Well it's about this time of year when bloggers write some meaningful piece of blob about how we should all be kind to one another with peace on Earth and all that. Very nice that may be, but writing it it won't change the world. But what do I know..

Make sure to check out my new blog (One Elephant) which will run along side this one (in theory) and will commence in January. It's sure to be full of fun, angst, and may be the odd fight with a student or an unsuspecting tutor as I study for a Masters in photography.

So Stay Hungry, Get Fat, and remember the boy who got everything he ever wanted.

He lived happily ever after...




Red Cardigan. Military hospital Germany.
Shoe. Salton Sea 2006
Shoes. Auschwitz Memorial. Anon
Chris Jorden. Katrina's Wake.

Seeing David Zimmerman's excellent series 'Last Refuge' (see below and here) reminds me of just how moving, and at the same time disturbing, images of discarded clothing can be. My first guess is that we always think the worst if we stumble upon something not easily discarded, like a pair of pants, or an undergarment, or heaven forbid, a small single shoe (gloves, hats and scarf's don't count). But why wouldn't we think automatically of a disastrous scenario when often the pictures we are presented with are just that (see above).

As so much photography is about story telling, it comes as no surprise that so many photographers make projects on such strange and mysterious subject matter as that of a rotting pair of pumps or an old string vest.

Clothing as Artifact: David Zimmerman’s ‘Last Refuge’

David Zimmerman
Untitled (last refuge 194), 2011
Click here to find out more!

Though he’s spent over a decade photographing at-risk landscapes, some of the most unique topography photographer David Zimmerman has seen is found in the folds of fabric.

Zimmerman, a landscape photographer based in New Mexico and New York, began his project Last Refuge, in which he photographed piles of clothing and remains from an off-the-grid community, almost by chance. As the economy took its toll on broad swaths of American life, Zimmerman increasingly saw groups of people who had either lost their jobs or houses, and were, as the photographer describes, “increasingly desperate to survive.” These aren’t drifters who might be expected to live a transient lifestyle, he says, but teachers, firefighters, musicians and other blue and white-collar professionals.

Though sleeping on out-of-the-way dirt roads and parking lots is nothing new for Zimmerman—he’s lived and worked out of his camper truck while on the road, throughout 15 years of making images—the increasing number of people doing the same thing caught his attention. ”It really startled me, to be honest with you,” Zimmerman says, despite having read countless stories of similar communities who were often functioning without electricity or running water. “It didn’t sink in entirely what [was] going on out there, until I saw it for myself.”

As Zimmerman spent time talking to and even photographing members of these marginalized communities throughout the American southwest, it wasn’t their portraits or their poverty that resonated with him in a visual sense. Rather, it was their clothing. ”Whether it’s [being] homeless, or lacking a car,” Zimmerman says, “the clothes end up being the very last thing that you and I and they will own. When it absolutely becomes desperate, that’s the final thing that we will own.”

And so the piles of leather jackets, sweaters and coats—found at a 20-person community in northwestern New Mexico—form a descriptive landscape of their own. The entire series is actually shot on the roof of one man’s house, a retired firefighter in his seventies that came to live out in the desert about 25 years ago. He built his shelter underground, and used abandoned clothing to insulate the “roof” of the structure which now litters the desert floor.

Isolated from their surroundings as well as their former owners, the images of clothing are stark reminders of life on a subsistence level, and seem to encapsulate the difficult trajectory of the lives of their owners in their tattered seams and frayed edges. So what began during trips to photograph the natural landscape morphed into a project spent documenting its human counterpart—“the human aspect of the landscape is just as important for me as the physical landscape itself,” Zimmerman says. Last Refuge becomes a sort of typology of different textiles representing a human “dilemma,” as the photographer calls it, as well as a visually isolated reminder of what’s left to lose. ”That’s how it spoke to me, as opposed to just being about one person,” Zimmerman adds. “It was a very big problem, a nationwide problem.”

Last Refuge is on display at Sous Les Etoiles Gallery in New York from Dec. 8-Jan. 28.

David Zimmerman was recently shortlisted for the Terry O’Neill Tag Award, and won the Sony World Photography Awards L’Iris D’or Grand Prize in 2009. More of his work can be seen here.

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So I have once again been nominated for the Prix Picket award this year (more info here). It really is the biggest deal for a photographer like myself even to get nominated. The competition is fierce and it may be easier for me to Wrestle a Rino than win the prize. The good news is that this years theme is Power, and that's something I have been looking into for the past several years. You can see a little of the project here.

Tuscany B Side.

Very interesting work by Filippo Brancoli Pantera which you can see here. I love the mix of urban and man made, well I would wouldn't I..

His Tuscany's B Side is quite excellent and its about time someone stepped away from the misty vineyards and pointy trees..


Stay Hungry..

As the weather grows colder and everyone gets sick, its so very easy to cuddle up and hibernate. But the air is crisp and clear making it excellent for night work. The simple process of night photography can bring with it some problems. After chatting with a student the other day hungry for the night all the little tricks I have picked up over the years started to pour out and I thought I would list three of my top tips here for you all to enjoy over your crumpets.

