The Beautifully Haunted World of Lee Jeffries

The Beautifully Haunted World of Lee Jeffries

I came across Lee Jeffries' work on Flickr several months ago. While I am normally turned off by heavily processed portraits, these seemed somehow different. These weren't just processed for the sake of the process any more than they are just simple portraits. These are something more.

Jeffries is a self-taught photographer that resides in England. His gear is simple. He uses an "old and knackered Canon 5d mark 1, 24mm f1.4l lens and a small hand held reflector." He does all his processing in Lightroom and CS4. When I asked him about his workflow he laughed. "If I had a dollar for each time that has been asked. Fact is I process in an entirely haphazard way. I never get the same result twice. The only thing I can offer in terms of advice there is learn how to dodge and burn correctly. Through the shadows/midtones and highlights. Its that painstaking process that develops contrast at local levels and its that process that many find too tedious and time consuming."

Unfortunately Jeffries has no behind-the-scenes videos of his work process. However, he does have a very candid interview with one of his homeless subjects (a bit NSFW for language).

Though many of Jeffries' subjects are homeless, it begins to be a difficult task to separate out just who is and who isn't destitute.  His images strip away class, age, gender and race and leave us with a glaring view of the human soul. It's as beautiful as it is terrifying. But the feeling I am surprisingly left with is one of hope.

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13 Comments

Yepp, seen these before. Amazing stuff! 

Nicholas's picture

Wonderful portraits. And congratulations on becoming a part of fstoppers!

Thanks man! It's super exciting.

Andrew Griswold's picture

Just amazingly simple! Great post Nick and congrats on joining FStoppers! Really excited you were able to be added to the list of writers. Cant wait to see what you post. 

Amazing!

Harvey MacIntosh's picture

This guy blocked me on Flickr for asking a genuine, polite, well thought out question about his work, his subjects and his output; without explanation, reason or provocation. I can only be left with the opinion that he is a gigantic douche, which is sad. 

What was the question you asked?

I think "douche" is a bit harsh. He was very kind and willing to share his info with me. That said, before I was an FStopper, I messaged him on Flickr to ask him some questions and I never got a response. 

Bren's picture

He must get an extreme amount of requests for tips.  I'd probably ignore them in his position too.  Perhaps he had one too many if he blocks people.

I can't think of another photographer of this age with a style imbued with such character that it would be impossible to mistake for somebody else's work.  Fantastic. 

 Awesome work! and Great article!

WOW!!

I applaud him for being self taught and not sharing his workflow.  There are so many copycats out there and it's so refreshing to see someone this talented and independent.

Gary Martin's picture

I follow Lee on 500px. Probably in my top 3 favorite photographers.  Always turns out images that make you stare at them again and again.