As I am currently working my way around the UK's coastline I thought I would zip up the M25 and spend another rainy Monday in Southend where the Thames meets the sea.
The sky was dark, the shops were shut and the theme park closed which must of been a disappointment for all the teenage mums with toddlers on wrist leads dressed in shell suits. I have always found with a lot of sea side towns that there is a slightly sinister undertone behind the scenes of the jolly promenade. On a few occasions I felt like I was being checked out and may at any time be attacked by a youth group thinking my camera was some valuable digital number. But I dont intimidate easily and fortunately did not have to remove the blade from my boot and take them all to task.
The biggest shock of the day was asking the young girl behind the donut counter if I could photograph the front of her stall. A pretty girl at first, but unfortunately her one and only big tooth let her down, her Nanny McFee status probably due to all those sugary doughy delights. I was taken back to the days when my Aunt Morag removed her false teeth and chased me round the living room until I wept and gave in to a gummy kiss...
So there you are, no shouting at the mountains, or groin chaffing, or getting trapped somewhere silly. Just a wet afternoon by the sea..
Ten years on I seem to have found an inner peace with photography and really enjoying looking at other photographers work (hence things like this blog). The jealousy has all but vanished, the bitterness now a sweet tingle. I do have to admit that the first thing I look at when I see work I love is to check out the age of a photographer making sure they where born before 1972, silly I know, but its rare to find maturity in a body of work by a sixteen year old. If I did maybe I would clench my fists and break out in a meaty one, but I doubt it.
So back to Dave Jordano (born 1948) who's amazing work can been seen here. This is one guy who just keeps producing incredible work. You never know, may be he will read this blog, and then may be he will check out my date of birth.
There is something oh so 'Joel Sternfeld' about Joshua Lutz's work. So it comes as no surprise to learn that he works out of New York with a 10/8 camera photographing landscape and the people within it.
His Meadowlands series is quite beautiful and I would urge you to check it out, but if I may be so bold, Lutz, like myself, is not quite there yet. Let me explain. All the images are fantastic, real thinking mans stuff. But when images like this are thrown together they simply dont sit well side by side. Its a problem I too encounter when trying to sit a night shot next to an image made in the middle of the day. But this is what happens when you are trying to do a large body of work. Theres gaps to be filled, but this can take many years. But what are we to do in the mean time, show nothing! I really believe this is the case with Lutz (although I may be way off). Its a jumble, but a jumble of fine images which do think will be something wonderful when its complete, if that is indeed his intention.
A nice chap in the gallery yesterday told me how refreshing it was to see a body of work where all the images are different instead of the 'usual series' where upon the images all look quite similar. I did certainly feel that this current show is a bit of a 'jumble'. But my intention has always been for people to view 'one' image at a time and not the whole lot all at once, that's just boring.
I think most photographers need time. Time to mature, time to finish the project, time to reflect, time to sell out the editions, and time to try and make a living. The world is just too impatient and wants everything yesterday, including all the images you have ever taken. Its a photographic cannibal and it needs to slow down..
MARCUS DOYLE EN LUMIÈRE
d’un long processus d’attente afin d’obtenir
la lumière adéquate pour créer la scène
parfaite. Son utilisation de la couleur, sa
connexion avec l’environnement et sa quête
du détail sont à l’origine de la qualité de
son travail. Avec les séries « Urban Sprawl »,
il explore l’interaction entre hommes et
paysages urbains, notamment à Carlisle,
sa ville natale au nord de l’Angleterre. Marcus
Doyle, « The House Martin and the Cinema ».
Du 11 mars au 17 avril. Diemar/Noble
Photography, 66/67 Wells Street W1T 3PY.
Exert from French Photo Magazine, you know the one with lots of naked ladies...
As you may know by now I am a sucker for the 'beauty in decay', and the land that goes with it, so the work of Eric Lusito has to be a fine example. Admittedly I am close to saturation point with all this decay business (as much as I love it) but I do find Lusito's work quite refreshing, one reason maybe because I tire of Chernobyl or the Katrina aftermath and its constant redux in photography.
'After the Wall, Traces of The Soviet Empire' is a fine piece of work. I picked up the book the other day in a moment of rain drenched weakness in town after refusing to pay seven quid for the new look BJP and wanted some photographic inspiration (I have looked at my show images for too long). When I look through the book I feel this is a photographer who has put a lot of time and thought into his images. So often is the case that when we are subject to positive photographic potential we 'fluff' the images by just wanting to get it on film in case something happens rather than slowing down and thinking about composition and light. I have always had a similar feeling with the likes of Stephen Shore and others like him but feel this may be an unfair comparison as the work is so different.
