And so I end this years blog of getting lost, trapped in cupboards, wrestling bears, being angry with the world and flat tits with a simple message of happiness and joy to you and myself.
I shall write no more this year as the few followers I have will be doing much nicer things than read this nonsense.

So may I leave you with this from the wonderful Manchester Photography (I am in there somewhere) and wish all two of you a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

I'm off to scrape the car and perhaps gain a few pounds..



Photography (like most forms of art) can be a moving experience in several ways as I am sure you all know. But the viewer will never be moved in the same way as the photographer is in the making of the image.
The above image was made on my last trip to Cumbria in an attempt to finish my Border City project which seems to have taken years (and has), but you cant put a time on these things can you.? I was making my way slowly through an abandoned half derelict house which is something I used to find quite creepy, but know I revel in it, knowing that anyone in there would get a bigger fright than me.... The house was seemed very cold with lots of light blue and white wallpaper with the odd line in it, quite horrid. Normally I look for something of interest in these situations, like a childs abandoned toy, a photograph etc. But there was nothing like that here. The last room I entered was, I guess, the smallest of the bedrooms. All that remained was a tatty once white curtain, now grey, and what at first looked like a feather duster head. Upon further inspection I could see that balanced there on the window sill was a small dead bird, wings spread and perfectly formed. The realization of this tiny dead thing moved my six foot one cage fighter physical presence and I really did feel quite sad almost shedding a tear like a teenage girl watching Zac thingy-me-jigg being shot saving a baby or something. I positioned my camera and composed a shot but at the same time tried to work out what had happened to the little winged beast. Obviously the bird had hit the window trying to escape the house of cold. But how it came to be balanced on the window ledge I was not so sure. Either it flipped over, spread its wings and passed out, or someone (or something) had placed it there. Doubtful of the latter, my story will remain mysterious.
So I made the image and left the house of death never to return and to be honest never really thought much about the image until I saw the contact sheet (remember those) where upon I was moved again by this tiny beaked creature.
As for the title, well at first I thought the bird was some kind of Tit and immediately thought up the name Flat Tit as it was, well, pretty flat. Upon later inspection I dont think the bird is a Tit, in fact I thought it was Swallow, but its not. Its actually a House Martin. A much more fitting title title and it can be said allowed without a raised eyebrow....




Sitting here tonight in my undies with the heating way up. I wonder how many people got up in the early hours this morning and headed out in their best boots and long johns to photograph something snowy. Naturally I found myself trudging through the snow wrapped up like a pass- the- parcel leaving size twelve footprints like a giant winter rabbit. A magical experience it has to be said apart from thinking I had frostbite on the back of my hand which turned out to be the smudges of a red felt tip pen.

I have always liked the way weather can chance common scenes into something quite special be it light, fog, or in this mornings case snow. Natures big white blanket is always good for 'simplifying' the landscape, although one shouldn't get carried away and get all chocolate box/picture postcard. What I find most fasinating with snow is the way it changes the light around you, a bit like a big reflector (taking care not to under expose a scene as a camera meter will over compensate and make it grey, but we all know that). Night shots look particularly spooky, but again its all to easy to get carried away and over shoot just because its a bit different. Its times like this when I find large format the only way to go. Taking a limited number of dark slides makes sure I think about what I am about to shoot. Something which seems to be a bit of a rarity these days.
May be will publish what I shot here, or may be I will just think about it and perhaps put on some clothes and make a giant snow rabbit in the garden....

Stacy Arezou Mehrfar.

Stacy Arezou Mehrfar has some wonderful work on her site here.
Some Websites are just a joy to scroll through.
Right up my street this.


Heres some wonderful (and clever) work from Robert Voit. I do like images where all is not as it seems. So simple no one has thought it!
From the equally wonderful Amador Gallery which is full of lovely goodies..

Industrial Drive



It was a delight to see this exhibition down at Photofusion today.
The late Bill Rowlinson was a legend in the Black and White printing world and you can see a selection of work he donated to the mighty Fusion after he passed away a year or so ago. Bill Brant, Julia Margaret Cameron, Sarah Moon and many more. A real trip down memory lane and a real treat.

Gone but not forgotten..


Another from the Environmental series, Car Park Lanzarote.

I think most will agree that this year has not been the best for a lot of people. War, Money and Fame are all we have heard about for the last twelve months. I often wonder how many people will have full bellies over Christmas this year with all that belt tightening (although you wouldn't think it walking down Oxford street). I also wonder if the world will ever realise that the answer to climate change is simply having fewer people and more trees or if I could survive a fight with a Bengal Tiger, but lets face it things can always be far worse (there could be two tigers)...

Its fair to say that for photography its been particularly bad time, and not just for photographers. Pixalization has really took hold now with most Pros having gone totally digital leaving the few film shooters left wondering just how long it will be before the negative becomes a 'negative'.. Its also hard for a lot of film shooters to justify making any images if monies are tight. But I guess the same can be said for someone paying monthly instalments on there new Hassleblad..

I do have to say that my photography has taken a bit of a back seat as of late and I have little new work to show, but having said that I seemed to have produced some half decent images. I have personally found it quite hard getting a feel for images this past year having started several projects which I will probably never return to. But this is not the first time and it wont be the last..

