One Shot Interview with Peter Dench by Ryan Hardman

Once bastions of gentility and the preserve of toffs, events of the English summer season Like Epsom, Royal Ascot, Cartier Polo and the Henley Royal Regatta are for a free-for-all, rewriting the rules of society

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

It had been quite a chaotic day photographing at Royal Ascot. I was a little tired and very thirsty. I saw this man relaxing on the cool cut grass with cold crisp beer. Part of me wanted to be him, all I could do was photograph him.

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

The image was shot on assignment in 2017 for The Sunday Times magazine for a feature on the English summer season. The pictures from the assignment get absorbed into my wider reportage on the theme which was collectively published in a zine by Fistful of Books


Why is this image special to you?

It’s special for a few reasons. Right now because all the events of the summer season have been coronavirus-cancelled, it’s a reminder of the privilege of being able to do the job that I love. It’s also special as I got to meet the man in the image. John came to the exhibition launch in London, a copy of the print now hangs in his home - it thrills me when people reach out.

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Image captured by Ryan Hardman Photography

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

I always have a constant swirl of books influencing what I do going back to Tom Wood’s, Looking For Love, Twice Told Tales by Greg Leach and the archive of Homer Sykes.

What camera are you currently using?

An Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II which this image was taken on with a M.12-40mm F2.8 lens.

Please tell us about yourself

Photographer, writer, presenter, curator & Olympus Visionary

Peter is Represented by Global Assignments agency and is available for Commission

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