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The distinguished photographer Tony Hurst was born in Hampstead, London in 1939, on the eve of World War II. He was given a Kodak 120 folding camera when he was twelve years old which led to a life-long passion for taking pictures.

He studied photography at Regent Street Polytechnic and Ealing Art School in the early 1960s and worked for the BBC as part of their darkroom unit, then later for Kodak. Nikon was a brand he had always aspired to and he purchased his first Nikons, an F2 and an FM, in the 1970s. He moved to digital over ten years ago, and nearly all of his recent work was taken on a Nikon D3 with an AF Micro-Nikkor 70-180mm, a sharp lens which he uses exclusively in his studio. His career as a ‘Nikon portraitist’ came about almost by fortuitous coincidence rather than by design: when he started collecting vintage Nikons, he simply wanted to make a record of his own collection.

Tony Hurst creates photographic canvases of vintage and contemporary Nikon cameras and lenses that are extraordinarily eloquent. His pictures are much more than simple photographic records; they are inspired, lyrical portraits of Nikon equipment, each one an exquisite, beautifully composed still-life. His brushwork is an expression of graceful artistry, seamlessly fusing shape and form, shadow and texture, shot with the skill of an Old Master from the Dutch Golden Age. He paints with light instead of pigmentyet his imagesconvey a similar clarity of expression, a powerful narrative that shows us that beauty and symmetry can be found in objects that are otherwise functional and familiar, particularly those that have a strong resonance with our own golden age of technology.

Over the years his work has become legendary; he has produced hundreds of portraits of Nikon cameras to date. His picture of the vintage Nikon 6mm f/2.8 Fisheye-Nikkor lens caused a widespread reaction around the world and was viewed tens of thousands of times on social media. It was subsequently sold to a collector for £100,000.

Tony Hurst’s still-life compositions are utterly unique; as such he has pioneered a brand-new type of photography. Perhaps too, his images have created a paradigm shift in the way we view cameras and lenses, enabling us to not only acknowledge the practical functionality of their performance and the triumph of scientific achievement, but also applaud the sheer elegance and quiet beauty of their craftsmanship. - Gillian Greenwood                   

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