A Christmas Message.

Well its that time of year when everyone sends a Christmas message and in some instances try to put the world to rights. I on the other hand am spending Christmas at the airport with the tax bill in my pocket which I received this morning and therefore feel no joy to pass over to the countless thousands who read this blog. Only joking of course, I always have joy for my followers, will burn my bill and hopefully get an up graded flight.

Be well my friends and remember even though it may be time to feast;


back here sometime in Jan.


Gerald Edward III

I came across the work of Gerald Edward III today and have to say he is a talented young swine who I believe had Gregory Crewdson as a mentor (my mentor done still life for Birds Eye peas and smoked a pipe).
My only criticism is that there may be too much work on the website, especially the 69 churches project. But this is not necessarily a bad thing and something I think will change as Edward's work matures (not that I think it needs improvement you understand). I needn't talk anyway, I used to have double the images on my site than I do now...

This has got me thinking of how important it is for a photographer to get 'stuck in' early on in their career and find there subject/s so that they may hone their skills and fulfill ones destiny. It can be a frustrating time as the natural pull to overshoot (and sometimes plagiarise) can leave you 'blind' to your own work which is where good critique can be a huge asset.


Time for a Crunchy...

I was glad to read a short comment over on the Manchester Photography Blog today stating how they are sick to death of hearing about how the credit crunch is affecting the art/photography market. I also along with many others feel the same and would like to plagiarise a quote from a good friend of mine who said;

"The credit crunch can lick my balls and I still wont take any notice of it..."


And then there was light, nice soft light good for photographing big bits of ice...

After my last post I did not want the World Wide Web to think there is no talent left in the world and so have to point out that my latest trip to the new Photographers Gallery in London was not in vain. There in the Print Room at the gallery was the most beautiful image (see above) by Stephen Vaughn. The version you see here does not do this masterpiece justice. I have always admired Vaughn's work so it was nice to see a print of perhaps my favorite image of his series Ultima Thule. This is an image I would certainly consider purchasing myself (rather than thinking I can do my own version) which has to be the ultimate compliment (at least it is to me).

You see my friends you do not need to use shock tactics, or photograph a freak show in order to gain respect and produce fine work, any twit with a camera can do that. Just look at the image above, a chunk of ice, nothing could be more simple, but the way the light hits the ice making it look like a giagantic jewel, the composistion and camera technique all help in the creation of this beautiful image. (in other words skill) Its work like this that separates the fruit from the toot.

Something worth crying over...

So it would appear that I am becoming a bit of a critique lately with yesterdays post. But my photee friends this is nothing compared to what I beheld today....Please read on......

As I was in town today I decided to check out the new premises for the Photographers Gallery who have decided to move from the center of town to some shady back street opposite what I will politely describe as a gentleman's sauna which goes by the name of Sweatbox. Once in the new gallery surroundings and after climbing more stairs than the emergency exit from Goodge Street Tube, I was subject to the worst show I have ever seen in my life, and I have seen quite a few. Katy Grannan's show The Westerners should have been called; Transvestites Falling Over And losing Their Shoes While looking Really Stupid And Pathetic. Now before I explode in an orgy of critique I should first point out that I do not care, or have any interest in other peoples sexual orientation. This is not about that, its about bad (exceedingly bad) photography. The photographer in question appears to be an intelligent, very well educated individual, but somewhere along the line someone has told her she has a photographic talent. I couldn't agree less. Is this really the best a top London gallery has to offer.

I would say see for yourself, but would not recommend it as its on the top floor of the gallery and you may want to hurl yourself off the top.

I should point out that the images have nice frames..


I think he said "Thats Vile"

Well everyone seems to be showing this video short of old Willy Eggy Scone, so I have decided to do the same. Haven't a clue what he is going on about but neither have most people regarding me and this blog. I really hate William Ellgleston's work, but then I find him one of the most inspiring photographers (and important) still around today. I have no interest in images of car number plates or women's hair, but somehow I am drawn in..

While I am at it, and at the opposite end of the photographic spectrum, I thought I would to mention Martin Sholer's Women Bodybuilders. A fascinating subject, but one I have a bit of a problem with;
First off what are these images for? They are presented as 'Art Photography' with the intention that, like his celebrity portraits, they will be sold, put in collections, and hung on peoples walls. But surely These images are the workings of a documentary project or a book, they not something anyone would want to gaze upon over a fine dinner. They are visually vile, in fact they make me want to chunder (throw up). I also cannot help thinking that Scholer has exploited his subjects in the worst way. You earn the subjects trust, say they are beautiful, get what you want, then using the harshest light and high contrast you exploit these testosterone filled HeShe's, stronger than an elephant and more ripped than a loo roll. Its shock tactics and a complete sellout, especially for one so talented.. I don't have a problem with it as a project, its brilliant. Just don't try and fool everyone that its beautiful art because its not. See above. They remind me of those flaming crying baby pictures by Jill Greenburg.

