Digital will always copy, film will always take.


I did a test print the other day for an upcoming show in October. It was 4 feet deep by 12 feet wide. It was the biggest print I have ever done and, quite frankly, spectacular.
The image was shot on my 6/17 Panoramic Film Camera using a 90mm large format lens (modified to fit the camera). I scanned the image at a high resolution to give me the grain of the film and a sharpness resembling a hand print and not some over-sharp, over-saturated load of fruity nonsense. 

I never really left film for digital and never really wanted to. But this event confirmed, despite its quirks and flaws, that film will, for me, always win out over digital. 

Digital's  aim is to make everything perfect, but hey, nothings perfect. that's what makes it interesting.
You can raise your prices, you can make it rare. But that will only make film more special. But lets not get too nostalgic..


Off Roading in the Midwest..


 "Surprizes round every corner,  but nothing dangerous."
Willy Wonka. 




There's not a days goes without me asking myself,  how did I get here?

It doesn't matter where I am on the planet, I always feel like a visitor, or an accidental tourist looking in at the world. 

There is a quietness here, not unlike the deserts of the Southwest were people tend not to venture outside in the middle of the day due to the intense heat. Here in the Midwest you won't see a single soul due to the intense cold, unless of course it's the crazy Brit with a camera..


Lazy Landscape..


I have been in the landscape photography game for a good while now, quietly working away on projects  most people will never see. The Irony here is that before the evils of the internet took a large felt tipped pen to photography, my work was seen by thousands of people through gallery shows and in particular events like Paris Photo, San Francisco Photo and a few other great art fairs. It was a time when people used to leave their house to visit galleries, a cinema, a restaurant, and a friend. As for  photography today, I get that people like being indoors, but there's a vast amount of lazy landscape out there. Before I go any further, the above image was made in -20c weather after walking a mile and jumping up and down a lot to keep warm.

I am often bemused by landscape vloggers adding Sunset Filters, or similar, to there landscapes. The fact that they actually film a scene and then shamelessly slap an array of filters and mountains of post processing in the same video no longer makes me laugh.

People spend more time now looking at computer screens of landscape than actually being out in the landscape. You only have to look at the recent Landscape Photographer of the Year (2021) to see every image looking like a cartoon (which I will not show here). That's a lot of post production, and a lot of effort. Taking out a distracting dog poo here, or a tree branch there is one thing, but when people start adding the time of day to a photograph, its lights out for Landscape Photography.


The Green Room.


There was a time, not long ago, when sneaking into old abandoned places and making photographs was all the rage. Maybe it still is, but I don't see so much of it these days. For me 'broken interiors' were a by- product of sheltering from the midday sun in places like the Salton Sea, or just plain curiosity as to what was on the inside of whatever I was photographing. 

An open door the other day presented me with the above scene. Despite the interesting, and by the looks of it very old furniture, all I wanted to do was tidy the place up a bit and move things around. But unlike all those Urban X'ers with their ultra wide angle and naff retouching skills, I did not..


The Piffle of the Sniffle..



 I don't like talking about covid and I don't like looking at imagery of covid. Any images that include people wearing masks I immediately dismiss. This is not denial by any means, but more a case of 'too soon'. I am aware of whats going on and don't need to be constantly reminded. I should also add that if one more person tells me we are living in unprecedented times I may slap them with my sweaty mask..

In my opinion, most photographed events are more powerful, and interesting, much later, and I believe this will be the case with such things as covey. What has been most intriguing however, are the images and projects that would not exist had it not been for such world changing events. Some of the finest work  I have ever seen has been shot over the past two years.

I do believe that eventually people will look back on this period with great fondness. Not because of the virus (that would be stupid), but because of all the good things they done during an unprecedented time.... Slaps himself with sweaty mask!


One a day..


For the past fours months I have somehow managed to make at least one photograph a day, some good, some maybe not so good, at least that's what I think.

As much as I love old boy Ansel Adams, I never liked his quote: "Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop." OK, he was probably the greatest landscape photographer that ever lived, but the way so many take his quote literally just seems a little daft. And don't get me started on the, "If you don't agree this you are a liar and a fraud" etc, that's just ludicrous. I know photographers that produce  mountains of great images every year. I also know photographers that don't produce any (lots in fact).

Of all the work I have been producing, I am pretty happy with most of the images. Whether they are 'good' or not, well that's completely subjective. 

I do wonder what Adamsky would of said if he was alive and making photographs in a digital age. Personally I think he would of added a couple of zeros..




A moldy lens

Nostalgia in photography can be a dangerous thing, especially if you think you can recreate it... There you are dreaming about heading out into the abyss, but you can't because you want to shoot film, and you need to spend thousands on some old camera with a moldy lens and dodgy shutter, and then there's film and that old stuff is hard to come by and very expensive, and then you need to get an old car from the 70's so you pictures can look, well nostalgic, and then there's your outfit, etc, etc.

These days we can always slap a filter on an image and post it on Instagram and pretend. But thankfully I want none of that and will just keep my thoughts to myself. 

Only the other night,  I seen this car  (below) under a yellow light and was filled with a sense of nostalgia from the time I first headed out with my camera in America. The camera was old, it shot film, and it had a moldy lens...



Cold and bold..


Now the holidays are well and truly over and everyone is even more depressed, I am reminded of the therapy that photography can bring. It may be cold and it may be dark, but its better than being inside worrying about being outside.