I can't help thinking these days that a lot of the so called 'big' names in contemporary landscape photography just don't deserve a lot of the good press they are getting (especially British photographers). People need to look outside the box., may be they should start with Eric Lusito.
You can see a good bit of this wonderful work here.
This was sent to my wife today.
I was wondering if you could send me a very high res photo of Christian Bale, for Empire's 20th shoot
I would like to blow it up and have it on my wall at uni
Its the one, where Bale is leaning of the table of business cards and an axe
Any help would much be appreciated
I never liked students, even when I was one.
Its been twelve years since my parents came to visit me here in London (Oh London's too fast for me son, and the beers far too expensive). And even now they have no real understanding of why I do what I do, although they do think its 'lovely and great...' But sometimes this is enough.
One things for sure with my folks, you will always get an honest (very honest) opinion. And one with no outside influence or fluffy edges...
'That's class that is."
"Well I wouldn't put that one on my wall."
"How did you get up there.."
And my favourite;
"Bloody hell, how much!" Although that could of been from anyone.
I'm Still recovering..
From the Torness series, part of the By Coastal series, part of the Urban Sprawl series, part of the Doyle Retrospect..
This is what will happen if no one buys any of my work.
Its not a plea, its just an opportunity to show my lovely photograph.
There's actually a Rainbow where the sea meets the sky but you can't really sea it (see what I did there). But thats because this image is smaller than the neg..
Instant headache for Polaroid shooters
Taken from the BJP.
Sotheby's will auction off a unique collection of photographs in June. But some of the high-profile artists who shot them aren't happy
Nine-Part Self Portrait by Chuck Close, courtesy of Sotheby's.
There are times when copyright is rendered meaningless, especially when a law court fails to grasp the uniqueness of an artwork, and the fate of the Polaroid Collection is a pertinent example of this.
Built over the past four decades, the collection holds between 16,000 and 24,000 Polaroids, shot by an impressive line-up of the world’s greatest artists and photographers, including Ansel Adams, Andy Warhol, Chuck Close and Robert Frank.
On 21 June, 1200 of these Polaroids will go under the hammer at a one-of-a-kind auction in New York – much to the dismay of some of the artists who shot them.
The auction stems from the collapse of Polaroid last year, after its parent company found itself embroiled in a Ponzi scheme. In August 2009, a Minnesota Bankruptcy Court approved a request from PBE Corporation (a remnant of the collapsed Petters Group, which owned Polaroid Corporation) to break up and sell the collection.
Regarded as Polaroid’s greatest financial asset, PBE hired Sotheby’s to recoup its losses. The auction is expected to fetch between $7.5m and $11.5m, with some images selling for at least $400,000.
However, the actual ownership of the collection is matter for debate. In effect, PBE doesn’t own the copyright but, says American critic Allan Coleman, it doesn’t need to in order to go ahead with the sale. “What they are auctioning is not the copyright but the objects,” he tells BJP. “Copyright remains with the photographer.” In this case though, copyright ultimately becomes useless because of the uniqueness of a Polaroid.
“In the US there are two levels of copyright protection,” Coleman explains. “The first level comes into force automatically when you create something. If you can prove you created it, you can prevent anyone from exploiting it. There is a second higher level of copyright protection when you register your work with the Library of Congress. In order to register, you need to supply the library with a copy of the work,” he adds. “With this level of protection, you can sue for statutory damages if someone exploits your work. With the first level, you would have to prove damages, which isn’t always easy.”
When Polaroid built its extensive collection, the contracts it drafted gave the artists access to the works in perpetuity. “They could access and borrow their images whenever they wanted for their own use – exhibitions, books, and so on,” says Coleman.
But, this contract will be nullified once the collection gets dispersed and changes hands. “It’s no longer possible for the photographers to access the work,” he says.
The fact that it’s virtually impossible to replicate an image shot on instant film makes access to the work essential for photographers to assert their rights. “Since they don’t have access, they can’t license the works. All they have is the copyright, which is meaningless now. I don’t think the court understood the unique nature of the collection.”
In a last-ditch attempt to derail the auction, some photographers are planning to file a motion for a re-hearing, but time is already running out. Sotheby’s is now marketing the June auction, with Denise Bethel, director of the Photographs Department in New York proclaiming: “This will be the first time in the history of our market that we have offered a collection based upon a technology, rather than an artist or a theme.”