I shouldn't even be writing such things really as I have no reason to complain. I have food in my belly, a roof over my head, new projects to begin, a group show in January and looks like I will be having a ten year retrospect at Diemar and Noble this coming March.

Now where's that flaming Tiger...



From the EnvironMental series, Lake Las Vegas

Adding to the last post there is a video here (again from BJP via Youtube).. Basically its a photographer in LA taking photographs in the Metro Underground and having a run in with the law.
Let me just say here that when an officer of the law asks; "Why are you taking pictures?"
Please don't say; "Because I want to."
All the guy needed to say was I am doing a project (etc), here's my ID.

I am getting the feeling that a lot of photographers are taking this attitude and although yes we have every right to take photographs in a public place, this kind of attitude will not help the cause..

Anyway, that's enough of all this troublesome talk, its making me paranoid...


I am posting this here (taken from the BJP) so we all have a copy. I think I will print one out.

John Yates, assistant commissioner of specialist operations at the Metropolitan Police, has today issued a statement to all Metropolitan Police members reminding them that people taking photographs in public should not be stopped and searched unless there is a valid reason.

The message was circulated to all Borough Commanders and published on the MPS intranet. The Met Police says that it reinforces guidance previously issued around powers relating to stop and search under the Terrorism Act 2000. 'Guidance on the issue will continue to be included in briefings to all operational officers and staff,' a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police says.

In a statement seen by BJP, Yates says that the new guidance comes after people complained 'that they are being stopped when taking photographs in public places. These stops are being recorded under Stop and Account and under Section 44 of [the Terrorism Act]. The complaints have included allegations that people have been told that they cannot photograph certain public buildings, that they cannot photograph police officers or PCSOs and that taking photographs is, in itself, suspicious.'

He adds: 'Whilst we must remain vigilant at all times in dealing with suspicious behaviour, staff must also be clear that there is no restriction on people taking photographs in public places or of any building other than in very exceptional circumstances; there is no prohibition on photographing front-line uniform staff; the act of taking a photograph in itself is not usually sufficient to carry out a stop.

He also says that unless there is a very good reason, 'people taking photographs should not be stopped'.

Yates also clarifies that searches prompted by reasonable suspicion should be carried under Section 43 of the Terrorism Act, and not under Section 44. He says: 'These are important yet intrusive powers. They form a vital part of our overall tactics in deterring and detecting terrorist attacks. We must use these powers wisely. Public confidence in our ability to do so rightly depends upon your common sense. We risk losing public support when they are used in circumstances that most reasonable people would consider inappropriate.'

The full guidance is published below:

Section 43 Terrorism Act 2000

Section 43 is a stop and search power which can be used if a police officer has reasonable suspicion that a person may be a terrorist.

Any police officer can:

- Stop and search a person who they reasonably suspect to be a terrorist to discover whether they have in their possession anything which may constitute evidence that they are a terrorist.

- View digital images contained in mobile telephones or cameras carried by the person searched to discover whether the images constitute evidence they are involved in terrorism.

- Seize and retain any article found during the search which the officer reasonably suspects may constitute evidence that the person is a terrorist, including any mobile telephone or camera containing such evidence.

The power, in itself, does not permit a vehicle to be stopped and searched.

Section 44 Terrorism Act 2000

Section 44 is a stop and search power which can be used by virtue of a person being in a designated area.

Where an authority is in place, police officers in uniform, or PCSOs IF ACCOMPANIED by a police officer can:

- Stop and search any person; reasonable grounds to suspect an individual is a terrorist are not required. (PCSOs cannot search the person themselves, only their property.)

- View digital images contained in mobile telephones or cameras carried by a person searched, provided that the viewing is to determine whether the images contained in the camera or mobile telephone are connected with terrorism.

- Seize and retain any article found during the search which the officer reasonably suspects is intended to be used in connection with terrorism.

General points

Officers do not have the power to delete digital images, destroy film or to prevent photography in a public place under either power. Equally, officers are also reminded that under these powers they must not access text messages, voicemails or emails.

Where it is clear that the person being searched under Sections 43 or 44 is a journalist, officers should exercise caution before viewing images as images acquired or created for the purposes of journalism may constitute journalistic material and should not be viewed without a Court Order.

If an officer's rationale for effecting a stop is that the person is taking photographs as a means of hostile reconnaissance, then it should be borne in mind that this should be under the Section 43 power. Officers should not default to the Section 44 power in such instances simply because the person is within one of the designated areas.


Leave those shiny balls alone and get out...

One of the problems of being freelance is around this time of year things start to slow down. Agents dont call, galleries know they wont sell anything in January so tend to wind up for a while (although there is the chance of a last minute gift sale just before Chrimbo, but you wont get paid until spring..). And anyone else is hungover and sees no point in doing anything until the New Year. And so the reality is that most Freelance types have to except that nothings going to happen. But my followers I do find this time is perfect for getting out with the camera, undisturbed, quite and stealth like. When most people are huddled by the fire, or sat round a candle, there's nothing better than wiping the condensation off the front of your lens and perhaps create a winter wonderland image... You can always warm yourself up later.....