1. Don't take a camera out of a warm place and into the cold ie, a house, or a car. Always have the camera the same temperature as the outside (along with film if you are shooting it). This way you wont be wiping condensation from your lens which may also leave smears and give you flare on the lens. You may also get condensation on the rear element and may not see it. Of course this also works the other way around (hot to cold). That lens has to be spotless..

2. Despite night photography being quite popular since its creation (think Aget, Steiglitz) no camera is designed to work at night. An open shutter facility is often an afterthought for most cameras and never intended for ultra long exposures. A mechanical film camera will always be the best choice for long exposures, period.

3. There is no magic formula for night photography and a lot of it can be trial and error. But with a little practice you can develop a technique of sorts. But that my friends is up to you..

A bit of a random mix I know. But I haven't got all day, just the night..


Not a planet, but my left eyeball from today's eye test.
Long sighted with a astigmatism. Very common amongst the best photographers apparently..
Not a planet, but battered up frying pans by Christopher Jonassen's Devour series.
Love these..


Memories of a fat idiot..

Memphis, TN.

A simple image which reminds me of the time I drove 1600 miles from Los Angeles to Memphis
in two days having only eaten power bars and Almonds. This was the only image I made at the time and was taken shortly after my arrival. After that I spent most of the night in a Waffle House drinking coffee and eating pie.

Fujifilm takes diversification to new levels with its latest introduction, the Astalift beauty care range.


Charles Saatchi: the hideousness of the art world

Even a show-off like me finds this new, super-rich art-buying crowd vulgar and depressingly shallow

  • the yacht of Microsoft Corp. co-founder billionaire Paul Allen, is moored off Venice's Grand Canal
    A super yacht moored in Venice for the art biennale. Photograph: Chris Helgren/Reuters/Corbis

    Being an art buyer these days is comprehensively and indisputably vulgar. It is the sport of the Eurotrashy, Hedge-fundy, Hamptonites; of trendy oligarchs and oiligarchs; and of art dealers with masturbatory levels of self-regard. They were found nestling together in their super yachts in Venice for this year's spectacular art biennale. Venice is now firmly on the calendar of this new art world, alongside St Barts at Christmas and St Tropez in August, in a giddy round of glamour-filled socialising, from one swanky party to another.

    Artistic credentials are au courant in the important business of being seen as cultured, elegant and, of course, stupendously rich.

    Do any of these people actually enjoy looking at art? Or do they simply enjoy having easily recognised, big-brand name pictures, bought ostentatiously in auction rooms at eye-catching prices, to decorate their several homes, floating and otherwise, in an instant demonstration of drop-dead coolth and wealth. Their pleasure is to be found in having their lovely friends measuring the weight of their baubles, and being awestruck.

    It is no surprise, then, that the success of the uber art dealers is based upon the mystical power that art now holds over the super-rich. The new collectors, some of whom have become billionaires many times over through their business nous, are reduced to jibbering gratitude by their art dealer or art adviser, who can help them appear refined, tasteful and hip, surrounded by their achingly cool masterpieces.

    Not so long ago, I believed that anything that helped broaden interest in current art was to be welcomed; that only an elitist snob would want art to be confined to a worthy group of aficionados. But even a self-serving narcissistic showoff like me finds this new art world too toe-curling for comfort. In the fervour of peacock excess, it's not even considered necessary to waste one's time looking at the works on display. At the world's mega-art blowouts, it's only the pictures that end up as wallflowers.

    I don't know very many people in the art world, only socialise with the few I like, and have little time to gnaw my nails with anxiety about any criticism I hear about.

    If I stop being on good behaviour for a moment, my dark little secret is that I don't actually believe many people in the art world have much feeling for art and simply cannot tell a good artist from a weak one, until the artist has enjoyed the validation of others – a received pronunciation. For professional curators, selecting specific paintings for an exhibition is a daunting prospect, far too revealing a demonstration of their lack of what we in the trade call "an eye". They prefer to exhibit videos, and those incomprehensible post-conceptual installations and photo-text panels, for the approval of their equally insecure and myopic peers. This "conceptualised" work has been regurgitated remorselessly since the 1960s, over and over and over again.

    Few people in contemporary art demonstrate much curiosity. The majority spend their days blathering on, rather than trying to work out why one artist is more interesting than another, or why one picture works and another doesn't.

    Art critics mainly see the shows they are assigned to cover by their editors, and have limited interest in looking at much else. Art dealers very rarely see the exhibitions at other dealers' galleries. I've heard that almost all the people crowding around the big art openings barely look at the work on display and are just there to hobnob. Nothing wrong with that, except that none of them ever come back to look at the art – but they will tell everyone, and actually believe, that they have seen the exhibition.

    Please don't read my pompous views above as referring to the great majority of gallery shows, where dealers display art they hope someone will want to buy for their home, and new collectors are born every week. This aspect of the art world fills me with pleasure, whether I love all the art or not.

    I am regularly asked if I would buy art if there was no money in it for me. There is no money in it for me. Any profit I make selling art goes back into buying more art. Nice for me, because I can go on finding lots of new work to show off. Nice for those in the art world who view this approach as testimony to my venality, shallowness, malevolence.

