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India Hobson: Photographing Kampus

Photography, real life and character: a day in the photographic life of India Hobson.

India Hobson is the Sheffield-based photographer known for still lifes and the way she uses natural light and shadow – she tells us about photographing Kampus while it was still under construction, one cold day in January:

“Our first visit was on a clear, crisp (actually freezing cold) winter’s day; the sky was the brightest blue and the sun gave us golden light – a rare treat for Manchester. We made the most of it by taking as many pictures as we could as we toured the site, documenting the progress of the build and restoration. It’s a real privilege to be given the freedom to work on a site of this size, and to be commissioned to record the typically ‘mundane’ details that occur on a construction site. We found so many interesting vignettes and viewpoints that we felt like kids at Christmas. The existing buildings were being repaired and restored sympathetically, and it was clear that retaining the character and charm of the original architectural details is a high priority.

“Our main brief was to photograph two of the finished apartments. We love to shoot with natural light, but the reality was that we were shooting in winter and we did have to supplant the light in a few of the spaces – photography is all about problem-solving, especially when we’re working on a construction site.

“For some reason there’s the view that photography is a glamorous affair. That’s not always the case, and it means that we’re often amazed at the results we achieve. In this case we were fully PPE’d up (ever tried to take photos comfortably wearing a hard hat?) and working to strict time constraints (AKA the 4-hour window of light at that time of year), but the apartments were beautifully styled and, working with a great team around us, we think the end results were pretty good!”



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