John Humble: Los Angeles - A Place in the Sun...

10425 Venice Boulevard, Los Angeles, 1997

Los Angeles… L.A…. the City of Angels.

The words are charged… they carry a feeling and a complex weight… emotion and human stories seem to be carried within the letters… they come off of the page... a heavy vibe... just in the words. This massive thing is no ordinary place, this is no ordinary city and those that come here, those that are from here… those that live here and those that die here... no ordinary folks. Los Angeles is a living-breathing-epicenter and its waves are felt far and wide. It is vast... it is a dream, it is its people… it is its country… its culture and its effects reach out across the land. Alive... it thrives, it grows, it expands... it gives, it takes, it demands. It is birth, it is death... it lifts dreams up yet it crushes them with impunity… it breathes up the air and it consumes it voraciously. A place where dreams are born, where they fight to survive… where dreams try their best to come true. 13 million souls, 13 billion stories, every spoken language… every skin... every color... every rich-every poor… every good-every bad… every hero-every villain… every thought-every vice… everything that exists under the blazing sun. This is a city that needs to be shown… this is a city that needs to be seen, needs to define and needs to be understood… needs to be experienced, needs to be told… needs to be “felt”. Even if you never go there… you can “feel” Los Angeles and you can know it.

1553 8th Street, Los Angeles, November 15, 1985
423 Lincoln Boulevard, Venice, 2000

This is the Los Angeles that John Humble loves... this is the Los Angeles that John Humble photographs. From the roof view of his 1970's van (John built a platform on his van's roof to accommodate his large-format camera and provide a better view for recording the street and its context), from the freeway overpasses, from the water... his handiwork and craftsmanship... what he makes... serves as a window into this feeling of "L.A.". It is a certain and loving view into its character, into its beauty. Like Eggleston with his beloved South, this is a personal diary into the sprawl, a look at the skin of the city… a view into the vast ocean of concrete ugliness… no, a celebration of the ugliness... a beauty that is this concrete ugliness, an ugliness that is beauty. In the concrete and in the metal, in the waterways (In the late 1990s Humble began documenting the Los Angeles River, charting its 51-mile course from the headlands in Canoga Park to its mouth in Long Beach) and in the electric towers, in the foliage and in the steel bars... in the man made, in the man-nature and in the feeling that comes in viewing these things... in the lives that live amongst these things, amongst this concrete... this is a living monolith.

Lugo Park Avenue at Fernwood, Lynwood, April 20, 1993

Taken during a long period from the 1970’s through the 2000’s… these pictures of the river, of the man made matrix... of the wires, of the buildings... they are a glimpse into a city, a life, a legacy, a past-a future... into a physical place but more importantly into a feeling, and what is to be Los Angeles and what it means to be part of this place...


To love it.


Doug Rickard


A Place in the Sun.
Photographs of Los Angeles by John Humble.
Photographs by John Humble. Essay by Gordon Baldwin
The Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2007. 88 pp., 45 color illustrations, 12x12".



The six at a time filter using, anorak wearing, hill walking, map collecting, transparency shooting, lots of techno 'how to' book producing, calender making, star of the high street photography magazine, problem solving, rabbit wrestling, landscape photographer of the world, Joe Cornish has gone out of his way to do a little talk on the photographer Peter Dombrovskis. Although I am not a big fan of P Diddy Dombrovskis' work it is quite remarkable in many respects, in particular his use of light, which you can tell has old Joey just wondering how he does all that without a coloured graduation filter or perhaps a polarizer.
I simply have no time for the likes of JC's photography and as technically proficient as he is, his work bores me to death. But the talk is very interesting and you can see what a huge influence Dombrovskis has had on him. A humbling experience no doubt.
Watch out for the part where Joe sprouts a third hand and begins to book fumble...
Its worth a look here.
Excellent interview with one of my favs Lynne Cohen here.
There's no excuse to be bored. Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there's no excuse for boredom, ever.

Viggo Mortensen


Best stop there..

