Perspectives, an exhibition of images by award-winning photographer Tom Stoddart (www.tomstoddart.com), will be held at one of London’s prime South Bank sites from 25 July – 11 September, throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Seventy-eight of Stoddart’s signature black and white pictures will form a free, open-air display at More London Riverside, between City Hall and HMS Belfast.
During his distinguished career Stoddart has travelled to more than 50 countries and documented such historic events as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Siege of Sarajevo and the election of Nelson Mandela as South Africa’s first black president.

His acclaimed in-depth work on the HIV/AIDS pandemic blighting sub-Saharan Africa won the POY World Understanding Award in 2003. In the same year his pictures of British Royal Marines in combat, during hostilities in Iraq, was awarded the Larry Burrows Award for Exceptional War Photography. A year later his book iWITNESS was honoured as the best photography book published in the USA.

Now established as one of the world’s most respected photojournalists, Stoddart works closely with Getty Images to produce features on serious world issues.

He said,

”The world’s nations will soon be joined together in a wonderful sporting festival whose motto is ‘swifter, higher, stronger’. I hope that people visiting the exhibition will leave with a greater determination to understand and help those with little access to clean water, food and medicines who, through no fault of their own, cannot run more swiftly, jump higher or be stronger”.

Perspectives has been created with the participation of the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC, featuring photographs taken by Tom Stoddart for the Health Care in Danger campaign.



When it comes to photographers who have amassed humongous amounts of incredible work over a thirty years it can be a little mind blowing trying to take it all in. On scale alone Burtynsky has probably covered more ground than any other photographer working with work concerning the environment, consumption, and stripping the world of its recourses. But this is why the film Manufactured Landscapes is good as it helps to take in the work slowly, rather than trying to digest it all in one go as you might do if you visit the photographers gallery before hand as I did.
After the film there was a small discussion with the writer and critic Francis Hodgson, whom I have a lot of time for, especially after he wrote such a wonderful review of my House Martin and the Cinema show way back in 2009 (or was it 2010). What intrigued me most here was that Francis mentioned that in Burtynsky's earlier work it was just one man and a camera. No assistants, no helicopters, and a body of work that many landscape photographers were totally jealous of. Indeed, this was the work that first got me onto Tynsky and still my favorite to day. I don't think for a minute think that the more recent work, done with a team of people and helicopters is any less, as it is in fact very much more, its just easier to put oneself in the imaginary scenario of a Burtynsky landscape and the images are more within reach.



I received a wonderful book today from Scanderbegsauer photography today (as mentioned a few weeks ago when I was in Croatia). Decommissioned is a series made in the Mojave Airport in California, although you may know it better as the plane grave yard often seen in movies and other photography projects. When projects of such wonderful subject matter are covered it is often an anticlimactic event which usually fails to deliver in terms of overall content, quality, or consistency. Decommissioned however delivers on all levels and is by far the finest project I have seen on such a topic as the plane graveyard. Its so easy to snap away at whatever grabs your attention first in these circumstances forgetting those all important detail images that are often the back bone of large projects. Projects like Decommissioned take real dedication and control within their environment, something which is easily forgotten when caught up in the excitement of a photographers mecca.
But enough of my ramblings. See for yourself..

ISBN 978-3-033-02690-2


On Education.

I feel the stagnant nature of photographic education is a large contributing factor to the lameness seen in photography today. Imagination is dead, and every image must assault the viewer with some higher meaning, preach to a social consciousness, or have such a convoluted concept as to leave the viewer scratching their head and wondering “huh?.. I don’t get it”. If a true change is going to come about in photography, it has to be the rejection of the academic point of view and the reawakening of imagination in art. Let’s inspire, not preach.
Dave Molna

I could not agree more with this statement regarding photographic education especially considering I am in the thick of it at the moment. I often feel (as Eggleston did), at war with the obvious regarding my own work and what has become Institutionalized photography.

Over-theorize an image and the image itself become irrelevant.

More here.


