They told me not to venture into town today;
'Don't do it Marcus, its 45 degrees and you might die!'
"Nonsense" I cried as I applied the factor fifty suncream to my soft shinny head and reached for my aviators. The Brits in my opinion are just too dam obsessed when it comes to the weather,
anyway its not that flaming hot, but in a strange way todays temperatures added to my experience at Hamiltons Gallery and the work of Murray Fredericks.
Fredericks SALT series is remarkable and an achievement few probably realise unless they have been to a dry salt lake or a desert. This ain't Bonville Saltflats where hundreds gather every year to hand out and drive fast cars, drink beer and maybe do a few Misrach style images, this is Lake Eyre lowest point in Australia and therefore very hot (and cold at night). This isn't a guy hitting the dirt in a dirty great 4x4 either, just a bicycle, a tent , water and a camera. Now thats commitment.
The above image is by far my favorite and I stood for a good ten minutes taking it all in (can't remember the last time I done that). The show could of been done with just this one image as I personally thought it left the rest in the shade. Sometimes everything just comes together, location, light, seeing the composition and timing and If I may be so bold Salt 303 is just that.
There is also a wonderful short film here.


Nice little archived interview with Brett Weston via the brilliant American Suburb X right here.

Lynne Cohen.

I have mentioned the work of Lynne Cohen on here a few times and with very good reason because its simply the best.
There are so many young types and photographers trying to produce similar bodies of work who think they are producing something unique but have obviously never seen and studied Cohen's work.
There are a vast number of images on Lynne's site and I believe she is one of the few that can produce images in either black and white and colour without compromise.
I have never been able to put my finger on why Cohen's work is just so dam marvelous as It moves me like no one else's work.
latest show details in Paris can be seen here.


Are you ready...

As I watched todays storm clouds form over my baldy bonce whilst sitting in my garden today admiring my fine crop of grass and enjoying my home made cappuccino, something suddenly struck me. No, it wasn't lightning, It was the overwhelming need to find that project, you know the project to end all projects. The one that almost kills you, but may make you famous... Watching last nights documentary on Lee Miller last night certainly didn't help. Here was a woman constantly searching for that challenge, that once in a lifetime assignment. Well she found that in her WWII images which are simply breathtaking but somehow I don't think my series of allotment huts or the Scotland/England border images will cut it.
Its not about the exhibitions or the books anymore. Its the start, middle, and finish of a project that blows everyones socks off. The time feels right, emotionally, physically and skillfully. All I need now is an idea.........Anyone got one..


Guido Monafico

Now and again I come across images with a concept I wish I had thought of. An amazing body of work with huge selling potential for the gallery market. A large series of images from which people can choose 'their favorite'. In short an idea that covers every criteria.
Well Guido Mocafico's images tick all those boxes and then some..
Regarding the Serpens series 1 & 2 (by far my favorite) I have seen quite a number of these on gallery walls (Hamiltons in London) and in a few homes (big fat homes of the serious collector) and they are just incredible. Above is my favorite, Black Mamba's.... I don't want to know how he does it I just want one on my wall..
Guido's other works are also quite brilliant..

You may also like to know that I once had to wrestle a fifteen foot over friendly Pylon saved only by the owner who rushed to my rescue armed with a dead chicken and a metal hook. The snake belonged to Billy Martin, Carlisle's local drag act whom I was to photograph in and out of costume. The sight of a middle aged man wearing tights and false eye lashes shouting 'Grab It's Head!' is something that will always stay with me.


Jennie Gunhammer 1975-2009

I was saddened to hear today of the passing of Jennie Gunhammar who's moving body of work opened the Diemar Noble Gallery a few months ago.
I do believe it is bodies of work like the late Jennie's that although challenging and for some not so comfortable to look at they do play a very important role in photography as the documentation of people lives and how fragile that can be. Although most of my own work is a thousand miles away from photography such as this I have the greatest respect for photographers who choose to make 'Documentary images' over 'Pretty Pictures' like mine. Jennie Gunhammar's work is a document of her life, something she chose to share with everyone and for that I will always have deep admiration.
You can see her work here.

Diemar Noble gallery update.

