The Student..

After being on both sides of the photographic education for a while now
I am now under the assumption that a large percentage of photography students are often unhappy with their course. Often it is not the course structure itself that is to blame, they are there to learn after all and most schools are very good at this (I think, although some may disagree). What I find is that the students often lack the desire and the inspiration to go out and shoot something, anything, and often they feel like they are being forced to make images of something they are really not interested in.
When I do a landscape workshop there is often a fair bit of walking. (often to a spot I have chosen prior but pretend that I have just found it) During that walk the students very rarely take any pictures, or even look at anything with a photographic eye. They wait for permission to go off and shoot whatever they want (I always tell students if they see anything they like they should shoot it) and this is how it is regarding photographic eduction. 
Photography is about individual interpretations. Thankfully we all see things differently and that, I think, is one of the beautiful things about personal photography.

Students are like a Kinder Surprise. Chocolate eggs all the same. No one is really interested in the sickly chocolate, its the surprise inside that people want to see..

Photography eduction can teach you photography. But it cannot teach you to be a photographer.


Last Monday seen the opening night for the end of year MA group show (yes that Masters degree I have kept so quite about). The Masters is pretty much done now, and although I have despised having to be a student I enjoyed doing the project (The Flowery Room) and my dissertation on Memory and Photography.
I am very aware that there is a period after a show where one asks; have a done a good job? Is anyone interested? Should I take some pills? The anticlimactic period is always there, especially with a solo show or a book publication (a book being much worse, and permanent).
I am not going to say it gets better and offer words of encouragement, instead I will leave you with this thought;

If you want a career that is full of self satisfaction, well paid, regular and secure, open a Chippy... 


It had been some time since I'd felt the salty breeze on my large friendly face and thoughts of my 'By Coastal' project filled my mind as I headed for the coast. 
I have always liked arriving at the sea side and the feeling of arriving, knowing that you can't really go any further without getting wet..
Anyways, I was taking a small Night Workshop by the sea for some third year students and in an attempt to re-kindle my Night Photography I had brought along my tired and battered 5/4, camera of champions. Without going into too much detail the type of night photography I do lends itself to this format. (It is also very good to demonstrate technique and composition thanks to the ground glass screen). You may be able set your digital camera to the highest ISO setting and hand hold the swine to get daylight looking night shots, but once those babies are anything bigger than a 10/8 print, your looking at trouble. So imagine my delight when I beheld students lugging large format cameras and big tripods. This was most encouraging and of course their images will be the best and win all the prizes...


I bought my last box of Kodak 5/4 film today. It was my last box because it cost £48.00 for 10 sheets.

"When I asked students at Yale what they planned to do, they all say move to Brooklyn – not make the greatest art ever."


Bruce Wrighton

It has always bothered me how some photographers rise to photographic stardom while others, as good if not better, are left in the shadows.
Bruce Wrighton was around at the same time as Joel Meyerowitz, Shore and Sternfeld shooting big 10/8" negs. He came before the likes of Alex Soth but sadly died young leaving behind a wonderful body of work shot in New York.


There is a nice review of my latest show here.
Hopefully there will be more soon.