As you may or may not know I have always hated Polaroid and was probably one of the only people in the world that was glad to see the back of it. It always baffled me when people used the medium, intended to test exposure and composition, to produce a final image the size of a big postage stamp. Polaroid was always intended as a throw away medium. How it became otherwise is beyond my baldy way of thinking. There was of course Type 55, that instant neg which people never 'finished' properly and either ended up with a soft torn negative, covered in all kinds of fluff and grit, or faded beyond print ability. It was in short far from ideal.
So in short I only have one thing to say to the photographers who are wining about losing their little squares;
You should of thought about what would happen to your image when you decided to make it using polaroid.
You wouldn't give a negative away would you!
The House Martin And The Cinema show felt good from the early edit. It was a chance to show the people of the world that I don't just do pretty night shots and gives a little insight into what I have been up to for the last ten or so years.
The thing that was most difficult was curating the show itself because each image is quite different in colour, tone and depth, although the overall Urban theme remains throughout. But Laura Noble of the Diemar Noble excelled herself where I could not and what was left is a really nice looking show.
The opening was a real delight and I had made a point of not only inviting people who have bought from me in the past, but also friends who were there during my early beginnings working in this way. The result was a very nice crowd of people and a wonderful evening.
The only gripe I have is that there was not more space (as if two floors is not enough!), but thats more down to the size of the images which are a fairly big and not the size of the gallery. I think this show in particular really gives an insight into how I work. I produce hundreds of images I am pleased with and am not one of those photographers who releases one or two images a year, you can see that by my website. I just cant work that way. Maybe that's my down fall, I don't know, but I could never do a Gursky and work on one image for months on end. I am not an artist using photography as a medium, I am a photographer calling myself an artist (how on earth did I get onto that). I tend to produce an image and quickly move on. Having said that I dont do series either, well not in the 'these all look the same' kind of thing..
Anyway, before I go completely off track go and see the show, its a good'un.
It's certainly no easy task selecting work from several bodies of work and making it all fit in a single space. But it has been done and done well (very well)..
I am also touched by all the best wishes and continued support, but to stop this sounding like I have just left court I will go and prepare for this evenings festivities.
No, thank you. We are dressed in our best and are prepared to go down as gentlemen. But, we would like a brandy.
Benjamin Guggenheim (Titanic).
As I am expecting a million more hits during and after my showdown (starting tomorrow night) I thought I would update the old website. Go take a look, there's some newbies in there somewhere, mostly in the new work section...
One beautiful sunny morning in Los Angeles I was awakened by the Fedex man as he delivered a heavy square box. Like a child on Christmas morning I excitedly opened the box and beheld my first printed book; Night Vision. Beautiful Images By The Words Most Handsome Photographer.
I flicked through the book happy as can be, put on my shorts and went for a run up into the Hollywood Hills. I had so much energy I broke all records for speed and after a Rocky style jumping in the air above the Hollywood Sign I made my way back to the apartment as fast as a leopard. Powering along I waved to everyone I saw, whether I knew them or not, but unfortunately did not see the pavement flag sticking up from the ground just opposite the Village Coffee Shop. I flew through the air like a kite and landed in amongst four beautiful Los Angeles Dollies sitting by the pavement drinking coffee. To avoid any major embarrassment to myself I lay there still and silent, as if knocked unconscious by my mighty fall, as the four beauties touched and caressed me fearing the worst. A car screeched to a halt, people cried out 'Is he ok', someone shouted 'has that bald dude been it by a car.' And then I arose, picked up my cap, dusted myself off, assured everyone I was ok, and hobbled back to the apartment with blooded hands and knees like a child in a concrete playground. I was wounded, I was embarrassed, I was bald. But most of all, I was happy....
My first book (published in 2005) will soon be available in both soft back and in the collectors edition hardback with slip case and editioned print directly from me or through Diemar Noble Photography.
I will probably put something on the old webarooney, but in the meantime this will have to do.
People have been known to cut the pages out and frame them. Thats a bit like tearing pages out of a Bible and using them to roll a joint. It might work well, but it doesn't mean its right.
Pictures From The Surface Of The Earth
I have often made light of Todd Hido's work on here, in particular his 'Roaming' series which I didn't like much and compared it to another body of work (also by Toddy) which looked exactly the same but called something else. There is also the fact that a lot of my work gets compared to his 'Houses at Night' stuff which always bothers me as he's not the first person to photograph a house at night with the lights on and the only similarity in mine and Hido's work is that its shot at night.
A little while back I was reading an article of Todds over on the amazing American Suburb X (which has to be the best Blog out there for sure) called Ohio which you can read for yourself here.
While your at it you should also read the Two Way Street piece as together they make up one of the most interesting projects I have ever come across.