So on Thurday night I went to this years batch of photography degree shows down at The Old Truman Brewery, which apart from sounding like a location from Scooby Doo, is a collective mix of the next batch of photography student hopefuls to descend on the streets of London. Folios and i-pads in hand, I wish them all well before stating that they may find it a little hard at first, and then much harder later, but lets not be too discouraging..
I could think back to the days when I was a student (the first time around) and say how fluffy the whole thing was, but I really do not think so much has changed. There will always be the deadpan portrait, although a lot of that know is filmed portraits, the sitter awkward in front of a canon 5d, but the principle is the same. Then theres the nudes of a friend, or oneself sat in a corner. The fashion shoot, again of a friend, possibly in their mother vintage 60's wardrobe. The still life of a cabbage, tower blocks at night, a Nadav Kander field, an old fella in a workshop, and perhaps some more portraits of folk on a beach, nude, with a tower block in the back ground, a cabbage in the sand, and an old fella from a workshop sat on a deck chair....
My hope is that the student stays positive (easy to say but hard to do), and for those who do not get legless at their own show (bad idea folks), remember this;
This is the point where you can say what you want to say and do what you want to do. People will tell your ideas are daft, won't work, or you are wasting your time (they may also tell you you are brilliant of course). You can either listen to them and become something else. Or, stick at it and be yourself. Afterall, that is what makes a great photographer...


I met a very nice Swiss chap (and exceedingly talented photographer) in Croatia who directed my attention to a
Don Winslow novel. (you may know it better as Savages soon to be released as a film by Oliver Stone). It took me a while to realize it was my own image in what looks like the post apocalyptic version, heavily cropped and in reverse. Of course I would of preferred it to look like the original, but times are hard right now and I am still a student...
The original image was made in the Mojave Desert way back in 2004/5. I waited until the gold Californian sun hit the side of the car, made the shot, and then stopped by Sues Cafe for a Malt Shake.


First and Last.

Picket Fence, 2000
Southend, 2003

Two very significant images here, for me at least. The first one, Picket Fence, was the first colour image I made using, at the time, my new 5/4 Wista. The camera is still in full use although more of a Frankenstein version with various additions such as Duct Tape and a spirit level stuck on with Blue Tack. The image itself is opposite my old school and remnants of a misspent youth. The shift up to working in a larger format did change the way I seen the landscape and it was around this time that I started to produce bigger prints. I found the slow pace of working with 5/4 suited my thought process and I was hooked on the idea of a single large negative.

The second image, a lot more well known with the print being in its final edition, was made on a bank holiday in Southend-On-Sea. It was this image that really got me moving with colour landscape, and in particular the British Coastline which I would return to several years later in by North Shores and By Coastal projects. It was one of those images where all the elements came together. The stormy clouds (made just after a might downpour), the ethereal light, the puddle in the foreground, and the lights from the pier itself. You could say I was lucky, but I have always striven to make each of my landscapes in a similar vain, usually by waiting...

I am not even sure if I have a print made of the Picket Fence image, it seems so long ago. As for the Southend, that is on display at Diemar Noble Photography on Wells street, should you like to see it in the flesh (see below for details)..


Several years ago I came to a conclusion concerning photography and announced it here on B-Mode;

"Someone's either done it, doing it, or about to do it.."

While I was in Croatia I had what can only be described as a photographic epiphany. Awoken in the night by some mysterious force (may have been too much cheese), I grabbed my note pad and frantically scribbled the ideas for a wonderful project. I was so excited I stayed awake until breakfast certain that this idea of mine would have all the necessary components for a unique project. In fact I was so certain that I had something special that I couldn't wait to get back to the UK and do some research. "This was it, this was the big one." Deutsche Borse, Sony, Prix Picket, heck I could even enter Take A View or apply for a Guggenheim (if I was American).
The next few days seemed to last a lifetime. I was finding it hard to concentrate on anything other than what had now become known as The Prize. What was going to do with all that money? How long would it take to finish? This was all I could think of. By the time I had landed in the UK I had curated the show, edited the book, and gotten Michael Douglas to write the forward.
But you see, one may be able to come up with the idea of a Doyle Blue or a few clever lines regarding an idea, but it doesn't necessarily mean your photographs are all blue and your ideas original. I hadn't been home more than half an hour when I booted up the lap top and started to do some on-line research. And there it was; Not one, not two, but three attempts at my precious idea. What was once considered virgin and true (not to mention all the other tutt not on the web sat in a box or hanging in a gallery somewhere) was now a dirty whore of a project and I had no choice but to dismiss it from my mind immediately. This runt of ideas was now nothing more that a virtual photographic fart..


Red Square, 2012

Croatia Surfaces..

My return to Istria was as always a pleasant one (apart from a ten hour wait for a connecting one hour flight, but lets not go there). It was very nice to see the work I had made over the last three years all together in one place. Around forty prints in total graced the gallery walls and the chaps at the gallery had done a fine job of curating the images.
The layout was reminiscent of Stephen shores American Surfaces show, all small prints in 10/8 frames, although I am not for a minute comparing my images with shores..