    Everybody wins.

    And it's understandable that every time you make an artist happy by selecting their work, you create 100 people that you've offended – the artists you didn't select.

    I take comfort that our shows have received disobliging reviews since our opening exhibition of Warhol, Judd, Twombly and Marden in 1985. I still hold that it would be a black day when everybody likes a show we produce. It would be a pedestrian affair, art establishment compliant, and I would finally know the game was up.


Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2012

The four artists shortlisted for the Photography Prize 2012 are Pieter Hugo, Rinko Kawauchi, John Stezaker and Christopher Williams.

This selection showcases diverse approaches to photography, from portraits taken in the toxic waste dumps of Ghana, to exquisite images of everyday moments and the conceptual use of found imagery.

The artists have been nominated for the following projects:

Pieter Hugo (b.1976, South-Africa) is nominated for his publication Permanent Error, published by Prestel (Germany, 2011).

Rinko Kawauchi (b.1972, Japan) is nominated for her publication Illuminance, published by Kehrer (Germany, 2011).

John Stezaker (b.1949, UK) is nominated for his exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (29 January – 18 March 2011).

Christopher Williams (b. 1956, USA) is nominated for his exhibition Kapitalistischer Realismus at Dům umění České Budějovice, Budweis, Czech Republic (5 May - 12 June 2011).

The annual award of £30,000 rewards a living photographer, of any nationality, for a specific body of work in an exhibition or publication format, which has significantly contributed to the medium of photography in Europe between 1 October 2010 and 30 September 2011. Find out more about the history of the Prize here.

The members of this year's Jury are: François Hébel, Director, Les Rencontres d'Arles; Martin Parr, artist; Beatrix Ruf, Director/Curator, Kunsthalle Zürich and Anne-Marie Beckmann, Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse, Germany. Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, is the non-voting Chair.



And so in January I shall begin my MA in photography at the London College Of Communication. It was a hard decision to make as I don't particularly want to be a student, but the positives out way the negatives and its a future investment kind of thing (think more teaching and the fantasy role of Indiana Jones).
What is exciting for all my three readers is that I will be adding another blog to my repertoire entitled 'One Elephant' (taken from the fact that I count in Elephants which is basically a second) which will follow my life as a student for one year.
Nothing much will change other than the fact that I will be able to concentrate on a twelve month project without distraction (hopefully), and that my friends can only be a good thing..


Working as a freelance Fine Art Photographer is often a two edged sword. You may do what you want, when you want, but this is a often determined by cash flow (or lack of it). You may shoot what you want and how you want, but this is determined by the market and the people actually buying the work, which, at the end of the day is the only thing that will keep you going, not fantasy book sales or some rich Texan billionaire who happens to like your work and buys a print a week..
Then there's the long gaps of nothing. Swanning around thinking about photography, sipping espresso's, reading books and thinking about the good old days when you just drove around looking for things to photograph. these gaps can be long, very long, especially at the moment.

So what does one do when the works dries up, the print sales decline and apparently no one has any money to spend....?

Become a student of course.


I used to try to figure out precisely what I was seeing all the time, until I discovered I didn't need to. If the thing is there, why, there it is.
- Walker Evans -


With photography, everything is in the eye and these days I feel young photographers are missing the point a bit. People always ask about cameras but it doesn't matter what camera you have. You can have the most modern camera in the world but if you don't have an eye, the camera is worthless. Young people know more about modern cameras and lighting than I do. When I started out in photography I didn't own an exposure meter - I couldn't , they didn't exist! I had to guess. - Alfred Eisenstaedt -

Conscientious | an unbalanced but self-replicating chain

Conscientious | an unbalanced but self-replicating chain


1000 Posts..

Well actually its 1004 and I missed the celebration. A book, several projects, an exhibition, and a few tantrums later and I am still here, although now I tend to type with both hands.
I haven't interviewed any photographers, or run competitions with prizes, or done anything on here of particular merit really, but that's never been the purpose of the Mode that is B. After all this is a blog, not an occupation...
So here's to more ranting, opinion, narcissism, and perhaps a little photography.


Andreas Gursky's Rhine II photograph sells for $4.3m

Sum paid for sludgy image of desolate, featureless landscape sets new world record for a photograph Andreas Gursky's Rhine II


More From The Border..

The Hand of Death.
Carlisle Cathedral.

Church opposite the Top Shops.

There's so much reminiscing to do these days. Perhaps its the fact that this time next year I will have reached 40 and may be on the verge of a mid-lifer, or maybe its just that time in life we all go through at some given moment. I don't often question why I went into photography because its something I love, but I do ask myself the question; What if I hadn't? almost every day.

When I was a wee boy I was a Chorister in the city's Cathedral (hence the Hand Of Death image). I was never recorded singing 'Where walking in the Air", or broadcast on breakfast TV. But I did meet Jimmy Savell (RIP) and Noel Edmond's who both visited the Cathedral and heard my sing. I remember being quite good and would often sing for my Granny and her friends as she played the piano in her front room. But of course the day came when the voice began to break and it was a case of either becoming a Tenor or give up the singing altogether. I chose the latter, but would like to think had I gone on singing I cold of been a contender, or heaven forbid, a contestant on X Factor.


