Kit Fordham.

Someone once told me that it takes at least five years to get a college degree out of your system. Personally I think he was talking balls, although he was taking about being a young student and not the mature variety. It took me two months, but thats questionable as I am still writing about it here.
As I never really wanted to be a student I had no interest in what students were doing. Of course there there was some real talent within the institutionalized system, but I did not care for it at the time. 
I have always rated a photographer on a body of work and not just one or two could images (anyone can do that). Consistency, I believe, is the key to good photography. This rarely happens within a university as the photographer rarely has the time frame and lack of distraction, be it silly theory papers or pretty girls. 
Kit Fordham, now a very good friend, has a fine body of work. Unpolluted by the institution, he has created a wonderful series, 'In The World Of The Traveling Showman.' 
He is one of the few..

All images, Kit Fordham


“Most of the billions of pictures that are made with cameras every year are made for purposes that have nothing to do with art. They are made for quite specific reasons, some exalted and some mundane, and their value is dependent on how well they serve a purpose that, more often than not, has nothing to do with photography itself.  Scientists, engineers, sociologists, historians, advertising agencies, and fashion designers use photographs to prove a point, influence behavior, interpret human nature, or to preserve a moment in time. Their pictures end up in discipline-specific archives, where they await rediscovery and reinterpretation by subsequent generations. “

More from the archives..

 Nuclear Pants
Dawn of the Dino

What a tower...

You know I love water towers and there majestic nature. I think they remind me of something from an old Doctor Who episode, or a 70's Sci Fi series, rising up out of the ground like some kind of big iron creature. Other than the Beckers, I didn't think people were that interested in them. But I was wrong, they seem to be very popular. There is even an appreciation society for them here.
I did have the idea to photograph them across the country as I am intrigued by the way they do not fit in with anything (I think we call that 'in harmony') and just stand there bold as brass. I often find the surrounding area most intriguing, especially when a sense of scale is created as in the image above.
A little obvious as a project I know, but so is everything else these days. Come to think of it, I think I have written about this before..

I may need a ladder!


I found these in another box..

 Heres a few more totally random images from the old Doyle archive.
To the left we have Pioneer Town which is somewhere in between a film set facade and a place where people live. Located about twenty miles from Palm Springs. I seem to remember dropping my camera within five minutes of my arrival.
Then we have a bit of Doyle Blue (remember that) with a nice red bit of sign-age and the need of a Taco Bell.
Last but not least is a crusty old hospital chapel in Enfield London..

Jörn Vanhöfen

More here.


Curse of The Tea Bag Mountain.

 Maxwell House coffee can (I had no images of tea bags).

I recently spent a lot of time scanning and preparing images for a picture library. The thought of boxes of images never seeing the light of day bothered me and I feared they would become like an ever growing Tea Bag Mountain, something without purpose.
Of course history tells us that it is quite common to find hordes of photographs that have only seen the dark room light. One only needs to look the likes of Garry Winogrand and the countless rolls of unprocessed film, negs and prints.
One of the few good things that came from my MA (because you have to justify everything you do) was the realization that I was a collector, a hoarder of images. It has never been enough for me to come away with one humble image on any given photographic outing, there always needs to be more. I just hope that more images doesn't mean more tea bags..


Road Trip.

It's been quite a while a since I last done a proper road trip, and by that I don't mean driving to the sea side or Grannies house to photograph her garden. I mean a proper road trip with deserts, ghost towns, mountains and motels. Basically something a bit more epic than an A-Road, a Little Chef, and perhaps a big hill.
Above is another image I found in the Doyle archives (location Victorville) on what I would class as my first proper road trip from Los Angeles to The Grand Canyon.
I remember being slightly unhinged at the thought of driving in a country I did not know, attractive and alone. But it was a real blast..
Time to get planning I think..


Zhang Kechun.

In my opinion these images entitled The Yellow River far surpass the likes of Nadav Kander's Yancy River project and all the others that have dabbled in this curious subject matter.

  zhang kechun
born 1980 in Sichuan, China, is a artist currently based in Chengdu

Conscientious Extended | What is at stake?

Conscientious Extended | What is at stake?

More unrelated randomness

Another two completely random and unrelated images completely forgotten, but I rather like them.
The top one is Pula airport in Croatia (I think), It's certainly not the UK as I would of been shot by security plus theres not fatties at the tables stuffing their faces with sausage rolls and drinking beer at seven in the morning. I think the image below (above) is somewhere in Fresno California, or maybe Needles. I know it was late and I was either hungry, or full.. For those of you who don't know American road dining, JB's is a bit like a Harvester, or a Toby Carvery, but worse..


 I found these the other day, discarded like a used nappy. Forgive the quality as they are scanned from contacts, but I kind of like them. They are sort of sentimental softness, but thats just me.

Paul alexander Knox

I thought I would start posting other photographers work again as I seem to have been more narcissistic than usual for about six months, but who can blame me.
I must of been harping on about myself for some time as there seems to be a whole new batch of good work out there on that Internet thingy. May be this new batch are all MA students, maybe they have just been working away quietly. Afterall a good project takes time..

Anyhow, Paul Alexander Knox has some terrific work. His Americaland caught my eye first, but its his 'The space Between' (see image above) that I really love.

More good stuff here.

Helge Skodvin

Boring and beautiful

2 850 000 Volvo 240 cars were made between 1974 and 1993. It became the car of choice of the Nordic countries. 84 287 were sold in Norway. I have started photographing these cars as they are parked. In front of a house, in a driveway, in a parking lot, in a garage, alongside a road, in a courtyard. In their natural habitat.
With these photographs I want to show how we live, how our surroundings look. I wish to portray the everyday landscape. More than any other car, the 240 became a symbol of Norwegian and Nordic values.
The safe, the sound, the commonplace. Square and homely, yet solid and reliable. Function over form. No frills. Taking you from A to Z. A car. An ambassador for the Scandinavian social democracy.
There are still approximately 17 000 registered 240s rolling on Norwegian roads.
In 2011 this project was selected to take part in the Norwegian Journal of Photography.
All images © Helge Skodvin


Wife at work..

We always end up doing what we are second best at..

It seems I have been reflecting a lot lately as I am sure we all do. Having worked as an artist, for what seems like forever, has often been a rocky ride. Has it been worth it, who knows, and I am not about to go down that road here..
Once upon a time I was a big time black and white hand printer. Worked for them all, Bailey, Averdon, Testino, you name them. Was good at it too, but I really grew to hate it. It was almost like a curse being naturally good at something, but not wanting to do it. I wanted to be a photographer through and through. After thinking about this for a while I remembered a Marcel Proust quote from my studies;
"We always end up doing the thing we are second best at."
 And that my friends could not be more true, for me at least. But I also remember something my father told me on my eighteenth birthday after a couple of drinks;
"Don't be like me Son and end up doing a job you despise for thirty years. I wanted to be a writer, not a @@@@ing tool holder!"


Let us continue...

As you will no doubt know, I done a project recently relating to my childhood memories. My mistake was making it part of my MA (now history thankfully). The Tutors simply did not get my vision and I may as well of been photographing Ant Turds. Looking back at the work now with a clear mind, I think its pretty good, so much so I may continue with it rather than it becoming  another shelved project...

“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”
Harlan Ellison.