Well without sounding like a parent and saying things like; "This Country has gone to the dogs." (which I firmly believe). It really angers me with all that is going on in the world that the police and the like have the time to bother photographers who are being harassed more than ever as the paranoia in this country grows by the day.
In a time of unjust wars, financial ruin, and if you are to believe all the news hype, some climatic change which gives way to all kind of excuses to put up prices in the name of the planet and its cosmos, it would seem that photographers are being targeted like never before and what a flaming waste of time.
The BJP have been very good at keeping photographers up to date with photographers that have been shat on by the police for simply pointing a camera at a block of concrete. Read more here.
I usually take a side step with things like this as it just ends up making me so angry. But tonight I had a really 'silly' situation which was just down to straight forward paranoia. I was heading back from another 'walking in the dark wilderness with my camera thinking about what I might have for din dins,' when I noticed a rather nice shadow of a tree on a block of flats four stories high. In the top flat window there were some red fairy lights in the shape of a train about 60/70 feet (I guess) from where I was standing. As I was almost directly under the block of flats (on the public footpath) there was no way you could see into the 'penthouse' window. I composed the shot and counted to 120 using my usual 'Fat Elephant' technique as you do. A few minutes later a woman in a car pulled up beside me and asked why I was taking a picture of her flat. I explained (tried to) what I was doing and reassured her that there was no way I could see into her flat (in fact if you crossed the road and climbed a tree and got out your most powerful binoculars, you still wouldn't be able to see through the window the size of a small coffee table). It was simply a picture of some fairy lights and the shadow of a tree (I should point out that the other windows all had shut curtains and I would never point a camera into an open window as I would see it as an invasion of privacy..) So then the husband came on the scene threatening all kinds of scenarios and the fact that because he had kids he would have to call the police. It was as if I had somehow scaled the front of the building, entered the flat and become some kind of pervert. I totally understood his concern but what made it worse was that he wanted to see what I was taking a picture of and believe me at this point I wish I was shooting digitally. When I said it was film he thought I was lying and I had to physically show him. Its hard for me to see other peoples views sometimes as I will always think photographically. But I knew even if he called police I had done absolutely nothing wrong, but even so it wouldn't of ended well. I had not trespassed, invaded anyone's privacy, and was well within my rights. Stupidly I had no ID which I normally have... So on and on it went and the guy was obviously quite upset as he wouldn't listen to a word I said. Eventually I got him to call my cel phone so he had my number and that seemed to ease things up a bit. The sad thing was that I thirty seconds walk from my house, he was almost a neighbour, but what saddened me the most was the paranoia from these people, they thought I was some kind of criminal just like the guys that are being arrested going about their business with a camera. What is it that makes it ok to look, but not record?
People will never understand why we take pictures of anything until they see it in print (or on the back of a camera) and even then they probably still wont. Photographers have become the cyclists of the public footpath. They are seen as a menace, and why, because apparently we are breaking the law.... Absolute toss!
I best stop there....
I am sure this could be made into some kind of metaphor regarding photography and cameras but I haven't quite worked it out yet..

'Remember Americans spent billions on a pen to write upside down, underwater, in space, on Mars, behind the beer in the fridge..
Russians took a pencil'.


Some nights (like tonight) when its wet and windy I like to wonder across deserted golf courses with a large camera and my soggy thoughts.

Note: Clouds at night trapping sodium & mercury vapours (from artificial light) are at there reddest just before it rains.



From the series EnvironMental, Keilder Forest, Northumbria.

As my portfolio gathers more dust whilst Boris the spider continues to make his webs within by 5/4 bellows, and people around me talk of this thing called climate change just because we are having a a warm wet winter (well would you rather have frozen pipes and slip on your ass and perhaps fall on an icicle). I cannot but help think about the future of my landscape work and that of others I admire.
I have been meaning to go out to do some pics lately but its just so flaming wet and I had enough of a soaking last month, willy and all... You see theres always something I want to photograph, some idea in my head that just wont go away; The local Sainsburys carpark, The mental hospital which is now a block of flats, those trees floodlit in that field, those sand dunes in Namibia, that coastline at Claction On Sea, a dog in a hat, my baby nephew with a pipe, my mighty muscles, China, The Whole of the United States, Iceland, Greenland, Lapland, Santa, etc, etc.
You see my followers, if you want piece of mind regarding your photography all you need are those ideas in your minds eye. With this there is no need to concern yourself with when those images may become a reality (in theory anyway). But beware, loose this and you may as well sing the precious words of Roy Orbison.

Your baby doesn't love you any more
Golden days before they end
Whisper secrets to the wind
Your baby won't be near you any more

Tender nights before they fly
Send falling stars that seem to cry
Your baby doesn't want you any more
It's over

It breaks your heart in two, To know she's been untrue
But oh what will you do? When she says to you
There's someone new We're through We're through
It's over It's over It's over

All the rainbows in the sky
Start to weep, then say goodbye
You won't be seeing rainbows any more
Setting suns before they fall, Echo to you that's all that's all
But you'll see lonely sunsets after all

It's over It's over It's over It's over

Doyle is going nuts..


All critics should be assassinated.

Man Ray

I have cut and pasted this piece from 1000 Words Blog and hope Tim doesn't mind. I wanted to put this here as I started to do a similar series myself last time I was back in the North and somehow a link didn't quite do it, the writing is also better.
Good to see the students getting it on...

James Clark

All images © James Clark

Why aren´t there more photographers turning their cameras to the effects of the recession I wonder? James Clark´s project Downturn, however, is an ongoing documentation of an ever-changing British landscape in this time of great economic turmoil and does very well in making you feel what it describes.

"Over the past few months," says Clark, "I have been objectively documenting signs of the recession. I have witnessed elements that have traditionally balanced a British lifestyle meet their fate, with homes, workplaces and entertainment outlets all buckling under the strain.

Any project that deals with such loaded subject matter can be viewed as having vested interests, but this body of work is not intended as a critique, or a veiled snipe towards the financial systems, but merely a document, a record of what is happening now and the audience is strongly encouraged to form their own opinions and judgements."

