Fugitive Light

Photographers are taught to consider form, composition, lighting and gesture in order to create great images for posterity. We strive to anticipate when a conjunction of light, object and event will allow us to capture that which Henri Cartier-Bresson called “The Decisive Moment”. We preserve and hoard these moments making them permanent, whilst photographic reproduction enables their propagation, which with digital is virtually without limit. Thus a photograph not only excises a moment out of time, it also unnaturally multiplies its spatial presence.

Like all photographers, I strive to create beautiful images that I can share with others. I usually achieve this through careful planning and preparation. I preserve moments as if they were objects and revisit them often, indeed my library holds many such images. However, I find this sometimes lacks the sheer delight of experiencing a never-to-be-repeated moment of perfect beauty.

Therefore, I have decided to challenge the nature of my art with a project called Fugitive Light. My aim is to retain a focus on the immediate moment and not to accumulate conceptual and artistic baggage over time. I have chosen to make images that are ephemeral by focussing my lens on stochastic systems. A stochastic system is one in which a process is governed by chaos and so the outcome is never predictable nor repeatable. The aim is to produce one-of-a-kind artworks and then let them go within a fleeting moment.


Every Fugitive Light image is numbered sequentially upon creation, even the initial tests and all the failures. I curate the images, selecting those that appeal to me and discarding the majority. To preserve the fleetingness of each image, I have decided that they will only ever exist in a single instance, either in my camera, on my hard disk or as a piece of original art. As soon as an image is transferred to a new medium, I delete the source file and any backups. Once they are gone they are gone, and that includes losses due to operator error or equipment failure. Similarly, once a piece of art is sold, I am unlikely to ever see the image again. This process really challenges my acquired photographic nature, which screams at me to hoard all my images indefinitely. It also means that I cannot build up a portfolio of previously sold works and so must rely on the appeal of my art only in the present moment.

I have experimented with a number of stochastic systems, including the classic water drops, and I plan to experiment with much more esoteric systems in the future. To date, my Drift series, which investigates turbulence, has produced the most pleasing images and I now have a selection of these for sale.

Each original artwork for sale in my Fugitive Light gallery is unique and the process by which they were created ensures that they cannot be replicated. The Fugitive Light images uploaded onto this site no longer exist anywhere else and once purchased these impressions will also be deleted. I personally approve and sign each Fugitive Light Artwork to ensure its quality, so please allow a little longer for production and delivery as I may be out photographing something else.

Since starting this project I have discovered that there is an Arabic novel by Mohamed Berrada, about an artist in Tangier, which is entitled Fugitive Light. I hope that Mr Berrada will forgive me but I see little likelihood of confusion between the two.