"No thanks love, you're not my type..."


What that up in the sky......

Here at B Mode I like to bring you interesting facts from time to time especially when I can't find any images I want to talk about. So apparently the Moon is at its biggest and brightest and hasn't been like this for many years. Worth mentioning here because I have used the light of the Moon a fair old bit in my night work.
There was a time when a full Moon, Fog, Lighting, Snow, in fact any dramatic act of mother nature would have me reaching for the tripod, desperately seeking out some kind of interesting imagery. These days I am a bit more laid back about the whole affair and if the Moon comes out while I am alone in a dark field and gives off an eerie glow I can capture, great.

What a pointless post....


No Ones Perfect...

If you had not already heard I am in the middle of producing my next show (blah, blah,blah, like listening to someones holiday stories..)...
Anyway, the images for this London extravaganza are quite big and so for the first time I have had my large format negatives scanned and prepped for printing (matching the image with my original 'C-Type' print). What I have found is that all these people working on my images are so used to making everything spotless and perfect they assume that I want to do the same. For example one of my shots was created with the help of a few ND filters. A combination of too many filters and sea mist resulted in an image which although not out of focus does have a slight softness which I rather like. Once the guys sharpened up the scan and took an entire tool box to the image I was left with an image with an entirely different feel, It looked digital. Of course I reverted back to the original and soon it was just as I had intended.
My point here (as I have probably mentioned before) is that I have never been interested in perfection, its the imperfections that make my work what it is. If theres a plastic cup in my image it because I want it too be there, otherwise I would of picked it up and may be asked passers by to fill it with change. I certainly wouldn't say "I'll get rid of that later"
I would like to think in this photographic world of change I can still produce something 'honest'.
Lets face it, just because an image is technically perfect doesn't mean its any good.



I had a request today for some images of New York. Although I have spent a fair bit of time in the Big Fat Apple its a place I have always found difficult to photograph taking to a 35mm compact rather than a 5/4" (did take the 5/4 once, was a complete disaster). Its a bit like making images of London, way too many people and rules to be broken. Besides that theres just too much clutter for my liking, I would rather take to the desert. Having said that though many a photographer has done a spiffing job especially in olden times the best example probably being someone like Stieglitz or may be even that Steichen fella for that matter.
The most recent body of work which should be mentioned concerning New York would be Joel Meyerowitz's haunting images of the 911 World Trade Centre 'Aftermath', sadly an important document of our times.

Well heres what I dug out today. They really do nothing for me photographically but do bring back memories of my trips, and yes, that cactus lamp does look like a willy.... Ouch...


Is it over.....

If you have not purchased this months Aperture magazine I would personally suggest you spend the money on something better like an egg roll or a sausage sandwich. Inside was the promise of Richard Misrach's latest work, the one photographer that has had the biggest influence on my own work. Now before I begin I should point out that I was never really keen on the Beach images Misrach produced a few years back, but I totally got it even though it didn't quite float my boat. But my little snappy friends I have to say this latest body of work seems like a very poor show. Its as if old Missy has gone through his archive and made some of his old images into negative positives (I know) (would of included an example but could not find one online. Just go into Borders and have a look..), but then I am told that Misrach is no longer shooting film and has gone the way of the pixel. Now I don't have a problem with any photographer going digital , in fact I don't care at all as its the image that's important (although the amount of dust on my last set of negs pushes me ever closer), but quite frankly these new images are toot.

And so after my tearful session in Borders Books I went (as promised here) to see Michael Kenna's latest work at the HackleBury gallery. The show was certainly a contrast to the ever changing work of RM. Here we have a photographer who still shoots with the same technique and shoots the same content as he did twenty years ago (the print size has never changed either), and they still deliver. Ok, I wasn't blown away like I was at my first Kenna show, but I enjoyed the show very much and would happily of taken a few away with me (thats right nicked them) had the nice chap at the gallery with the big hair not been in my eye line.

So all this whaffle now raises the question:
'Does a photographer keep shooting what they are best known for, or dare I say 'good at' therefore producing a lifetimes body of fine work ?'
'Or does a photographer change direction and try something totally different which in turn may be a load of old plop..?'

Answers on a postcard, or the back of a new Misrach print..


Just slow down you big fat print producing freaks....

