23 May 2012

19 May 2012

World Press Photo Award beckons...

Well, it isn't quite "hold the front page" but hey, it's progress of a sort. Here.


With someone as beautiful as this, portraits become a fish/barrel situation.

16 May 2012

Mervyn King: an anagram of "Useless Waste of Space"?

Serious question: why is MK still employed? According to him in 2008, banks didn't need any more regulation and pretty much ever since then he has been wrong about growth and wrong about inflation. How much would we save by sacking him?

In unrelated news (?), I got a letter from my bank telling me what percentage of my vast deposits on hold with them I would get back if they went bust. Thanks - watching the news about Greece much?

15 May 2012

Remember, 99.9% of street photography is failure

The idea that it is overwhelmingly about failure comes from Alex Webb whose wonderful photos you can see here. So, what puts the two pictures above firmly in the 99.9%?

Let's start with the b&w. Aside from my over-heavy use of contrast which darkens the main subject's eyes too much (but which I'm not going to change now - maybe if the shot were better?), the main problem as I see it is a lack of balance. Sure, one gets a bit of a surprise when one examines the pictures and one's eye comes to the woman on the right only after exploring the rest of the street first, but the problem is there is simply not enough of interest in the rest of the street to draw one's eye back for another inspection. If you are anything like me, you look first at the man walking (and his foot in the air is good - increases tension), then at the lamppost, then at the black woman in the raincoat, then lastly one notices the woman looking angrily into and then out of the frame. But then what? That is all there is, there is little to go back for. It is nearly worth keeping, but not quite. (BTW, I'm sat the other side of a cafe window on a low stool taking this shot - the window isn't particularly clean and there are reflection problems you might notice as well - these aspects don't ruin the picture, but they don't help).

And the colour shot? Well, the angle is wrong - I should have been in parallel with the bin such that only the front of it was visible thereby giving a flattened field of view and increasing the absurdity of the juxtaposition. The bound rear legs of the deer are a nice touch, but it should be looking at the camera, not the wall - there isn't quite enough life to it otherwise. The colours are nice and harsh and contrasty and the relative sizes of the bin and the deer are fine, but something, a spark, is missing.

So, back to the search for that elusive 0.1%.

13 May 2012

Signs of Summer?

Good weekend?

Let me count the ways:
1. Dropping someone off to stay in sheltered accommodation. Mmm hmm, as powerfully positive an experience as you might imagine it to be.
2. Gout, attack of. Ouch. My own fault (little water, lots of nuts and blueberries, some red wine Friday night, bitter last night) but still, ouch. By the way, did you know that an attack of gout makes childbirth look like getting a splinter?* Also, Britten's Cello Suite no. 1 sounds a bit like an attack of gout.
3. Emptying 3 months' worth of bagged up dog turds from a water-filled receptacle into a bin bag. I haven't done anything so horrible since the incident involving the over-full chemical toilet, the Robin Reliant and the Quakers.
Anyway, enuff. Here's a picture of some Sunday-evening riversiders who appear to have had a lot better time of it this weekend than yours truly. 


6 May 2012


Once you have mastered technique, good photography is about courage.

4 May 2012

Uh oh, the "sorry I haven't been posting" post...

Sorry about the lack of recent posts - been a bit busy with the Brighton event, amongst other things. More anon.

M, Soho