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..