My last post got me thinking about the whole photographic print thing which I happen to be a big part of as most of my images are aimed at the gallery side of things.
Not long ago galleries and collectors wouldn't touch a colour print if it wasn't a 'C Type' chemical based print. Mention the word injet and you may as well of said photo copy. They even changed the word to Gilcee to try and fool everyone, this was especially true of the William Eggleston exhibition in London some time ago.
Now it seems, if its big, anything goes. Image quality may be improving but I still have my doubts over the longevity of such processes. I get the impression that few care at the moment, but this may change when I buyer comes back a few years later demanding a refund for they now wishy wasy print. After sales services from photographers are probably as bad as a mobile phone shop..
I had a brochure from one of my labs telling me that I should get giant Glicee prints done because all the well know photographers in New York where getting them done now.
I cant help thinking there will be a price to pay (other than the print itself)..But I have to admit, those HP 3200 printers look the business....

Big World, Large Format.

Well it would seem that these days all you need to do a bit of advertising is a sweaty office and a few leaflets. Don't beat around the bush Mr. Soth, theres no need your printers in the mail...
Watch this and all will become clear...

At least when Joel Meyerowitz done this you seen him actually use the printer.

Very Cheap.... (not the printer)


I see that old Mikey K (Michael Kenna to the rest of you) has a show of his latest work on at HackelBury Fine Art gallery. This guy is unstoppable in that he just keeps producing those gems for us all to see. Lets face it, he's the one every landscape photographer tries to copy in one way or another. Search your feelings, you know its true......

This calls for a day out.


NORTH SHORES Coming soon.

For the last few days I have been locked into deepest thought fueled only by coffee and crumpets as to what to call my up coming spring exhibition regarding my images of the Scottish coast.. The working title was 'By Coastal' because I was always 'by the coast' (of course). But this did not really gel and most people thought it was something to do with my sexuality. Then one night I had a vision and decided to go with something really clever like ' Gab O May' which means cold and wet in olde worlde Scottish tongue and pretty much summed up my Northern adventures. This lasted for about an hour as I decided it was way too vague, even for me and I kept forgetting the 'Gab' bit.
So often we have the answers to many things right in front of us, and this exhibition/project title was no exception. From a very early age I remember being told we where going to the North Shores, mostly in the summer time, and yes you guessed it, it was the sea side, the Scottish Coast where my mother grew up and my Grandfather spent many years sinking in quick sand and falling into rock pools while looking for something to paint.
So there you have it NORTH SHORES coming to a gallery near you (if you live in London). Don't you just love it.....
Pictures to follow soon.


Club It...

I occasionally buy PhotoIcon magazine and enjoy the read (well its better than Outdoor Photography or Digital Photographer or Outside Digital Photographer..).In this particular issue I discovered that there is a PhotoIcon club online which you can see a bit of here. Lots of naff photography, but was pleasantly surprised with the work of Vidar Nordli Mathisen who apart from sounding like a bond villain has some beautiful imagery of Norway.
Vidar does not seem to have a web page but does have a lot of work on that Flicker thing which I refuse to direct anyone to. Start doing that and I may as well put B Mode on face book..
One must have standards.
After writing a little regarding the Magnum Blog on the 16/11 I thought I would direct you here for some not so positive comments.

That all I have to say about that.



Yesterday my Grannie turned 101, a magnificent achievement indeed and no one to this day knows her secret. Nothing much to do with photography really, but 'her man,' my Grandfather, was a huge influence early on in my work whom I have mentioned a few times on here before, sadly he passed away some twenty odd years ago. I have often thought what he would think of my photography work today which would probably of been similar to what my father told a few weeks ago;
"Son, how come you swan around with a big camera taking nice pictures and manage to make a living, its simply marvelous.."

Of course I haven't told him yet..


Simon Norfolk.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for the work of Simon Norfolk and if I am honest I wish I had taken many of the images he produces. The only problems I do have are with many of the statements Norfolk makes (as I have mentioned on here before) which never really make sense to me and seem to contradict his fine images.

The letter below was in today's BJP (although I would hardly call it a letter). It has to be one of the finest critiques I have ever read on a given photographer.

Norfolk's way

Simon Norfolk wants to change our consciousness to enable us to do something 'about capitalist imperialism and the military industrial complex' (BJP, 29 October). Aside from making some attractive photographs, he gives us no clue about what doing something might entail. Are we to all make a pilgrimage to his current show and then write angrily to our MPs? The kind of consciousness shift that I think he has in mind, laudable though it may be, is a bigger job than art photography is capable of addressing. And if post-modernism has taught us anything it's that shrill or 'shouty' (to use his own word) agitprop becomes immediately impotent when purveyed in the commercial arena because it questions the motivations and sincerity of the artist.

To ascribe the ills of the world solely to capitalist imperialism etc is surely simplistic, and then to expect that selling beautiful pictures of the fifth circle of Hell to rich people will somehow assuage this is totally naive.

