Yes that's me.
More info here.


What happens in Vegas..

Rio, Las Vegas, can't remember date.

If you are in the West End sometime in the next few weeks you can pop in to Diemar Noble, if you like, and see my lovely Rio image in all its glory.
So often people only see my work small and bright on a computer screen, but my intention has always been to show work in a moderate size and in print form. Standing three feet away from a 30/40" image gives the same perspective as if you were really there, well that's my theory. But of course this all depends on lens, depth of field etc, but lets not spoil the moment.

The first time I visited Las Vegas I got married (not to a complete stranger as one might think), since then it was never my intention to return, but somehow I found myself stopping off, usually en-route to somewhere else. I done a bit of memory exercise and worked out that I have been to Vegas twelve times (there may be more that I have chosen to forget) and probably produced enough images to create a small book, but lets not get carried away or we may end up with something like Albert Watson's latest book, Strip Search, a monstrous size of a book in two volumes which I really do not like and looks like its had a lot of money thrown at it. I say this respectfully and still consider AW to be one of the finest photographers around, I just hate the book and find it filled with unnecessary extras..

Vegas probably has more visual photographic content than anywhere else I can think of, but somehow I am yet to see it produce a body of work that I really enjoy, including my own.


What I like and what I hate..

In the so called Fine Art Photography market there are two types of buyer. The Serious Collector, this could be an individual or an establishment (museum) that do not necessarily purchase work because they like it, but because they consider it important or perhaps a good investment.
Then there is my much preferred; Avid Collector, or what I would term, people I want to buy the work and put on their wall, not in a drawer, not in a safe, and not in a lock up...
I had a good friend, who also happens to be an Avid Collector of art and photography, acquire one of my pieces recently as a gift. There is probably no room for it in his house which is already full of large and small works as well as a couple of Doyle's, but he will find a space for sure. The joy and overwhelming response from such an acquisition is one of the highlights of doing what I do. The fact that someone wants to hang one of your pictures in their home and look at it everyday is the biggest compliment one can be paid.
Exhibitions are very impersonal affairs, in particular the dreaded Private View . Everyone will tell you the work looks great whether they mean it or not. Dozens will tell you how they 'might buy one' (which they won't), or, which is something I really hate; 'If I win the lottery I will buy one,' which will not happen, so they are basically saying they'd have one, but only if it's for free.
Of course there are occasions were people do come through, which is of course fantastic. But my time is for the people who, don't have enough room, will have to save up a bit, who really shouldn't, but must have it, and in particular; 'I know I have just bought one and my husband will kill me, but can I get another'. Those my friends are the real collectors and lovers of photography..


Drive Thru. Gila Bend AZ 2004.


P J Harvey

Right up my street these. Nice to see someone else donning the 6/17 panoramic, and using it well, that's very well..
See more here.


The Gathering - London. Thursday 22nd March 2012

6pm – 9pm

Diemar/Noble Photography
66/67 Wells Street
London W1T 3PY

Rhubarb-Rhubarb has teamed up with the esteemed Diemar/Noble Photography gallery to host The Gathering. Participating photographers include Brian Griffin, Martin Parr, Emily-Jane Major, Michael Donald, Laura Pannack, Marcus Doyle and Zed Nelson.

Prints have been donated by image makers from the UK, USA, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Australia and Bangladesh.

All of the images will be on show at the gallery for one night only and will be individually numbered. An exciting twist to the event is that participants will pick a numbered ticket from a tombola and receive the corresponding numbered print and a copy of the event catalogue. This gives you the opportunity to own a 6x4 (postcard size) print by a world famous or an emerging artist for an investment of just £50.

We hope you can come along, enjoy a glass of wine, mingle with some of the photographers and admire the stunning array of images on show. We are sure it will be a night to remember.

The Gathering - Birmingham, Catalogue Launch
Tuesday 20th March 2012
6.30pm – 8.30pm
Birmingham Institute of Art and Design
School of Art, Margaret Street
Birmingham B3 3BX

Please come and join us for The Gathering - Catalogue Launch in the beautiful surroundings of the School of Art, Margaret Street, Birmingham, particularly if you cannot attend the London date. The catalogue has complete listings of all of the images for sale at the London event and there will be a projection of the photographs.

We are particularly excited to have Brian Griffin attending and he will say a few words to launch The Gathering.


A time to reflect.

So as the first term of my photography MA draws to a close, I thought a little reflection might be in order regarding my experience as a student.

In its early beginnings the thoughts of freedom and being able to swan around and make some nice imagery was most appealing. Some may already think that is what I have been doing for the last fifteen years, but those people obviously do not realize the pressures that come with being a gallery based fine art photographer.

What has probably been my mine gripe is what I consider to be the over conceptualizing and theorizing of photography. Now I can talk about my Own work all day, and love to do so. But I have never considered myself to be, and never will, be any kind of theorist. My images are nice to look at and have story and reason, but I never set out with a detailed plan. However, the MA project has indeed been approached with a detailed plan of what I wanted to photograph, why I wanted to photograph it, and what I wanted to achieve from it. Although it could be said that this approach works for many, for me it always creates a sense of longing for something else, something from the gut, something exciting. That feeling of discovering a hidden door, or an unexpected beam of light. To photograph a moment that can never be repeated. These are the things people have always written about.
I am certainly happy with the work I have produced which can only be a good thing. Hopefully this will continue and I can put my gripes, (age, unwillingness to do anything different, thinking I don't need to be here, no time with anything that's not landscape or place) to one side and come away wiser and perhaps better than before.


Wonky frames and dodgy lighting aside, here's a small selection from my Beyond The Flowery Room series.
More can be seen at the event below.

