"Constructing a photographic image is very much like painting a picture. You go through a long process of arranging and re-arranging what you see through the viewfinder until a point is reached when no more arrangement is necessary."
Ricki Knights has spent most of his life on the South East coast of England, and has been an avid photographer since acquiring his first charity shop camera as a boy.
At the heart of Ricki's photography is the essence of simplicity. His subject matter is most often that of plants, both the exotic and those found in an English garden. He has also begun to explore religious symbols, which he enjoys for their embodiment of simple ideas and use of vibrant colour. As is obvious when looking at his work, colour is the element Ricki responds to most, having always had what he describes as "intensely vivid Technicolor dreams" ever since he was a child.
The process Ricki goes through to create a photograph is one that requires much patience. His long held interest in pinhole cameras and early photographic methods has resulted in a preference for keeping the technical side of the work simple and uncomplicated. Ninety per cent of his pictures are the result of straight shots - photographs which require no manipulation after the shutter has been released.
He works mostly with a 5x4 technical camera with an attached digital scanback, which connects to a computer. He prefers this method of working because the result is similar to that of a long exposure when using a traditional camera with film. The average capture time of one of his pictures is around six minutes. Apart from the vivid definition possible with this method, the end result is in fact a document of a short period of time in the life of a subject.
Ricki has undertaken many public and private commissions, particularly in Brighton, where he has worked extensively in conjunction with the Brighton Festival, The Royal Pavilion and Brighton and Hove Museums. He was Photographer in Residence during the reconstruction of the Dome theatre, a £18 million lottery funded project.