Manchester-based photographer David Gleave cites among his influences Robert Frank, Robert Capa, Eugene Smith, Bruce Davidson, Garry Winogrand, William Eggleston, William Klein and Mary Ellen Mark. All legends. And, gauging from the sample images of his book, In The City, Gleave is doing work that they just might approve of.
Gleave, who holds a Licentiateship distinction from The Royal Photographic Society, has collated a number of striking images for his debut publication, In The City. Just like the title implies, Gleave says his primary theme is the characters and scenes found at the heart of our larger urban communities. Images of Manchester comprise over half the impressions in his new book, and the same echoes resonate from other cities captured exclusively in mono, including London and New York in particular.
“I first became interested in actually making images myself after i saw and exhibition of photographs by Samuel Coulthurst,“
“They were of people going about their daily business at the street markets of Salford and Ancoats in Manchester and taken in the 1890′s. As i looked at the people, all long since gone, they were somehow still alive. Frozen for ever in time by the camera. From that moment onwards that is what i wanted to do. To preserve people for ever with a camera.”
Shooting mainly on Ricoh GR point & shoot, David describes his style as candid sniper photography and street portraiture:
“The faces and situations portrayed are gritty and alive – spontaneous moments captured by getting up close and personal in most cases. In The City visits my hero cities by night and by day, lurking on street corners and in bars, pubs and music venues to discover the people at the beating heart of the metropolis.”
Gleave’s style reflects gumption and nerve, necessary ingredients when working close like he does. Gumption and nerve aren’t all that’s needed to make a good shot, though. You’ve got to have the skills, as well. And Gleave obviously has skill to partner with the spunk. Working under the title of northernfacephoto, Gleave is currently engaged on three ongoing live projects depicting aspects of urban Manchester life, namely Old Trafford on match day, a Moss Side boxing club and an up and coming local band named Cabbage.
In The City is available from the gallery shops at Home, Manchester and Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool and can also be ordered direct from Gleave’s website at www.northernfacephoto.com.