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Showing posts from April, 2013

Five Miles

According to Google Maps my bicycle commute to work (or work to home) is exactly 5 miles. Today I slung my camera over my shoulder and took pictures en route. The photographs are mostly from bike eye view, and you can see the weather improve as I progress. Google Maps reckons it should take me 26 minutes, well maybe it does but today was a little longer to allow for composition. I did it work to home, passing through Timperley, Sale, under the M60, Stretford and then Chorlton. The best bits are travelling down the canal, through three parks and one graveyard. If you want to see my route, try this: Marc's Commute If you would like to see a blog entry from a previous cycle commute try this: DEATH ON THE CANAL

Two Trees

Seen yesterday in different parts of the city, two urban trees in Liverpool. Somehow the harsh manmade surfaces are rendered sublime by the presence of nature.


I had a really enjoyable day in Liverpool today. I was delivering my books to the libraries showing them for LOOK/13. A fulfilling experience receiving encouraging feedback and intelligent thoughts from people who deal with books of all kinds on a daily basis. I also got to meet Harjeet and Stephen in the LOOK/13 office doing what seems an almost impossible task bringing many intriguing  photography projects together under one umbrella. Not that shelter was needed today, the light was strong and intense, especially at the end of the day when I got to take my camera for a short walk. Oh and lunch with a good friend who's writing a musical!


Some photographs I took some time ago but have never got around to sharing. They were all taken in the most eccentric and fascinating second hand shop in the seaside town of Mablethorpe, just north of Skegness on the east coast. It's definitely one of those British seaside resorts that's lost it's shine, and really emotive of past times. The shop is very discreet from the outside but packed literally from the floorboards to the ceiling with 'stuff', treasure, call it what you will. It was visual overload. Everything on sale had had a previous life, lived in someone else's home and somehow ended up in this place. We spent quite some time in there and all four of us leaving with something. I got a little Rollei 35 LED camera for £2!  Check them out here if you are curious: 

Pond Life

From my occasional series (well two so far) of colours sampled from dead creatures, I present this poor frog from my allotment that didn't make it through the winter. I was really in awe studying the structure and colours of it, so beautiful. Ive noticed more and more how my relationship with nature through tending the land and growing feeds into my photography work.  If you'd like to see the other picture from this 'series':


So the postcards arrived today, please don't be any typos! The cards act as both promotional material and map for my project 'Searching' for LOOK/13 Liverpool International Photography Festival. I'm part of the Parallel Programme, bit like a fringe I suppose. It all kicks off in a month, so watch this space for more information.


I think spring has sprung at last. A short walk with my camera after work, so windy but great strong light. I ended up on King's Road again, see my last entry if you missed it: I must admit I was struggling a bit until I came across this pair right next to each other, very spring or Easter like colours and I like the contrast of the totally manmade plastic on concrete versus nature coming back to life in the form of the yellow forsythia. 

The Strange Ordinariness of King's Road

I've mentioned the King's Road in previous posts, as it is one of the routes I take if I'm walking into Manchester. It's a long road skirting or cutting through Chorlton, Whalley Range, Stretford, Firswood, Old Trafford and depositing you at the edge of Hulme, Moss Side and town. It's more or less completely residential, being mostly 1930's semis and then eventually Victorian or Edwardian red bricks. On the surface it is mundane, ordinary, life goes on and people come and go, curtains twitch, traffic passes. However if you walk slowly and really look, there are all sorts of clues to individuality, evidence of lives being lived now, of times past but still rendered visible in this moment. I think I'm always trying to suspend my usual way of looking, instead I try to view the world as some kind of sculpture, an arrangement of parts, objects and colours. I'm often thinking about narratives too, attempting to fill in the gaps, join up the dots, what has h

Heart & Soul

With a month to go before LOOK/13 - Liverpool International Photography Festival, I thought I should offer up a little  tease of the work in progress for my project. I can honestly say I've put my heart and soul into this one and it has forced me to approach the creative process in a more physical, hand-on way. It has at times been quite frustrating trying to get all the parts of the project to connect up but (famous last words) I think it might be nearly there. So here are a couple of pictures to whet your appetite and watch this space for more information and images soon.


I know I'm guilty of finding the past in the present whilst photographing the world, but my trip to Derby seemed to be a particularly emotive of earlier eras. Although it is obviously a forward looking place, I imagine the rate of redevelopment isn't as frantic as in larger cities, so there is still plenty of evidence of the 1960's and 1970's. I particularly liked The City Art Gallery with it's beautiful stair-wells (3rd picture) and we stumbled across a preserved laundrette on the way through a housing estate to the university (2nd picture). My favourite picture though was the grey mosaics topping and tailing a modern window (4th picture) which contained it's own improvised abstract window dressing created out of cardboard boxes. Speaking of vintage, it is the last day to watch the excellent Tomas Leach documentary about Saul Leiter, the American photographer now in his 90th year. If you're not familiar with his work, have a look as it is


Well now I've got your attention... Excellent day trip today to Derby with Mike Stephens . We went to look around Format before it finishes this weekend. I really enjoyed it, well what's not to like, a whole compact city filled with contemporary photography work. For me the highlights were The Chocolate Factory, Erik Kessels' Album Beauty at Quad and the range of works at The University. Not to forget many hours of geeky and occasionally philosophical conversation. Onesie lady was spotted in the shopping centre on the way back to the car.

Manchester Red & Blue

Apologies if I over-blog this week, it might be cold but it is great light and I'm not at work, so walks with my camera are the order of the day. I'd taken these two pictures within 10 minutes of leaving the house, and strangely when I took them I was only really seeing the red. It was only when I got back that I saw the red and blue in both images. Sorry if you were expecting something about football... wrong blog.

Stripes & Turn-ups

This is part two of the set of pictures from our travels to Exeter this weekend. One of the things that I've been mulling over recently was how my approach to photography has subtly altered the last year or so, going from using a large medium format camera to a pocketable Olympus Pen. Apart from the obvious change from film to digital there is a noticeable shift in how I'm viewed by others. It affords a certain amount of invisibility as it looks like a compact camera, and I use it by looking at the screen rather than through a viewfinder. We are all so used to seeing people gazing at phones or tablets this way that it doesn't mark me out as a photographer. I also like that it separates me from the large camera, long lens brigade!  I was pleased to see that Daidō Moriyama also works this way on the streets of Tokyo with an even more compact camera: I was very impressed with The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter which reo

Pinch, Punch

It's been a busy weekend, not least because it was Easter, the clocks went forward and now it's April Fools' day. We went to visit friends in Exeter, Devon which can be a bit of a haul normally driving down the M6 and M5, especially at holiday time. However we flew from Manchester airport which is quite amazing, 45 minutes instead of 7 hours. So we got to spend time with our good friends and I think being in a different place and seeing a bit of sunshine over stimulated me as I did make a lot of photographs, so I'll split this blog entry into two parts.  I usually try to avoid joining in the chorus of 'oh it's been a long winter...' but this year it does seem to have gone on for practically half the year. So a blast of sunshine made colours sing and being in a different place really helped me see with a renewed vigour. I think because I don't have children spending time with them is refreshing, seeing the world thro