James Clark was born in Reading, England in 1987. He is currently in his final year studying for a BA Graphic Arts: Photography, at Winchester School of Art,(University of Southampton). Previous to this, he completed a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Thames Valley University, passing with Distinction. His work experience includes: assistant to Kalpesh Lathigra for the Guardian Weekend magazine, assistant to Rob Smith for a University degree show publication and a three-month work placement undertaking product photography for a company website.


A nice Harbour in Cumbria (MD)

After an episode of a prunes over dose and the aftermath that followed (I should point out that I love prunes and dont eat them because I am old or constipated..) I approached my agent with a project idea (which shall of course remain secret until such a time I feel he need to release it here on the big fat B). The project itself is a mamoth undertaking but I feel I am at the right time in my life/career/peak physical fitness, to push the boundaries of my photography and land the all consuming big one. Let me just say its not anything to do with England (a tricycle everyone seems to be riding at the moment), neither is it America, China, Iceland etc, etc..
First we looked at ways of funding such a project, the first step of any project ( I know apart from the idea) and usually goes like this;


"We could approach 'Big Bad Betty From The Chippy, but she will want this that and the other plus a some big framed prints and some new shoes in return' (bad example)

Artist (Moi),

"Stuff that I will fund it myself.."

Up to now I have always funded projects off my own back, but always from photography ie, print sales. People tell me I should apply for this, or this, but for some reason I never get a bean and to be honest I often think Why Should I! I am but a photographer helping no one but myself. I will stop there..
We then discussed a fair few other photographers and how they funded their big projects which made me feel quite sick especially with the likes of Eddy Burtynsky getting his first 'bit of funding' as soon as he left college which was when I got my first bit of dole..
After a little weep we move onto how I would shoot the project.

"Large format of course, all film, usual technique..brilliant.!"

And then something struck me which although blatantly obvious I had never really thought about before. Gallery Agents, Commercial Agents, Art Directors, Picture Editors, and anyone else in this realm, cannot make a good photograph. They can critique your work, give you ideas, tell you what they want, and even talk like they could produce some masterpiece, but they will never be able to do what you do. Some of them might think they can and maybe even try it, but they usually fail (big time). Chances are they even studied photography back in the day, but for some reason they never saw the light or tried to capture it. This is certainly not a dig, these people are a bundle of talent and I could certainly not do what they do. They are just not photographers...
I felt quite good after this apiffany but then I got side tracked and talked about something else.


Check it out here and perhaps get involved.
Image is by my good friend John Darwell who has a nice large spread (in the magazine).


A good artist should be isolated. If he isn't isolated, something is wrong.
Orson Welles

Alex Fradkin

To be honest, fair and truthful, I really didn't think much of Alex Fradkin's photography on his website. But then I looked at his two projects Coast and Bunkers (above) and its just brilliant. Its also interesting to note that his father, the writer Philip Fradkin, wrote a fair few books about the American West. The Coast project will be a Father and Son project/book which may really be something quite fabulous judging by these incredible images and his fathers fine writings..

Go now and be inspired....


And so on a Monday as wet as an ex girlfriend I am ready to make my entry into the Guinness World Record books for having survived the longest weekend in the history of time. No, I was not trapped in a cupboard, No, I was not marooned on a remote Scottish Island or stranded in the desert with a punctured tyre. And No, I was not imprisoned in my garage with only cement dust and water.
Heres how it went;

"Have you put on a little weight there."
"I only spent eighty pounds on my camera, why on earth would you spend anymore."
"Why dont you get a nice little office job."
"How Much."
"Do you think you should"
"Whats that dripping coming from the light bulb."
"You need to sort that shower curtain out."
"We where thinking we might like one of those big framed photos in our hall way."
"What are you doing with that big knife."

I am often left questioning my motives towards photography and what a strange way to make a living. May be not so much strange, more different..
One common thing I always find is that most people like photography as a whole, in fact they love it. But few are prepared to pay for it.. Put it this way, if you could make a living from giving prints away I would be rich. The truth be told, if no one buys my work, I cant make any more of it. For me its that straight forward.
You wouldn't go into a shop and ask if you could have an item and then expect not to pay for it, even if the shop keeper was a relative. The only people that do that are the Mafia.

"Dont get me anything for Christmas, just give me the money. (not a voucher!)


It isn't that they can't see the solution, it's that they can't see the problem.

Bryan Schutmaat

Stumbled upon the work of Bryan Schutmaat today, just by chance, as you do. I particulary like his Heartland series, but its all good.

I think the days when I used to go on about peoples work may have subsided, at least for now.. But lets face it, you either like it or you dont..


Now I have been at this photography lark for a while now and there's not usually anything you can do or say that I haven't seen or heard before, especially when it comes to galleries. That was until Mark over on Manchester Photography (and a few others I might add) brought to my attention 'The Vanity Gallery' which simply put is a gallery that will offer you a show with the promise of huge returns, but on the condition that you pay them upfront.

Heres how it normally goes, (please note some galleries may do things a little different like share the costs of the prints and recoup it later).

The artist delivers the prints. The gallery frames the prints. The price of the frame is added onto the price of the work so the gallery can recoup the costs. The gallery sells the prints at an agreed price. The photographers gets his 50% (eventually).

At no point should a photographer have to lay out cash and pay for a show. There exhibiting there not buying shares in the gallery..

