The Inbetween.

Covered Car. Palm Springs 2019.

Tooting around Palm Springs I finally got to make some images during a classic 'Doyle Blue' evening. For me nothing beats the twilight hour before the sky turns black and you find yourself in The Inbetween..

FYI, I'm still flogging the Doyle Blue (the colour of Twilight) and will continue to do so until people quote it to their children at bedtime.


Drive By Shootings..

I've been doing these 'Drive By's' for a while now. Basically I don't get out of the car which may seem shocking, but I am at the right angle and avoid drawing any attention to myself.
What may at first seem like just snapshots of cars there really is a lot more to it. Like my Vehicular Landscape series, its all about how the motor car connects us to the landscape and often becomes part of it.
Within a 'mini' project like this there are often themes, like cars that are covered..


20 years of The Salton Sea..

The first time I visited The Salton Sea was was a hot July in 1999. Back then areas around The Salton such as Bombay Beach were a close guarded secret by photographers in a time before the internet could tell you how to get anywhere on the face of the planet.
I remember pulling up to the lakes shores for the first time as the putrid smelling air filled the car and the thermometer read 121 degrees. 
A scene which can only be described as apocalyptic filled me with excitement as I had found the place I had always waned to go since the day I seen Richard Misrach's images taken there in the late 80's.
Stepping out of the car was like walking fully clothed into a sauna and within minutes everything was saturated with sweat. Setting up the camera close to the shore of the lake I returned to the car and the relief of the AC and waited for the light. I will never forget the transformation that occurred when the sky turned to peach and the entire place began to glow...
I made only two images that day but knew I would be back. 

Poles. Bombay Beach July 1999 

And so 20 years later (almost) I headed once again to Bombay Beach, The Salton Sea.
Perhaps I should of waited until July and made it a proper anniversary event, but the thought of sweaty pants did not really inspire me. Instead a cool 95 degrees made the place feel quite normal. 
I should point out that I have been going to The Beach on and off for all these years (My Thursdays By The Sea project), but it had still been a long while...  

 Swing. Bombay Beach. May 2019.

So much has changed in since I first got a whiff of the Salton. The lake itself is shrinking and many of the buildings and really interesting things  have all but gone, but it still gets the creative juices flowing..
And so I made an image (above) I was relatively happy with (that will do it) and headed back to my car. Imagine my surprise when there in my path stood a cloaked figure (someone stood under a dark cloth) behind a large 8/10" view camera. Now most people would find this most odd in a digital age, but not me, I was just a little annoyed they appeared to be making a photograph of the same subject matter I had just recorded... But my days of the jealous raging photographer are behind me now and as I approached I gave my opponent a cheery,

 "Hello There." 

The plagiarist removed the dark cloth from his sweaty bald head and said in a broad Northern English accent;

"I've been wanting to come here for for years. It's just amazing."

"Indeed it is." I replied. 

And then a response I would never of dreamed of;

"I seen an exhibition a few years ago in London and had been wanting to visit ever since. Basically the guy came here every Thursday (it was a Thursday) for a whole year. "

That's right, he was taking about my own show, Thursdays By The Sea. I could of wept and hid the tears in my sweaty face, but no..

"Sounds like it was a good one." I replied.

And with that I walked back to my car thinking of the time I first visited The Salton Sea with a large 10/8" camera..


Rob Ball..

The Boating Pool, Ramsgate, 2010. (c) Rob Ball.

I still read the local news from the homeland everyday and was delighted to see a piece in The Guardian Newspaper on my fellow Photography Avenger Rob Ball. 
I met Rob several years ago when he invited me to do a visiting lecture which then led on to a a small working relationship where I visited Canterbury a few times a week giving tutorials and to students along with some photographic inspiration (I think).
Rob is a tour de force and one of those photographers that looks at what is around him rather than wishing he was somewhere else. 
He has also just released a new book on the British Coast and its sea side towns, a subject I love and have dipped in a little myself. 

“To me, the seaside is heady and joyous all year round,” says photographer Rob Ball. “We have memories of family holidays or time spent by the coast, so we all have a connection to it.” Ball has published three books of coast-based photos since moving to Whitstable on the north coast of Kent more than a decade ago. His latest, Funland, captures more than 35 British coastal communities, from Arbroath on Scotland’s North Sea coast to Torquay on the English Riviera. “I like how seafronts have visually rich, brightly coloured signs and buildings, alongside the coffee shops and rubbish bins,” Ball says. He is committed to documenting their evolving look, he says: “Our seaside heritage is vulnerable and it’s important to record it before it changes.”

Funland by Rob Ball is published on 23 May by Hoxton Mini Press (£30)

You can see the piece here and his work here.


Twelve Signifigant Photographs.

Downtown LA as seen from a posh house in the Hollywood Hills. (C) Marcus Doyle 2019

Its been three years since I moved to California. Within its sunshine and prettiness there is an abundance of  photographic content waiting to be recorded, so much so I may never leave the State. 
When I was here in 2004-2009 I was constantly traveling across America searching for something. The only problem was, I didn't know what that something was and I just ended up with hundreds of random images, some good, but most of them pretty bad and not worth the film they were shot on. 

Its a common thing among photographers  early on in their career to produce as much work as possible from the fear of not having enough work to show. I think its something every photographer goes through. Personally it took me the best part of 10 years to get over the panic of arriving somewhere and needing to come away with not just one, but as many good images as possible. 
It was dear old Ansel Adams that said;
“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.”
This is something I can agree with now, but never 10 years ago. Just the process of being out with a camera these days can be enough.  Having said all that, my approach is different now as I often work within certain project guidelines. But by far the most important thing I have learnt, is to find your boundaries and work within them. At the moment my boundaries are California, but of course that will probably change.. 



Instagram is dead. Long live the Blog...

Out Of The Loop. Mojave Desert. CA
It's been almost 15 months to the day since I last made a post on this now somewhat dated blog. But it seems that it was not just me who abandoned the blog-o-sphere thinking that the likes of Instagram would change their lives forever with its immediate gratification and 'Like' count.  Well I tried that world and grew to hate it on so many levels; The lies, the vanity selfies, those de-saturating images of cake. It was all too much.
And so in an attempt to claw back some kind of honest look into my world of the visual image I have returned from a year (and a bit) off back to who knows what..