One shot interview with David Solomons

August 17, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

One shot interview with David Solomons 




Picture: Piccadilly Line 1995


What made you push the shutter button to capture this image?


The preacher was an obvious subject matter as he was drawing a lot of attention to himself by his intense behaviour, like he was performing some sort of exorcism. I remember the second I saw him I immediately went to take his picture from an angle where he wasn’t looking at me. That shot failed but the flash immediately drew his attention and he turned towards me, where I managed to get this second shot off.


Is this image part of a wider project, if so what is the projects focus?


I was working on a long term project about the London Underground. I didn’t have a specific idea in mind, it was more a case of let’s go there and see what pictures I can take, like a bumbling tourist.


Why is this image special to you?


Most of my work is more of a studied approach, so this is one of those rare occasions where I’ve reacted to an obvious situation and gotten a good image from it. I like the contrast between the tension displayed by the preacher clutching his crucifix and the three seated passengers. The woman facing us seems to lean aside in an effort to avoid him. The second woman stares at him with disapproval, while the Sikh man calmly looks across the aisle perhaps to gauge other passengers’ reaction to the unfolding scene. The Underground is one of those unusual places where people are forced to sit close to other people they're unfamiliar with, so there's this strange understanding that goes on where everyone develops their own little cocoon and minds their own business. As soon as someone breaks that, people start to shift and feel uncomfortable because they know they usually can't walk away that easily. At the time I shot it, it wasn’t one that I’d picked out in my original 20 picture edit. It’s only when I assembled the book for it a decade or so later, that I discovered it as probably the best shot in the series.


Is there any photography books that inspired you to capture this image?


Bruce Davidson’s ‘Subway’ was obviously a prime influence as I essentially aspired to produce a London based equivalent. Stylistically however, I was more influenced by Garry Winogrand’s ‘Figments from the Real World’.


What camera are you currently using?

Fuji X100F and XE3


Please tell us about yourself

I was born and live in London and have worked as a freelance photographer since the late 1990’s. I’ve self published five books and have recently launched a new series of zines on contemporary and historical photography.


Links to your social media and website


IG: @davidsolomons, @bumpbooks



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