Anyway, without getting too carried away heres the story in a bit more detail.
It really is an outrage and I am behind Mark on this 100 percent on this one..



Causeway, from the Environmental series. MD
Image (C) Lynne Cohen

So this morning seen my fine self don my lecturing hat with the photography students of Roehampton University and once again try to spread a little light in my specialist field... A splendid bunch and my thanks to Michael O'Brien and Andy Porter for making this a real pleasure.

Then it was off to see Lynne Cohen who I have mentioned here many times as she is one of the photographers I respect the most. To hear Lynne talk about her work was real pleasure and her wit and intellect are second to none. She is in a group show here in London at the James Hyman gallery tomorrow night and will also be signing her new book Camouflage (which I must add to my collection). More details here.
It really is a joy to hearing a photographer talk about their work first hand, I just hope someone feels the same when I speak. Failing that I will just play back today's recording as I always make one of myself to criticize later and perhaps weep at my sort comings..



Where were you..

Mr Page over on ManchesterPhotography beat me to it with his ditty on Johnathan Olley's Sea Defences here. I will write about Johnathan Olley at a later date as we share the same gallery space and have the occasional chitty chat. Like Mark over on MP, I too am surprised that more photographers have not covered UK events like the flooding in Cumbria (may be someone has, but I have my doubts). But after a little thought I have come to a few conclusions as to why British disasters are often rarely documented unlike such events, for example, as earthquakes, famine and in particular Katrina which saw a vast number of photographers flee to the scene, some albeit for the wrong reasons to profit from the unfortunate..

When my hometown of Carlisle was flooded in 2005 and subsequently cut off for five days from the rest of the country without electricity, fresh water and other supplies I always regretted that I was unable to return to the UK to document such an event (I was living in the US at the time). Had I somehow been able to return I would of documented as much as possible and made sure any money made went back to the city (a photographic book was made from local peoples photographs, the proceeds going to a set up flood charity). I had thought the same about the recent events but felt unable to get there in time being stuck down in London keeping in mind I would of had to gain access, press passes etc..

For me its always been about timing, basically I am never there. But I also think that in all honesty disasters here in the UK never seem as dramatic. Lets face it, Katrina was like a movie set, and all those images where like works of art. I really dont think the same could be said for a flood in Cockermouth (of course this does not mean it is any less worthy). As a comparison I do think the US tends to Hollywoodise everything which is pretty vulgar in my opinion. Whereas we Brits tend to move on and try to forget about it.. My good friend John Darwell produced a fabulous book on the events of the Foot and Mouth outbreak (again in Cumbria), but no one is interested in that now. The Foot and Mouth incident was an event which had to be documented but people are more interested in the series John shot in Chernobal over twenty years ago, you see that was epic like Katrina, again its like a film set..

At the end of the day it all comes down to one thing, the Visual. If it looks good, people tend to be more interested. But just because it looks photographically dramatic, doesn't mean its any less dramatic than a tragedy like the floods in my homeland..



So despite all my rantings on how film is the only way (yawn, yadder, blah, blah, oh shut up!) I had decided that a carry everywhere Digital camera may not be such a bad idea. For those of you that have taken a large format camera on holiday or to a party, you will know the relief of having something a bit snappy is light relief sometimes...

After much research I came to the conclusion that something like a Lumix GF1 (you know the one with this two thirds thing making it quite small and compact) would be ideal as it appeared to be not too expensive and seemed to have all the features I was after. And so I made my way up Tottenham Court road seeing where had the best price for my holiday/dog picture taking camera. Simply put, I was astonished at the price differences in some of the shops and quickly came to realise it always pays to shop around. I had just about found the right price, but on the way back to Warren Street Tube I decided to pop into that camera shop only yards from the tube, you know the one with all the fifty quid cameras in the window that always has a sale on, along with some Swiss Army Knives and a torch submerged in a water tank..

I walked in the shop and gave a polite "hello" to the man behind the counter and then made inquiry which went something like this;

Potential customer (PC)
"Do you have the new Lumix GF1 camera in stock?"

Shop Manager (twit)
"Oh no, we dont stock that camera as its rubbish and we only stock the best cameras"
"What do you mean, its rubbish, could you be a little more specific."
"The quality from it is terrible and we pride ourselves in quality."
"Thats not a very good sales pitch is it. Have you tried one of these cameras for yourself ?"
"No, but I have read all the reviews and there pretty poor."
"Strange, all the reviews I have read are quite good which is why I am interested in one."
"Well there still rubbish and we dont stock them."
"So why do you stock the Olympus Pen, its very similar in technology."
"Oh thats simply not the same, thats a pro camera for professionals."
"The camera Kevin Spacey advertises (olympus pen) is not a so called pro camera, in fact you dont have any pro cameras in here. Wheres the Canon DS or the Nikon DX3 etc."
"We dont stock thoses there too expensive..."

So on and so on. The guy was a complete moron and simply didn't have a clue. In the end I told him he should try using a camera instead of playing with them in his crappy shop and assuming what is good and bad. All I wanted to do at this point was extend my wind proof umbrella in to his fudgey face. But instead I opted for a bit of name calling and left.