Ironically, often what comes over to me in Norfolk's pictures is a fascination with weaponry rather than his announced revulsion of it. This revulsion also seems to extend to civilian infrastructure; surely a boring clean room with an empty computer cabinet is not made any more interesting or shocking by reading that it belongs to the French nuclear industry; what would worry me more is the absence of such computers. And what are we expected to make of a very pretty picture of the interior of a 1960s Apollo moon rocket; what sinister secret has NASA withheld from us all these years? Clearly there is a level of discourse that Norfolk wants to, but is often failing to, communicate in the work itself.

By way of contrast, Paul Seawright's dark vision of Afghanistan in Hidden, with its profound psychological insight and complete renunciation of beauty, is a work with clarity of purpose harnessed to a powerfully defined aesthetic signature which goes right back to Fenton.

I think that Norfolk's chosen campaigning aesthetic, the now somewhat cliched one of 'beauty tarnished', is subverting his intent. He correctly recognises that beauty can be a honey trap, but frankly I think he's already stuck in it, thereby undercutting rather than amplifying his urgent alarms to us. He seems to me to be saying that 'the horrors of the world are only worthy of my attention if I can transform them into beautiful prints', an objective, it seems to me, which is also at odds with a proper understanding of the title of his latest project.

Variously translated as 'Even in Arcadia I Death am present' or 'the person buried in this tomb has lived in Arcadia', Et in Arcadia ego, Norfolk's magnum opus in the making, seems to me therefore a bizarrely inappropriate title for a body of work that documents the mindless waste of our dystopian age. Poussin's complex and beautiful painting of that same deliciously ambiguous title is an untarnished classical vision of our mortality and is surely a call to embrace art and the world's beauty in the face of death, symbolised by the maiden standing on the right of the picture; beauty and art together unafraid to offer redemption.

- Sophia Kovacs, Sutton

Quote of the day, month, year, whatever...

"I am not a celebrity. I'm a normal person that's just famous.."

Kayne West (rapper) after an 'altercation' with a photographer.



Theres a great piece over on the Magnum blog by Alec Soth (Wear Good Shoes) where twenty five photographers give their advice for young photographers (or anyone else for that matter..) thinking of taking up photography as a career. What is interesting is that most of them say the same thing which is 'stick at it' which happens to be what I would of said first hand, but after a little thought it would probably be along the lines of; "If I had any advice to give I would follow it myself.."

The most honest piece of advice I ever heard was when I was fifteen years of age and is something I have never forgotten...

Cocky youth.
"Mr Photographer. How did you manage to get all these clients, light your subjects, print your negs and make a living from photography.?"

Established, respected photographer.
"Listen here young Doyle. Why should I tell you what has taken me ten years to achieve in just ten minutes, first learn some respect.!"

Enough said..


Jamie Drouin

I was intrigued by the work of Jamie Drouin firstly because of my love for Iceland, but second because his Yards And Lots series. Without the titles you would be forgiven for thinking these where taken in the American Mid West. Its a side of Iceland I have never seen before and makes a crisp refreshing change from lava fields, glaciers, geezers, and dare I say Northern Lights (something I always manage to miss)..
His other work is also well worth a look..
Nice one.



In the days when I could run a four minute mile, wrestle a grizzly bear in just my shorts, and pull a bus with my teeth (of course only one is true) I never questioned my motives behind my photography or the amount of gear I needed. I would load all my gear without hesitation, usually a large format, lots of dark slides, 5 or 6 lenses, a heavy tripod and anything else I deemed necessary for my outing. This was not because I was super human, although I was probably stronger with more energy, It was because I knew far less about what I actually needed. These days I tend to carry the very bare essentials mainly due to the fact I am more confident about my work and know pretty much all of what I need. One camera, one lens, a few slides, a light tripod and a focusing lube, that's about it. However this self assurance did slap me in the face when after a severe downpour and camera soaking, my favorite lens ceased up and failed to fire the next day due to getting water in the shutter mechanism. But before you say ' That will teach you smart arse!' the lens was still usable, I just took the olde worlde approach and put my hand in front of the lens. (Now you can call me a smart arse..)
My point here is that sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and not think so much along the lines of what if I need a longer lens, or what if I need fifty more dark slides. Having said that I have just realised that you digital types have it all to hand. A zoom lens, no film to carry, the ability to shoot in low light (hand held), heck you even have an instant image to see if using all those automatic modes has made you take an out of focus shot.
Well that was a waste of time.. But I have raised another point here in that Digital does seem to take a lot of the thought out of photography, at least where landscape photography is concerned anyway...

Heres some words from the master to back up my thoughts...


Doyle news...

I thought I would share a little news with you all, not that I think you need to know, but it stops my mother calling and puts people at ease....

