Tim Mitchell - A Fish Out of Water - Documentary Photography Review Podcast

PODCAST: Tim Mitchell and A Fish Out of Water

In this Documentary Photography Review Podcast we talk to Tim Mitchell, a London based documentary photographer. Tim tells us about his journey into photography through music and the visual arts, and the challenges and positive aspects of developing as a self-taught photographer. Tim often works collaboratively with academics, and we discuss this method of working and how it can add depth to both the academic and photographic body of work.

Created in collaboration with social scientists, Tim’s recent project, A Fish Out of Water documents the breaking of a ship, the RFA Grey Rover, over two years in a dry dock in Liverpool, UK. Referred to as ‘the workhorses of globalisation’, ships slowly but surely transporting materials, influence and power across the globe. They then require huge amounts of energy and force to be dismantled at the end of their working lives and the vast quantities of hazardous materials contained within the ship become reanimated, problematic and dangerous. Once disturbed, the very materials that protected life now become a threat. An important element to this recent body of work was the use of time-lapse photography, a challenging but powerful visual tool.

Tim Mitchell is a London based photographer, whose work increasingly focuses on the issues of waste, sustainability and the environment. Tim studied Public Art at Chelsea College, then worked as an artist technician for clients such as Artangel and as a set-builder for film and television. He has worked as a photographer, artist and educator, taking on photographic commissions, workshops and teaching within the UK. Often working collaboratively, Tim’s projects document our relationship with our surroundings, with the belief that “people, places and objects hold the evidence of our values as they are used, transformed or discarded”.

Tim has exhibited in both solo and group shows in London and the Northeast of the UK.

Tim Mitchell
A Fish Out of Water

Buy a copy of Tim’s 28-page colour newspaper published to accompany the A Fish Out of Water project

Clothing Recycled

Tim’s collaborators
A Fish Out of Water:
Professor Michael A. Crang

Professor Nicky Gregson

Clothing Recycled:
Lucy Norris

Information on ship breaking
EU policy on ship recycling


Information on Clothing Recycled

Aperture Magazine

Daniel Shea

Edward Burtynsky

Everything Must Go


Paul Alexander Knox

Mark Neville

Organisations/funding bodies

Arts Council


Waste of the World

Wellcome Trust

The Photographers’ Gallery

Labyrinth Photographic

Interviewers: Chris King, Rebecca Enderby

Producer and Editor: Chris King

Featured Image: From the work ‘A Fish Out of Water’ by Tim Mitchell © Tim Mitchell