Check out my new gallery page at Diemar Noble Photography here. Looks splendid.
Please feel free to pop in and purchase one of my beautiful prints and extend the overdraft if need be.
There is also an interesting show on at the moment by Marcel Marien which you may care to gaze at before looking at some of my images.

You had me at 'How would you like payment ?'




If I was American I would say Awesome, but I'm not so I will say First Class. I love this work in particular the 'Close To Nature' series. Right up my street and parked outside my house.
Check out the rest of the work here.


Well once again I entered this fun event and once again I was rejected like a fat boy at football. Of course I am referring to the AOP open. I am not bitter, I mean why would I be, judging by this years entries theres at least one and a half images I would rate as decent. I remember the day (about eight years ago) when I had seven images picked which raises the questions; Was I better then than I am now? and; Did I pay for seven entries?
The worst part is that I stopped entering any such competitions a few years ago (its competition enough trying to fund projects) but the truth is I was tempted to slip in an online entry just in case. Who cares anyway the AOP is not what it was..

Oh, and I am not bloody voting..


Yeah, lets just bin that..

I heard today that Kodak are to stop making Kodacrome after 74 years of manufacturing this wonderful film. The joy of receiving that yellow box of slides through the post was always a joy back in the day when I shot 35mm.
What is really sad is not so much the end of 'the crome' (couldn't care less if I am honest and was not even aware they were still making it), but the fact that one day it will be my film of choice they suddenly murder. But in the mean time...



If you ever wondered where on earth I got such good looks from, heres the answer...

Some do in Manchester..

Its the NATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY SYMPOSIUM in Manchester tomorrow with details here.
Sounds like a very worthy event and I will be sorry to miss John Darwell and John Davies' with their open talk on Land and Landscape, two photographers I respect very much, in fact I have a great deal of respect for any photographer working within these very shores as apposed to constantly jetting off and copying everyone else...



Picture if you will a tall pale and strangely handsome man climbing over garden fences with a red and black cloak at three am just before the day breaks. No, its not Nosferatu The Photographic Vampire, its Doyle The Photographic Genius, although the genius part is debatable..
Over the past year I took it upon myself to venture on to the Allotments that back onto my garden here in London. A truly fascinating place all compressed into a square mile of what is probably some of the most expensive land in the whole country with mansions and the like surrounding the area (sadly I do not live in one). Every year land developers try to muscle in, but the owners of these vegetable forrests put up a fierce fight wielding pitch forks and burning effigies. They guard their carrots and peas with such vigor that the greedy bastard developers never win..
Anyways, I thought it might make a nice little project and I began to scale the 12 foot high fence last winter armed with my 5/4.
You may at this point be thinking that maybe I should of asked for permission to enter the land of the cabbage, but I have my reasons;

1. I have never complained about the smoke drifting into my house from the burning of damp foliage.
2. Asking for permission is an arse, and usually people think your some kind of nut.
3. I liked the idea of making the project a bit like a mission and going unnoticed is something I do very well.
4. No one is going to approach a bald six foot cage fighter and tell them to step away from their plums.
5. I am very respectful and leave no trace of my being there, apart from the time I made myself a cuppa on someones stove and never washed the cup..
6. I have a key to the gate, but cant find it...

All in all I had a nice time photographing what is almost my back yard. Not really any real purpose behind it, although I did chose to photograph the allotments in all four seasons so there is some thought process there.

Watch this space for the results although this may be a while as I am poor and those vegetable patches are making my mouth water...



Simply brilliant. Be sure to turn up the volume on yer computer...

Thank you FOTO8.



Good Old Hand Job.

Following on from my last post regarding the old black and white printing, I was going through a few colour prints today most of which I tend to print myself (of course). I do have a fair few prints especially in the bigger sizes where I have gone the digital C Type route as apposed to the C Type hand print. On their own the Digital prints look the business, but next to a hand print they lack the depth and richness of a good old hand job. This goes back to my usual rant of how we eventually accept a lesser quality for the sake of either new better technology (apparently) or simple convenience blah, blah, blah...
Its a bit like fake leather, looks the same from a distance but close up or compared to the real thing its never as good unless your a vegan.


