Welcome to the second issue of this feature series, where we showcase the portfolios of student photographers here at the University of Sheffield. This time we are featuring second-year English Literature Student, Will Ridgeon, who has been taking photos for around five years now.

A sucker for the old-timey aesthetic of film, its vividness in colour and ability to shift tones, Will’s interest and love of photography comes from his family. Like many families, they had banks of old photos, slides and even Super 8 motion film of older relatives. Will believes that the feeling of holding a moment that is long in the past is something that is integral to us, that we want both the past and the present. From being a teen and even younger, Will remembers using the one-use ‘snap-and-go’ cameras and thinks that it was then, after a mix of different experiences he knew he wanted photography to be a part of his life. The bug hit even harder during Sixth Form and taking photos for a bit of fun became a need to learn and focus on practising taking better photos.

Will shoots a lot of social photography, portraits and cityscapes and believes that film photography holds the most interesting colours and tone that have a lot of power to influence the mood of a scene. Being able to  bring out the details and the ability to reveal beauty and even change it in the darkroom, akin to how digital photography is edited with computer software such as Lightroom or Photoshop, is something Will absolutely adores and about film photography.

A friend of Will’s at the Botanical Gardens on black and white film.
A film show taken at dusk gives a fair and smooth sky.
A shot where Will loves how the subject’s hair, and subtle colours kept it a sensitive shot.
Another film shot on black and white at Pen-y-ghent, Yorkshire.
Part of a collection from Will’s time on a gap year. The subject of the photo is a real character who lead Will’s charity group.
Colour film was ideal for the vibrant and colourful clothing of this South African grandmother who 90 and a neighbour to Will’s group.
A peek through the hold at a South African shop owner who made his shop out of a cargo container. Will saw him every week and got to know him quite well.
A friends of the family that Will lived with in South Africa who enjoyed being in front of the camera.
Two twin sisters that have great presence with how they lean on one another, showing a natural closeness.
Shot of Will’s dad walking ahead whilst it was getting stormy in Pen-y-ghent, Yorkshire.

Thank you to Will for sharing his photographs with Forge Press. Look out for the next Student Photographer Showcase coming soon.

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