My wife made the switch to digital almost ten years ago with the release of the Canon 1DS system. She hated the format of the camera, the feel of it, and the overall usage. But working a lot in editorial, it was the obvious choice for her career path. What was left in the cupboard under the stairs was a Peli Case containing two Hassleblad 500CM's. I remember how much she loved those cameras and its sad to think they for her at least, they are now redundant.
With the news that Fuji Film are to increase their film prices by a third in June, and Kodak becoming a complete disaster, I thought it might be an idea to do some medium format for a while and save oodles on my film costs.
Before I go any further I should announce that I have often switched between medium format and large format in my landscapes. I have printed both film types up to and beyond 30/40" and exhibited them side by side. Truth be told, you would be hard pushed to know which was shot on what.
So back to the Hassleblad's. I pulled out the dusty old Peli case covered in fragile stickers and opened the lid. To say a gleaming golden light lit up my face would be a lie, but the cameras where very shiny and in beautiful condition. With the edition of a lens hood, cable release and a wide angle lens, the camera was ready for the landscape.
A mechanical wonder tried and tested over fifty years. Whats not to like.
Now I just have to ask my wife..!

Mitch Dobrowner wins 2012 Sony World Photography Awards title - British Journal of Photography

Mitch Dobrowner wins 2012 Sony World Photography Awards title - British Journal of Photography


A Blurred Vision.

Having printed up the latest batch of images from 'The Flowery Room' (I showed a few last week),
I can see the project really starting to come together. Throughout my time as a photographer I have never shot work in the order or sequence in which they will be shown. Its a bit like a film director choosing to shoot the big end chase scene at the start of production for whatever reason.
The problem with shooting work in this manner is that it often doesn't sit well if you show the work before completion as it can come across as a bit of a jumble. This is one of the reasons I usually keep a lot of the work under wraps until completion although I have been known to realease a few trailers now and then.
Working on the MA has forced me to show work in a manner I am not used to with tutorials requiring 'a look at work done so far'. Last week I made the mistake of pulling out random images as an example of what I have been up to. Lets just say there may have been a few tumble weeds and the sound of a light breeze. I could of sequenced the images, or shown less work, but this is a weighty project for me and its too early to edit and perhaps go off track.
I do think projects need to be captured, edited, fine tuned, and then presented, and in that order, otherwise we are left confused with a blurred vision of what the finished work might be.
When Robert Adams wrote; "What is the photographer trying to do? Does he do it? Was it worth doing?" I am sure he wasn't referring to an unfinished project in no particular order...

Andre Alexander Giesemann

I love this idea, and the work of Andre Alexander Giesemann's Night Clubs (Von Bleiben) when every one has stumbled home and the lights are turned on.
On the few occassions as a youngster when I would stay in a night club for as long as it was open, there was always a great sense of dissapointment, especially if you thought that girl was pretty. But thats just me.
I always like images that leave you wondering. In this instance we are left wondering what the scene/scenes would look like full of people with the lights down low.

The point most people miss in my own work is that the images are often left open for interpretation, the idea being that you can imagine yourself there, or imagine what it would be like full of people, or at another time of day. I say this because the question I am often asked is, Why are there no people in your pictures? I could go on and give lengthy anwers here, but instead will leave you to make up your own mind..


Education doesn't change life much. It just lifts trouble to a higher plane of regard.
Robert Frost


Dear Marcus Doyle,

I visited your online portfolio, and I liked your work. So I would like to invite you to submit work for inclusion in Volume I of International Masters of Photography. A juried annual, invite-only, art photography publication presenting noteworthy photographers from all over the world.

Please note that inclusion in the book is not free, although it is free to submit images for consideration. To get an idea of the quality of our publications, you can view our previous books at: xxxxxxxxx

Photographers included in the book are also invited to participate in the exhibition we arrange at the xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, and they will be invited to participate in our booths in international art fairs.

If you are interested, please contact me and I will send you detailed information about it.

With best regards,


I get several of this type of thing every year and I am sure others do too. 'The Invitational Sales Pitch', as I like to call it, never ceases to amaze me. Its almost as bad as the billionaire prince from Africa who needs you, yes you even though you have never met, to send him money so he can get back home to his family. Then of course he will pay you back ten fold and perhaps bake you a cake.


Cardinal Newman (1801-90)


'Dark tourism' study centre launched by university

Barbed wire, concentration camp

"Dark tourism" - where visitors travel to sites of death, brutality and terror - is to be the subject of a dedicated centre for academic research at the University of Central Lancashire.

The Institute for Dark Tourism Research is said to be the world's first such academic centre.

Researchers say they want to examine why people "feel compelled to visit sites like Auschwitz or Ground Zero".

Director Philip Stone says such places make people face their "own mortality".

The institute, which is being launched on Tuesday, will look at the relationship between places with terrible associations - and tourists who use their leisure time to visit them.

Disaster trips

Dr Stone says that this includes places such as the site of the 9/11 attacks in New York, Nazi concentration camps and the sites of disasters such as the Chernobyl nuclear accident in the Ukraine.

He says that going to such places becomes a form of "secular pilgrimage", with people feeling they need to visit them.

Dr Stone says his research suggests that visitors want to find some kind of meaning in these places of suffering.

Four hundred years ago they were innocent people who were killed. Now they're a tourist destination”

Dr Philip Stone Institute for Dark Tourism Research

Visitors try to empathise with victims and imagine the motivations of the perpetrators, he says, and then visitors have a sense of relief that they can step back into the safety of their own lives.