I get so angry with people like this who are obviously so unhappy with their situation in life that they feel the need to try and pass on their contempt to others. I think this is especially true in photography be it someone working in a camera shop, a lab (which of course I know all about), assisting etc. Anyone thinking this way needs to take note and be thankful you have a job, there's certainly no shame in it. As for fat boy, well thats not the first time I have had a run in with him, the last time it was over a lens cap...!

So then, what if the twit was right and the camera is a load of rubbish. Well all will be revealed in a couple of weeks..

Over and out..


How does he do it....

I have to admit to going off the work of goody-two-shoes Edward Burtynsky for a while after seeing his Quarries exhibition at the Flowers gallery here in London last year which left me as cold as the marble in those gi-normous quarries. But boy oh boy does his new book Oil make up for it. This is by far the best body of work I have seen from Master Burtynsky, and its vast. Split into four sections; Extraction, Detroit, Transportation, and The End of Oil. Its simply mind blowing.
Here's a link to Eddies work, but if you like this guy I would urge you to buy the book as the website just doesn't do the work justice. (large format, big prints, small images, etc..)
It was the image above that made me buy the book at once and carry it around all day like a small weekend bag..

Well I hope everyone is enjoying themselves at Paris Photo....
In the meantime those of us that are left sheltering from the wind and the rain can enjoying time here on the ridiculous B Mode.
Check out the work of Alexander Gronsky here (above pic), absolutely brilliant!
I see those wise people at the Telegraph have a new photography page. You can check out their new Telephoto section here. Very good..


Its like a small cabbage..

There's some new work on my website if you care to take a look. Rather than just add more images I tend to replace other work so's not to saturate your minds.. Most of the images are in New Work (of course) and there's a few in Border City which is now complete although there is another fifty images to this series not on the Web.
Regarding the Border City work, its always a little odd deciding when a project is finished. I believe only the photographer can decide when this actually happens, and when it does happen, its usually a real anti climatic event, not unlike tasting food an American has told you is the greatest tasting thing on the planet (like the time an American friend told me of this English vegetable I trust had to try, it was like nothing else you've ever tasted. It was in fact a Brussel Sprout). Anyway, its hard sometimes to find closure especially when its something as personal as the Border City series, but there you are...

Its a bit like a lab top without a screen, only much heavier...

Heres a letter from Tommy Hanks my wife recieved this morning.
In the big box was this amazing old type writer sent by Tom himself (thats a lot of effort). What a diamond geeza.





There was a time in the life of Doyle when I would never dream of going anywhere without my camera. That was back in the days when I shot 35mm and always had a roll of Tri X black & white film or even a roll of colour. It wasn't about looking for a masterpiece or something for the portfolio, it was more to record those fleeting moments. Snap shots of life.. Now and again though I would get something worth printing up larger than a 6/4" print and was able to do it with ease, especially with my skills as a printer. Recently I have been hankering after small carry round capable of doing what the oldie 35mm cameras used to do but in the form of something digital. Not a flaming chance. I have tried all sorts, Richoh, Olympus, Leica (compact), Lumix etc.. None of which produce anywhere near the quality of what I used to get. Take that baby over 10/12" and it looks like a colouring book.. (I'm talking about the print and not how it looks on a monitor). I am open for offers but in my mind theres not much point in trying to produce something from digital to look like film.
I think where those film cameras used to have the edge was that you could 'snap' quickly and the film had such a wide latitude you could pull it out in processing and printing. With digital you just get blocks of noise, banding etc.. Well whatever, maybe I will go for that orange leather clad Leica after all....

The image above was shot on an Olympus Muji (remember those) and printed up to a 30/40" print (image size 36/22" or there abouts..! And yes it looked great..)


These two are for Mark over on Manchester Photography whos up to number 16 on his New Clichés In Photography, which is just brilliant.
Came across these the other day hidden away on some hard drive. As much as I am over the 'tiny people in the landscape' I rather like these.
The top one is Zabraski point, the snowy one is Lake Tahoe.
Guess I could do another fifty or so and make a book out of them, but that would be total over kill and a bit naff in my opinion...


Leica to release special edition M7 camera (updated)

BJP is able to confirm that Leica is about to announce the availability of two new special editions of its legendary M7 film camera, this time designed by fashion powerhouse Hermes


The M7 was the last film camera released by Leica before it went digital with the M8 compact camera and its subsequent successor the full-frame M9 camera unveiled in September.

BJP has now been told by a source close to Leica who asked to remain anonymous that the Germany-based firm will officially announce the Leica M7 by Hermes on Monday 16 November.

The Leica M7 Hermes will be available in two colours - orange and a dark green dubbed 'etoupe'. The source also confirms that the limited-edition cameras will retail at €9500.


Picked this up over on American SuburbX.
Quite brilliant.

GLENN SLOGGETT feels this world...

