Touching on Shakespeare’s drama “Henry VIII”, British photographer Mike Tinney staged the poetic Of the Field series of stills. It shows gorgeous flowers that have already passed their zenith. Tinney looks to capture these moments and reflects on the fugacity of existence.

See the portfolio in LFI 4/2016, and the Digital Feature on

You are a still-life and documentary photographer. How come you are interested in two so disparate areas of photography? And don't you need to have two completely contrary approaches to your work?

I don’t feel they’re so far removed from one another. Obviously the working processes are very different, but for me in what I do, they’re both fundamentally about capturing small detail and championing the understated.

What is the Of the Field series that you shot for the S Magazine all about? What is the idea behind it?

When it comes to throwing things away - especially living things - it hurts a little. There is a sadness for what once was, a passing twinge of pain. These pictures are a reaction to that – a small way of preserving, of giving the gift (or is it one?) of immortality for these pre-cut half-dead flowers, rescued from a London market stool.

Do you do the post-production of your photos yourself or do you hand them over to a third party? What significance does post-production have for your work?

Generally I like to do my own post. I set up my first darkroom when I was 14. Now it’s all digital, but I’ve always felt that the post process is just as important as any other stage of a shoot – it’s the fix, a stage to meditate on what’s been created, to get closer to the work. That said, with some jobs it’s good to step away, to take a breath – so I’ll outsource. There are some very talented retouchers out there.

Which photographers have impressed you most and in what manner do they influence your work?

I recently caught a great Daido Moriyama show in Marrakesh. I really like his work. There’s a raw, often unsettling, immediacy in life he captures – and that’s around us all the time.

Mike Tinney

Born in Suffolk in 1980; first dark room when he was 14; later assistant to world-renowned photographers such as Rankin. Today he concentrates on still-life and documentary photography. Clients include: Casio, Gucci and Children In Crisis; published among others in: Conde Nast Traveller, How To Spend It, The Hunger.
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