"Security guards have no right to prevent street photography," says Home Office

Street Photography Rights

The Home Office and the British Security Industry Association have published a new set of guidelines for security guards confirming that photography in public places is legal and cannot be restricted

Author: Olivier Laurent

More than a year after Home Secretary Theresa May launched a review of the UK's counter-terrorims and security powers, a new set of guidelines have been published for security guards, who, in an increasing number of cases, have been accused of preventing professional photographers from working in public places.

May's review, whose findings were unveiled in January 2011, called for the "guidance provided to private security guards be reevaluated to ensure that it sufficiently reflects the right of the public to take photographs."

The new guidelines are the results of meetings between representatives of the UK's photographic industry and of the Home Office. They were first revealed, earlier today, by Amateur Photographer magazine, who also participated in the meetings.

The guidelines reaffirm that "the fact that an individual is taking a photograph does not in itself indicate hostile reconnaissance or other suspicious behaviour." The Home Office adds that "the size and type of cameras are not, in themselves, indications of suspicious behaviour. Large cameras, lenses and tripods should therefore not be viewed as being more suspicious than other types of equipment."

More importantly, the guidelines say that "if an individual is in a public place photographing or filming a private building, security guards have no right to prevent the individual from taking photographs," and that "security guards cannot delete images or seize cameras, nor can they obstruct individuals from taking photographs."

Security guards are advised that, if they have suspicions that an individual in involved in hostile reconnaissance, "all approaches should be made in a courteous manner."

Earlier this year, five photographers embarked on a project to show how security guards were restricting street photography in public places. The resulting documentary, Stand Your Ground, will be shown at BJP's Vision event on Saturday 19 November.

The new Home Office guidelines end with a reminder of police powers, which reads: "The police have a number of powers relevant to the use of photography for terrorist purposes, however these cannot be used to stop people legitimately taking photographs. It is not an offence for a member of the public or journalist to take photographs/film of a public building. They do not need a permit to photograph or film in a public place, and the police have no power to stop the photographing or filming of incidents or police personnel."

The guidelines have now been distributed to members of the BSIA's Security Guarding, Police and Public Services, Leisure Industry, Crowd Management, Close Protection and Security Consultancies sections, and the Training Providers group.

To read and print the guidelines, visit the British Security Industry Association's website [PDF].

John Bulmer
John Bulmer

John Bulmer was a pioneer of colour photography in the early 1960’s working for the Sunday Times Magazine from the very first issue till the 1970’s

More here.

Format Thinking..

As this is a photography blog, with landscape as my choosing subject matter, it seems appropriate to draw attention to the fact that I keep noticing all these photographers that once used the mighty 10/8" View Camera are now to be seen with a Digital Hassleblad in there hands. Think of any big hitter; Burtyinsky, Soth, Misrach etc, etc. They all use them now.
But here's the thing. I am not againgst using such a fabulous (and crazily expensive) camera like a Hassleblad with its super sensor and lens more valuable than a diamond encrusted Rolex. Far from it, I would love to own such a beast. But what happened to the large format thought process. The thinking mans camera. We were once told that by using a large format camera the photographer had to slow down and be methodical. So what now? Does this mean photographers are not thinking about the image so much? I cannot help thinking the thought process must of changed, I mean, how could it not..

My other pondering question would also be; Why a Hassleblad. There are far more suitable cameras for outdoor photography (Alpa for example). My only guess is that a deal has been struck. A bit like the old ink jet HP printer nonsense (on here somewhere). With a far few photographers being given a nice big printer in exchange for a false promise (I know as I had the same thing happen to me). But that's another topic for really cold day when the camera won't work..

So could this be a false revelation within the photographic industry. I don't know. But one things for sure, the whole ethics of photography are changing, and not necessarily in a good way..


Dear Ms. Dunn,

I'm writing you because I wanna make a very nice gift
to a young lady that I've fallen in love with.

She's a huge fan of Benedict Cumberbatch and, in my opinion,
you've shot a brilliant picture of him, that is sadly only available
in a very low resolution.

These are my two requests:
I would like to use this photo to produce a fridge magnet and can you therefore
please send me a digital copy in a higher resolution, in at least 710
x 475 pixel?

Julia, that's her name, bought a new fridge two days ago...;-)

Thank you very much in advance

Conscientious | Words before pictures: Philip Roth

Conscientious | Words before pictures: Philip Roth


It's now twenty six years ago since I made the above image.
On the 26th of October 1984 I set out on my birthday to create what was to be the start of my photographic career. Over a quarter of a century later I met a very good friend of mine with whom I shared some early photographic outings with. As it was my birthday I was handed a gift wrapped box which I promptly opened. And there it lay, my first camera, the mighty Canon AV1 in all its finery 26 years later (pictured above). I had completely forgotten what had happened to the little Canon I received on my twelfth birthday and was rather overwhelmed by the whole situation as memories of the camera took hold, like how chuffed I was to get a motor-winder that did five frames a second!


The Great border City..

Dinosaur and Truck
Mel's Flower Arrangement.

