The idea of rigging up a background and photographing people on random beaches was ﬁrst suggested by the work of Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. In time, it developed into a more resolute and conceptual approach involving using a studio on location. Working usually at dawn or dusk, the studio was located on beaches, in car parks, shantytowns, and shipyards—anywhere where it was possible to access people in an informal way.
People were attracted by the studio: visually it looks like a small ﬁlm set. Made up of a large backdrop and paraphernalia, it might be mistaken for a small impromptu theatre or stage. It acts as a spontaneous conducting point. The studio is a neutral space in which it is possible to photograph people in their natural environment. The black background—more than being merely a
‘colour’—creates a neutral space within this environment, a setting in which a ‘model’ can be present as part of an ongoing narrative. Working at dawn or dusk is a deﬁning element of the process, not only both because of the quality of light, but also because of the randomness of the people who happen to be on the street at these particular times of day