Sea Spaces..

Amidst the dross of Blub books (a high quality book for fifteen pounds, give me a break) I came across the work of Don Tremain. You may not want to look through his entire website as it is colossal and not the kind of photography I wish to promote here. However there is a real gem of a project in there called Sea Spaces which I find quite brilliant. I don't care how it was shot, I just love the idea and the fruity colours. Its the most original thing I have seen in a long time.



I hate bank holidays, always have, always will. But its Tuesday now so back to business and what am I talking about....

For the past few weeks I have been venturing out into the Urban Sprawl of London in the evenings. Its the first time I have done anything like this for about seven or eight years when back in the day I took my Mamiya 7 everywhere I went. Things are quite different this time as I am using my almighty 15 kilos of 10/8. But the weight and sheer girth of my camera/portable TV is not the issue when shooting in the historical back streets of the great smoke, it is in fact the vast amounts of security in 21st century, otherwise known as paranoia. Hand car wash's, recycle bins, pedestrian crossings, ice cream vans (not a joke), open sports grounds, parks etc, etc.. I must have appeared on more CCTV screens than a bank robbing Hoodie.. But lets face it, I never trespass, I am as inconspicuous as Mr Blobby with my huge camera and sometime luminous vest, and above all, I produce lovely pictures. So far I have stuck to the Outer Limits (working title of project) of London and would love nothing more than to stroll down to the Thames and do my own take on London's finest tourist spots. But how long would it take to get stopped in my tracks. This is not what I would expect from a free country my friends, but we all know this is what would happen.... But, maybe I will take my chances. Watch this space...


More mist, more darkness...

I know nothing about Will Govus but have seen a few of his images while finger mouse surfing the web. At first I liked the images. Mist, Night, and long exposures always float my boat. However, when I returned to view them again I felt nothing and found the images, shall we say a little watery. This is not to say there not good images, I just think there is so much of this particular style of work (including my own) around at the moment its begining to bore me. If I was to be really critical of Will's work I would say the composition on a lot of the night work seems a little off/cluttered (personally speaking). Having said that, I really like the two above.

A plate of Tate..

The few of you who read this blog may have noticed a slow down in my posting, well thats because everyone is either on holiday (see last weeks post) or too depressed (as the country talks itself into a resession) to read my jolly writings. So, negative thoughts aside I thought I would mention a few bits of Doyle-ness to your day....

Not that long ago I used to have a 'Cultural Thursday' with my old friend Max. Sometimes it would be a show, sometimes an art film. But more often than not we would see an exhibition. Today I decided to refresh the old cultural mind (without my friend I am afraid) and check out the Street and Studio exhibition at the very fine Tate Modern. Its a really great show looking at the origins of street and studio portrait photography up to the modern day.
The show is superb, even if you are not into portraiture, and gives real insight into the origins of much of the work we see today. I always find the vintage work far more interesting than the modern, in particular the quality of the images. It really is fasinating to see how much the quality changes over a century from a pin sharp beautifully rich in tones black and white 10 by 8" print of the 1880's to a soft grain washed out colour print the size of a billboard of the 1990's. I have stated my case here on the blog before regarding these 'personal issues' regarding quality and wont go there again today....

Its a great show so check it out (only one week left!)



Well with everyone on holiday (at least thats what it always feels like in August) there doesn't seem to be much going on. I always try to use these times to print up work I have not got round to doing, researching possible locations and plan future projects, well at least thats what I should be doing. But today I went through some of my old work (taken on various trips, see right) which got me thinking about the fact that I have never really had what most people term as a holiday. For most people a holiday is laying in the sun, seeing a few interesting places, and usually eating and drinking to near death each day.
The problem I have always had (if you can indeed call it that) is that if I am going somewhere new, I simply must take a camera, and I dont mean a snappy snap for capturing all those happy memories, no, I am talking about the same camera I use for my work (just imagine if Shackleton never took a camera with him, and that was a big camera). I guess it relates to the old saying; 'better to have it (camera) and not need it, than not have it and need it' that always makes me take that extra bag..