It had been a while since I added more images to my ongoing Border City project, but a little time up North soon sorted that out and I was awash with new material.
To be honest, its about time this bad boy was wrapped up as it started way back in 2005. But these things take time and it seems the more I do, the more I see..

Britain's photographic revolution

The big art institutions here are finally catching up with their American counterparts, with a new photography gallery at the V&A, increased prominence at the Tate and exciting plans elsewhere. We asked four leading curators about the state of the art

  • The Observer,
  • Article history
  • Photography curators
    Snap happy: leading curators (l-r) Martin Barnes (V&A), Brett Rogers (Photographers' Gallery), Simon Baker (Tate Modern) and Charlotte Cotton (the Media Space). Portrait by Suki Dhanda for Observer New Review

    The September issue of the art magazine Frieze ran a glossary of "keywords" in contemporary art and culture. Under "Photography" the compilers wrote: "The first photograph was produced in 1826. In 2009 Tate advertised the following job for the first time: Curator (Photography and International Art). Discuss." The question invited was: why had it taken so long for photography to be viewed as a serious art form in Britain? The Museum of Modern Art in New York, for instance, appointed its first curator of photography, Beaumont Newhall, in 1940.

    There are wider cultural and historical reasons why America embraced photography so enthusiastically while Britain did not. The relatively new, technologically driven medium was ideally suited to the fast-forward momentum of American life in the early-to-mid 20th century and to capturing the country's vast natural landscapes and the towering architecture of its cities. Britain's relationship with photography was less open-minded, more suspicious, more retrospective. We tended for too long to look back, acknowledging photography's masters, from Atget to Cartier-Bresson, Bill Brandt to Robert Frank, in celebratory exhibitions that were staged in Britain long after they had been safely canonised elsewhere.

    Major London galleries such as the Whitechapel, Barbican and the Hayward have hosted monographic and group photography shows over the past four decades while both the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery have extensive collections and regularly hold exhibitions pertaining to their remit as historical institutions. But for far too long, photography in this country was on the outskirts of the art world, dogged by the accusation that it was too instant and effortless to be real art. That began to change in the early 1990s with big groundbreaking London shows such as the Barbican's William Eggleston retrospective, Ancient and Modern, but it's worth remembering that the Tate's first major photography exhibition was the group show Cruel and Tender, in 2003.

    In the past decade, though, things have changed dramatically. In 2000 Wolfgang Tillmans became the first photographer to be nominated for the Turner prize, which he subsequently won. Since then, photography has become big business on the global art market. In 2007 Andreas Gursky, the master of high-end, epic, contemporary landscape photography, sold a single print, 99 Cent II Diptychon, for £1.7m at Sotheby's in London. It displaced Edward Steichen's The Pond – Moonlight, made in 1904, as the single most expensive photograph. That record has since been broken twice, first by the conceptual artist Richard Prince, whose Untitled (Cowboy) fetched just over £2m in November 2007, and then by Cindy Sherman's Untitled #96, which sold for almost £2.5m at Christie's New York in May this year.

    A host of new private galleries dealing in contemporary photography has sprung up around London, including Brancolini Grimaldi and Diemar/Noble in central London and Michael Hoppen in Chelsea. Both Flowers galleries (Kingsland Road and Cork Street) regularly show photographers, as does Timothy Taylor, Riflemaker and Haunch of Venison, while Victoria Miro has recently shown work by William Eggleston and Francesca Woodman.

    Two of the most critically acclaimed and well attended shows of this year have been the Whitechapel's retrospectives of Paul Graham and Thomas Struth, two photographers who have worked quietly and determinedly on their bodies of often difficult works over the past three decades.

    The culture around photography – festivals, book publishing and selling, workshops, websites and prizes – has grown exponentially, making London a centre of contemporary photographic practice. Finally…

    Inevitably, if belatedly, the major art institutions have responded in kind. Last week the Victoria & Albert unveiled its new Photographs Gallery, a permanent space to show highlights from its extraordinary collection, chronicling the history of photography from 1839 to the 1960s. Ironically, the exhibition harks back to a time when London embraced what was then a revolutionary new medium that threatened to make painting a thing of the past. The V&A was the first museum to collect photography and, in 1858, to exhibit photographic prints. The oldest photograph on display in the new gallery is a daguerreotype of Parliament Street from Trafalgar Square by an anonymous photographer, and many of the pioneering giants of photography, from Margaret Cameron to Cartier-Bresson, Man Ray to Irving Penn, are represented. What's more, the exhibition will be re-curated every 18 months to show off the scale of the museum's archive of original prints.

    "We play to our strengths," says curator Martin Barnes, "which, in photography, is the fine print. We are not showing the history of photography, nor charting a chronological story with examples along a linear trajectory, but nevertheless the collection is deep enough that the historical reach will always be evident in the exhibition."

    Over at Tate Modern, photography curator Simon Baker's remit is perhaps more tricky, not least because it's a contemporary art gallery rather than a museum. Since his appointment in 2009 he has overseen last year's big group show, Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera, as well as recent shows of new work by the young American photographer Taryn Simon and Britain's Simon Norfolk. Next year, William Klein and Daido Moriyamo will face off in a big show that traces their overlapping approaches and influences.

