Whilst chatting with a fine fellow photographer in my home town the other day I was reminded of how very often the best work is made when a photographer knows an area inside and out. This is especially true In tthe landscape when a certain quality of light can change everything. One only needs to look at bodies of work where photographers have revisited an area may times in days, weeks, months and even years. (I realise this is too big a subject to tackle on a train with an iPhone so I shall move on and get to my point..)

As with many in depth chats with photographers the conversation soon came round to camera kit. As a photographer still using film the same questions always crop up in terms of quality, convince, cost etc. and then it suddenly dawned on me that despite the leaps and bound in photographic technology it cannot change the foundation of a photograph; light, subject, composition, exposure. Keep  this in mind and how you get to the final image becomes irrelivant..


An early morning stroll before breakfast in King City. CA 2014


 Click here to view American Colour Gallery.

Millennium Images are pleased to present a gallery of images focusing on American Colour taken from our extensive library. The gallery includes images from a number of our most prominent contributors including Michael Ormerod, Kent Baker, Lydia Panas, Marcus Doyle and Luke Hayes. The introductory text by Neil Campbell, Professor of American Studies at the university of Derby, U.K offers an insightful look at the historical significance of American colour photography.
Jean Baudrillard wrote ‘I was here in my imagination long before I actually came here’ (America 1986: 72) and as we look at these images of the USA one is struck endlessly by a similar sensation of dreamy recognition; of half-remembered movies, Edward Hopper paintings, country songs, and Beat novels. Yet this dreamscape is counter-posed by a critical regionalist consciousness that scrutinizes the imagined place and interrupts the dreaming with an awakening sense of other, more complex forces of history and culture co-existing within the frame.  If this work is photocinematic, then what we have are film stills fragmented out of the flow of the total movie and supplemented by visual interruptions that challenge comfortable notions of mythic completion and closure.
A  solitary teenager stands on the edge of the road, about to cross, but paused for a moment, blowing a bubble with her gum.  This is a suspended moment, captured in the intense, dreamy blue colour that saturates the image with the girl picked out in sharp focus fully absorbed by her ‘childish’ action whilst the ‘adult’ world of fast food outlets and truck-stops is distanced and blurred in the background.  Her glasses in hand, her vision is focused only on the moment, detached and separated from the world to come, as if she is in her own ‘bubble’ too, on the threshold of the world she is crossing into.  The intensity of colour and the quotidian details of the everyday that recur in these photographs re-state America as an uncanny hybrid of dream and loss, innocence and experience, past and present captured and colliding in the extraordinary framing of time and motion.

I was sent this link while on the road in the States. Its a great selection and turned out to be a great bit of inspiration..

Book covers, in particular novels, are one of the few outlets for fine art photography.
I thought this one worked particularly well. 


Fake oddities. Very odd.

The Fake Ghost Town. Somewhere on route 66. Marcus Doyle

The ghost towns of America are fascinating places and of course great for photography (and often photographed to death). But there is something very odd when someone goes out of there way to create a fake ghost town.
Upon entering the place (early Sunday morning, no one around), nothing felt quite right. In fact it was most eerie. The strange thing was that I just wasn't compelled to make any photographs. Everything just looked odd and out of place. 

I guess you can't beat the real thing...


More roadside oddities..

Sometimes its nice to throw caution to the wind and just photograph something because you like the look of it and nothing more. 
I thought this place on the Californian /Nevada border near Beatty would make a great film location. Maybe a horror, or some kind of road trip stop off. 

Good to see my old home town coming up with the goodies. Sadly I cannot make this one.


Motel Room. King City. CA 2014 Marcus Doyle

I was reminded recently how much a photograph can trigger a memory and remind us of a place in our past. Of course this is something I studied in depth during my time with the masters in photography  prison camp. But as we all know a photograph can also make us want to be in a particular place. We see a warm inviting lamp and perhaps a cosy room with a nice  flowery duvet, but the reality is often very different. As it happens this particular room (above) was cockroach infested, a little damp, and a little smelly. But for the equivalent of fifteen pounds a night, what do you expect. 

Seedy American motel rooms are certainly one of those things that look a lot better than they actually are..