Michael Donald.

I picked up a link over on Mark Pages blog Manchester Photography regarding the work of Michael Donald. His project 'All Things Must Pass' really is superb and exceptionally well executed. There's a fair few images there but the fantastic edit makes it all very consistent, rare for such a large 'on line' body of work.
What I admire most about the whole series is that its not shot in some remote lost village in the desert, or in a forbidden ice cavern near the North Pole. But right here in London. I sometimes feel the real talent in a photographer shines through when they do projects on their door step and don't feel the need to travel half way round the world.
Its all here my friends.

Write what you know, shoot what you know, and tell who you don't know.




Oh Mandy...

Don't be fooled, its not a Barry Manilo concert with people holding aloft candles and lighters.
I think I can safely say that no one in the crowd will get an image that's remotely recognizable, at least not with those crappy things...

Bring back the 110.


Find your own street...

Had a meet up with my good friend Michael Diemar writer and collector extraordinare today. Over a nice hot froffy one we got talking about some of my earlier work, in particular my night images/images shot mostly at night/dusk/places with little light.. Michael is not the first to remark on the countless 'Night Images' around at the moment and its over saturation in the photographic realm. A popular subject indeed, almost as popular as smoggy desaturated images of China, icebergs or anything shot in Mexico.
I have always been aware of 'night photography' and its popularity and was never put off by its this, I mean its not as popular as a images of a blonde sort with her jubblys out. Its only looking back at my older work that I realize how many of my nights out where not with friends but with a camera alone in some damp field with grassy turds on my boots. Working at night for me was/is all about the artificial essence it portrays. I think this is something I will always be drawn too especially within my Urban Sprawl series. But as I draw near to finishing these projects those long nights are few and my images are more working with the light rather than against it.. A simple transition perhaps, but this is not to say I won't return to the night for that long exposure fix.... Just in case you where wondering.....

" But its just another street light"
S. Dunn
wife and critic.



So it would appear that Photo London is off again. The country which brought you the invention of photography once again shafts any possibility of making London the photography capital it should be. I really do believe if it wasn't the economy to blame it would be something else like a shortage of plastic bags or too many loose pavement slabs..

Paris Photo gets The Louvre, London Photo gets the gutter.

Maybe the French did invent photography after all, I do hope so....



I appear to have been on another planet.
Didn't have a clue...
See what it was here.

On The Ball (I'm not)

Got an email from Rob Ball this morning reminding me that he had updated his website and has a show coming up soon (summer I think). A very nice 'tight' body of work there and I would encourage you all to take a look. I particularly like the Great Eastern series.
Without seeming rude and a bit arrogant I haven't a clue who he is and don't think I have mentioned him here before so its a good job he emailed me....


Something for the weekend,

In these present times when people cry things like;
"We are so poor now we had to get rid of nanny number 2"
"We are just so poor now we had to delay the extension to our extensions extension and our house is only worth what we paid for it.."
or my favorite,
"We'd best buy another plasma before we don't have any money left.."
I thought I would mention a few of my experiences on my recent U.S trip. The image above of the green station wagon belongs to Chuck, a 35 year old American from Ohio. He had lost everything he owned except this car and was making his way to LA. In his 35 years he had never seen the Golden Gate Bridge, the Grand Canyon, the Statue of liberty, the White House or the Bonville Salt Flats which is where this image was made. Chuck had decided to sell what little he had left in an attempt see of much of America as he could, he then hoped to pick up some work in LA.
Here in the land of opportunity I met a man with nothing except the $120 dollars he had left for gas.
The second image was taken in Slab City. A town made up of trailers, caravans and tents on the outskirts of the Salton Sea in California. The land belonged to the military at one point and is now decommissioned and uncontrolled. There are around two thousand people living here at anyone one time in an attempt to remove themselves from the American government. There is no water, no electricity and the temperature reaches 120 degrees in the summer months. After making this image four children emerged from this very caravan and started to play in the dirt.
My friends, 50 percent of Americans live in poverty but you never hear that on the news. Its a side of America I have often seen on my travels and have been left dumbfounded that such a rich powerful nation has such an underbelly of millions who basically live in the dirt.

Now excuse me while I watch Songs Of Praise on my 50 inch plasma.


The Magnificent Seven.

I found an interesting piece over on Whats The Jackanory blog regarding Rankin's Magnificent Seven (which is something I thought was just an urban myth) and therefore will shamelessly avoid any kind of effort and send you there..
A pointless exercise but quite interesting none the less although I found it odd that Rankin goes on about how people used film long ago (its not been that long since fashion photographers switched, is it..) In fact its all he goes on about, however he does say a great line while trying to recreate a Herb Ritts image;
"With digital you shoot and shoot until you get it. But with film its like capturing the moment."
That my friends stops me thinking anyone who goes by one name may not be so bad after all.

Michael Eastman.