    Currently, Tate Modern has three rooms devoted to Diane Arbus, and five of new documentary work by the likes of Boris Mikhailov, Mitch Epstein and Luc Delahaye. Here, contemporary practice in all its forms would seem to be the defining strand, alongside an ongoing appreciation of more recent masters.

    "It is important to say that we are not trying to build a photography department that is separate," says Baker. "We try to keep the photography displays integrated with all the other media, but also keep our ideas integrated. I'm always working on a broader context, which is that we are a contemporary art gallery."

    Baker's appointment, he says, was part of "a bigger strategic decision by the Tate to engage more with photography. But it's also a reflection of the fact that the old distinctions between art photography and conceptual art are increasingly hard to maintain. In the 80s, the Tate tried to make that distinction. It bought photography by artists such as Cindy Sherman or Richard Long but didn't buy art by photographers. That distinction no longer applies. It's impossible to maintain and it should never have been there in the first place."

    Britain has caught up with photography at the very moment that the nature of photography, as well as curatorship, is being questioned by digital culture. "People engage with photography in every aspect of their lives," says Brett Rogers, director of the Photographers' Gallery, currently closed for renovation but open again in early 2012. "Photography has become a very natural, even compulsive thing with the coming of the mobile phone camera and relatively cheap, hi-tech digital compacts. The democratisation of photography and distribution of photos via social networks has changed everything, and we, as curators, cannot simply stand back and ignore that."

    Her response is to reopen next spring with not just an expanded gallery space for contemporary photography in print form, but with what she calls The Digital Wall For All. "People still need a quiet space to look deeply at photographs and to reflect on their form and content, but there is also this tsunami of images on the internet and we, as a contemporary gallery, have a role to play in somehow making sense of that." The Digital Wall, says Rogers, "will reflect the new ways of curating, editing and re-imaging" that the internet has spawned, and "will involve the public as co-producers of some of the work".

    Perhaps the most intriguing new space for photography will be the Media Space, due to open in spring 2013 behind the Science Museum in Kensington. Linked to both the Science Museum and the National Media Museum in Bradford, the Media Space has seen British-born Charlotte Cotton tempted back from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to be its creative director. Having served for 12 years at the V&A and then, briefly, at the Photographers' Gallery, Cotton's new job is an intriguing one. "We are at a point where everything is up for review," she says, "including the idea of what a cultural space should be doing at this moment of what you might call exhilarating crisis."

    To this end, Cotton envisages the Media Space as more "a kunsthalle than a museum" and describes it most animatedly when she lists all the things it will not be. "I don't think anyone is waiting for the history of photography according to the National Media Museum." The Media Space, she says, will have private rooms and workshop spaces as well as exhibition spaces, and will view its audience as contributors to the vision rather than passive viewers. "It will be a place to discuss the new media in creative technologies in a non-institutionalised way. And it will be about how photography fits into that discussion rather than a photography gallery per se. I'm not particularly interested in fighting the battle to legitimise photography as an artform. That battle has, to a great degree, already been won."

    It took an inordinately long time for that battle to be won in Britain. How curators now make sense of the brave new digital world, this unprecedented shift in our collective way of seeing – and mediating – reality in a world drowning in images, will be a defining question of the next decade.

    Doyle's View

    This is hardly a British Photographic revolution. Where's the rest of the British talent.



Photography projects these days are like going to the gym, it just doesn't get any easier. I have often mentioned before that I have always found the hardest part of any photographic project to be the ending, not the beginning. But that's not to say its not difficult coming up with new ideas, in fact sometimes it feels impossible.
My old saying; "Someone's either done it, doing it, or about to do it.." Has never been more true (or so it seems) and I often catch myself thinking; 'bugger beat me to it!' every time I pick up a photography book in Foyles.
I had an idea the other day which just popped into my head without warning and I immediately began to doodle in my notebook like a crazed scientist on the verge of an invention breakthrough. After twenty minutes there it was. My idea was to pick various points along the coast (sound familiar), but this time point my camera out to sea in the dead of night and leave the shutter open for long long time. Basically my idea was to make photographs of nothing. No content, no light, but a long enough exposure would, in theory, pick out small details unseen by the naked eye along with the odd star and perhaps a passing plane.
So there you have it, all the beauty and interesting things in the world and I come up with this.
I have to admit, the idea is intriguing although probably not original by any means...

In Search Of The Miraculous.

Steve Eiden

A really fantastically observed series by Steve Eiden here.


Know Your Rights: Photographers

I often get asked by students about taking photographs in public places so thought I would put this on here. Its American, but still relevant. I have another somewhere pasted from the BJP but this one is pretty good.

