these photos are taken in the middle of the night so there are fewer people about but also the locations themselves along with framing keep people out the way.

You did a series of photos for the Hidden Spaces project in Birmingham; did you feel like you were uncovering lost history?

Hidden Spaces is a great project and something I have really enjoyed being a part of in 2015 and yes seeing Birmingham’s history.  When I was younger I used to go into derelict warehouses and buildings with friends so it feels like a more serious version of that really.

Where’s the best place you have explored in Birmingham?

When I was around 18, there was a warehouse at the back of Selly Oak that was demolished for a through road to the QE (hospital). This place was special; I think it was 5 floors with an open roof covered with some unreal graffiti.  Well, art really, seriously good work in there – it was like Berlin in Birmingham.  One of the floors had a tap that was constantly leaking leaving a film of water giving the entire floor a mirror which was quite cool as a young enthusiast.

Your photographs have amazing tones and compositions; is this a pre-meditated approach?

I wouldn’t say it was a pre-meditated approach; everything you see is natural and created in camera.  All of my work is spontaneous with nothing more than a potential location to set it off.

What’s your favourite part of the creative process?

For commissioned work, it would be the reception; a pleased client makes me happy!  With my personal work, it is all very spontaneous, so it would be the cognitive instinct from when I see a shot, looking down the lens and taking the photo already knowing the end result.  Occasionally, I will have a preconceived idea – for example, the gas holders which are no longer there off the M6.  I read an article on the BBC news that they were coming down, 2 hours later I was standing underneath them, so here the concept was the enjoyable bit, but also knowing how I would execute the photos too.

Describe Infinity Project to us. How did you set this up?

Well after leaving my last job on a Monday morning, I was sat on the sofa brainstorming for a domain name.  I wasn’t keen on using my own name and Infinity Project just came to me with the idea that it is a never-ending project consisting of many smaller ones.  Eventually, I would like to house other creatives under it and offer a broader service. As I have grown up, design has been very much of interest to me and without building a brand, it was important to build a vision and something with longevity.

Tell us about your next project?

The Site Office on Water St is undergoing a refurb and once completed I will be taking some photos of that along with some other projects on the way with Javelin Block. I would also classify my website as a project; I have a lot of work to go on it.  Other than general work that flows in for me, this year is about getting myself known on a creative level in the city and hopefully get an exhibition on the go and make my mark.  As for personal projects, I will be getting the pen and paper out to see what I come up with!

 

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