David Hamilton is best known for his soft focus, dreamy, grainy style of his images, David Hamilton set the fine arte photography aesthetics of his time. The soft focus and muted colours, the lines created by the human form and captured by Hamilton are beautiful and representative of his style.
He has published numerous photography books, directed five feature films, and has been showcased in magazine articles and art exhibitions, including his notable exhibition at Images Gallery in 1977 in New York City.
Hamilton’s softening has the following effects: In color photography it limits the saturation, creating in one gesture a limited palette. It also serves to give the feeling of the past tense as if these photographs are memories. His photos happen not now but years ago and the image survives not as a record but as a vague memory image imprinted in the mind of the model, somewhat like a Freudian Deckerinnerung where, grown up, she remembers a moment of her life, but does so in a self-deceptive manner, from the outside, seeing herself through someone else’s eyes.
Hamilton claimed he never used any filters to achive his characteristic look, shot everything by diffused (indoor) natural light (never using any reflectors or artifical fill) and used only Ektachrome 200 film. He used two different Paris photo labs for processing B&W and color. Some of the Ektachrome photos were pushed for a grainy look.
His studio became a popular meeting place for models, artists and photographers. Often forty or more people would crowd into the forty square meters and line up outside the door if it was too packed. “It was when I was working for Printemps that I discovered St. Tropez, in its sublime setting with beaches where people sun-bathed in the nude. It was a world that was completely new to me, and nothing, during my youth in England, or the life I had led until then, had prepared me for it.”
Hamilton’s work hang in the US Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall and the Royal Danish Palace among others.
Hamilton’s first photobook was published in 1971. David Hamilton photo gallery. David Hamilton pictures gallery