As my wife is a photographer she kind of understands where most would not. lets face it, there will always be times in a relationship when you both want to do other things on a holiday (flower arranging, watching bull fights or perhaps mud wrestling, climbing the big mountain etc..). A holiday with a camera is just the way I function, and I know I am not the only one. Opportunity plays a big part in all photography, especially regarding landscape, and therefore it makes perfect sense to me. In fact , the camera takes priority over everything else, well all you need are a pair of trunks and a towel..

I have never regretted taking my camera anywhere, even if I never unpack it. Its heavy, its awkward, its always checked at security, and its always a worry that it may get damaged, or stolen. People think I am crazy. But whats more daft, taking a big camera round the world and producing some fine photographs, or a suitcase full of clothes that will never be worn but still get creased....I rest my case (case, get it..)

I do have to admit to taking my camera on our honeymoon, which is where most would draw the line, but I did get some great shots....

In Public.

I saw this fantastic shot by Matt Stuart (above) somewhere on the world wide web and it took me to the In Public website which really has a fountain of fabulous images.
I am a big fan of 'Street Photography' (if I may be so bold to call it that) and have nothing but admiration for photographers who work in this way. Gone have the days when I would carry a camera everywhere now opting for a camera the size of a small television which is as discrete as an ice burg in the desert... You may also like to check out the work of Adrian Fisk, also on the Public site, an old friend from my college days who now lives a life of adventure somewhere in India eating baked frogs and shooting worthy projects.


Well Corny...

Life is full of cliches, especially when it comes to photography. Rainbows over a meadow, kittens in a basket (with a ball of wool), windmills at dawn, any sunset, old men's faces, fat babies covered in chocolate, most wedding photographs, anything associating with the 'camera club', and my very favorite, a field of golden corn in stormy weather. So imagine my delight whilst strolling along the Scottish coastline when I witnessed the sky beginning to bruise over a golden crop of corn. I would challenge any photographer not to be moved by such scenes. Who cares if its been done a thousand times, who cares if its not original, and who cares if its a cliche.

All thats missing is a nice bit of lightning...


Shot Of The Week. Christian Houge.

I first met Christian Houge way back in November 2004 (or was it 2005) at Paris Photo where we where both exhibiting. We talked for many hours about photography and have always stayed in touch via the web. I don't think I have ever met a more likeable photographer and one so open about his work. Of course I would never of met Christian had I not liked his work so much, in particular the Artic Technology series (traveling in the Artic circle on a skiddo armed with a camera and a rifle, what could be better..(the camera a 6/17 panoramic, the rifle for the odd angry Polar Bear, or may be snow villians))

I recently received an email from Christian telling me he has just had his website re-vamped. I would urge you to check it out. The work is fantastic and although the images on the site are of high quality, the prints (the ones I have seen) are breath taking.

Ian Parry Award.

You will no doubt of heard that Vincente Jalme Villafranca won the splendid Ian Parry Award. I was at the opening in the jungle like heat on Wednesday evening and the standard of the work really was exceptional, especially considering that these guys are so dam young. These events always attract old friends and allies within the photographic realm and tonight was no exception which is why I have always refrained from drinking too much allowing my tongue to say things beyond my control, things like; "Yes, I never did like you at college, you swine." or "That was my idea you swine." or even "May be I should of invested in that studio which is now part of a worldwide business, you swine..."

My favorite body of work was that of Matt Eich who also has an excellent website here.
Its a real shame there are not more awards of this type, maybe there are and I just have not seen them, and no the 'Take A View' with your mobile phone competition does not count.


Ready, Load, Gone...

Well it was expensive, easily damaged, not good in damp wet weather, useless in the wind and on occasion a bit temperamental. But Kodak Readyload was my staple from the day it was first released. Admittedly I also use dark slides, but for travelling light and dust free negs, it was pretty cool stuff.
The loss of the Readyload isn't such a bad thing, after all it cost more than double boxed sheet film. My only concern is that cut films will be next thing to go given that the industry is governed by the amateur market and profits a kimbo. But before I start replacing my ice pops in the freezer with large format film I will carrying on regardless and remain the optimist (and traditionalist) that I am.