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Showing posts from November, 2012

Quiffed & Cropped

I'm off to get a haircut. Funny what the universe can tell you when you are out and about. 

Watch This Space

Along with many of the residents of the East End of London, my parents set up home in Essex in the late 1960's which means I'm lucky enough to have Basildon on my passport as my place of birth (cough). Sadly I only got to spend the first two years of my young life there before being whisked off to rural Gloucestershire. However to this day for some reason I always associate moulded concrete blocks used to build perimeter walls with Basildon. I don't know if this is a phantom memory or actually a very early memory but it's stuck. Anyway these two photographs were made on separate occasions but seemed to work as a pair, architectural space making a visual link between the two very different materials and colours. I've never returned to Basildon but feel it could be a rich source of photographic inspiration. Watch this space, so to speak.

Walk Towards the Light

Three quotes from some old school photographers, and three pictures from me... “Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.” Henri Cartier-Bresson “A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know.”  Diane Arbus “Photography is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”  Alfred Stieglitz

Viva Moz

I've been thinking about the exotic recently which might seem odd as I was walking down the Kings Road in Stretford at the time. However I was wondering if what is ordinary to me is exotic to someone else, after all familiarity breeds contempt, apparently.  I was pondering on the fact that Sally Mann, William Eggleston and a range of other American photographers document the 'local', the things they see everyday and are all around them. To me their pictures take me somewhere else, to places I've not been and so I was wondering is South Manchester a curious novelty to people in other continents? Just at that moment I reached a bridge that I've never noticed before, that crosses the tram tracks running parallel to the road. It is behind the houses so quite discrete, but the light was such that it's strange dated Metrolink colour scheme was glowing. As I walked across it I realised it was covered in Morrissey and Smith lyrics and other related graffiti. A ligh


My thoughts are still being influenced by seeing the William Klein and Daido Moriyama exhibition at Tate Modern last week. Amazing how pictures can get under your skin and colour how you see everything after that. I've also just watched the William Klein Imagine show on the BBC, wow what an interesting, complex character. His approach to photography is very different to mine, although as Martin Parr pointed out in the programme we are probably all children of Klein. Strange how the avant garde soon becomes the mainstream.  I also watched some inspiring video clips following Moriyama out and about in Tokyo with his camera and immediately felt a kinship with him. For a start he uses a small compact camera and takes many photographs everyday, quite instinctively, being in his 70's doesn't seem to get in his way. He says: "My approach is very simple - there is no artistry, I just shoot freely. For me, photography is not about an attempt to create a

City Inside a City

I'm a big fan of large photographic prints placed in the urban landscape, its something we seem to see more and more, usually advertising of course.  It often creates a sense of disorientation, a surreal mix of the physical and two dimensional, two examples here taken on consecutive days during the London trip.

Keep Right

Keep right, out of context makes me think it is some kind of instruction from the powers that be to do the right thing, be good, stay out of trouble...  A few more pictures from our London trip, picking up on some blue in the city. Surprising how calm it can seem in such a large town if you duck out of the crowds and explore the back streets.

Meyerowitz Made Me Do It

I was actually trying to photograph the architecture when this scene unfolded in front of my eyes, as my finger hovered over the shutter I heard Joel Meyerowitz in my head shouting "now!" so I did. I like the way they are each doing something with their hands, and each person is of a different ethnic origin, sums London up well.  If you're not familiar with Meyerowitz, here is a great example of his use of light, shadow and colour: Copyright Joel Meyerowitz

Dorothy Rides the Piccadilly Line

If you've visited my blog before you may be aware of my feeling that photography is able to convey some of the magic and mystery of being on planet Earth. I've been in London this week with my students seeing various photography exhibitions. On Tuesday we travelled to the V&A for the Light from the Middle East exhibition, which is excellent incidentally. After seeing the show I had 20 minutes in the cafe with my friend Clare who works there, she mentioned that the iconic red shoes from The Wizard of Oz were there on display for a limited time if we wanted to see them. Unfortunately we didn't have time, but as a weird consolation, I spotted these worn by a 21st century Dorothy on the tube on the way back to the hotel.

A Polaroid Camera from 1967

I took some of my old Polaroid cameras into college yesterday for the second year students to experiment with and their enthusiasm and success inspired me to experiment today. So I took my Polaroid 230 camera out onto the streets of Chorlton, loaded with Fuji instant film and revisited some more of the fading hydrangeas. It felt a bit strange sitting outside peoples houses with a Polaroid under my armpit timing two minutes, but the peel aparts made it all worth it and nobody seemed to notice. So here are the results, posing in my home, inside and outside all mixed up... Oh and here is the camera:

Neoplasticism in Suburbia

Well a pretentious title never hurt anyone. I went for a walk with my camera this Sunday morning, and remembered that actually it can be quite useful to be a bit sleepy and not fully engaged with the world when making pictures. This image made me think of the De Stijl works of the early 20th Century, the world stripped down to shape and a reduced palette, or maybe I'm just not quite awake yet.

Cardboard & Parcel Tape

This is a photograph of such a simple, domestic act, packing up a parcel to return some rejected goods bought online. I really like the composition and colours, but also that there is a story embedded in there too, of change and the impact of the internet on our lives. Strangely the postal service has lost out and benefitted in a single stroke. We don't write letters much anymore, nor do we send postcards from our holidays, as we are constantly in touch with each other thanks to text, email, Facebook, etc. However we visit the real high street less and less and the virtual high street more and more, so someone has to deliver all those cardboard boxes...