Nick Knight

Nick Knight is a British fashion photographer born on the 24th November 1958 in London. He is also the founder and director of (

His father and mother were a psychologist and physiotherapist respectively [Reference 2].

Nick Knight studied at the Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design. In 1982 he published his first book of photographs called Skinhead while still a student. This resulted in a commission for the magazine i-D, which in turn resulted in Knight being commissioned to photograph the 1986 catalogue of designer Yohji Yamamoto.

In November 2000 he launched SHOWstudio and in 2016 was commissioned to take the official portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles for the former’s 90th birthday.

Knight has many publications to his name and has exhibited around the world since 1982.

A list of these publications and exhibitions can be found on the Wikipedia page about him [Reference 1]. 

Part 2 Image: The Portrait Project 4: Three techniques –Exercise 2.12: Pixel Painting

In 2015, Nick Knight gave an interview during which he talked about using an iPhone and phone apps to take pictures during a shoot and then edit them [Reference 5]. The images that accompany the article contain flashes of colour which, could possibly have been achieved during the shoot but are more likely the result of digital manipulation. The subtle way that some of the effects have been achieved leaves you unsure as to whether they are the result of digital manipulation, but other effects leave you without any doubt that they have been. In the image of the girl on the bike for instance, the colour that foundations around the bike from the front wheel must be the result of editing during post-production.

The close-up portrait of the guy with the moustache, has a patch of colour on the hair at the side of his head; which could have been hair dye but was more likely added afterwards.

Looking at all the images, the splashes of colour almost have a signature too them.

Nicola Formichetti’s first capsule collection for Diesel was shot by Knight [Reference 4] and was shot entirely using an iPhone and using image manipulation applications. If a photographer of Knight’s standard can achieve results good enough for an advertising campaign using a phone camera and some phone apps, which could be implied from the article, then using a digital camera and photo editing software on a desktop computer should allow for far greater possibilities.

Nick Knight’s own website [Reference 2] provides a number of examples of image manipulation. Allowing the home screen to scroll through it’s selection of images results in a several examples worth examining in more detail.

The Alexander McQueen, 1997 image of the nude girl has been heavily edited. Her waist has been narrowed, horns are growing out of her side and shoulder, one leg looks like it belongs to a goat. These aren’t just manipulating pixels but some serious image manipulation. As much as changes like these might be interesting, the skill required is beyond my abilities at this time.

Dolls, SHOWstudio, 2000 is an image that would be more achievable using pixel painting. Although some of the colour on the model’s face could have been applied through the use of make-up, her body has been edited in post-production.

In my first attempt at pixel painting for exercise 2.12 I thought that the effect I’d achieved looked artificial and over the top. Seeing what Knight has achieved in Dolls, I now feel that I didn’t go far enough.

Blade of Light, Alexander McQueen, 2004 is another image that could have been achieve in camera with some very careful stunt work and positioning of people but if it had been then there is the distinct possibility that someone would have got hurt. Even if most of the work had been done in camera the light effect in the middle of the image has to have been added in afterwards to get the right effect. Adding light into an image, would be something interesting to try in a portrait.

The Alexander McQueen, 2010 image with the model covered by various snakes is yet another example of image manipulation, this time with the colour of the snake having been changed so that it becomes difficult to see where the model and the snakes are separate at times, the choice of costume for the model helping with this blurring.

Roses I, 2012 is I think the best example of image manipulation. The way the roses melt and drip down the image has been very skilfully done and reminds me of where a painter may have slashed paint across a painting with a palette knife or brush.

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore Catalogue, Somerset House, 2013 is another great image. The blurring softens everything, and I love the way the black and white stripes across her torso continue the black and white stripes on her dress and are then echoed at the bottom of the photo.

There are lots more examples of images being manipulated, and it would be very easy to carry on describing them but the above give an example of what is possible when you manipulate images. The challenge is to achieve the same.


  1. Wikipedia. Nick Knight Available at: Accessed: 30th January 2018.
  2. Nick Knight. Nick Knight Available at: Accessed: 30th January 2018.
  3. Philby Charlotte. My Secret Life: Nick Knight, Fashion Photographer, 52 Available at: Accessed: 30th January 2018.
  4. Bradley, Laura. Nick Knight on the Changing Face of Fashion Photography Available at: Accessed: 30th January 2018.
  5. Raphael, Sarah. Showstudio – Nick Knight’s digital fashion concept. Available at: Accessed: 30th January 2018.



3 thoughts on “Nick Knight”

    1. Thanks Sarah.
      I was supposed to go swimming Tuesday but I had got so deep into researching Knight and writing this up that I skipped it. I’ve just got to turn that fire towards the exercises and assignment 2 now.


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