Live View © Artur Urbanski 

Today, what we do when we are confronted with overwhelming beauty? Again and again, our first inclination is to raise a camera (or phone) to "capture" the moment, hopefully for ever.

But if we spend all of our time taking pictures—what will finally be remembered? Feelings from the moment; an amazing view; or just a technically recorded image? And if we choose to photograph the scene—how long will we remember the original experience? Does the act of photographing even cause us to forget?
The project "Live View" raises questions about how photography, as a medium, is being used to expand (replace? diminish?) our memory. The title refers to the function in digital cameras and phones which instantly displays reality on their screens. In this moment, we are confronted with a paradox—a "live" view as seen through a digital intermediary.
Visually, photographs—especially of the landscape—have always juxtaposed the romantic idea of the sublime with a more quotidian, touristic "must see before you die" urge. But with the ubiquity of cameras nowadays, this contrast is only growing more striking. For example, show up at Angkor Wat at 5 AM on an unsuspecting morning and you'll find over 300 photographers who were likewise advised by their guidebook to take "the sunrise picture of a lifetime." The same at Macchu Picchu, the Grand Canyon, Santorini—anywhere that has found its way onto a top 10 (or top 1000) list...
"Live View" was photographed at sites around the world: Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Cambodia, France, India, Switzerland.



The headless bird and a life of optimisim..

Its a cruel old world, but even a decapitated bird can look quite beautiful, or maybe thats just me..
I have no idea what happen here, but I am guessing a cat was the reason and not some miniture bird guillotine. Or maybe it was the bird of prey I keep seeing circling my house..

On another note, but still relevant, I have always been an optimist and remember being told this story at school.

An optimist boy and his pessimist brother wake up on Christmas morning. Each are given the same present, a bag of manure.

The pessimistic brother cries out to his parents;

"A bag of manure! Why do you hate me so!"

But the optimist brother is over the moon;

"How great, now where's my horse.."


Keep on shooting..

More juicey bites added to my LA River Stories. This ongoing project is still in the early phase but has oodles of possibilities. At the moment I am fixated with disgarded objects (always have been). The, 'What is it and why is it there' is something I enjoy exploring. 

I have been contemplating a few portraits to add to the pie, but still not sure as it may change the dynamics of the project, besides I have a terrible habit of meeting people and chitty chatting for far too long and forgetting to make a photograph. I have even done this at a couple weddings and forgot to photograph the bride and groom, but they don't talk to me anymore..


An image made without thought will create no thought..

From the LA River series August 2016
In a world of 'phone photography' with instant gratification, filters, and auto everything (that phone does all the work, not you), its nice to go old school and do a long exposure to soften water and bring out the colour of an abandoned red trolly. 
I used the same long exposure on water technique on my By Coastal series way back when I braved hurricanes and sheer cold wetness for months as I dragged myself around the Scottish coast. But despite being in a mood for a month, I made what I would consider to be some of my best work.

An image made without thought will create no thought..


Past, Future, Present..

 August 2016
My love of abandoned vehicals and cars in strange places has seen me photographing all kinds of makes and models. However, I never make photographs of new or very common modern cars. The reason is simple, it dates the photograph. I have never been a fan of dating any of my work. I like to think of it as timeless which is not surprising to me, as I dislike anything that is out of date and will not read old newspapers, or magazines for example. Its a strange phenomenon that if you photograph something old, it doesn't look outdated, but thinking about it just gives me a headache..

August 2016

 I have always said that if you want to make a film that will not look outdated, set it in the past and not the future..


Life and death along the LA River..

The LA River project I have been working on is conjuring up all kind of melancholy objects (I am not sure what the above is, but it has one set of nashers).

There is always a certain sadness with dead decaying animals, but also a strange kind of beauty which I find quite fascinating. This does not mean I am about to seek out magot infested little beasties, that would be vile, rather I look for peaceful looking dead animals after they have been savaged and half eaten by a bird of prey..

World Elephant Day

As its World Elephant Day today I thought I would post this. Probably one of the most haunting images I have made. There are no tusks because, yes you guessed it, there were taken by poachers..


Where is everybody going..

It is my opinion that the exclusiveness that was once in fine art photography has been in a steady decline for a while now. Personally I blame i-phones, instagram, digital photography and those millennial folk.

But times change and theres no point in being a sentimental-old-hand-printing-fart.

But the one thing that sums up all my fears is that of all the blogs I used to follow (ten in total) have all gone and I really do believe its because people have nothing worth writing about anymore.. Just look at me, I have gone from writing a little about other photographers to writing soley about me, myself and I...


Oh that dirty old cafe..

Wagon Wheel Cafe July 2016
Ohh the old Wagon wheel Cafe. It was a place I would always visit on my way back to LA from the salton Sea area. The place was always open, always a bit dirty, with awful food and coffee which tasted of egg. But there was just something about the place. Maybe it was the fact that the staff wore Barney Rubble outfits (no joke), or maybe I'm just being sentimental.
 I was sad to see it close about two years ago, but was even more sad to see there were still table settings and and menues on the tables years later..

The place is for sale if you are interested. Just of the I-10 in Cazabon.


The Land that time forgot..

I will never get tired of visiting my old shooting haunt in and around the Salton Sea.
Its ever changing heated landscape draws me in just when I think I am done with the place. 

I still get a little trigger happy in these places, something Edward Western referred to as 'Postcard Syndrome'. Everywhere you look has the potential of a photograph, but this often makes things harder, not easier. As a firm believer in the less a place has to offer the possibilties there often are (is that a quote, I am not sure), the Salton Sea can be one fickle mistress.

 During my last few visits to The Sea I have left the tripod in the truck. The earlier work was all about the quality of light at the end of the day. The combination of dusk, dust and decay made way for the most beautiful of images. All well and good, but not suited for everything.. Besides, waitng around for 10 minutes worth of light in 120 degrees was never fun.
Going into the apocolyptic landscape without a tripod (and a very big camera) did free  me up somewhat should I of stumbled upon any Zombie type beings (or Dinosaurs) and had to fight them off..