Snow Birds...

Snow Birds. Thursdays by The Sea. 2004-

I was looking for a large print to put in my bedroom, as you do, and came across this image I had not seen my Thursdays by The Sea exhibition in London back in 2009. It was well wrapped and survived my overseas move. I thought the title Snow Birds was quite fitting. Here's the definition;

"Snowbird" is a North American term for a person who migrates from the higher latitudes and colder climates of the northern United States and Canada in the southward direction in winter to warmer locales such as Florida, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, or elsewhere along the Sun Belt of the southern United States, Mexico, and areas of the Caribbean. Although snowbirds used to be associated with retired or older persons, snowbirds increasingly are of all ages. Many residents in the colder areas of the USA and Canada vacation in warmer southern locations to escape winter weather.  

OK, I'm not from North America, so the North of England will have to do. I remember the morning I made the image; I had spent the night trying to sleep in my camper van which was almost impossible at 120 degrees. The image was made around 4.00am and became one of the first images in the series. 
The building itself is actually shower units, just what you need to cool off for a few minutes before sunrise..


The lost image.

Keeler. Death Valley 2012

While going through some of my archive I was reminded of how many projects I have done that may otherwise never see the light of day again. To mention but a few, there was droughts with a lot of dried up lakes and rivers, random chairs, dumped cars, coastal views, city borders, childhood memories, lots of car parks, random still inanimate objects, human skulls and ghosts. 
I am not really sure if its easier or more difficult to keep track of images these days. I still have boxes of archive negatives that may never be printed or scanned, but then again there are all those RAW images laying dormant on a hard drive...

The above image reminded me of a Stephen Shore image which I had completely forgotten about..


We are the Night.

 Two Mirrors. Switzerland 2002
A very fine student I have been tutoring a little produced an excellent array of night images I had the pleasure to view in print form. The prints were many and simply stuck on a wall, some were big and some were small. A discussion developed with several other tutors a little concerned at the sheer volume of work and the lack of direction; Why so many prints, why are they not at eye level, why are there different sizes,  and all that jazz. But what I seen was very different. What I seen was the beginning of my Night Vision series. Images made with no formal direction, just an instinctual need to make long exposures.

Anyone who has made long exposures at night will be aware of just how addictive it can be and as I have mentioned here before the longer you spend on an image (my theory) the longer you look at it afterwards and there is a connection to the photograph you just don't get with a 'snap'.

It was a delight to walk into a room full of night time color which took me right back to my first show in Paris; Night Vision, Intimacies of an Unblinking Eye back in 2003.


Happy 4th July.

Somewhere around the Salton Sea 2015

It always feels a bit weird being in America on the day they celebrate independence from the British..
I only wish the V.W Beetle in the above image was an old Mini.


Whats this about then?

Hastings Pier. October 2010. 

As with many of my kind there is a certain fascination with photographing the ruined, dead, decaying, half destroyed landscape. Truth be told I am still not sure why it holds so much visual appeal. Maybe somewhere deep inside my subconscious there are hidden reasons waiting to get out, or may be it just looks different, and therefore interesting. But more often than not I will convince myself that it is a small historic moment that needs to be recorded. 

Malibu. November 2018

My work has always walked the fine line between documentary and fine art in that I want to document a scene, but I also want to make it visually appealing and in doing so may expand the truth a little through increased saturation, and image enhancement. However, Disaster Porn as it has become known (a crude and horrid term) is not something I wish to be associated with. 
Very often whatever drives a photographer to make images  cannot simply be explained. Photographers will often pour out all kinds of spiel in an attempt to explain and justify their work and what moved them to make an image, but more often than not its instinctual.

A mentor of mine (and I have probably mentioned it on here countless times) once told me that,
 'A photograph should always ask a question.' But that's not to say it should always give an answer.. 


Outskirts of London some time ago with a 10/8" camera.

The nights of lugging a 10/8" view camera through cold wet grass are behind me now. But I often miss those twilight's of purpose when I felt I was the only one out with a camera. 
Mention Night Photography to someone today and more often than not they will think of one of those 'Milky Way' shots where the ISO on there digital camera is turned right up picking up every detail imaginable. Amazing at first, but now everyone's at it because its easy and effective. Its a little bit like one of those long exposures of a waterfall.
As I cannot bring myself to post either a Milky Way image, or a waterfall, or a combination of the two, I will have to make do with these humble offerings...


Is that you Dawn..

Pep Boys. Hollywood. 2019

Sometimes the dawn light can be just as magical as twilight although there is a sense of working backwards as exposures get shoter rather than longer..
The Vehicular Landscape series continues..