Oh Greg...

I have mentioned the epic talents of Gregory Crewdson on here several times, and why wouldn't I, the works just fabulous. I never understood peoples gripe with Crewdson and the fact he uses a huge production crew of 90 plus people to create what is basically a film still in a lot of peoples eyes. I just enjoy the work and tend not to think of how much time and money he has spent.

So what if you took all this away. The film crew, the budget, the colour, In fact the whole working process. Well I tell you what you get his latest body of work Sanctuary, that's what.

Personally I think its way off the mark and although I can understand why someone would go from such big production and back to basics I think its a pretty poor show from Crewdson. Its not bad work, its just dull boring work.

Maybe I am missing something, oh yea, the colours and the atmosphere.


The more opinions you have, the less you see. Wim Wenders


Something to watch..

No one does Landscape Photography quite like the multi pocketed vest wearing Thespian that is Charlie Waite. Although a thousand miles from what I would personally do, I still enjoying his teachings and I think we could all learn a thing or two.
I came across these videos on the You Tube and they are quite delightful. The first one talks about light, but admittedly I thought it was a Hitchcockian spoof at first.

I especially liked the way Charlie talks about setting up a shot and waiting for the sun to set with lots of lovely deep reds, but instead takes a few frames on a bright sunny day and then goes home.

This is very interesting and worth reading if you are involved with galleries, be it a collector or producer...




"The only happy artist is a dead artist, because only then you can't change. After I die, I'll probably come back as a paintbrush."
Sylvester Stallone


This thing has been going for eleven years now and I remember selling one of my first BIG prints (a 30/40"may be not so big by today's standards) in that October of 1999. It was a beautiful print (see image) made into a Diasec frame, a technique I wouldn't do these days as I question its archival qualities as the front of the print is stuck to the perspex using some clear glue.
I have some work in the AAF knocking around somewhere this year and only realised after receiving an invite this morning. Only small prints this time and no glue anywhere.

May be I will pop down and buy something then cycle off with it under my arm as the adverts would suggest. Bit stupid that.


I was talking with some work colleagues a few weeks ago about the machine that is Nadav Kander. Two of the photographers were from advertising backgrounds and so could only marvel at the achievements one such as Kander has made (and perhaps envy his table of trophies from every photographic award imaginable). They also assumed that NK has had as much success in the Fine Art Market as the world of advertising, and why wouldn't they. After all here is one of few photographers on the planet who is able to merge the line between so called fine art photography and advertising (remember those Marlborough ads in the early nineties) producing bodies of work one can only dribble over. But this has been far from true. Nadav has often struggled to be taken seriously in the Art world for the simple fact that he had dominated the Advertising world for so long that serious collectors and indeed galleries have not taken him on board.
Many do claim that its a lot easier for a Fine Art Photographer (hate this title so much) to enter the world of commercial photography than it is for a Commercial Photographer to enter the fine art market, as the commercial approach does not often transfer well to the purism that is Fine Art. Its not enough that a FAP (fine art photographer) should spend months in the desert living off a bit of bread and some salty water in order to create something pure and beautiful. They also have to make no money and lay in wait only to be discovered by a big gallery and perhaps become a little famous in the circle of photography. So is it any wonder that when a hugely successful commercial photographer with plenty of money for projects comes along the Art World is a bit of a snob..
When I first seen Nadav's Yantze River, I knew things would change. Its not just the beauty of the work and the fact that they really are Fine Art images (assuming that fine art means they only serve one purpose which is to be looked at), its the volume of the project. This is a project shot over time in a place revisited with commitment and passion. Its the bread and salty water in the desert, the pure and the beautiful. Ok, he may not of struggled to do it financially, but thats irrelevant. To put it another way, If Nadav had not spent the last twenty years as a successful commercial photographer he would never have got around to do the Yantze River project, let alone afford to do it.
This book (The Yantze River) deserves a lot of respect and is certainly one of the best, and most consistent, bodies of work I have seen in the last decade.


Working with a gallery can only ever bring 50% happiness..


Now thats what I'm talking about.....

160 megapixel digital camera


"Seitz’s camera is sort of expensive (over $45,000) but it comes with a tablet PC. Including a tablet PC is a very good idea as a single image taken in the highest quality an resolution saved as a raw file takes 307 MB and 922 as uncompressed 48-bit tiff. The camera takes a whole second to save a full-resolution 7,500×21,500 image, but there can be no question about the quality."

With a single 10 sheet box of film now costing as much as someone gets a week on the Dole (providing you can find some), along with the rising lab costs and persecution that comes from shooting film, Is it any wonder I almost swallowed my Espresso cup when I seen this.

Maybe its time to switch. And perhaps kidnap someone...


Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby.


That Brighton thing..

To be honest I never really paid too much attention to the whole Brighton Biennial thing this year organised by Mr Parr. When I first heard that Alec Soth was going to do his thing in Brighton I was intrigued and eager to see just how well he could pull off shooting in the UK and had come to the conclusion in my mind that he simply wouldn't abe able to pull it off. After all its one thing shooting in your own country and having an understanding of the place, but I have yet to see an American photographer cross the Atlantic and do work as good as they produce back home. Think Eggleston with those dreadful Paris images or Sternfeld's crazy i-Dubai and you will see what I mean without me going into the whole American photographers only working in the States thing.