Well I am back from mission coastline and have almost reached saturation point, so no trips to the sea side for a while...

My planned trip to Paris Photo is out the La fenetre (window) which stinks of garlic as I was looking forward to speaking broken French, fine food and vast amounts of photography. I am not even linking to the Paris Photo site because if I cant see it, neither can you....

Apparently America has a new president so lets hope things get 'gooder' and they grant me a green card at some point....

Editing, printing and scraping a living....May be time to hot up the deep fat fryers and start that chip shop business I have been thinking about.
Bring on the grease...


Bruce Percy.

During my research for my Scottish trip I came across the work of Bruce Percy and have to say its quite brilliant. I particularly like the Torness Power Station images and the Iceland series which are some of the best I have seen.
Very thought provoking with techniques that I know are time consuming and difficult in harsh conditions.
The podcast is a very nice touch and a great way to enjoy the work (better than reading of a computer screen with watery eyes..)

I take off my hat (and bear the cold)

I am a photographer, and I am very serious..

It has come to my attention whilst trolling through a lot of photography blogs (seeing though every photographer has one these days including myself) that most of them are way too serious for my liking, not that I think anyone in the world is bothered. I read one (actually it was 3 or 4) the other day that was trying to persuade people who to vote for in the U.S elections, very serious indeed, but its just one persons opinion and really quite vain to think they can control peoples thoughts....People take photography far too serious these days saying things like 'Well this is a very important photograph/collection and without it man would simply not exist'. Utter balls....
The point I am trying to make is that surely a blog, if you are going to take the time to do one, should be a bit of light relief, a few minutes of escapism if you like, its not the flaming news......Lighten up you stiff lot...

Written in a foul mood....Or should I say in the moment..


My hands are cold...

I recently watched Kenneth Branner's Shackleton which I would recommend to anyone, a very enjoyable snowy epic. It got me thinking of how important Photography can be. Shackleton's journey to the pole would of been fruitless had it not being recorded onto film (or in this case glass plates). Not only was it proof of his endeavors, it has since become a valuable record of the time.
Any past achievement has always been recorded using photography be it the fake moon landings, conquering Everest, the birth of a child etc...But without writing a book on the subject I just thought it would be nice to mention Shackleton and the photography of Frank Hurley, especially considering how difficult it would of been producing such images in such bad conditions, something I am familiar with on a smaller scale.


Forever searching for the prize...

As my Scotland trip now draws to a close I would like to make some time for reflection as I so often do after my travels.
So often in the past I would chose to travel to far off places in search of new imagery, but in the past few years (since my return to the UK from the States) I have tried to look at my project ideas with fresh eyes. Usually there is a project right under your nose you just have to know its there, a bit like a bogey. This latest project of Scotland's coast I am working on is a prime example of something that was always there on my door step, I just needed to move the foot mat.
The Scottish coastline is quite remarkable and rivals the likes of Iceland in its dramatic outer worldly rock formations. Although I put up with some almighty weather, it all added to the drama within the landscape and I truly believe that this project will be some of my best work. It has certainly been my most challenging in terms of bad weather, access, trying not to do the obvious, and sticking to my brief (following the steps of my Grandfather when I just wanted to point the camera the other way..). So in brief I will end by saying its all out there my friends and probably closer than you think, you just have to find it...

Haste Ye Back.

Britains got talent...

Well I thought I better mention the 'Take a view/ jump' photography competition seeing though the winners have been announced.
All very pretty and clean and the kind of images your grandma may like on her flowery wall. This may be a little harsh but the competitions hardly ground breaking is it.... Cant say I like the competition, can't say I wouldn't like the prize, but I do like being able to say that winning shot is completely pants... See above and become 'inspired'


Wheres my bag....

Met up with my good friend John Darwell today who I have mentioned a few times here on the blog. He is one of the few British photograpers I have great respect for and was doing the fine art photography thing when I was still in nappies and sucking on chicken bones (we were very poor).
Always a joy to talk with John and share thoughts and feelings about photography over froffy coffee.
In his search for the more original project his Shit Bags series is a real hoot. Its looks at enviromental issues, human nature, and makes you ponder something you probably see every day but think nothing of which is more than can be said for a huge percentage of floaty photography on the web today.
You can see more of Johns work here.

Nice one John. Until next time.......

Here in the North I am surrounded by humour. My father in particular told me this today.

'Well son, I was out fishing the other day and I snagged a real big un. I was reeling it in and I said to myself that beast must weigh fifteen pounds five ounces'

'But how could you be so precise Pappa Doyle' I replied.

'Easy number one son, It had scales on its back....'

Pause, lots of laughter.


Wheres that twit going....

