This is a picture that I took as I travelled up the escalators at Grand Central Station, New York, in October last year. The escalators were jerky and I began to lose my balance as I waited to be right underneath the chandelier before snapping. I had no confidence that the image would be sharp and was convinced that it would show some shake. But I didn’t mind because I just wanted to get some sort of snapshot of this beautiful object.
The thing that struck me about this chandelier was the wonderful roundness of it. The bulbs, the frame and even the pattern that the bulbs make; everything is round, almost too round, and in a way quite playful. From a distance, this and all the others that are dotted around look like huge, glowing baubles. They add a layer of frivolity to such a grand and very grown-up environment, almost as though the designer had let their child choose the lights.
New York City was the first stop on a road trip to Los Angeles. When I got back I was totally skint and by the time I could afford to get the film developed, I had forgotten most of what I’d taken. By luck or fate this roll was the first one I scanned. I was so pleased by the contrast and the sharpness - I love how blown-out the bulbs are. I once did a short course in digital photography and was told that the blacks should never be totally black and the whites never totally white. If the whites weren’t totally white and the blacks weren’t totally black then it wouldn’t be my favourite picture.
Nick Knight, an incredible photographer, launched a competition for his Visions Couture installation at Le Printemps, Paris. He asked his readers to send in their images from which he selected a certain number to make up the window installations. I’m really chuffed to be able to say that this pic is featured as part of the Maison Martin Margiela section. A hand-printed version is also hanging in my mum’s kitchen. Not quite as grand, but just as lovely.
The good thing about photography is that you can do it anywhere. The bad thing about analogue photography is that it can be really expensive. At the moment my hobby is dictated by cashflow. I don’t have a favourite brand of film stock that I like to use so I often buy magical mixed bags of expired films from eBay. I used Ferrania last summer, a brand I had never ever heard of, and the colours were beautiful. My friend Cam told me about Legacy Pro too, which is a really great black and white film brand that, if bought in bulk, is really good value for money. I never ever buy direct from Jessops, it’s such a rip-off.
I started taking photos on 35mm after my digital camera broke a couple of years ago. As a consolation for the demise of my lovely Canon G9 my step-dad handed me his old Minolta SR-T102. I had never used an SLR of any type before but was instantly in awe of this really heavy, clunky bit of kit. The camera is still ‘on loan’ but I think he knows as much as I do that he’s not getting it back. Given the luxury of time and money, I’d take an obscene amount of photos and get every single one of them printed.
Anna’s work can be seen in Forty Two, 19 Victoria Street, Nottingham.