Taking photographs of things that are plainly visible from public spaces is a constitutional right – and that includes federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties. Unfortunately, there is a widespread, continuing pattern of law enforcement officers ordering people to stop taking photographs from public places, and harassing, detaining and arresting those who fail to comply. Learn more >>

Your rights as a photographer:

  • When in public spaces where you are lawfully present you have the right to photograph anything that is in plain view. That includes pictures of federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police. Such photography is a form of public oversight over the government and is important in a free society.
  • When you are on private property, the property owner may set rules about the taking of photographs. If you disobey the property owner's rules, they can order you off their property (and have you arrested for trespassing if you do not comply).
  • Police officers may not generally confiscate or demand to view your photographs or video without a warrant. If you are arrested, the contents of your phone may be scrutinized by the police, although their constitutional power to do so remains unsettled. In addition, it is possible that courts may approve the seizure of a camera in some circumstances if police have a reasonable, good-faith belief that it contains evidence of a crime by someone other than the police themselves (it is unsettled whether they still need a warrant to view them).
  • Police may not delete your photographs or video under any circumstances.
  • Police officers may legitimately order citizens to cease activities that are truly interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations. Professional officers, however, realize that such operations are subject to public scrutiny, including by citizens photographing them.
  • Note that the right to photograph does not give you a right to break any other laws. For example, if you are trespassing to take photographs, you may still be charged with trespass.

If you are stopped or detained for taking photographs:

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  • Always remain polite and never physically resist a police officer.
  • If stopped for photography, the right question to ask is, "am I free to go?" If the officer says no, then you are being detained, something that under the law an officer cannot do without reasonable suspicion that you have or are about to commit a crime or are in the process of doing so. Until you ask to leave, your being stopped is considered voluntary under the law and is legal.
  • If you are detained, politely ask what crime you are suspected of committing, and remind the officer that taking photographs is your right under the First Amendment and does not constitute reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.

Special considerations when videotaping:

With regards to videotaping, there is an important legal distinction between a visual photographic record (fully protected) and the audio portion of a videotape, which some states have tried to regulate under state wiretapping laws.

  • Such laws are generally intended to accomplish the important privacy-protecting goal of prohibiting audio "bugging" of private conversations. However, in nearly all cases audio recording the police is legal.
  • In states that allow recording with the consent of just one party to the conversation, you can tape your own interactions with officers without violating wiretap statutes (since you are one of the parties).
  • In situations where you are an observer but not a part of the conversation, or in states where all parties to a conversation must consent to taping, the legality of taping will depend on whether the state's prohibition on taping applies only when there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. But that is the case in nearly all states, and no state court has held that police officers performing their job in public have a reasonable expectation. The state of Illinois makes the recording illegal regardless of whether there is an expectation of privacy, but the ACLU of Illinois is challenging that statute in court as a violation of the First Amendment.
  • The ACLU believes that laws that ban the taping of public officials' public statements without their consent violate the First Amendment. A summary of state wiretapping laws can be found here.

Photography at the airport

Photography has also served as an important check on government power in the airline security context.

The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) acknowledges that photography is permitted in and around airline security checkpoints as long as you're not interfering with the screening process. The agency does ask that its security monitors not be photographed, though it is not clear whether they have any legal basis for such a restriction when the monitors are plainly viewable by the traveling public.

The TSA also warns that local or airport regulations may impose restrictions that the TSA does not. It is difficult to determine if any localities or airport authorities actually have such rules. If you are told you cannot take photographs in an airport you should ask what the legal authority for that rule is.

The ACLU does not believe that restrictions on photography in the public areas of publicly operated airports are constitutional.


Little rant..

Scotland/England Border.
2-1 ratio. Hand built Panoramic camera.

You would think that in this day and age you could pick up medium format and large format cameras for a few pence considering the planets dwindling supplies of film and rising costs. But no, in fact some of these camera go for more second hand than they did when they were new. Who is buying them? And is anyone using them?
I remember the time when one would buy an analogue Hassleblad for £1500 and it would last your entire career. Nowadays you buy a Digital camera for four times more and need to up date it six months later. Then there's the cost of a computer and all the other gubbings you never needed before.
When will it end?

Remember my friends, an image should be what you see, not what the camera sees..


Pylon design competition winner revealed

Bystrup's T-Pylon Organisers called for entries that were both "grounded in reality and beautiful"

Related Stories

A T-shaped design has scooped a £5,000 prize in a competition to find the next generation of electricity pylons.

Danish engineering firm Bystrup beat 250 rivals to win the Royal Institute of British Architects contest.

It set the challenge to replace the familiar "triangle" design - in use since the 1920s - in May, although there is no commitment to build them.

An increasing number of pylons are expected to be needed to connect new wind, nuclear and hydroelectric plants.

Bystrup's architect Rasmus Jessing said he aimed for a more positive shape than the traditional "grumpy old men" design, as they are known in Denmark, to carry new forms of renewable energy.

"Hopefully in the next couple of years it will be time for T - the T-pylon," he said.

Six entries shortlisted in the competition, organised with the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the National Grid, have been on show in London's Victoria and Albert Museum. The five runners-up received £1,000 each.

'Transform landscapes'

The jury - which included Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, leading architects and energy officials - rated entries on design quality, functionality, and technical viability.

After calling for entries to be "both grounded in reality and beautiful", the judges took into account the public response to the designs and the teams' abilities to create them.

AL_A & Arup's Plexus The five runners-up were awarded £1,000 each

Mr Huhne said: "The idea was to... see whether we could produce something which was more attractive, less obtrusive in the landscape, easier to live with, easier on the eye."

