Sunday, 25 January 2015

Guess Where London

Of all the groups on flickr that I've been involved in the 'Guess Where London' group is the one to which I still occasionally enjoy posting a photograph. The idea is simple enough – 'Guess Where London' is, quite simply, a game where you will post cryptic shots of London locations, and other group members will try to guess the location. In return, you will try to guess the location of their shots.

It's strangely addictive to post a photograph from a location that someone might just know, where they to have stood in just the same place, craned their head upwards or stuck it through a hole in a fence. Similarly to wonder if you might just have been in exactly the same spot as the poster of a cryptic shot, and then to remember where that was.

See if you recognise anything here on the 'Guess Where London' page

And just in case you're wondering about the location of the big yellow bus? It's at St George's Circus SE1, the obelisk just peeping out at the top left, guessed in less than 24 hours by Simon White

Sunday, 18 January 2015

watch your life flash before your eyes

Back at the start of 2009 I decided to make a project in which I made a self portrait everyday through the year and posted it onto flickr. This was before flickr got bought out by yahoo and had an air of excitement and a sense of community about it. Nowadays everyone's eagerly taking self portraits and posting them online, but back in 2009 it seemed fresh and exciting.

And so here they are, all 365, coming in at well under a minute. I took the idea of the super fast speed of 8fps and the music from the now defunct website Pummelvision (here's their old Twitter feed which scraped images from your flickr, tumblr and facebook accounts to create a create a video in which you could "watch your life flash before your eyes".
If you need more just go to YouTube and search Pummelvision.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Jacqueline y Marcelo

If you walk into Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park in Southwark through the eastern entrance you will see on your right two araucaria araucana or 'monkey puzzle' trees.

The trees were planted in 2004 to commemorate Jacqueline Drouilly Yurich and her husband Marcelo Salinas Eytel, a young Chilean couple forcibly 'disappeared' in 1974 under Pinochet's dictatorship.

Here's their story alongside some poems and songs.

And here's a video to tell their story and remember them by.
Marcelo y Jacqueline - Disappeared in Chile - Part 1
Marcelo y Jacqueline - Disappeared in Chile - Part 2

Jacqueline y Marcelo.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

LIP 26th Annual Exhibition

The LIP 26th Annual Exhibition organised by the London Independent Photography community opened this week at the Embassy Tea Gallery on Union Street, a short hop along from the Jerwood Gallery here in London. The space itself, although underground, is a huge improvement on last year's cramped gallery up town. 

There is a selection process for the exhibition, but no theme other than "your best work from the year", which does result in a somewhat overall lack of focus, but there is work to be enjoyed, and here's some of the the work I personally found interesting.

The show is on until the 2 November

Geoff Titley - Postcard From Another Place No 2 (Penshurst)

Tom Gifford - Elephant and Castle

Brigitte Flock - Thames Estuary

Tiffany Jones - Untitled, Rochester

Behzad  Sharouz - Mist Over River Thames

Sunday, 19 October 2014

one of three –The Scratch Orchestra review in The Wire

The other week three people got in touch about using my photographs for three quite different purposes. Here's the first one, in this month's Wire magazine review of a performance by The Scratch Orchestra. I took a whole heap of photographs of the event,  and I like the one The Wire chose to use. I also like seeing my work in a magazine! It's a good review from Phil England and I think they're planning on another performance sometime soon at Cafe Otto. 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Whilst analogue might enhance the photographer's process where's the importance for the viewer?

One hundred and twenty six days have past since I posted here, and since then spring has turned to summer which turned to autumn.

A week or so back I went to the London Analogue Festival, an exhibition 'promoting analogue technology and its use in art' – and didn't really get it. While I could imagine that the photographers might have enjoyed their analogue processes I couldn't see what difference it made to me, the punter, looking at the prints on the wall. As a relic it doesn't work. But wait, might I feel different about a Polaroid? A truly original artefact? Maybe, just a bit – but really it's the photograph itself which intrigues me and not the process of its making.

A week ago I decide enough is enough, I can no longer stand pecking away at the computer keyboard with two fingers – I am going to learn to touch type. And so now I'm just breaking the 10wpm barrier. Not quite sure if that has anything to do with it, but it might – this was all typed with hands in the correct position, a finger for each key and no peeking.

And finally here's a photograph I made recently – taken on an iPhone, a Hasselblad or maybe neither....

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

ESTATE OF MIND – the book

I can't quite believe that I've finished it, but here it is: Estate of Mind – the book. I'm pleased with it. 32 photographs and over 3000 (yep that's three thousand) words by the writer Christopher Jones.

Here's a sneak preview of some of the images

If you would like to see more then and you're reading this before June 2014, then do come along to the Westminster BA Photography degree show. Private view on 12th June and on until the Tuesday, all at the Truman's Brewery on Brick Lane, London.

Sunday, 20 April 2014



Finally I take a photograph. Here it is. A photograph of the old SHOEFAYRE shop on Borough High Street.

back to the edit

The book project Estate of Mind is finally coming together and I’ve nearly decided on the final edit. It’s been a roller coaster journey. I started off with the idea of photographing my neighbours which to make more interesting, I decided to shoot on medium format film. Shooting on the college’s Hasselblad on a tripod certainly added theatricality and a slower pace to the whole process of making a portrait. That is once I’d figured out dark-slides and winding the film on correctly at the start.

In parallel I was busy taking digital photographs of the estate, trying to avoid the clich├ęs of decay and grime and instead looking for the intrigue and the marvel of these wonderful brick built pre war blocks. The next step was talking with Chris Jones to see if he might be interested in writing some text to accompany the photographs. As it turns out that was exactly what he wanted to do, and so off we went on a two hour walk around the estate, looking here and there, picking up bricks and chatting. On the back of this Chris then wrote a remarkable text about the estate, bricks, historical figures and community.

