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Showing posts from January, 2015

Never have anything to do with anyone who is known by three names, especially three first names

As a rule, of course, yes - don't read their books and avoid them if you can - they will only irritate. And they will be Men. Manly Men. Or at least men who want to be seen as Men.

But of course there are exceptions - one might be* Michael David Murphy, ex-photographer and now (?) photography show curator, interviewed here by Blake Andrews. Why listen to him? Because he has this interesting observation:

"I have a hard time when photographers say they want to "see their work in a gallery."

What's the matter with wanting to be in a gallery?

There's nothing wrong with galleries, or the desire to be in them, but it shouldn't be the end goal. It seems too narrow of a focus. Maybe your photos would work best if you teamed-up with a street-artist who could wheat-paste them on that huge underpass, you know?"

He has other insights too of course, but this is the best one in this interview IMO: he's right - photographs are not necessarily best appreciated in …

Some of Mr Charles Traub's dos; don'ts are also available

-Do fifty of them—you will definitely get a show-Do it big, if you can’t do it big, do it red-If all else fails turn it upside down, if it looks good it might work-Do Bend your knees-If you don’t know what to do, look up or down —but continue looking-Do celebrities—if you do a lot of them, you’ll get a book-Connect with others—network-Edit it yourself-Design it yourself-Publish it yourself-Edit, When in doubt shoot more
More here.

Callum, Shrewsbury Coffeehouse

Callum at Shrewsbury Coffeehouse
Callum and the other staff at the coffeehouse make the best coffee for miles around. I went there today after dropping off some leaflets advertising my photography business at various hotels and shops in the area (I didn't bring enough leaflets - that will teach me to be pessimistic). And all through the day today, prior to dropping the leaflets off or prior to asking Callum if he'd allow himself to be photographed, I was a bit nervous, a bit scared, thinking that I would be rejected. And yet ... and yet people couldn't have been kinder or more accommodating. All the venues where I dropped off leaflets were happy to have them and accepted them readily. And when I asked Callum if he minded if I took his photo he was delighted to have been asked - I'd thought "it's the wrong time, they're too busy, his boss won't like it" etc etc and none of that was true at all. 
"What would you do if you weren't afraid?&q…

Why Photograph? Blake Andrews, Roma and a raison d'etre

[Psychobabble warning - if phrases like "Working with introjects holds an important position within relational integrative psychotherapy" have you reaching for your revolver, I'd skip to another site at this point].

This is a great read and got me to thinking, again, about why it feels as if photography has chosen me, why it feels as if I have come home when I have a camera in hand and a reason to use it, or even just a fancy to do so.  I think it boils down to a sense that photography satisfies both my male and female internalised parents: what I mean is, my mother and father were fairly gender-stereotypical in some ways - my mother a liberal social worker, my father an empiricist, a scientist (a research chemist, he worked at the Chorleywood Flour Milling and Baking Research Association - FMBRA - he's at the link - NJH Dodds. I once tried to read a university thesis of his - I couldn't understand the first line - there's probably a thesis in that itself). My…

Japanese (Photographic) Style

An interesting discussion between Western photographer in Japan John Sypal and Blake Andrews on the latter's blog. When discussing the differences between Japanese and Western photographers, there is this exchange: 
JS: You know, I've never ONCE heard a Japanese photographer ever comment on form or structure of a single picture- - instead it's an overview of all of them at once in a set.
BA: So the Japanese editors don't admire single images? What about some perfect moment like Capa's dying soldier? Would they have no understanding or appreciation? The set is more important? That's the diaristic thing? The photographs are more about the photographer than the moment? I think that's one of my hangups with Moriyama or Araki. Few of their photos stand up and say "Look at me. I'm special." It's more of an overall mood.
JS: I haven't met every editor so I can't really say- but I'd argue that Araki and Moriyama have made plenty of tr…

Oh not another fecking selfie?!

Yeah, well, like I said before, I've joined this group on Flickr and, so, you know, 52 selfies in a year... Of course I'm going to have to do something a bit more creative next time - get some colour going and what have you. In the meantime, you're stuck with this, a study for the shot I put up on Flickr earlier - I actually think I prefer this one but I've been fiddling all evening with the various versions / photos and it's time to get some distance now. The camera is a decaying Rolleicord, long ago left to the ravages of time but a camera that my father used in the 1960s, and possibly 1950s, and as far as I remember up until his untimely death some 37 years ago this month. Which is a surprisingly long time, now I come to think about it.
There are no layers used to create the image of me - the camera is focused on a computer screen in a darkish room.

