Joys of the print.

The above image is a simple one, but one I hold dear for a three reasons;
Firstly it was my first colour image made with a large format camera. Second to this, it was made in the grounds of my old school, a place where I first learned how to process and print a photograph.  And finally it was this image that prompted me to come up with the term Doyle Blue in relation to the twilight colour of the sky. Despite my efforts to pass off the colour Doyle blue on Wikipedia, which lasted a whole three weeks, I was unable to convince anyone that this was a real thing, but it is..

Anyways, the real reason I decided to blog about this image is all down to a recent print sale of, the White Picket Fence. As we are now in a digital era I had to did out the negative, scan it, and then print it. Not unusual of course but it got me thinking that a digital image really has no value unless its printed. All those millions of virtual images on hard drives, computers and phones are all utterly worthless, until that is, they are printed. Only then can we hold it, sign it, and give it some value. I am of course writing from a fine art perspective, but its something I have not really thought about too much as it just makes me a bit sad.


A fondness for the cold and wet.

Despite moving to a warmer, drier climate, I do strangely miss the always cold, and always wet coastline of the UK.
Its almost ten years since my North Shores project (later becoming By Coastal), whereupon I spent months touting a large view camera up and down the coastline looking for material to shoot. I was constantly cold, wet and angry, but despite this I still look back to that time with great fondness.


The Journey.

Me and Pudding getting down to business Feb 2018

For me photography has always been about the journey. By this I don't mean the journey of life (or perhaps I do), but more the journey to a place. The anticipation, taking in whats around you, and finally arriving at a place are all things I enjoy. Whether or not I make any images is another matter, but these days it becomes less important. Having said that, there's nothing like finding little gems like this old station wagon parked in the desert..


Its not what you show, its what you let them know..

I am often asked, What makes a good photograph?
There was a time I could of answered such a question, but these days I am not so sure.
When I look through my semi-vast photography book collection, those photographers I used to be inspired by, and admired just don't do it for me anymore. Its not that their work is dated, far from it, or that my tastes have changed (I still shoot in the content I was shooting twenty years ago). I just question now; Was the work that I thought was good actually that good?
Many years ago a very good friends father, a travel photographer, told me;

Friends Father;
"If you have a bunch of photographs that are not very good, before you show someone, tell them they are good and they will believe you. Then when you do show them, even if they are not good, they will still think they are good.."
Young Marcus; 
But how is that possible?
Friends Father;
"Because it's not what you show, its what you let them know."

Of course this isn't full proof. But often people do believe what they want to hear and convince themselves something is lovely and amazing, when actually it may not be.

So maybe the work wasn't that once inspired wasn't that good. Maybe it was and my tastes have just changed. but what I do know is that  I have an amazing project I am working on and the images well there are just the best ever..!


Pepper number 30. Plane number 3.

I have always enjoyed small 'still life' projects and like the idea of having total control over a subject, as a opposed to waiting for the light to change and fending off wild animals.
I also like making things and messing with a sense of scale.
 Paper Jet 2018
When trying to choose a paper plane to photograph, I was reminded of Edward Weston and his quest for the perfect Pepper.
I made 10 paper planes all different shapes and sizes. It wasn't about which plane flew the furthest (although this one did), or which was the hardest one to make (this one was easy). It was about which one made the best image. I just love the simplicity of a simple jet style pattern and the way the folds catch the light.
Yes its just a paper plane, or a Pepper, but there's always more to it than meets the eye..
Pepper #30
It was a bright idea, a perfect relief for the pepper and adding reflecting light to important contours. I still had the pepper which caused me a week’s work, I had decided I could go no further with it, yet something kept me from taking it to the kitchen, the end of all good peppers. I placed it in the funnel, focused with the Zeiss, and knowing just the viewpoint, recognizing a perfect light, made an exposure of six minutes, with but a few moments’ preliminary work, the real preliminary was on in hours passed. I have a great negative, ‒ by far the best!
It is a classic, completely satisfying, ‒ a pepper ‒ but more than a pepper; abstract, in that it is completely outside subject matter. It has no psychological attributes, no human emotions are aroused: this new pepper takes one beyond the world we know in the conscious mind. Edward Weston


The Brothers Douglas.

Back in my college days in the early 90's a duo by the name of The Douglas Brothers were all the rage. Their prints were usually done using the lith printing method along with bits of tape and pen scribbles. Everyone on my year thought they were the business and made haste in trying to emulate their style.  I on the other hand was not taken up with this darkroom sorcery as I much preferred a clean technically perfect print.
Heres one I remember below.
And here's the revamped stuff below.

Anyways, 20 years on and the Douglas brothers archive has since been rediscovered, and indeed reinvented. (You can read all about it here )
What were once small rough prints, with tape and scribbles, are now giant clean prints in beautiful white frames. To my eyes this new reinvention simply doesn't work (when does it ever). Whether it did before, well I cannot really remember as I was too busy trying to perfect my prints..
The show is on at the Kopeikin Gallery in LA.


All hail the photography blogger..

Another year rolls by with a pitiful amount of posting from yours truly.
Personally I blame Instagram and social media for the steady downfall of The Blogger.
The days have gone when a great many a photographer added a blog roll to their website. Instead we have an everyday account thanks to The Smartphone and all that other techno wizardry.

Despite this I shall continue starting the New Year with some of my favorite images from 2017.

 Palm Springs 2017
 Cowboy 2017
 Bombay Beach 2017
 Cross 2017
 Lone Pine 2017
 White Van 2017
 Airport 2017

Mini Mart 2017