Stephen Leslie is a Film Director, Screenwriter, and Photographer from London. This is a very unusual interview with Stephen. He recently launched his photography book “Sparks” an adventure in street photography. Thanks, Stephen for accepting for the invite. Please read on…
Hi Stephen, and thank you for joining us here today! Could you please introduce yourself?
Hello, our name is Stephen Leslie and we are a hive mind collective super-organism currently residing in London, England. We are one hundred and seven nine years old and consist of innumerable drone bodies linked together through a love of photography, unrelenting conquest and the music of Dolly Parton.
What first drew you to photography and how did you discover it?
We actually invented photography through the curiosity of our founder members Henry Fox Talbot, Thomas Wedgwood, and Nicephore Niepce. These three pioneering men were simultaneously infected with the collective spores released by chemicals used in the early preservation process. Once the super-organism started to grow it rapidly sucked in other inventors like Louis Daguerre and George Eastman. Now we are multitudinous which is fantastic for our mission of taking over the globe but terrible when it comes to doing our laundry and splitting the bill whenever we eat out in restaurants.
What makes street photography so special for you?
As a collective super organism we now rarely get to participate in normal human life (see the moan above about the difficulties of eating out) so street photography feeds our nostalgia for how we used to exist prior to surrendering our independence for the glory of the collective. We look upon you individual humans as members of a weird primitive race and enjoy capturing moments that please us in photographs. Plus it’s something to do at the weekends now that the kids have all grown up and been assimilated.
Your colors are so unique. Few words about that?
We hand colour all our photographs with dyes made from the blood and body fluids of special volunteer drone bodies. They’ll be pleased to learn of your compliment, it might stop them moaning so much.
What do you think makes a memorable street photograph?
Much like life in a collective organism where death is evaded by our communality, we are fascinated by your fleeting mortality and how photography can appear to cheat this process by suspending moments of time forever. Therefore any photograph which communicates this conundrum is intriguing to us. We also like photos where a human is walking in front of a large advertising hoarding but unaware of its contents and how it pertains to them.
What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?
We would like our viewers to come away feeling curious as to how this photograph was taken and who took it, this may lead them to seek us out and venture close enough for us to seize them and absorb them into the collective. We are in constant need of new bodies as the older members are now little more than dried out husks.
Could you please share one photograph from your portfolio and story behind it?
This is a self-portrait from the time we went on holiday to Cannes. The small boy leading the tour was later absorbed into the collective and is now actually typing these answers. Please help me, help me…..!!!!!
What do you do to keep motivated, and not lose your passion for photography?
Our ultimate goal is global domination and absolute perfection. When these are your aims then passion and motivation are irrelevant. We will continue until we have achieved our aims. Resistance is futile. Obvs.
Which photographers have inspired you?
Many inspiring photographers such as William Klein, Diane Arbus, Elliot Erwitt, Jeff Mermelstein, Helen Levitt, Tony Ray Jones have all been absorbed into the collective.
What camera and lenses do you use the majority of the time?
All members of the collective have had their left eyes surgically removed and replaced with ultra-advanced sophisticated ocular implants. These are constantly updated at great expense by nanoprobes within our bloodstream, a bit like a firmware update. There is currently much debate within the hive mind society about whether we should go full frame and does it matter because we rarely print to any size greater than A3…
What does Stephen do when not behind the lens?
Due to the ocular implants, we are never not behind the lens but when we are not actively monitoring the every movement of your puny species we have many chores to fulfill like laundry, disposal of spent host bodies and the occasional listening to Dolly Parton albums.
What do you most appreciate in your friends?
A collective super-organism has no need for friends, we are an interlinked network unified in a group consciousness. Friends are rapidly absorbed and dominated.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Earlier this year we published a book entitled SPARKS, Adventures In Street Photography. This unassuming combination of images and texts contains all the secrets we have observed over the past two centuries, cunningly concealed as fictional stories. They are in fact all true. It is currently selling at a discount on Amazon.
What is your idea of happiness?
Achieving perfection through total assimilation. And getting a good review on Amazon for SPARKS.
Book Cover of Stephen Leslie’s Sparks
What is your favorite motto?
“We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”
Apart from photography, tell me about your hobbies and interests?
We enjoy listening to Dolly Parton. making up stories and telling huge lies.
You can find Stephen Leslie on the Web:
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Stephen Leslie. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.