Samsung CLP-410 series printer - review

Snail.  Glacier.  
Take your pic (sic). Either way, you'll be waiting so long for your documents you'll configure your print jobs again only to realise that no, it really does take that long to spool and you'll likely have to chuck out the duplicates you've mistakenly printed. That said, unlike any inkjet printer I've ever used, it is able to print two sheets in a row without jamming / running out of ink / producing acid-coloured nightmares / inducing printer rage in any of a dozen other ways, so there's that. Interestingly, in the fairly cold room I use it in, it gives off a good amount of steam which makes one think that speed of use isn't the only thing Samsung have borrowed from the Victorian era. Overall, for a cheapish printer, the fact that it can print more than one page at a time without an error means that I'd likely buy another one, stupid though that makes me.

With Caitlin on The Mountain

My Favourite Thurber Cartoon

Campaign Dispatch

Paddy Ashdown and Jane talking to the press at an event in Welshpool yesterday.


Basim Magdy opening at Cecilia Brunson Projects

Film vs. Digital: Taking out the mechanical Nikon

I got a film back from the chemists today, or rather, I got the pictures and a disc of digital conversions. Note that this is a local chemist, not a professional lab, so bear that in mind before lambasting my poor efforts. This post includes a few pictures from the film and some observations about using a film camera (an FM2) for the first time in some years.

1. It takes time to finish a roll. Because it costs money, I'm not blasting out shots left right and centre - there has to be a decent possibility that I'll want to keep the shot, although because it was an experiment and a learning experience I was interested to see what the limitations of the camera were. 

In Leighton redwoods (you could smell the cordite of the hunters from here).
2. The chemists are a bit mingy with their megapixels - a lot of the shots are less than 1mb in size despite being labelled "Hi Res", thus post-processing is limited in scope. I miss the RAW files. 

Keaton, Shrewsbury Coffees…

This Year's Cat Photo

Local Artist Caitlin

Portrait of a House Part 1

Keaton, Shrewsbury Coffeehouse

Vince Manna in Wimp, the Asylum, Peckham (redux)


The Harbourmaster Hotel, Aberaeron


Got your tickets yet?

UPDATE: New venue being sought - watch this space.

Studies for Self-Portrait No. 2 2015

Some pictures taken in pursuit of a self-portrait for the Flickr group I joined at the end of December.

Ingerland: Artist's Statement

Artist Statement My work explores the relationship between Jungian archetypes and midlife subcultures. With influences as diverse as Caravaggio and Miles Davis, new insights are synthesised from both traditional and modern layers. Ever since I was a postgraduate I have been fascinated by the ephemeral nature of the human condition. What starts out as yearning soon becomes debased into a manifesto of power, leaving only a sense of nihilism and the chance of a new order. As momentary replicas become transformed through diligent and critical practice, the viewer is left with an epitaph for the possibilities of our culture.

(With thanks to David James Ross for collaboration)

Welcome to Shrewsbury

Selfie for 15 Minutes

B&W People: Still

Black and White People

Thanks to the hugely talented Hank for the beautiful music. Here's to more this year...

The Harbourmaster Hotel, Aberaeron, West Wales

Study for Self-Portrait

51 Years of Lessons: The Metaphors (2)

Each image is a metaphor for a year in my life, taken chronologically, as before, and as before all the pictures were taken on a short walk from the house today, all in the space of about 90 minutes. I didn't delete so many this time (maybe six?) and the rules were as before - don't think too much, try and get them as close to how I want them to appear as I can straight out of camera - although I've done some work on a few of them, as before, I do try and keep this to a minimum. Each one is reflective of a theme, emotion or lesson that came to mind when I was thinking of my age at the time. No pictures are missing, but 3 are misaligned - 14, 30 and 35; this is only of consequence with 35. I was more careful about getting them in the correct order this time, and I've not gone for different sizes except for, obviously, nos. 31 (an exceptional year), and 28,29 and 30 (no one needs to see those at a larger size). 26 is also larger than the others as it represents a time o…