London College of Communication
MA Photography f/t mode
Interim Exhibition 2012
15-17 March
Private view Thursday 15 March 6.00-8.00
Thursday/Friday 10.00-6.00
Saturday 10.00-4.00
New Gallery
London College of Communication
Elephant & Castle


Thorny Issue

After almost a whole day of frustrations and plain old crappyness I decided to blow caution to the wind, crab the big camera and check out a place I had been meaning to for some time. How often do you pass by a place and wonder what's behind that wall, or in my case a very dense Bramble thicket, a barbed wire fence, and a small river.
After almost taking out my left eye with a particularly large thorny number, torn pants and some choice Northern shouting, I found myself surrounded by dereliction of which appeared to be something of a once small community. Think caravans, huts, and a rusty old truck. It was as if |I had returned to the Salton Sea, but without the sunshine and the make-a-you-crazy heat.
As with those happy Salton days I made my way into dark places of decay wondering if someone was going to jump out of the shadows. Creepy mirrors and curtains blowing in the wind may make an interesting picture, but they also make you shout obscenities. Happy with my dusty interiors I made for fresh air as the sun began to dip. The light was beautiful and soft so making images was not much effort, a particular joy only one can find when the elements come together..
The best thing about the find is that it is a place I can easily frequent. This always takes the pressure off and I will probably find myself there again providing I have a bad day..


How about this....

It may seem a strange move to advertise an MA in photography considering I am embarking on one myself. But had I not been living in London, and regarding the course structure, this is the course I would of chosen, (even if it is in my home town and I would of had to move in with my parents)..
There's a real irony here in that My MA project is based on the Cumbria Universities doorstep.
I always knew there was oodles to photograph..

MA Photography

The University of Cumbria is now recruiting for its specialist MA in Photography.
The MA Photography is a one year course for self-motivated individuals who wish to both explore critical thought within contemporary photography and to further develop their own practice It is expected that applicants will have at least a good basic knowledge of photography and interview criteria will include the presentation of a portfolio of work.
Taught by Dr John Darwell, Dr Sarah Bonner and Dr Katrin Joost with additional input from Mike England, Rob Sara and an ongoing programme of visiting lecturers.
For further information please contact Photography Programme Leader Mike England mike.england@cumbria.ac.uk


Night Time Mysteries..

After looking through a batch of recent 'Beyond The Flowery Room' potentials, I started think that a fair few of the images may be perceived as having slight sinister undertones. A foreboding dark forest, a kiddies play-fort disappearing into the night, and a strange little house beneath an electric pylon. It was never my intention to create such drama, although these particular night shots do have less light in them than my earlier work. The main difference here is that these particular images were not chosen for their aesthetic properties, but rather their significance to my childhood. Why they are significant I hear you ask? All will be revealed upon completion of the project.



'BEYOND THE FLOWERY ROOM, is a photographic project based around memories growing up in the North of England'.

Its a nice title and one which I hope will stand the test of time. (Always nice to have a title and I do love my titles). A title gives a project more of an identity, its a bit like naming a child, or a dog.

I have to say I am really pleased with the way in which this body of work is developing, although I do sometimes feel the need to go off and do something a little epic, like an enormous landscape without meaning or reason. For the MA I took the step of producing small exquisite prints rather than big gallery fodder, something I consider to be a brave move considering I have worked with big prints for more than a decade. Although the images are shot on 5/4 and could be printed as big as a bus stop billboard, I am certain that the small exquisite print works well on this one. I think it can be a real test for a photographer to produce something small , or smaller. So often I think people are overwhelmed by large images and become impressed with there domineering size rather than the image itself, something often experienced at events like Paris Photo which for many years was just full of humongous sized colour prints thanks to the creation of the six foot wide printer. Of course it should be a case of 'what is suitable for the work'. Some images work better big, others work better small. This could be a very debatable topic and one could argue that a good image will work well in all sizes. But at the moment I am keeping it small...... with room for improvement.



There's a wonderful piece by Alec Soth over on his blog entitled, 'Marrying a photographer.'
Very good.


Willy Nilly

Sometimes its just good to walk around taking snapshots willy nilly.
Carrying a big hulking large format 'thinking man's camera' is all well and good, but sometimes only a compact will do..
I'm no Garry Winogrand, but I enjoy surveying the streets.



Do you give a little ?

Blue Car, Little Rock 2002.

I was chatting with a fellow photographer last week about ongoing projects and how often all that hard work can be ruined by some little pip squeak covering the same, or, all too similar project idea.
I have said it many times on here that, 'Someone has either done it, is doing it, or is thinking about doing it,' and I could give countless examples from out and out plagiarism, to sheer coincidence and down right bad luck.
There comes the point when a photographer has to decide whether to show ongoing extracts, perhaps on a wonderful blog like this, or, wait until the work is finished and launch it like a rocket into the fiery cosmos. The latter is the most difficult, but most rewarding, however, it is also the most nerve racking for a photographer. Its a bit like inventing a Time Machine and not being able to tell anyone about it in case the American government find out and use it for evil..
Of course all this is only relevant if the project is any good to begin with. Its an interesting topic that can be applied to any creative process. But the question is, 'Do you save it? or, do you give a little away now and then ?'


Now we really are going back. Another time, another place, bodies without a face..
I found these on some random blog with no idea where they got them from, but they are mine and probably from around the mid nineties. My obsession with FORM ended around 2000, were that obsession came from, who knows..

From the archive.

Shirley. Los Angeles 2003

I call it 'from the archive' but its more like a tatty cardboard box. A few nice elements in this one, the golden light on the handrail, the dappled light through those funny bricks. I never particularly liked this image way back in 2003, but now I kinda do..