Thursday, 30 June 2011

"I'm sorry, could you speak up?"

"I'm sorry, could you speak up?" by mdxPhotographing demos is hard work especially with a 5 year old in tow and a really sore back. So I took the D700 with a 35mm lens which was light and mostly did the job. Need to watch my focussing though.

Teachers from Chelsea Community Hospital School

 Teachers from Chelsea Community Hospital School 2 by mdx This was the shot I came to get for the school documentary project -

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

today was wet

today was wet by mdxfrustrated again today - forgot to shot the kids art prize giving - took photos of the BMT cubicles with bad focus - still the iPhone always comes up easy...

today was hot

today was hot by mdx

feeling frustrated with not getting the shots I want - seems like i'm rushing the shots and not checking / planning the focus. I want the camera to become transparent in getting the shot. At the moment it's more often doing something that I hadn't planned or thought about.
Taking time and practising might help.

Monday, 27 June 2011

chris in PABX room

I'd taken shots of Chris in the PABX room but they were too grainy (shot on the old D80) and so I wanted to reshoot.
Ended up going for a montage of him sat on the floor with the lights on to the left merged with a shot with the main room lights out - needs a bit of tweaking but  I like it.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

elephant skateboard action

elephant skateboard action by mdx
this afternoon we went up to 56a infoshop for the breakfast social caff as part of its 20th anniversary - on the way back we checked out the skateboard action at the elephant

I'm interested to do some photographic stuff down the 56A - I'll have to chat with X Chris before he disappears off to Brazil to become a dad! in fact that could be the focus....

Belfast Non Objectivist Society manifesto 1968

Art can no longer shock or disturb – its identity has changed. It is now a fallacy to say that art is art, therefore we have changed its name and will now call it “ART”, having no better name to hand.

Should you be indecisive, act in the following manner: dig a hole about four feet deep (depending on your height). This hole may be dug anywhere. Now stand perfectly upright in your hole, and consider why you have dug it. Fill it in. if you have not reasoned why you have dug this hole, dig another.

Thursday, 23 June 2011


mosaic - work in progress by mdx

work in progress on one of the 4 mosaics made by Jay that will go on the David Idowu memorial bench

first time using the Photomerge feature in Photoshop - works real easy


Jay by mdx
Took some photos for Jay of her work in progress on the mosaic for the David Idowu memorial bench, and got a quick portrait of her too.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

heading for the clouds

heading for the clouds by mdx
heading for the clouds, a photo by mdx on Flickr.

having one idea

I keep returning to the notion of having one idea and that idea being the defining point of what I might base a photographic practise on.
So it would have to be a good one -
In comparing the working methods and works of say Barbra Kruger and Francis Alys I'm pulled by Alys' breadth as opposed to Kruger's single pointedness - and that's not to decry either.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

No Entry

No Entry by mdx
I do have a fondness for the Sweet and Spicy cafe on Brick Lane. When I first came to London in 1985 after having worked for 2 years in Bangladesh I used to come here talking Bengali, eating with my hand and generally unnerving the Bengalis who ran the place.
Today this man had a gentle quietness about him, almost with a hint of sadness, but was as ultimately unknowable as the photograph itself.
I'm tempted by a crop and a change of title.

Flowers in the sky by Mayumi Hirata

went to the Westminster Photography BA degree show - my back has been killing me over the weekend so sitting on the cushion and following the instructions to "Take time" and "Empty yourself" was perfect.

The whole show is here
can't believe I'll be showing my work there in 3 years.

Friday, 17 June 2011

me and my mum

me and my mum by mdx

me and my dad

me and my dad by mdx

Lightroom keyboard shortcuts

Lightroom shortcuts:

G - grid view
E - Loupe view

tab hides panels

F - full screen
F5 and F6 hide top and bottom panels

apple Alt F - return to normal view

Shift Tab - hide / show all

Zoom Apple + / -
Apple Alt + / -

apple Z - undo
apple shift Z - redo

N - display selected in survey
aplle click to remove

B - add to quick collection
apple E - edit in photoshop

Thursday, 16 June 2011

inspirations from my flickr contacts

TunelessAppleby Horse Fairlittle bitKugel-Eis ImbissUsed, CheapLondon Borough of Camberwell
Sheppey School 1974-6-46The Man With Green EyesJune 15, 1909tribute³...PHOTALK: DAVE JORDANO#144 Band of Brothers
Buddha & FanBert and Bertnever mind the bollocksWW3: I like my colleaguesTwo Kids in Thamesmeadimpulse


physics by mdx
I remember creating these interference patterns in ripple tank experiments in physics lessons at school - i liked physics


started interviewing staff and students to get some quotes to use for the "year in the life ..." book. 
interviewed C. a bone marrow transplant patient - only to find afterwards that it hadn't recorded - check check check! - still I can remember a couple of her quotes anyhow - she didn't want photographs taken of herself but we had fun finding things in her hospital isolation room that will tell the story.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

the choice

 the choice by mdx
listening to cameron talking about getting cancer patients back to work
you have to wonder
where he might be on the spectrum from
caring about someone other than his own
to keeping the taxes rolling in

either way it's heartening to see
the prospect of impending industrial action
workers struggle whether they're in or out of work
bankers? - shoot the lot

Monday, 13 June 2011

exam photos

6 weeks left to finish the photography side of "A year in the life of Chelsea Community Hospital School".

It's exam time and even if you're in hospital you can still take your exams.

Also started recording a series of interviews with school staff, asking them to reflect back over the year.