From the moment I embarked on my voyage to the northern most parts of Scotland things never really went according to plan (when do they ever). It all started with an announcement on one of Richard Bransons phallic transporters that the train had lost power somewhere near Crewe, famous for its station and boarded up housing. Almost eight hours later and more changes than I care to mention I arrived at my first port of call which also happened to be my birthplace Carlisle, the Great Border City (apparently).. It wasn't long before I realised I had left my almighty carbon fiber Gitzo tripod on the train destined for Glasgow. Quicker than a tail-less squirrel I stole/borrowed my fathers car and made for Glasgow. Approximately two hours later I had reached my destination with the realisation I had no clue where the train station was. After exploring every nook and cranny of this historic town I eventually found the station, located the mighty Gitzo and made my escape for the border...
A few days later I loaded up the hire car and made my way North. I had decided on this occasion to be totally self sufficient and camp my way around the un-explored (for me) coast of Scotland in all its autumnal glory. A beautiful drive through Loch Lomond down to the Mull of Kintyre where I crossed over on the ferry to Isle of Islay (pronounced eye la)..... Upon arrival to the baron wasteland I was greeted by a vast wet darkness and was reminded of the scene from Withnal And I when they where trying to find there holiday cottage, only I had to find somewhere to camp.. I would like to think of myself as being quite experienced in the art of Bushcraft and Survival but trying to put up a tent in a hurricane on a night as dark as an espresso would test the patience of any calm soul, such as moi... But alas, an hour or so later I was inside my sleeping bag with my camera beside me (and tripod) looking up at my orange emergency glow light and listening to the rain on the canvas of my tent which sounded more like falling gravel... After several hours of semi consciousness I noticed the interior of my tent, complete with emergency orange glow stick, had a thine layer of mist hovering above my sleeping bag. Upon further examination I realised although quite warm, I was also quite wet, in fact I was soaked thanks to the rain seeping through the bottom of my tent, and no I am not a bed wetter... And so there I lay in my own little puddle waiting for day break and wishing I had never been born (very dramatic I know)... After the worlds longest night I arose from my watery grave the next morning to a bleak, dark lifeless landscape. My fears of a scene from The Wicker Man where nothing compared to what confronted me. The large format photographers three worst enemies Wind, Heavy Rain, And Bugger All To Photograph...... I had to move on, and so I made my way to the ferry port the dried cured sausage for breakfast repeating on every road bump.... Wipers on full I raced to the port, but the misery was only to get worse when I was told the ferries where all cancelled until Monday due to severe weather. Now this wouldn't of been so bad had it been a little dry and not been WEDNESDAY. Safe to say that this was one of the longest, wettest and most miserable five days of my life. BUT, on the fifth day the clouds parted and the sun came a shining, everything was glorious once again and the Island seemed strangely beautiful. ...Twenty minutes later the happy sun disappeared followed by lots of shouting with words like 'stupid Island' and 'I hate Scotland cause the foods crap...' But my friends that's not the full story because what happened in those twenty minutes more than made up for the five days of soggy pants and nights of asking myself why....

The mystery continues.


The Great Escape..

Off to work on my Coast Project on a journey to the most remote parts of Scotland. No phone, no email, no hair and certainly no blog, unless perhaps I scribble a few poems by torchlight in the evenings....

American Photo

Once a year American Photo magazine publish there list of top emerging photographers...'In The World...' I don't know where they get these lists from but imagine its a similar process to selecting something like GQ magazines 'Man Of The Year' or 'The Women Men Would Most Like To Marry And The Men Women Would Most Like To Marry Best List In The World'. Or may be I am being a little harsh. Anyway there is some good stuff on there but I could easily think of another ten photographers that should be on it....


There she goes...Again...

It would seem that I cannot get enough of Annie Leibowitz these days. May be I want to be her friend or baby sit her children, or may be she just happens to be all over the place at the moment with her touring exhibition.
As it happens, I went to the opening of the show here in London last night, as you do, (thanks to my wife's contacts, not mine) and my, what a show. Overwhelming to say the least. The whole show oozes class and like all best work is just so simple and unpretentious. It actually reminded me of the Averdon show all those years ago also at the National Portrait Gallery.
I guess I should not be surprised at the quality and sheer weight of the show, afterall shes right at the top in her proffession, but I will say again, its a great show and well worth a visit. Theres even some big fat landscapes there (not as many as the NY show I am told) and although not my favorite images at the exhibition the text that went with the images of the Monument Valley shots made me chuckle and is just great (you will have to go see the show as I cant remember it word for word)..

The only thing I didn't like about the show were the Beechwood frames that looked like they where purchased from Habitat. But hey, what do I know about frames....I also didn't like spilling my fruity drink all down my pink/salmon shirt, but theres always one of those twits at a show..