In my early black and white printing days when the wind used to blow my hair and I would eat three or four danish pastries for breakfast. My mentor at the time Robin Bell, who I have mentioned on here a few times, often spoke of how eventually he would open a gallery and one day exhibit all his favorite images that he had printed over the years finally putting them all in a book. Well some twelve years later that time has come. Robin Bells Silver Footprint is now on at the IPG gallery (opened by Robin a few years back). All the info is here. Don't forget to look at the TV footage.

And Robin, if you happen to come across this post;

"I did not steal any of your clients when I went and set up on my own although a few got wind and came my way.."

I have to say that I do have fond memories of my time with Robin and it certainly gave me a broader view of the photographic industry.

The last time I made a black and white print was about six years ago and that will probably be the last time. I don't miss the wet darkroom at all, especially the chemical aspect which I never liked, but I do miss the idea of The Darkroom and of course the quality of the black and white hand print. Nothing will every compare to that...

Tasty Bites..

Some tasty bites here, with Adam Bartos. Particularly like his Kosmos series .
More tasty bites here from Carl Wooley, in particular his night work.

I do find a lot of work I come across (and like) really speaks for itself which is great and personally much preferred. Well I wouldn't want to waffle on too much...


John Ganis

Now and again you come across a photographer you have never heard of before and the work is simply outstanding. They have been working away quietly, unnoticed and unhindered until their project is complete. It may take months, years or even decades, but they are there in the shadows like a rare orchid.
The work of John Ganis is just that and his book Consuming The American Landscape ticks all the right boxes and leave room for a few gold stars. I came across his work a few years ago simply by chance in a book shop, a one of those 'I must have it right away and if you try and stop me I will slap your face' moments. Its not just the content which appeals to me but the technique and thought behind each image. An incredible body of work.


Nice Andreas Gursky interview right here.


Mark Brautigam.

Picked this up over on Flak Photo. I believe its taken by Mark Brautigam and I think its great. I especially like the pattern of the snow on the roof and that nice warm glow from the inside when you know it was probably tear freezing outside. Nice website too, look forward to seeing more from this chap.


In these dark and despairing days with people moaning about the economy while sitting in dark corners worrying about the environment and how many bunnies might suffer if they eat too none organic carrots. I happened to hear the greatest most encouraging words of wisdom from a lady I will refer to only as Clair Hair. In an accent I can only describe as an 'olde worlde cockney bag lady', Clair Hair announced;

"When this economic thing is over, only the talented ones will be left. The industry will be cleansed...."

Its genius and its true. All those nitwits with camera phones, all those plagiarizing blaggers with less talent than a bulldog puppy, all those have a go chubby handed greedy buggers and people with too much money looking for an identity . The fat will be trimmed and burnt in the economic fire of chaff.

May the fires of the economy burn hot and bright (and preferably quick)..

Portfolio Day..

At a time when most photographers will be renovating their portfolios, you know putting in that forgotten image or changing the layout to fool that potential client that you have been working none stop. Its probably worth mentioning the Portfolio show here. Apparently its quite the event, or so my agent tells me. Its on today and tomorrow although you do need to register online for some reason, but its free. Don't forget to swing by Orchard Represents if you do decide to go and look at my fat 20/24" portfolio, but keep your comments to yourself.


I know it hurts, but could you just stay still please.

I thought I would detour a little today as I saw this image (above) and it took me right back to when I was three stone heaver with a fat face and thin soft hair that gently caressed my cheeks..
This kind of abstract nude was something I was heavily (literally) into back in the days when I hand printed for the professional masses. My fine printing abilities allowed me to produce some real whoppers (no digital jiggery pokery in those days), but the real work was always in coming up with new positions and then try to explain them to my subjects in the studio who where almost always painted or covered in some kind of oily substance (wipe those thoughts from your mind please). When I got to the stage where I had five models all covered in goo trying to recreate an image I had seen by Salvidor Dali (you know the one, the scull where the feet are teeth), I decided I could go no further. Besides I wanted to be outside more (apologies to the girl I made strip naked in the middle of winter and sit on a rock in the snow!).
By the way the above image is by one Peter Van Stralen in case you were wondering. Sadly though the rest of the work on the site would appear not to be as dynamic and striking as this image here on the B.


