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John Laurie

Work / Photography

Photographer John Laurie explores sports culture in Uzbekistan

John Laurie takes the kind of photos that make you genuinely question your existence. His Instagram page is a portal to places you’d rather be: dusty Mexican vistas, tents pitched on glorious cliff edges, sweeping Chilean mountain ranges, the glassy waters which circle remote Indonesian islands.

For John, photography and travelling go hand in hand: the photographer found his craft after studying marketing, working for ad agency Leo Burnett, and then promptly packing it all in for a trip round the world. These days, he shots commercial and editorial work for clients including Gourmet Traveller, Lonely Planet and Great Northern Brewing Company, but it was his personal work that had us intrigued.

“Whilst on assignment for any magazine, I always keep an eye out for counter cultures, sub cultures or collectives,” John tells It’s Nice That. “It’s an endemic part of my photography and a lot of photographers generally. That search for groups of people doing things that are interesting in interesting authentic places.”

On a recent trip to Uzbekistan, John happened across a sports hall. “We were having lunch at a local eatery and it was discussed how important sport was to the Uzbek culture so we went exploring that afternoon in the city of Bukhaha and stumbled across this gym. Immediately I was drawn to the architecture and quality of light and the authentic quality of the place. It was really stopped in time. Its impossible to recreate these sort of environments. They either exist or they don’t and it’s really just about capturing them in the most honest way.” Serene, simple, and slightly intriguing, the series reveals as much about the photographer as the world he documents.

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