30 July 2014

Fan Ho, Street Photographer, being interviewed on Leica Liker

Best Single advice on how to improve your work: I feel technique is not too important. It’s more important to use your eyes, mind and heart. Technique is something everyone can do. If you want to take your photography to a higher level, you must tell something. Move something. You must feel it when you make the photograph and that will take you to a higher level. Photography needs to be haunting and worth remembering.

More here

Welshpool Music Festival

28 July 2014


A couple of GX7 jpegs straight from the camera. Not as good as the Fuji X100 would have done (and even it would have been able to get these scenes in focus) but not too bad. The colour rendition is pretty faithful - not as complementary to scenery or faces as the Fuji, but perhaps more realistic. I'm a bit concerned that I'm going to be as poor at using the GX7 as I have been with the Fuji, although there is a pretty basic PnS mode on the Panasonic so maybe this will save me. The complexity of it is already frustrating me but slowly that will lessen. A bit anyway. Today's frustrations were to do with being unable to find out how to customise the AFAE button (Custom Function Menu, page 1 of 8); and how to shoot a panorama (these don't work as well as the Fuji): not in the menus, this function is reached via the mode selection dial (SCN), not the Aspect Ratio or Photo Style menu options... sigh. Soon I might have to get a Leica because of all the crap it doesn't have.

Monkey Sanctuary. Sanctuary?

20 July 2014

Welshpool C&W Festival Part II (colour)

Behold, Cucumbers: The Dreamer (Out of the Ordinary - The Dream)

Now, whilst I quite like this, it strikes me as a dubious proposition starting out as it does by taking the POV of MLK's assassins and then not really adopting any sort of moral position in respect of this. Kind of like a white trance "isn't assassination amusing" kind of thing. So, anyway, listen at your peril.

Welshpool Country and Western Festival

15 July 2014


Wedding, Slovakia

Derek Jarman's Caravaggio: What was he thinking?

Is this the most pretentious film ever made? Perhaps not (after all, there is always Greenaway), but it is the most pretentious it has been my misfortune to ever attempt to watch. Cod working class accents from Tilda Swinton and Sean Bean add to the horror, compounded by a failure to bother with a narrative - maybe the scenes are meant to be tableaux taken out of his life like his paintings, I don't know, but it all adds up to a screaming nightmare of self-regard. The sets are straight out of early Doctor Who and the ponderous camera work undoes rather than complements the beautiful lighting, the only thing the film has going for it. The voiceover is irritatingly condescending and reminiscent of an OU programme and a horribly over-extended metaphor involving money and sex meant I couldn't sit on the sofa for another second. A clunker. Avoid.

(For further elaboration, see here).

14 July 2014

30 Wedding Photos: Number 30

So, then, the last of this series. Why this one? The light. The smiles. The bridesmaid just out of frame but visible. The contrails. The banner. The fact that we'd all, me and the B&G, we'd all agreed "no cheesy photos" and yet here we are, cheesing like mad. The pink and white cover to the compostor, hastily put together by friends of the B&G the day before. Oh all this and more. None of it is perfect - the grass is thin (the house hasn't long been built); the sky is well blown-out around the sun; I'd of kinda liked a bit more DoF. But who cares - Life is there. Life and Love - I didn't keep them hanging around for ages while we set it up and got everything perfect - we did this and another shot in less than a minute. And that's the point - it is spontaneous, it happened just like that, and it is representative of John and Petra.

It was a beautiful wedding John, Petra - thank you for asking me to photograph it.

From Richard II at St Leonard's Church, Shoreditch High Street - The Malachite Theatre Company

Destination: Slovakia

So, my first Destination Wedding. Well, I'm not sure it really falls into that category - a DW normally encompasses some sort of resort / beach hotel type thing, whereas I was photographing a wedding in a town, Trencin, in Slovakia that isn't on the tourist trail. That's not to say it wasn't a great deal of fun, but a true DW? Perhaps not. Anyway, beautiful bride, lovely groom whom I knew of old (from my Quaker Camp days - a story for another time), and I felt like I was inside the denouement of the film The Unbearable Lightness of Being, albeit without the tragic lorry crash.
BTW, in the first photo those hills might be the foothills of the Tatra Mountains. They might not be, but they might.

5 July 2014

At the Andrew Logan Sculpture Museum, Berriew

The Floating Box of Dogshit

I'm not sure what the grayness is at the bottom of this - not likely to be flare as it was overcast, and the lens is relatively clean. Maybe its phantasmagoria. Whatevs. You're welcome.