Photo of Eleanor Curtis above freediving in the waters off Nusa Lembongan in March 2018 shortly after photographing the manta rays as printed in Into the Blue. Photography courtesy of Agustine Elejalde
Eleanor Curtis started using a camera as a teenager and mastered the art of developing and printing her own black and white 35mm photography in the darkroom when she was 17 years old. Her ideas for photography were further enhanced when working as a Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art in the early 1990s but it was not until the mid 1990s that she left the comforts of London for Cairo and started to work a a journalist and photographer working internationally for a variety of UK, European and US broadsheets, journals and news agencies whilst based in the Middle East, Italy and Africa, including The Financial Times (Weekend), The Guardian, The Irish Times, Reuters (SA) and Agence France Presse. As an author she has four books on architecture and design and as a photographer has two books on her black and white photography – St George’s Chapel, A Portrait (2008) and A Book of King’s (2010), accompanying the colour work of Magnum photographer Martin Parr. She has enjoyed solo and group exhibitions since 1999 in London, the wider UK and abroad. Her photography has been featured in various journals such as Black and White Photography and The British Journal of Photography, and on the BBC and CNN news television.
She works primarily with black and white negative film but has also experimented with colour negative long exposure photography. Eleanor’s new work is focused on the human form, both in the studio and under the water’s surface. She has returned to using her medium format negative camera in the studio and is enjoying experimenting with a Nikonos V underwater 35mm camera.
Her work takes inspiration from the traditional arts/documentary photographers such as Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Margaret Bourke White, Henri Cartier Bresson, Josef Sudek, André Kertész; contemporary artists such as Mario Giacomelli, Ralph Gibson, Sarah Moon, Sally Mann and Nadav Kander; underwater photographers such as Wayne Levin.
Eleanor works closely with a darkroom in central London where all her black and white images are printed as silver gelatin prints on fibre paper, and her colour prints are printed as C type prints, using traditional darkroom processes from the original negative. Eleanor still works in the darkroom and has recently experimented with platinum/palladium printing and other alternate printing processes such as Van Dyke and Cyanotype. Eleanor is continuing to explore these traditional printing process as part of her new portfolio on the human form.
All prints are signed and are part of a limited edition of no more than 25.
For more information on Eleanor’s photography please see Q and A with Eleanor Curtis