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Showing posts from September, 2013


The world has looked starkly alive for the last few days, as we have enjoyed a surprise return to summer like weather. The sun never gets high in the sky as we head into October and so the shadows can be long and dramatic, the colours heightened. I started thinking about how spring and autumn are transitional seasons, new life in the spring and everything starting to retreat in autumn. But actually I suppose really all seasons are transitions, one into another, a constant cycle that is easy to take for granted. I've been experimenting with sampling colour from pictures and then using them as part of the final image. I like the purity of a single colour extracted from a photograph laid out bare to be examined. I'm fascinated by how the world around us is understood by technology, in this case a camera and a computer running software that enables them to interpret light and colour. To them the colours in these three pictures are known ( from top to bottom)  as #a1ae


Today I've been thinking about smiling, this is because I've been smiling. Yesterday I found out this blog has been shortlisted for a prize, not just any prize but The Blog North Awards. You can vote for my blog here if you would like to, and check out all the other shortlisted blogs too: Smiling is intrinsically linked to photography and has been for decades, probably since Kodak made people aware that they were creating 'memories', and that you should smile for the family album. The Brownie was the camera that made photography mass-market and Eastman Kodak's clever marketing campaigns really created a culture that we mostly adhere to today. Although we still say cheese for the camera, the family album now exists on Facebook, our computers and smart phones, I guess history will reveal how enduring these pictures prove to be.  So for your delectation today I've searched magazines from my living room for smiles and scanne

Camera Typology

The projects I do with my students always influences my own thoughts in term time. This week they have started their first second year brief which is looking at the work of the Bechers and the Dusseldorf School, thinking about and then making their own typologies. This is the systematic collection and classification of the world around us through a disciplined use of photography. In other words making photographic sets of "things that are the same but different", as one of them put it. Here is a little set of cameras that I made a year or so ago as part of a group project that has sat forgotten on my hard drive and needs an airing. If you'd like to see some other typologies I've made, follow these links: Shelf Typology Coffee Pot Typology Hydrangea Typology    

Hull Of A Pony

Okay the last of my Hull and East Yorkshire pictures. I was so tempted to call this blog post Veiny Penis but thought better of it, probably would have got a lot of hits!  One of the things I like about photography is that you are essentially converting the three dimensional into two dimensions. This is part of the challenge of making a picture, deciding how to interpret and order foreground, background, the close, the distant and everything in-between. In this case however I was just observing flat surfaces and taking pleasure noticing how people leave their mark on everyday walls, just like we have for thousands of years. 

Send In The Clowns

I love the coast, especially the British seaside. Actually it is better out of season, less people, more dramatic weather and a heightened melancholic atmosphere. So I was excited to visit coastal towns I'd never been to before on our recent East Yorkshire pilgrimage. We managed to fit three places into one day, Scarborough, Filey and Bridlington. They are different sizes and have different ambiences, which could have been partly to do with the time of day we reached each one. It reminded me a bit of a trip we do nearer to home on the west side of the country, Lytham, St Annes and Blackpool. Near together physically but miles apart in terms of the people who visit and what's on offer. The British Seaside has been a source of inspiration for many photographers and so I spend a lot of time trying to avoid making a Martin Parr or a Tony Ray-Jones influenced picture, which is hard as they are part of my creative DNA. I really liked the sight of this vintage clow

Yellow Mist

From multi storey car parks to duck eggs in a day... I couldn't resist documenting the simple beauty of these eggs as the colour was so delicate and so different to a chicken's egg. I like circles within squares too so visually everything worked for me. I've mentioned before how concrete makes me think of Basildon where I was born, well the next chapter of my early life was in rural Gloucestershire where my parents were attempting to live off the land. We had goats, chickens and yes ducks, well one duck and one drake. They had a lovely gentle nature and seemed very content with their lot sticking together like an old married couple. It's been a long time since I've eaten duck eggs and the only reason I did was due to a super reduced price in the supermarket. This is where the blog title comes from; In our local Booths they use yolk coloured labels to mark down the reduced produce, my partner describes the excited state you enter on searching th

Car Park

Having a camera is an excellent excuse for wandering free-style around a city,  Flâneur  like. I am often excited and dismayed in equal measure by the built environment, after all everything in an urban setting is the end result of a series of human decisions. This week I've been thinking about car parks. It started with this multi storey in Hull city centre. It was surprisingly empty, especially for a Saturday which isn't something I've ever seen before and it meant being able to look at it uncluttered, a bit like a college with no students (it was the first day of term this week!).  The way the concrete was cast, the fixtures and fittings all suggested a previous era, even faded signs and markings gave the impression of something past it's prime. Strange when our world is still shaped so much by the car that it should look like a relic from a previous way of living, I assume this is more to do with the centre of gravity shifting in Hul

Behind Glass

I remember as a very young child being taken window shopping. This was after hours, so the shops were closed but the windows stood proud, an advert for the products that would be available when they reopened in the morning. This would have been in Basildon where I was born. We lived in a tower block right in the centre, so any stroll would have taken in shops. This could be a phantom memory based on a photograph of me looking at Magic Roundabout merchandise in a toy shop window, but I feel like I remember it.  Sadly this pastime isn't really possible in the evenings now as most shops have metal stutters pulled down protecting the contents. However during our recent visit to East Yorkshire I did spot some intriguing, almost museum-like displays in the windows of Hull and Filey. I like the sense of care and placement involved in these arrangements, no fancy props or signs just handmade price tags and a will to lure you in.