Now the project was shifting it’s focus and although I tried hard to incorporate the portraits they just didn’t fit with the pictures of the estate and the text. Well I’d scanned them all already so I’ll print them up and l give them all a print of their portrait, but they won’t make the book. Maybe the start of a new project in the summer? But meanwhile I’ve been buried deep in laying out the photographs. After much struggle I ditched full bleed layout and also running the images across the gutter. Now it’s simple. Images on the right framed by a white border and text on the left. That’s it. But it’s taken a lot of work to get there. And even then there’s the issue of the text: fonts, alignments, line spacings and columns. Next time I must try and team up with a graphic designer. Although my fellow student Christina has been a great help with her sharp-eyed graphic designer’s sensibility. So next week I’ll try some test prints and have chat with the bookbinder about covers and embossed text. Although the book as ‘final BA photography project’ is one thing, I would like to find a way of printing it cheaply and making an affordable version.

And also I’d like to get back to taking some photographs as I don’t want that college curse of studying for four years only to end up not being able to take photographs anymore. Meanwhile it’s back to the edit.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

the home straight.

I am finally on the home straight after four years of studying photography at Westminster University. N. asked me what I'd learnt. I said that I'd remembered that what I like to do is something that I was already doing nearly 40 years ago. Then I would wander the streets of Plymouth with a camera with no greater purpose than to look at the world and find photographs waiting to be taken. My degree's final project "Estate of Mind" is just that. A book of photographs taken on numerous walks around the Tabard Gardens Estate, often accompanied by my son on scooter or rollerblades. A pivotal walk was with writer Christopher Jones who then wrote a text to wrap the photographs in. I'm very close to the final edit and then off to get it printed.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

205 days have past

Two hundred and five days have past since I last posted here.
Enough time to write a dissertation, start a final project and drink lots of coffee.

Friday, 6 September 2013

The painting we found on the street

We had been out and about and by chance spotted the painting stuck to the back of a notice board. You could walk behind it but mostly people didn't, so I'm guessing that not many people saw it. But we did - and after that we would look at it every time we went past, to check it was still there. Eventually we decided that if it's still there next time we walked by then we would bring it home especially as there was rain forecast for Friday.
As we approached it an old man ambles along and then stops to read the notices on the other side. As he leaves we start to cross the road, two women unpacking a car beside us when suddenly a burly Lycra clad cyclist swerves past the two women narrowly missing us as he charges on through the road barriers. I suggest that there didn't need to be such a rush and that he might take it easy, but he doesn't care to hear this and curses colourfully. We ignore him and head for the noticeboard – the painting is still there, gently we ease it free and saunter off with it, underarm.
It has since found a new home next to the window, and seems comfortable both in the daytime, brightening up a dark corner and at night sitting cheerfully on the red wall.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Making marks on Harper Road

 I've been spending time at the weekend making photographs of Harper Road. It connects two much larger roads – the New Kent Road and Borough High Street, both branching off from the northern Elephant and Castle roundabout.

In its short length, probably half a mile, there's a mosque, three pubs - one derelict, a sisha and milkshake bar and a regular pub offering karaoke  zumba, disco, live football and no drugs allowed on these premises, three parks, a court, a large council estate, a row of Bengali shops, a school, new developments, a careers advice centre, an adventure playground and a lot of trees and more.

I made a handful of photographs looking out from a phone-booth and posted this one on flickr, and unusually for me it got a lot of people looking at it and it featured in flickr explore. When I post on flickr it hasn't been my aim to get photographs featured in flickr explore - few of the images that do end up there seem particularly enigmatic or intriguing, but still it seems some sort of gauge, especially as I'm not discussing my work much with people (enough!). Maybe I need to start a crit group with fellow students / photographers. Flickr brings a particular form of feedback but I need something more critical, more involved.

Here are all four images - I'm not yet sure where they might lead

Friday, 21 June 2013


Untitled by mdx

I'm not sure what this photograph is trying to communicate which is why it's titled Untitled. As I wandered into college the other day I spotted this structure on the far side of the field and couldn't resist investigating. What it was all for I have no idea except it did suggest that someone had been having FUN. Fun hasn't been a major ingredient of BA Photography course to date and so it seemed churlish not to allow myself a moment to absorb any remnants of fun floating around. And the black blanket? – a morass of anxiety arising from the burden of representation...

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Shadow of the Shard

Thankfully we live due south of the Shard and so are not blighted by the shard's shadow, but for some, summer sunsets on the balcony are a thing of the past. I might just have to explore the shadow on the ground and map it's cold reach.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

a sketch

Looking back on the work I've made so far on my course, my favourite is the short film 'Love is Space & Time' (working title 'Appearance' - finished back in January)

The moving image and sound bring layers of possible routes to engagement which the photograph on its own can sometimes struggle with.

'Untitled' is a quick sketch of faux analogue film shot using the iPhone's 8mm app with music made in Garageband.


Tuesday, 28 May 2013


Here's my first try outs with infra red photography using an R72 infrared filter with the Fujifilm X10 (0.5s @ f4 ISO 320).


The original looks like this:

Using the basic BW conversion the image comes out with very low contrast:

The top image used Lightroom's Blue filter BW conversion preset with some tweaking afterwards which brings out the contrast. I'm not sure if or how I might use it, but it's an interesting effect. But like using HDR it's prone to the effect dominating the image itself. I took a good few in the woods and then in the open landscape.