James Huse

A fresh graduate of Kingston University’s Graphic Design and Photography course, James Huse has an impressive range of photographic, graphic, and interactive design projects in his portfolio…

He is already the proud owner of a yellow D&AD pencil and received a Best New Blood award for An Abrupt End, a series of images created collaboratively with course colleagues Josh Eaton and Steve Keylock. Huse is currently working as a freelance interactive designer at AllofUs in London which, needless to say, isn’t a bad first job out of college.

Huse’s work is invariably concept driven. Ideas inform approaches which in turn lead him to create a piece of work or a series of images that he hasn’t exactly pre-conceived, but which have emerged at the end of a process. Take, for example, his Chemical Indifference photographs of frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) reacting with water. Huse had originally planned to buy a tub of dry ice himself, but came across an exhibit at the Science Museum in London that sees a conveyor belt dropping small lumps of dry ice onto the surface of a round vat of water. So Huse set up his tripod and camera at the exhibit and began to take shots and embrace a learning curve. “It took a long time to get the shots I ended up with,” he reveals. “I used a 100mm macro lens and there were lots of issues with shutter speed and also with camera shake.” With the help of a sturdy tripod, after much experimentation, Huse found he could point a flash straight up, effectively bouncing the light off the ceiling above the exhibit, and finally captured the kind of shots he had hoped to take.

With regard to his stunning images of bursting milk-filled balloons, created collaboratively with fellow students Josh Eaton and Steve Keylock, Huse reveals the secret was in the timing. “The set up was a [milk-filled] balloon tied to a piece of string hanging from the ceiling and a microphone nearby attached to a special trigger which was connected to a standard flash unit rented from the university,” he explains. “Josh had to kneel practically underneath the balloon with a craft knife on a pole. As soon as the knife touched the balloon, the sound caused the trigger to go off. Oh, and we had to do all of this in pitch black, as the shutter of the camera was open for about two seconds to allow time for the reaction to take place. It was only the flash that exposed the images. It took ages to work out and set up, and there were lots of lessons learnt as we went along. I think that’s what made it such a satisfying process. The thing that keeps me interested in any project is always having something new to learn.”


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