I have a feeling I may have mentioned the work of Michael Eastman before, but thats the problem with having posted so many quality items here on the blog of the century. Anyway if I have mentioned the Eastman before I make no apologies.
By far my favorite body of work is the Vanishing America series (of course) but its all consistently brilliant stuff. What more can I tell you but to go and have a look.

NK fo NYT.

Perhaps you may of seen or heard about Nadav Kander's portraits for the NY Times regarding the 52 key people working with the new American president.
Although I would never choose to openly criticize Nadav (because he is a nice guy, an amazing talent, and has achieved more photographically than most photographers would ever dream) I bet he never realized he would get so much interest, all be it for all the wrong reasons.
However bad people may find these images I would challenge anyone to try and pull something like this off...
Anyways, this made me laugh...


Some brief photo news..

No talk of politics on this blog but if a new American president means I can get a green card then I will gladly carry B.O's bags for free or hold open a door. Remember my American brothers, he's just a man..

Anyway, down to blog business.

Old Eddy Burtynsky has a show on at Flowers East entitled Australian Minescapes (almost as good as Nightscapes or my favorite Manscapes, I do wish people wouldn't). Are they aerial shots? or done by way of a big ladder, I just don't know and can't be bothered to find out. Give me an oil field or some toxic waste any day. Nice prints though, on until the 7th Feb.

Apparently some European buffoons are attempting to bring back Polaroid via some rich business men and redundant staff. The Impossible Project, as it is currently known is all I know, but again I have not the energy to look. Besides I hate the stuff.

I shall have some new images on my website soon and will keep you all posted. Hopefully my Bro Nick will find some time to put them on (although he is not aware yet) I know he reads this blog and believe it may be out of pity. I won't be adding the exhibition stuff just yet as no one has seen it apart from my closest allies, besides, if everyone sees the images they may not come to the show, a show which is set to be the only one in town as no other photographer would dare in these present times... Bring it on I say.....

I should write no more as I think its still Blue Monday and I am in a bit of a mood. I haven't eaten much lately due to the credit crunch and working out too much. All I have had in the last 48 hours is a raw potato and some fruity gum. It was a big potato though.


Blue Monday..

Well apparently today is Blue Monday, the official most depressing day of the year. This morning I thought this was nonsense, but now I believe its true.
Not that I would ever 'vent spleen' on the forum of peace, but sometimes I would like to kick a few butts, and maybe pull some hair, just like the olden days....

Show me the money.....


R.I.P. Tony Hart.

I was saddened to hear that Tony Hart died today. I loved his Take Hart show when I was a nipper and was always drawn towards those dandy cravats he always wore.
I always wanted to send a picture in for the gallery section but never thought anything was good enough, not a lot has changed really in that respect, but my drawings and occasional paintings have always been quite terrible.


Thought of the day...

I was chatting with Nice Guy Eddie the other day who processes my film (and therefore must be the best in town..) and he told me a tale of when he was at the Grand Canyon a few years back. The sun was starting to set and so he left his wife and kids (not in a divorce kind of way you understand) and set off to seek peace along the rim of the great crack in the earth. After the sun had sunk beneath the horizon and the sky turned a multitude of colour, he told me of a magical moment as the words "Take me now" (not in a sacrifice kind of way you understand) filled his peaceful mind. Funny this may seem, but I knew exactly what he meant as I have felt that way many times myself. Few words can describe those truly magical moments when the air seems to change and the mystical light fills you with a tingle of sorts, if only for a few moments. Its one of the reasons I do what I do.
One thing I do know is that these moments are impossible to capture on film, still or otherwise. You can try my photo loving plums, but it will be in vain...

Regarding Nice Guy Eddie, I am glad he was not taken at that precise moment on the South Rim as I don't trust anyone else with my precious film.

Christian Houge Exh....

My good friend Christian Houge has just sent me an invite to his latest show at the Hosfelt gallery (San Francisco).
I have mentioned Christian here before and am not sure what I admire more, his work and humbleness, or the fact that he is the only photographer I know that can pull off the 6/17 format.


Joshua Lutz

There is a very interesting interview over on Conscientious Blog with Joshua Lutz regarding his Medowlands project which now forms a book which I will soon have.

I love reading about other photographers and their approach to their work which I often find inspiring. Sometimes I get great piece of mind from interviews like these as it makes me realize I am not crazy when I venture into the unknown armed with a camera (and sometimes a pocket knife....!)

Let us not become lazy and fat...



Look what I found..

I came across an ad for a photographic lab the other day, as you do, and noticed an image by Steve Harries, as you do. Then I found some of his work online, as you do, and have to say its rather nice.
The only other comment I would make is that (regarding the landscape work) it bears a fair bit of resemblance to quite a few other photographers in particular the work of Dan Holdsworth. Night photography, in this case, is always a tricky one because everything is lit the same as other night shots that use whats available (ie. street lamps) so a lot of the time the work has a similar feel to other photographers working in the same medium.