A Life on the Piss, 2003, from Lost Man

By Robert Cook

I never figured out how to make art from the suburbs. While I lived there throughout art school (and still do, just in a different one) the translation of the places I resided in and walked by into anything of emotional, aesthetic or intellectual note whatsoever escaped me. Sure, I wasn’t meant to be an artist. I get that. Yet I was also missing something. Basically, none of it looked like the art I dug at the time. Which meant most of all - because all I was interested in was sadness - it didn’t resemble Edward Hopper’s New England. Art was just not possible. There was too much sun. The architecture was crap. The people were ugly. These ugly folks had little scungy cross-breeds not elegant bird dogs. Since then I have naturally read all those books and articles that informed me, too late, that my attitude was kinda off-beam. And yeah, I suppose it was. I understand that - consciously, intellectually. But even now I find myself overlooking everything suburban around me. It’s some sort of deeply ingrained habit, a shitty default setting.

Dolphin, 2006, from Decrepit
Road worker blues, 2006, from Decrepit
666, 2006, from Decrepit

Because of this, the work of Glenn Sloggett remains surprising to me, each and every time I encounter it. I saw it on the ABC ‘s The Art Life recently and it totally shone, as did he. The work, the voice, held so much honesty. Its mix of melancholy and prosaic hope captured my entire suburban upbringing. It brought it all back. It caught how it existed beneath the CSI gloss and the on-air rouge; so it was a relief and refreshing to see this work on the place that mostly elides such images. Afterwards I switched off the television, walked up the stairs at the back of our units, and took in the twinkly lights of Osborne Park. The smoke puffed from the factory where the early morning truck-loads of chickens go. The sign for the Victory life Church was trying to claim some souls. Dodgy sportswear distribution businesses were trying to on-sell their purple one-piece. Mechanics had lost some spare part under the sump. The units to the left and the right of ours were full of cars speeding up central drive ways after blowing through stop signs. And in the day time when I woke up, silence. The silence of a suburb deserted by all the residents saving up to leave.

Cheaper & Deeper, 1996, from Cheaper and Deeper
Elwood Canal Shopping Trolley, 2003, from Lost Man
Crematorium furnace, 2008, from Morbid
Picket Fence, 2003, from Lost Man
Grease, 2006, from Decrepit
Jesus has no hands, 2003, from Lost Man
Anonymous death, 2008, from Morbid

Glenn Sloggett totally gets and feels and loves this world that we are either in the business of overlooking or trying to escape. He creates an intensely resonant emotional language from a set of reference points dead to others. Bricks, brown grass. Compressing blocks of flats. Kid’s 20-cent rides. Stuff like that. Stuff that is part of the grain of our lives and the texture of our beings. Sloggett easily - it seems, perhaps I am wrong - gets to this space. His images seem complete, beautiful, full already. This fullness is important. It signals that he is more than his choice of subject matter in so far as his images do no need anymore than is there within them. I think that what I mean by this is that they are not attempting to convert or prove a point. In this regard, also, they are not part of our avant-garde way of thinking about art. They are not about the everyday in so far as it is a category about the merely overlooked, an ever expanding way of art devouring more and more of the world. Instead the work is located within the tradition of folk like Atget, Stephen Shore, Walker Evans. To me, and I am probably projecting heavily here it is the view of the pedestrian. It is the glance and focal point of someone has the intimate knowledge of his environment. It therefore implies a presence and body, and a gaze is neither judgmental not scandalous. In it, it opens up a form of anthropology that examines the real conditions of habitation of a people. Sloggett does this with a whole range of emotions: humour, irony, disgust, familiarity, bleakness, hope, transcendence. He is one of the few artists in this country to be unrelenting in this regard, and his work has over the years opened up to fashion something close to an encyclopedic take on the fringes of settlement. He brings the drift and float of suburban time into the structures of contemporary art, therefore, not as a glib spectacle, yet another in a line of minor transgressive episodes, but as part of the experience of being fully human. It is, therefore, a highly structured addition to the history of humanist realism that includes both literature and the visual arts. The complexity of his work is additionally significant within the context of our so-called boom (mostly in WA where I live, but in other places too I guess). As all of us know only too well, this boom is highly selective in its affects, yet it is slowly changing the nature of our aspirations and our culture at large, from the communal to the individual. In this domain, Sloggett’s work offer us space to think again about how we aspire and why, why we seek to vault out of our immediate lives for something apparently larger. Which is to say, he allows us to start to think about the suburbs we live in as places not just where art might be made, but as places to stay, rather than escape, and to face the various layers of personal and group politics and community building that that entails.

By Robert Cook

You can see more of Glenn's work here.
In fact check out the whole Stills Gallery site in Australia for a fabulous array of work. Its interesting to see a mixture of styles and influences from other countries and the fact that its not just the British, Americans and Germany that has good landscape photographers..


Well this is as close as I will be getting to Paris Photo next week. The place that launched my monograph, got me noticed as an artist, and forced be to become fluent in French and therefore more attractive to the hairy arm pitted beautiful locals will be all but a dream. I could of course jump on the Eurostar at Kings Cross and visit this splendid event for the day, but a broken garage door, a knackered thermostat in the car, and to top it all, the bill for replacing a broken boiler (it was either that or sitting round a candle this winter). I ain't going anywhere....
I wish Laura and Michael a good time (DiemarNoble Gallery) and hope that they might bring me back a pocket knife or some smelly cheese...