Professor Steve Macleod is inspired by the Pictorial movement popularised in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For a Pictorialist, a photograph - like a painting or drawing - is a way of projecting an emotion into the viewer's realm of imagination. Macleod's works often utilise chiaroscuro elements of light and shade creating a melancholic, expressive mood.
Macleod shoots on a large-format camera, using in-camera techniques to create colour illusions, tilt-shift and distorted fields of vision. All these techniques could easily be applied in post-production thanks to technological advancements and photoshop, but instead Macleod chooses an entirely analogue process with a mastery of skill that challenges the fast-paced, push-button ease allowed by modern photographic technology.
Macleod's practice is methodical, purposeful and skilled, applying analogue camera techniques to his slow process of creating landscape works and hand-printed final images. In each series the artist explores deeply personal themes of mental health, history and place, translating his narrative into moody, deeply saturated and skilfully composed landscapes. Hand-printed, handtoned, and sometimes hand-worked with mixed media, Macleod champions the traditions of photography whilst reinserting the hand of the artist into the process of image-making.