Personally I am forever being compared to other photographers who also creep around at night damp from the moist night air...


May I direct your attention to The Manchester Photographer Blog here regarding the Expiration Notice project (dated 12th Jan) which is a brilliant idea and open to all those photographers over 35. It would seem that there has been little response this end (UK) which is a shame because organizing these things takes a lot of time. I bet you all entered the crappy AOP open though...


I am hoping you all got a new diary for Christmas so you can mark the date of my up coming London exhibition North Shores. The show is set for the 18th March at the Getty Gallery and I will of course post more details nearer the time.
To quote some famous art critique;

"Doyle is a truly wonderful person and his handsomeness is almost as great as his work. I always wondered where he went off to at night with that big camera and now I know.."
S. Doyle (mother)

Above is an image I made for the North Shores project off the baron coast of The Isle Of Jura where I was marooned for four days due to bad weather. It never made the exhibition edit because every time I look at it I feel sick.


Return to The Salton Sea..

It would seem that my last trip was one of great nostalgia as I frequented quite a few places I had been before. Among these was The Salton Sea, a place I spent every Thursday for six months while living in California. As with the Bonville Salt Flats of Utah, mentioned in my last post, the Salton Sea is one of those places photographers flock to and there where few times I was there when I never seen some impostor with a camera.
It had been some three years since last visited this stinking hole, but what kept pulling me back where the few moments of magical light which transformed the 'stinking hole' into a photographers paradise. The Salton is one of those places (like so many others) that cannot be summed up in a few hours in the middle of the day. Anyways I had a wonderful time wondering around the old haunts and although I took a couple of shots It was more about the memories and feelings I had for the place having spent so much time there. I have no idea if other photographers do these kind of things, if they do not, maybe they should.....



Rather than whaffle on about my short time in Utah recently I thought I would copy and paste the below section from Andrew McAllister's blog before I make my point..

Images from my trip out there earlier this week. Part of my photo education was looking at the work of Richard Misrach at the Akron Art Museum and in books. Through his work I was introduced to another very beautiful and at times disturbing side of the west. A side not seen in the work of Ansel Adams and his followers or the colorful commercial photos shot almost exclusively in dramatic light or the golden hour that we see on posters and post cards. Photographing around the salt flats was like a pilgrimage of sorts. A beautiful place for sure. With so many images and commercials taken there what can I possibly expect to take away from it that is original? Wile I love photographing in the west that is a constant question.

While I agree with Mr McAllister in part, I think his statement of not being able to take away anything 'original' (regarding himself) from a place like the Bonville Salt flats (or any other place in the USA for that matter) is a bit of a thin statement.
I do get tired of people, in particular photographers, making assumptions like these as they only strengthen such a false statement. Personally I have never been put off by taking a camera somewhere that has become a mecca for photographers (such as the Salt Flats of Utah). In fact it makes me all the more determined. This is not to say that I will copy what has gone before, thats just pointless, but I will look for my own take on a place and therefore will produce an 'original' image. Richard Misrach was not the first photographer to photograph the Salt Flats, but he has certainly produced some of the finest images of the place. I am sure he wasn't put off by his predecessors who had also captured the flats in depth.

Anyway, I made some images of this salty wonderland myself and I rather like them, so watch these spaces... Also check out The Worlds Fastest Indian with Anthony Hopkins if you have not already done so, brilliant..

The Cold And The Bold...

Back from my ventures abroad I had about an hour of great enthusiasm (as you do when you get back off holiday). Now thats gone I thought it time to write and 'Get It On' as they say Stateside.

All I have heard since my return to the land of the grey sky is how cold its been, and how cold it is. Well my friends of the painted light this is nothing...
I happened to be in Montana (USA) over the festive period and decided one evening to venture out into the great open wearing only a few thin T Shirts and a rain proof jacket. People called me crazy but as a Northerner who would wear a muscle vest in December while going for a night on the town (what a pratt) I thought nothing of it. And so armed with my camera I stepped into the icy landscape like a new born Polar Bear. Now as you may know I have traveled a little and been to some cold places, but nothing had prepared me for the cold I was about to endure. First off was the lack of sensation in my feet, then it was my legs, then my torso, then the tears in my eyes which froze like little diamonds. My right hand stuck to the leg of my Gitzo tripod but as I couldn't feel it it wasn't so bad when the skin came off. Finally the shutter on my lens froze, although I should point out that I was still able to use the camera by way of placing the lens cap on the lens and counting out loud (one frozen arse, two frozen arse etc..). I wont mention the chill banes which followed but I will say I lasted for about an hour by jumping up and down and doing push ups in the snow. Call it commitment, call me crazy. Its that thing a photographer has when nothing can stop them, and if you are wondering just how cold it was -40 degrees C.
And yes I am crazy.....

More snow and adventures to follow when the jet lag and hunger subside.