Organisers say the target of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 will lead to electricity playing an increasingly important role in the UK's energy mix.

A subsequent proliferation of pylons and underground cables "have the potential to transform our landscapes for good or bad, and for generations to come", they said.

Campaigners frequently complain that pylons blight the countryside, while Lib Dem MP Tessa Munt described damage they cause as "beyond belief" in a Parliamentary debate in July.

However, it is 10 times as expensive to lay underground cables which are also more difficult and costly to repair.

And the 1920s pylons retain some fans.

Flash Bristow, from the Pylon Appreciation Society, said they were an "elegant engineering solution".

"Existing pylons I appreciate because they're a lattice design, so when you look at the pylon what you see, a lot of it, is actually the background coming through."

I like Pylons, always have. I also like wind turbines and water wheels. Those who don't should live in a barn without electricity and hot water..

My earliest photographs were often images of majestic Pylonia in green pastures on a misty morning..


I came across this on-line magazine completely by accident and thought it was all done by the same photographer.
I do have a soft spot for this kind of photography and in fact it was this ND filter/ long exposure technique (see link) that I applied to my By Coastal series, only I used colour.

Frieze Art Fair 2010 in London's Regent's Park.

Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin discuss photojournalism's relationship with art with photographer Taryn Simon at Frieze Art Fair, 1.30pm on 13 October.

Author: Katherine Waters, with Diane Smyth

12 Oct 2011

The annual Frieze Art Fair opens this week in Regent’s Park, including art galleries from around the world exhibiting fine art and photographs by Paul Graham, Robert Mapplethorpe, William Eggleston and Wolfgang Tillmans.

The fair kicks off on Thursday at 1.30pm with a talk chaired by Christy Lange, the associate editor of Frieze, bringing together photographer Taryn Simon and photographic duo Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin (who are shortly publishing War Primer 2, a 21st century response to Bertolt Brecht’s classic book). The talk is titled Shooting Gallery: The Problems of Photographic Representation, and aims to investigate the relationship between photojournalism and art photography.

Frieze Art Fair isn’t open to galleries that only sell photography (as detailed in BJP) in October 2010, but it does include a number of galleries which sell photographic prints alongside other art works, including: Sadie Coles HQ, which represents Hellen van Meene; Yvon Lambert (Candida Hofer and Idris Khan); Anthony Reynolds Gallery (Richard Billingham and Paul Graham) and David Zwirner (Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Thomas Ruff). The fair runs 13-16 October and entry for one day costs £29 (including booking fee). More information can be found at www.friezeartfair.com.
Adriatic Coast 2011


Main Image

Tamara Beckwith and Ghislain Pascal, Directors of The Little Black Gallery, request the pleasure of your company at ART LONDON, from 6-10 October 2011.

Free admission for 2 visitors if you print this email and hand in on arrival.

The Little Black Gallery (stand 21) will be exhibiting works by Sue Callister, Lisa Creagh, Mike Figgis, Luke Foreman, Chris Levine, Annabelle Nicoll, Anja Niemi, Alistair Taylor-Young and many more.

The Little Black Gallery will also be curating and exhibiting a series of photographs (stand 22) by some of the greatest names in contemporary photography including Bob Carlos Clarke, Terry O'Neill and Sebastiao Salgado for sale in aid of Survival International . For full list of photographs for sale click here.

Entrance: London Gate, Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3
Opening times: Thurs, Sun & Mon 11am-8.30pm, Fri & Sat 11am-8pm
Underground: Sloane Square

Further info at www.artlondon.net

The Little Black Gallery, 13A Park Walk, London SW10 0AJ
Tel: 020-7349 9332. www.thelittleblackgallery.com
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 11am-6pm, Saturday 11am-4pm
* London's boutique photography gallery







Who Says the Camera Never Lies

Sarah Dunn

Daniel Radcliffe

Today we introduce beauty and portraiture photography from Sarah Dunn:

“The motivation behind my photography is and will always be the ability to improve on my past works. The more you shoot, the more experience you gain and the more opportunity you will have to build your skills. This is what moves me forward, always wanting to better my work.

“It is both a blessing and a curse!

The image above is “shot for a Potter portfolio celebration in New York on my Canon 5D. The shot is completely comped, the location is in London, who says the camera never lies…


“An older image, but one I still love. The cheekiness of his face always makes me smile. Shot on my Hasselblad on Kodak Tri-X film in London if I remember rightly.

Silence of the Lambs

“Shot for an Icons portfolio chosen by Steven Spielberg, location LA shot on a Canon 1DS.

Hayley Atwell

“My favourite beauty shot right now, a complete fluke as we snapped it quickly at the end of the day. Shot in London with my Canon 5D for Captain America. I love the spontaneity of it, the wind, the light, her expression, everything …

Dominic Monaghan

“Shot only last week in LA on my Canon 5D. We were shooting a moving photograph and I saw this still and snapped it, love the atmosphere and the shadow .

“In the future I intend to make the transition in to film making, basing all of it on the theories of my photography, moving photographs if you will…”

To see more of Sarah Dunn’s fantastic work here is her website sarahdunn.com.