Rochester is beautiful. We all know that. The historical buildings, the river scene; it’s all been photographed and painted so many times and rightly so. There is a photographer in Medway, going by the name of Obee, who continues this tradition but adds a new twist. Obee’s images have a traditional feel but, by using a variety of techniques such as time lapse, creates a more surreal look, making those images that we have all seen so many times suddenly feel more mysterious and elusive.
And yet Obee still makes the pictures fun and easy to enjoy. Obee explains that he decided to quickly document the Medway towns “my goal was to set a day three times a month where I would take my bicycle and camera out and archive towns and events recommended by friends. By 2010 I had amassed a small archive of Medway and surrounding Kent and found I had developed an avid following by the local community, so much so that I started to publish a weekly blog of my fun adventures and where I was heading to next to keep people up to date”
Previous to this Obee started out in 2004 photographing unsigned bands in the London metal/rock scene. He soon discovered the
potential of Photoshop and began to manipulate the raw images. Obee then began to take advantage of the myspace band promotion movement by providing visuals such as online banners, EPs, Tshirts, flyers, gig photography and album covers. Early 2008 Obee left London and moved to Medway, where he began to meet other artists found what OI too have noticed; a growing hive of creative activity and a varied music scene. Obee soon developed his very own ‘Medway Vision’. No doubt inspired by the beauty and interesting features of the area Obee decided to concentrate, so far at least, on landscape shots. He explains “I wanted to try and get some good old fashioned photography back into my portfolio and capture some of Medway purely for its grand history.”
His style is warm yet haunting at times. Obee explains “photography of landscapes are currently my signature style with full clear broad colourful spectrums pushing vivid imaging to the max. Another technique I define my works with is infrared and time delay, a skill that was more used on pre-digital cameras. To allow 6 minute exposures with only the furthest end of the light spectrum can produce some of the most haunting images. Human traffic vanishes into a thick fog leaving just the buildings and the camera as witness.”
Obee seems to believe in the ‘Medway Vision’ I have been noticing, this desire to create, this special creative time we seem to live in. His attitude to his work is refreshing, honest and modest too, “I have a firm belief art is by no means hard if you are genuinely open and passionate about your environment and those you share it with.” Seeing Obee’s work, those views we are all so familiar with but shot in a different way, is like seeing yourself in a mirror but with a new suit on. You know it’s you but it looks fresher, more relevant for the 21st Century.
The goal of Obee is to keep shooting events and places in Medway and he hopes that there is a possibility of an exhibition of his work. If that happens and you want to see Medway with fresh eyes then you will want to be first in the queue.
For more information visit: obi3380.wordpress.com
Area – South East