Talk: Simon Norfolk, ‘Under London’ Museum of London

Simon Norfolk has  and continues to produce fine work with the theme of traces with particular reference to traces of war being a major driving force. With multiple commissions from clients such as National Geographic and budgets up to $250,000. Norfolk was refreshingly candid about his beginnings as a photographer, mentioning a difficult decade when starting off as an photojournalist in London. Even now he states

“Im a freelance photographer; one job away from unemployment”.
— Simon Norfolk

It was fascinating to hear for the turning point in his career when he decided to travel to Afganistan to cover the conflict. He spoke of the moments before the taxi came to collect him for the airport; all my 35mm kit sitting there and my 4x5 field camera kit. At that moment he decided he would only take the large format. This provided the limitation and capacity to photograph afganistan in the way he did. Photographing the traces of war in this tribal melting point, where traces dating back millennia. Upon returning he found that magazines that had never even thought of granting him an audience, where suddenly calling him. From this turning point Norfolk has produced series in a wide variety of contexts. Using a technique of lit landscapes debuted in his photographs of the Mayan Temples using a crew of 12 and cinema lighting over a period of 7 weeks. Norfolk returns to this technique in recent commissions such as Mes Aynak for National Geographic in Afghanistan. 

to view more of Norfolk's work 


‘’Under London’ a series for National Geographic in collaboration with the museum london, with the aim to promote the layered history of London’s archeology to the public. He set about this photographing archeological objects and transplanting them into a relevant location. Photographing the objects in glorious detail on a phase one medium format camera with a top light to mimic museum lighting the objects are elevated beyond their muddy geological graves.