I am not stating that Todd Hido was never a serious artist, I heard him talk in San Francisco a few years back and have seen several of his workings on line (some of which are posted on here somewhere) and he's very serious about his work, no question. So often is the case, especially with, shall we say, 'pretty pictures', the artist is never taken as serious as they should be. "There just pretty pictures with no depth or real meaning". But I believe there can be a real nativity on the viewers behalf when they look, but don't see.
I also do not think Tido's (see what I did there) new work would have the weight it has had it not been for his 'Pretty' pictures in the past. The wonderment of his mysterious houses at night has given him the foundations to produce new work which is so personal that it transforms Hido into one of the most influential and gifted photographers working today.
This new work makes me look at the older projects differently and makes a lot more sense now.
One of the problems of producing a life's work is that sometimes a lot of the work doesn't make sense early on until it (and the photographer) matures and produces other work to tie everything together.
Mines the second image.
Lots of other very interesting stuff over on the X.
Stepan Rudik, whose series on street fighting has been disqualified from the World Press Photo yesterday, has reached out to publications such as BJP in a bid to salvage his reputation as a reportage photographer
The image submitted to World Press Photo © Stepan Rudik.
Yesterday, World Press Photo announced that "after careful consultation with the jury, [it has] determined that is was necessary to disqualify Stepan Rudik, winner of the 3rd prize story in Sports Features, due to violation of the rules of the World Press Photo Contest." Rudik won the prize for his story "Street fighting, Kiev, Ukraine".
The organisation added: "Following the announcement of the contest results, it came to the attention of World Press Photo that Rudik's story had violated a contest rule. After requesting RAW-files of the series from him, it became clear that an element had been removed from one of the original photographs."
Speaking to BJP, a spokeswoman for World Press Photo says that the photographer had removed the foot of one its subjects from a photo. Read our full report here.
Now, the photographer has reached out to explain his motives behind the "manipulation". While Rudik does't argue the decision of the jury, he tells BJP that "the photograph I submitted to the contest is a crop, and the retouched detail is the foot of a man which appears on the original photograph, but who is not a subject of the image submitted to the contest."
He adds: "I believe this explanation is important for my reputation and good name as a reportage photographer."
Rudik provided BJP with the original photo, as well as the altered one, in a bid to show that he hasn't "made any signifiant alteration nore removed any important informative detail."
Last year, World Press Photo announced it had added a new rule that states that "the content of an image must not be altered". It added that "only retouching which conforms to currently accepted standards in the industry is allowed".
The original photo © Stepan Rudik
I have been following this story since it first came to light, my first assumption being that the photographer must have removed an entire person or perhaps a dog with a limp. Seeing the evidence here does make me wonder what the World Press are playing at as all the photographer has done is crop the image and made it black and white. He's not altered the image like a crude overly political corrected advertising campaign to get us all to buy sweeties.
Maybe if the world Press dont wont any jiggery pokery in the future they should have people shooting on film and producing the negative and not a digital file.
There he stood outside the gallery with a framed print under his arm (unwrapped) which was apparently for some rich banker who had just been given an almighty bonus which was just as well because the print was in what can only be described as 'one step up' from a clip frame.
I was re-introduced and mentioned that we had met previously. I was then told by the fella, who shall be known as The Man In The Hat, that he really needed a gallery because he sold in excess of £120,000 worth of prints last year. "They just started calling me up and coming round to my house to buy work.."
I then told him, if that was the case, he didn't need a gallery, he needed a good accountant.
Naturally as I was stood outside the gallery I invited him to the show next week and without even asking the date The Man In The Hat told me he could not because he had to plan his wedding.
Now I don't know about you, but I think someone may be expanding the truth a little. Oh, and by the way, he's called the Man In The Hat because know one knows his name....
It really doesn't seem like a year ago since I wrote 'One week to go!' regarding the next all inspiring exhibition. But 'One week to go it is!'
I couldn't of picked a worse time last year with people shouting; 'Where's my money?', and; 'I need to feed my child, not buy a poncey picture'.
Hopefully this time will be a little different. If its not then I'm leaving....
So today sees the first instalment of What Is England? Curated by Stuart Pilkington who must have the greatest organisation skills on the planet.
For my first instalment I decided to photograph my nephew Baby Jaden. A smashing little fella who loves nothing more than a bath in his mothers sink.
I too was often bathed as a wee child in the kitchen sink, that was until I was too fat to fit in it preferring Condensed Milk to my mothers apparently.
The sink tradition has been in the Doyle family for generations so I thought what better way to show my interpretation of Cumbria.
This shot was taken on my 5/4 in a steamy hot kitchen, hence the misty effect (no its not soft focus). Not the easiest of tasks for shooting a six month old tot on large format, but thats why I rock.