"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer."
Ansel Adams

This books so dam rare I don't even have one...!
Details here.



I do believe that the photography department at the University Of Cumbria is fast becoming one of the finest in the country. I have often wondered lately what might have been had this establishment been around when I was applying for collages in the late 1800's. What if I had stayed in Carlisle? What if I had married that girl who now has five children by five different fathers? What if I had stayed in the Boots mini lab now run by Margret who used to mop the floor and pinch my backside...?
Well have a look here and see what you think.
And if you want my opinion, which obviously you will get; every establishment teaching photography needs PHOTOGRAPHERS teaching the students and not some silly old fart with a pipe who used to have a hobby photographing dead butterfly's...
I wish them great things...

By the way, the above picture is not the University. Its Priypat town center by John Darwell.


So after my meat sweats had subsided last night (see last post) I carried on watching all the videos I could find on You Tube of photographers talking about their work. I watched Stephen Shore lug his old 10/8 Deardoff around the street unnoticed (with an assistant!) and thought I bet he couldn't carry that thing up a mountain. Then I watched Todd Hidy Ho talking and showing us how he does those tasty night shots and thought your a fatter less attractive version of me. And finally I watched old Meyerowitz. There was no need for a visual as I just love his voice.

When I awoke that night (again suffering from meat sweats), something struck me. No it was not my wife. It was remembering what each photographer had said about their work and the fact that none of it was planned (at least not in the beginning) and none of them could explain why they did it, just the fact that they had the natural urge to take photographs. In an age when the pixel and the project is king this to me was so refreshing. All photographers seem to want to do these days is over analyze their work and draft up lengthy explanations for something they havn't even shot..! (Lets face it, how else do you get funding in this country).
These great photographers I watched last night just went out and done what they felt was right to them regardless of what others thought. After all if you want to produce something deep and meaningful you cant just plan it, it has to come naturally.

Perhaps I will make my own photography video. It will involve me looking very dashing, wearing nice clothes, have lots of assistants and I will talk like the late Richard Burton..


SS Video...

Had to link to this Stephen Shore interview. Too busy stuffing my face with barbecue meat to comment at the moment (much more important).


Fred Herzog

Theres a great piece over on American Suburb X blog here regarding Fred Herzog (the mans a genius) and his thoughts on photography. Fits in nicely with my last post me thinks.


I was in thePrintSpace today picking up some prints (naturally) and they happened to have a showcase of work from various photographers (more here) a few of which I have mentioned on the beautiful and culture rich B Mode in the past. Upon further study of these very images (five photographers with 3/6 images 30 by 40" or there abouts) I came to the realization that it was not a case of; "these web images look better in print" as used to be the term so often phrased, but very much more; "these images look better on the web". Of course this could of been down to the print quality or the nasty matt seal over the prints, but I don't think so.... I reckon with my fifteen plus years in the business (if you include printing wedding pics for a high street photographer, and maybe processing Richard Averdon's black and white 10/8's, or maybe spending a year in the desert with a large format camera and a tin of Tuna) that all this fiddling with images and then having them presented low res and rather small in dimension is obviously not going to pass over well on a big fat print. You can tweak those little images all you like, but one day you will be found out.
I have seen a ton of fabulous work on the web lately, but now I am beginning to wonder if it really is that good after all unless I actually see a print. I guess this is a sign of the times in this computerized world, but if that is the case, what about the quality, doesn't that matter anymore?

In conclusion I would say that the potential to look at thousands of images very quickly on a digital screen is going to have its price. I believe we have come to accept a lower standard of work in an environment where the phrase "just leave it as it is , I will take it out later" is all too common and standards have slipped way too far beyond revival. The thought process is now an after thought, the edit, is now a pre-edit in camera, and the technology never stops moving leaving an uncertain future for todays images.

Remember this my followers and those that may have images up in 'The Space". People will stand and stare at an image on a wall or in a book, but they will only glimpse at an image on a screen, why, because they want to look at the other hundred that goes along with it, and of course, they look better!

Live long and prosper..

Its true that too much Curry will make you vomit, see here, oh and don't forget to give a donation!

Now and again I come across utter slop....