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).