"People feel anxious before - and then better when they leave, glad that it's not them," says the centre's executive director.

His research has looked at people who visit such sites as part of a wider holiday, rather than people who have specifically travelled to see them.

He describes a couple who reported that they only went to the Ground Zero site at the end of a visit to New York, because going any earlier would have upset them for the rest of the holiday.

But they still clearly felt compelled to visit, he says.

Any scene of disaster or violence is going to have an uneasy relationship with tourism - in terms of how sensitively such events are presented, and how visitors are expected to behave.

But he says the "packaging" of such sites can be what people experience, rather than a recognition of the awful real-life events which are being commemorated.

There is a "blurred line between memorialisation and tourism", he says.

'Long history'

He also believes that an important part of the attraction of such grim places is to allow people to consider death, from a comfortable distance.

In a culture that usually removes death from the public domain, such different places share a common link as scenes strongly associated with the loss of life, he says.

"It's a way for a secular society to reconnect with death."

Dr Stone, who worked in the tourism industry before becoming an academic, says that there is a long history of dark tourism.

"It's always been there. You could say that a medieval execution was an early form of dark tourism."

More than 100 delegates from around the world will attend an inaugural symposium at the university.

Among the future research plans are to look at people who made trips to see the damage caused by earthquakes in Italy, and to examine the visitor industry around the Pendle Witches in Lancashire.

"Four hundred years ago they were innocent people who were killed. Now they're a tourist destination," says Dr Stone.


This was an interesting piece taken from the BBC News website. I thought it would be good to post here as its in keeping with why we as photographers choose to photograph things as such disastrous events. I am not talking about photojournalists here, but perhaps documentary should be put out there, of which too many of us think of as the same thing. Of course this all boils down to my thoughts on Disaster Porn which I have mentioned on here many times before as it is something I despise in the Fine Art World (in brackets). One of the comments in the above article was that this fascination with visiting memorials of disaster was just an extension of rubber necking in a car while driving past an accident. Something we are all guilty of I am sure, and worth thinking about.

The whole matter surrounding why we humans are so morbidly interested in looking at 'not very nice things' is a huge subject and probably best left alone on here. Having said that, It would of been a good topic to cover regarding my MA paper. It could of been called, 'Why We Photograph...... Horrible Things'..



Here's a small selection from the ongoing memory project, or should I say, 'The Flowery Room' series. There's a bit of an Old School aesthetic going on here (for me at least), with a Urban Sprawl style night shot, a choo choo train with a lovely stormy sky, and a kitschy little number with some plastic flowers and a porcelain lady in a floppy hat.
Each image has significance in terms of my childhood and a particular memory which I will save for later, but the real clincher is the image taken at a fairground located along the Solway Coast. This particular fairground appeared every year in the same location around the Easter Holidays. I remember going to this very fair one bank holiday Monday with my parents. I remember winning a Goldfish with googly eyes, thunderous dark weather, and sitting on a miniature train ride with my fish in a bag. It was a good day.


Postcards From America.

As I question the What? Why? When? How? Of my work I cannot help feeling the need to just go off and make pictures. No reason, no rhyme, just nice images you might like to put on your wall.
When I heard about Alec Soth, Martin Parr and several other Magnum photographers taking an RV across the States to Rochester to do a project entitled Postcards From America it was the final straw and I just had to book a flight. The thought of cruising the back roads of the USA with no particular destination and just a camera and a bag of film, well that just tingles my berries and makes me happy. I should point out that those Magnum lot do have an gender as it is Rochester that was the birth place of Kodak and we all know what happened there... Personally I think its just an excuse to road trip and party.
Here's to another one.


Trees Please..

I love Trees, but most of all, I love pictures of Trees. Here's a few of my own made over the years although strictly speaking my work is more pictures with trees in them....
Over on Landscape Stories there's a whole issue devoted to images of Trees. Check it out here.


The beautiful North.

As I journey back to the big smoke after completing (hopefully) phase 2 of my 'Beyond the flowery room' project, I can now reflect on the past, and, together with the power of WiFi I can write a little about my time in the North of the Island.

I am always over come by the generosity of the fellow Northerner and I think there is more to it than the fact that I am taking an interest in someone's business. Take for instance the little fella that owned the cafe by the sea, opening up his establishment after hours to allow me to go inside and make pictures. Or the lady at the museum who spent an hour telling me everything I needed to know and allowing me to access the secret chambers in the name of art. Let's also not forget the steam train driver with the big curly Tash who allowed a portrait by the big engine, or the fairground traveller who let me go on every ride for free.
These acts of kindness only encourage me more and more and I just hope my images are enough of a reward.


Without sounding like someone from the Facebook-twitter-argee-bargy, I seem to have slipped off the photography radar. Not that anyone cares, and why should they... A combination of a sick puppy, and film drought has left me wondering where the last month has gone.
I have often had to deal with long gaps of nothingness. By this I mean long gaps that should be filled with project ideas, fund raising (by whatever means), research, networking etc, etc. But all to often other things take over and photography gets pushed to one side. I get tired of people stating that. 'If you are not thinking of photography 24/7, then maybe you shouldn't be doing it'. I have always considered such statements to be utter balls. Robert Mapplethorpe often stated that he would much rather go to a party, than to a studio to make photographs. I have always considered it important to be able to switch off from photography, or anything else for that matter and we only have to look at the likes of Ansel Adams and his love of Jazz as a fine example of how may be we shouldn't be obsessive all of the time, just some of the time...
When you are young some things are everything, but when you get older everything is something.