May 15, 2015 | By Baukje Stamm |
Born and raised in London, Walter Hugo has centered his work on using scientific processes to pioneer the modern development of early photographic techniques. Hugo’s creations are wonderfully laboured, capturing the life of the subject in an unparalleled way and engaging with the history of photography in an entirely contemporary manner.
For the 2013 winter collection of Paul Smith Hugo photographed using a giant pinhole camera. With Walter using a 19th century brass lens, the subjects had to sit incredibly still as the camera had a four second exposure. The developing chemicals were on site for immediate processing and there were no negatives, each image being completely unique. Paul worked with Walter on the final edit and the options not selected were destroyed to leave final eight portraits.
After the photographs were dry, Paul and Walter worked on the colour palette for hand colouring. Walter subsequently painted the portraits to highlight certain tones. The treatment was particularly popular in Japan, where hand colouring was a finely practiced art form.