Travel photography and making zines – Dean Scutt
by Christoper Osborne.
“My true reconnection with (travel) photography began with a trip to Vietnam, I saw pictures everywhere in a way I hadn’t in years”.
I met Dean Scutt on a photo walk in London. This quiet, thoughtful sound engineer has just produced a stunning zine of Parisian street or travel photography shot last year during Paris Photo.
“Cameras have always been around. My Grandmother photographed everything. I got into photography when I was at college. As soon as I saw the darkroom, I was hooked”.
“I started a degree in photography but quit after a year. I bought a digital camera and found myself falling out of love with photography. I started using my great Grandmothers Olympus Trip when I travelled. I carried it without any intention to create photographic work, it was just there”, Dean explains.
“My true reconnection with photography began with a trip to Vietnam, I saw pictures everywhere in a way I hadn’t in years. A year later I sold all of my digital gear to buy a Leica M6 with one lens, the the 40mm Sumicron which I later exchanged for a 35mm Voigtlander Utron”.
“Shooting film is like letting go. I like fully manual cameras. Either I get the shot or I don’t, you just have to move on either way. Actually, I apply the same philosophy to other aspects of my life too”, Dean reflects.
Dean’s first trip out of the UK since the pandemic was last November. He went to Paris Photo. “I remember the excitement of being back on a different soil”, Dean recalls. “There were exhibitions and books sales everywhere. The city was filled with an air of creativity and inspiration.
“I would walk up to six miles a day, shooting with just one camera and one lens. Paris has never worked in colour for me. It is very tonal and textural. So, it lends itself to Black and White”.
“When I returned to the UK I sent the film off for processing with little expectation. The shots came back, and I knew I had something. I had to my eye managed to make an interesting body of work in just three days”, said Dean.
“I decided not to put these shots online. In creating the zine, they only exist as a physical object. This means that when people see it they are seeing something that only exists on paper”.
“I had produced a zine once before. I agonized over it for so long! So with this project I wanted to have a quick turn around, not overthink and show what can be achieved in a short space of time. “Perfect is the enemy of good” (Voltaire), as the saying goes”.
Dean has recently returned from Belgrade. “I was looking for somewhere easy to travel to with no restrictions, and so I headed to Serbia. My only knowledge was of conflicts back in the 90s. I had no idea of what to expect, and I had deliberately done no research”.
“I had intended to start in Belgrade and then move around the country when I became bored. I kept finding new corners to explore. I had no plan. I would catch a bus or a tram roughly in the direction I wanted to go, and then see what I could find. I never felt uncomfortable. No one batted an eyelid at my presence, there are few places I’ve felt so welcomed in fact. Luckily many of the city’s inhabitants speak English because in stereotypical British fashion languages are not my strong point”.
“I have made a mockup of a zine for Belgrade”. I want to do a write-up to accompany it before sending to print. I hope that my travel photography will help to encourage people to visit that truly fascinating country.
Images © Dean Scutt 2022.
You might also be interested in this article on The London Camera Project. I met Dean on one of these photo walks. https://silvergrainclassics.com/en/2022/03/robert-andrews-london-camera-project-photo-walks/