Basically Soth was told at on arrival to the UK that as he had no work visa he was not allowed to take pictures or he would go to jail (daft isn't it). And so Soth gave his camera to his seven year old daughter so she could take pictures and in turn exhibit them at the Biennial. Full story here.

At first I thought the whole thing was a real gimmick. But you know what, the photographs are brilliant. Just don't tell the authorities...


Put that fire out..

Malibu Fire California 2008

Its not often I photograph disaster areas, or disaster porn sites as its often referred to. But there have been times when this kind of work has a place within the vernacular of my photography.

As part of my BCB Project (By Coastal Borders to give it's full title) I drove down to Hastings and the site of the recent fire which engulfed the its Pier a few days ago. I felt It was important to at least make a record of such an event especially with this project of mine fast becoming a documentation of the UK, all be it a slightly pretty one. Now I know most people would not view such a thing as a burnt out old pier as a disaster, I personal thought the thing was a disaster before the fire, It was closed to the public, a total eye sore with its horrid yellow paint job and vulgar bright adverts, and to add to that, the thing was falling to bits and a total death trap. But to people living in the town, it was as if someone had died. Locals gathered round the site like the tomb of a fallen soldier. I was astonished how effected people had become and it even reminded me of the death of Lady Di when people camped near the palace and laid flowers for the women none of them knew.
What fascinated me the most, and always does in these circumstances, was that everyone was taking pictures. A photo of the wreckage, a photo with a child stood in front of the wreckage, a photo with a fireman, a photo of me making a photo of the wreckage, so on and so on. People wanted evidence. They wanted to look back and say I was there, look at this, look at that sexy bald photographer with a big camera.

Without harping on too much, it reminded me once again of the importance of photography and visual media. Its certainly hard to imagine a life without it.

I will be first to tell you that the camera always lies, but it also tells the truth and reminds us were we have been..


The Circus..

Although I have stepped away from the gallery scene for a bit it was nice to be asked to be part of the show as advertised below.
The image used for the show invite (not in the show but still available of course) is one of delight, but not without memories of fear and a near end of life experience.
This 'Teletubbies Landscape,' made late at night in one of London's many Urban golf courses, was one of the first images I made with the mighty 10/8" view camera monster which soon became known as 'The Circus ' because it was like carrying a television on a broomstick and I often felt like I was performing in some strong man show minus the leotard and curly mushtache.
Making a one hour exposure on a 10/8 camera in wind and rain is not easy feat, It requires patience, skill, and a brolly which must be directed into the wind to avoid any flapping of the bellows. So there I was fighting the elements on a scene with very little direct light, but a beautiful red sky due to the cities light pollution (the wetter it is, the more red the clouds). I was pretty sure I had the shot after an hour and headed back to the car. As I made my way precariously down a bunker slope I stepped on what I thought was a patch of sand. But my friends of the dark cloth, this was not sand. Before I knew it I was up to my arm pits in water. The weight of 'the Circus' pushing me deeper into the silty underfoot of the now realised Golf Course Pond. As I had never asked permission to enter the land of lovely grass I was not about to call for help, and so, for some unknown reason I will never know the answer to I managed to turn around, place the camera on the side of the mini lake and then swam like a puppy in a garden pond about twenty meters until I was knee deep and able to step out in to the cold night air.
Wet, miserable and on the verge of hypothermia I took my soggy ass (and The Circus) and made my way back to the car only to realise I had been locked into the golf car park.
But at least my image was sharp....
Painting with Light - a spotlight on contemporary photography for Frieze week

Private View, Tuesday 12th October 2010, 6 – 8 pm

12 October – December 2010

Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill
30 Portman Square, London W1H 7BH
RSVP info@candlestar.co.uk

An exploration of the boundaries between photography and painting.
Candlestar and Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill, the official hotel partner for the Frieze Art Fair, are proud to present Painting with Light, an exploration of
the boundaries between photography and painting, through the work of five artists - Susan Derges, Marcus Doyle, Brian Griffin, Tom Hunter and Yvonne de Rosa.
Each of these artists makes photographs that are painterly both in execution and technique, and very often carry echoes and allusions to paintings of the past, be it
those of the Renaissance or the Dutch ‘Golden Age’.
The word ‘photography’ derives from Greek, literally meaning ‘drawing with light’. In the hands of these five artists light itself becomes the ultimate creative tool.
Marcus Doyle. Night Golf. London 2008. C Type 100x60cm


Image Fabio Barile.

I was intrigued by Fabio Barile's 'Among' project. But there's not enough of it and the title is what we used to called people when I was young idiot. Beautiful series though.

I am always interested to see what other photographers are up to especially when it relates to my own projects in some way or another. I particularly like this series as its been approached with thought and rather nice long exposure techniques to calm those stormy waters and rest the eyes..

Nice one Fabio.

One of them iphone thingys..

I hate cameras on phones. In fact I hate gimmicks of any kind. But that's not to say I don't use them.