SLT (Sustained Loss of Traction*) explores the phenomenon of ‘burnouts’ and the after-effects. The work highlights my interest in ‘Late Photography’ and photographing the aftermath of events. As the writer David Campany explains as ‘images appear[ing] to the viewer as particularly static, … sombre… they assume an aesthetic of utility, closer to forensic photography than traditional photojournalism or documentary.’(1)

The photographs in SLT focus on the “evidence” left behind after burnouts. The images explore different traces of the previous night, not the event itself, but the photographs are the fragments, they are traces of the trace of an event.

*Sustained Loss of Traction is the name of the criminal offence that police charge drivers who are caught in the act of burnouts.

(1) Campany, David (2003) Safety in Numbness: Some remarks on the problems of “Late Photography”’, first published in David Green ed., Where is the Photograph?, Photoworks/Photoforum, 2003.


I am very pleased to announce that my photobook SLT (published by Ramp Press 2022), was the joint winner of the Aotearoa Photobook Award 2022

Judges comments:

SLT is excellent in every aspect of its production. It is a forensic investigation of the subject and in a strange way is almost educational. The photography and design come together to form a complete whole, where the book form feels like the most appropriate outcome for the project. The simple, focused concept casts a new light on burnt-outs, transforming the rubber left by tyres into another kind of mark-making. In the words of one of the judges “It turns boy-racing into something beautiful, which I didn’t think was possible.”


Book title: SLT

Year of publication: 2022

Publisher: Ramp Press

Photographer: Mark Purdom

Designer: Alan Deare, Area Design

Book dimensions: (H) 300mm x (W) 225mm

Number of pages: 119


© 2024 Mark Purdom Photographer
Made by Duo Deisgn
Mark Purdom Photographer logo reversed