Thomas Joshua Cooper

After seeing Ship to Shore at the Hansard Gallery I did some research into Thomas Joshua Cooper as I had really enjoyed looking at his work in the exhibition.

He is an American landscape photographer who is based mostly in Scotland and helped to found the Glasgow School of Art. He spends a lot of his time travelling the world to take his photographs and they can take a long time to capture because he wants to get every single element of them right.

He uses a 1898 Agfa camera, with special plastic sheets made especially for him by Kodak instead of the original plates and prints all of his work by hand. When he is shooting, his camera and the rest of his kit weighs about 16kg, according to an article in The Guardian (
I found this article very interesting to read and I feel that I learnt a lot about Thomas Joshua Cooper as a person and not just as a photographer.

I really enjoy looking at his work because it has such a peaceful, calm feeling to it and makes me feel as though I am standing on a cliff looking over the ocean, instead of standing in a gallery surrounded by a crowd of people. I really admire the texture that he manages to incorporate into his work and I think it’s amazing that he still uses an old camera instead of a digital one. To me, this indicates that he produces photographs because he loves doing so, and doesn’t feel that he needs the help of technology.


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