Joshua Dudley Greer..

I came across the work of Joshua Dudley Greer today and enjoyed patrolling through his work very much. The Fiction series was what drew me to his sight but his American Histories is quite wonderful and very well researched besides fascinating. The work is uncomplicated and unpretentious, unlike other bodies of work similar in vain I have come across in the past...


My California.

May I invite you all to this little film made by wife during our time in the USA. Although a very personal short I think its worth showing here.


Photomonth (apparently)

As we are in the throws of Photo Month (I shall not pretend I knew anything about this, in fact I only discovered it this morning when I read the BJP) I thought I should mention something here as I would like to think of this blog as the small dirt road to whats going on in the photography world.. Photomonth basically looks like lots of juicy photography going on in the East End which may be worth a visit. Apparently this has been going on since 2002...
I particularly like the look of Kate Peters work. She has a very well thought out website and some very interesting work which although not the most original of content (who's is), her images of Chernobyl, America and dusty interiors are exceptionally well executed.
The work of Toby Smith also caught my eye in particular the Light After Dark series but I did not care for the lenghty text explaining the subject matter which really isn't necessary and perhaps a little overboard as the work speaks for itself. I would hate to say that Michael Kenna would never worded such things, but he did not...(see for yourself) but thats enough waffle from me, although I may come back to Smiths work some other time...
So theres lots to see this month photographically speaking, just wish someone told me sooner. Even my local village fate and 'Bake a Cake' Fridays had more press than this.....


Well I Never,,,

After reading about some new Leica DSLR with 37 million thousand pixels and thinking may be this is the start of the kind of pixalidge I would need if I where to go a bit digital I turned the page and saw this. With tears in my eyes and spilled coffee in my lap I was over joyed to see a new practical FILM camera that could replace the Mamiya 7 I foolishly traded for a few lenses. The fact that it folds up with a lens is simply brilliant and I have already started saving...


Oh, say can you see, By the dawns early light...

My wife found this photograph today and insisted I post it because I look happy. It was taken way back on my first trip out to the Salt Flats in Utah, such wonderful days and hot, it was 118 degrees at the time..! If you can take your gaze from my handsomeness and look at the image above you will see the American flag in tatters. Quite fitting for these times and worthy of a post.
I have always liked this shot (the landscape, not me) because it reminds me of the Apollo Moon landing and how easy it was /could of been to fake. It was also taken on the 4th July...Could this be my first iconic photograph...I do hope so.

Have you seen how skinny that tripod is...

Uta Kogelsberger..

I came across the work of Uta Kogelsberger today and have to say I rather like it in particular her Night Vision series (Night Vision, rings a bell). Her website is full of little goodies including an interview with a slide show..
I believe she is having a show at Photo Fusion from the 3rd October.
Hope those prints are huge....

What Economy....

Although I am not one of those people who wrap themselves in a blanket, turn off all the lights and hide in the corner whilst worrying about the economy, I have been on the edge a little since I started my accounts a few days ago. My own little economy is forever getting into trouble with expenses usually far exceeding my profit margins at which point I have to question why I took the artist route, especially when the cost of prints and shipping, plus 50% percent commission from the gallery (how did this ever happen) leaves me with barely enough to buy an espresso. The days of having an exhibition just for the thrill of it are long gone and like everything else in the world money has become the key factor...But my friends there is hope with the prospect of a new solo show in the spring I am rising up from the rubble despair. There has been much interest in my coastal project and its not even finished, so now the heat is on, and my ginger beard almost ready for the North....
As always stay tuned for more info.....


Ice Burg straight ahead...

Popped into the Michael Hoppen gallery today to see Tiina Itkonen's show Ultima Thule, a series of images made in Greenland.
As I have mentioned so many times here on the B Mode I get a bit tired and a little frustrated when an area of the planet becomes fashionable and bundles of photographers fall over themselves to go make beautiful images. At the moment the hot favorites are China and Greenland but before I cried out 'If I see one more photograph of a bloody Ice burg I'll go snow blind' I decided to see what was what at the 'oh so homely' MHG. After all the MHG is at the only gallery in London showing anything decent in photography as far as I am concerned and for that I have the greatest of respect.
My fears where realised when the first image I beheld at the show was a big fact lump of ice, in other words, an ice burg (see above). In all there fullness the images a quite beautiful and in a nice format, however I felt they where let down by the plexiglass/die bond framing which tends to make an image look cheap and makes a good mirror if the hanging space is over lit. Sadly though the images in the entire show fail to deliver simply because theres no impact. Compared to the work of say Otto Becker's 'Broken Line' Itkonen's work just looks bland. Harsh words perhaps, but I guess thats what you get if you choose such a popular subject thats being done by a vast number of photographers.

