Behind the Shot: Peter Dazeley

Behind the Shot: Peter Dazeley

Peter Dazeley, a celebrated London-based photographer with a career spanning over 60 years, shares the stories behind some of his favorite platinum prints from his upcoming book, Monochrome, for Trope’s Behind the Shot series. 

Black Tulip

This image was taken when I was working with x-rays. At the time I discovered that for some really delicate flowers, an x-ray was too brutal. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to experiment with a mammogram machine, which takes x-rays at lower doses and is normally used to look at breast tissue.  The simple finished image records the detail and fragility of the Tulip beautifully.

Nautilus Shell

I am always looking for interesting things, people, and places to photograph. A man-made object is often beautiful on the outside, but what about the inside, which often no one sees? Nature doesn’t discriminate though, as can be seen with this Nautilus Shell image. It is perfect and beautiful, both inside and out, as the x-ray reveals.

Solarized Aladdin Tulips

This is one of my favourite images. I photographed the Aladdin Tulips using limited focus to concentrate the viewer’s interest on one flower head, with the remaining flowers softly working as a background to enhance the image. I also used an anamorphic lens to stretch the flowers, giving them a wonderful length and elegance. Finally, the image has been solarized (sabattier effect) to create an unusual picture, concentrating on the outline and structure of these beautiful flowers.

Rear of Sunflower

My London riverside flat on the banks of the Thames is near the famous Covent Garden Flower Market. On a sunny day I love to wander over, very early in the morning, to see what interesting and rare flowers have been brought in that day. Over the years I have photographed a lot of sunflowers focusing on their open faces, which are famed for their ability to follow the sun. But one day I started to concentrate on the rear of the flower and discovered a wealth of fascinating detail, which I love. The final image is enhanced by the great tonal depth and luminosity that the platinum print process has given it.


Sand Scorpion Central Africa

I have always been fascinated by scorpions. They are small but deadly creatures, yet their beauty and symmetry is undeniable. When I was working with this scorpion and looking at the structure of its body, I was captivated by the detail in its eight legs and grasping pincers. The tail is narrow, often carried with a curve over its back. The lethal stinger can be seen clearly. The image caught the imagination of the German heavy metal band, The Scorpions, who used it for the cover of their album ‘Box of Scorpions’.



Learn more about Monochrome and Peter's work here