Despite all I have said I would gladly go to Greenland tomorrow, and would probably photograph Ice Burgs until the dam things melted..


Behold.The Queen...

In between researching my ongoing coastal project and making a fine apple pie, I managed to sit down (written as if I was incredibly busy and important..) and watch Annie Leibovitz's 'Life Through A Lens'. After my harsh words a few weeks ago on her alleged debt and how if it where true how appalling that would be, I felt obligated to watch this film on the worlds/ Americas most famous photographer. When I awoke an hour later I realised I was none the wiser regarding the life of Leibovitz other than she took some drugs early on, went into rehab, then became a household name.
To some up this film (and others like it) I would say that just because someone photographs interesting people (or makes interesting and beautiful images), does not mean they themselves are interesting, or should I say interesting enough to make a film about...This is no reflection on a truly great photographer, I am sure she is very nice in the flesh and she can photo me anytime. She just doesn't seem to have anything interesting to say... But hey, no one has even heard of me, but I am an entertainer....



Although I like to think of this beautiful blog as a simple vent for my feelings on photography I read this today and thought it most relevant especially considering how much time most of us spend in small rooms in front of a computer screen. The most amazing thing is the fact that it was written a century ago...

Where have you been Mr. Doyle...

Well it must have been months since I last wrote, or may be its just weeks. But as no one has told me they miss the blog it doesn't really matter..

When I lived Stateside the IPA (International Photography Awards) where a big deal and that seems to be catching on here in the UK. As with any international award its huge competition and although I have often voiced my dislike of such awards with words like 'lottery' and 'won't change your life' I thought it may be worth mentioning here. As with any of the big competitions there always seems (to me) to be a repetition of images each year. Hardly ever is there anything unique, just more of the bland safe photography we all see far too often. And before anyone shouts 'Nothing is original, its all been done before' I'm not talking about reinventing the wheel and producing photographs of Pluto. I would just like to see something different. However Josef Hoflehner's work kicks ass (although it does smell of Michael Kenna...)



As I have mentioned on here previously I like to think of myself as a culture vulture once in a while (although I am not) and like to try and buy a book one Friday of every month. There is no real reason for the Friday thing other than the shops are less busy than a Saturday...
To put it simply today's purchase Vanishing Landscapes (John Berger) is outstanding. Twenty photographers (half of which I adore and have mentioned here) with their own take on the diminishing landscape. Its a beautiful book and great to see so many fine photographers in one place. After viewing the book I couldn't help thinking , 'What if you put all of these twenty photographers on an island (or in this case a big ice burg) armed only with a knife, a candle and of course a camera?' Would they knife-fight it out for the best vantage points, or would they all come away with something completely different. Judging by the book, I think the latter..
I would urge (as I so often do) anyone with a vague interest in landscapes, and of course the environment to buy this book ...Superdooper..

(Amazon is £15.00 cheaper than the shops)


Its dark in here....

I came across the work of Richard Nicholson today and although I am quite fond of his East End Lock up series (see website) I just adore the Darkroom images (see above). Its nothing really to do with the technique (I personally think using a safe light or some dirty 12 watt bulb to light the shots may have added some drama, but I guess its not really necessary for such a project as this) I simply like the fact that they are working darkrooms. It takes me back to my printing days with the smell of chemistry burning my nostrils to the sound of running water...
I was especially delighted to see my old enlarger still going strong and being very well looked after. (I won't mention which darkroom it is as I am still weeping from our separation).
One thing the Darkroom series does do very well is show how personal these spaces are to the printer. Be they messy, tidy, dirty, clean, with an old enlarger, with a new enlarger, a big space or a small space, they all show a little piece of the once hero's of photography when the world was mostly analog and a little smellier.....Longer may it last....

Death to the Pixel..


Just a quick one as I am busy doing nothing..

As Joel Sternfeld is probably my favorite photographer I should mention he has a show at the Luhring Augustine gallery in New York as of the 5th September. Or if you can't go like me see it here by the wonders of the web.


If I had $3,400,000....

I have been tossing and turning all night as to which image I would rather have. The Andreas Gursky diptych 99 cent, or the photographs of Jordan and Peter Andre's wedding. With the Gursky you have the irony of a photograph of a 99 cent store fetching millions at auction, but with the wedding pictures you have the page three has-been best known for her immense balloons and twenty biography's and a little fella who once sang about mysterious girls and lived in a jungle. But after a few cups of coffee this morning and a cereal bar I decided that if I had $3,400,000 it would be much better spent on something like a new gallery, a nice big house, an orphanage restoration, or a small islands economy.
We are living in a time when wedding and baby photographs are more valuable than fine art and this my friends makes me want to vomit into the hat of vanity worn by many a celebrity.