The plan is to use quotes from the interviews interspersed with the photos in the final book.

tate mistakes

Went to the Tate Modern and made 3 mistakes:

 1/ went too late in the day, busy busy
2/ tried to see too much
3/ was tired out before I got there

So, for the record:

Photography: New Documentary Forms This new five-room display explores the ways in which five contemporary artists have used the camera to explore, extend and question the power of photography as a documentary medium. Consisting entirely of new acquisitions to Tate’s collection, it includes recent work by Luc Delahaye, Mitch Epstein, Guy Tillim and Akram Zaatari, as well as two important earlier works by Boris Mikhailov. Between them they cover subjects as diverse as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, studio photography in Beirut, elections in the Congo, everyday life in pre- and post-Soviet Ukraine, and power production in the United States. Each room concerns one discrete project, in which the artist calls into question the relationship between the documentary value of photography and the museum as its proper context.

Burke + Norfolk: Photographs From The War In AfghanistanIn October 2010, Simon Norfolk began a series of new photographs in Afghanistan, which takes its cue from the work of nineteenth-century British photographer John Burke. Norfolk’s photographs reimagine or respond to Burke’s Afghan war scenes in the context of the contemporary conflict. Conceived as a collaborative project with Burke across time, this new body of work is presented alongside Burke’s original portfolios. The exhibition takes place in conjunction with an earlier complementary exhibition in March 2011 at the Queen’s Palace in the Baghe Babur garden in Kabul, supported by The World Collections Programme and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, which resulted from a series of workshops with Afghan photographers, featuring work by Fardin Waezi and Burke alongside Norfolk’s own work.

Diane Arbus (1923–71) is acknowledged as one of the great figures of American photography who fixed remarkable images of contemporary life. Her sympathy for her subjects exposed the variety and complexity of the human condition.

A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters- Taryn Simon
Tate Modern premieres an important new body of work by the American artist Taryn Simon, who chronicles generational histories through an elaborate assembly of image and text. In each, the external forces of territory, power, circumstance or religion collide with the internal forces of psychological and physical inheritance. From feuding families in Brazil to victims of genocide in Bosnia, and human exhibitions in the United States to the living dead in India, Simon forms a collection that maps the relationships among chance, blood and other components of fate. Simon’s presentation explores the struggle to determine patterns embedded in the narratives she documents.

I did however, buy a book -  "A Story of Deception" by Francis Alÿs - wonderful!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Remembering St Hughes church with Reverend Kes Grant

Revd Kes has been the priest at St Hughes church and community centre for the past 3 years. The church is being demolished with a new church and social housing to be built on the site. Revd Kes is heading to pastures new. I met up with her and photographed the old building and recorded an interview with her.

a plate of film

a plate of film by mdx
Spent the prize money from "biscuit man" on a selection of 120 film. Now I just need a medium format camera - anyone got one I could borrow over the summer?  :)

Friday, 10 June 2011

i've got a million ideas for a million projects - just need to pick one

took a few photos on the way to college - met U. on the tube and chatted - met R. and spent the competition winnings at the media store - £25 worth of assorted film

got books and DVD out of the library:

· Woolcock, P. Vile Bodies: Kids, Video. Blast films, London. Video about the way 4 photographers work with children, including Sally Mann and Wendy Ewald.

they both really engage with the notion of childhood as being something other, not defined by adults and ultimately weird.

· Wendy Ewald, Portraits and Dreams

not read this yet, just flipped through the photos and wondering if I could facilitate a similar process

· Dewdney, A. Youth, Culture and Photography, Basingstoke: Macmillan Education, Hampshire and London, 1988.

i've got a million ideas for a million projects - just need to pick one -

this never happened

this never happened by mdx

I was there too

I was there too by mdx

What a privilege!

It's the end of the first year at college. It's come round fast and I can't help a touch of anti-climax now that the final project and essay are done, certainly as far as organised college part goes, and yet it's great to have some time to reflect on the whole year, start some projects and enjoy the excitement of having had a whole year of studying photography. What a privilege!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Revd Kes

Revd Kes by mdx
Revd Kes has been the priest at St Hughes church and community centre for the past 3 years. The church is being demolished with a new church and social housing to be built on the site. Revd Kes is heading to pastures new. I met up with her this morning and photographed the old building and recorded an interview with her. Not quite sure how I'll put it together - a slideshow and audio seems the obvious thing....

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Pearly Queens and King

Pearly Queens and King by mdx
I'm planning on doing the 100 strangers project on Flickr. It would definitely get me out of my comfort zone. Basically it's to take 100 photographs of people you don't know,
The Pearly Queens and Kings are a step in the right direction....

Monday, 6 June 2011

Biscuit Man

Biscuit Man by mdx
This was my winning entry for the MAD Fest Photo Challenge 2011 - One Minute Sculptures - which netted me thirty quid to spend in the media store - yay!

The brief was:
- working in pairs, using items from your bag or objects and people in your immediate vicinity, create and photograph a series of spontaneous one - minute - sculptures.
- Using Erwin Wurm's images as a point of reference, each sculpture should link a person with an everyday object in a temporary situation, pose and position.

DD and Henry came along to the day and we teamed up with 2nd year student Robert (pictured) and goofed around photographing each other with everyday objects - Robert also won a prize for his BW shot of DD vomiting up a bunch of keys. It was fun.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

walking through the wheat field

walking through the wheatfield by mdx
I'm still questioning why I'm taking photographs. Mostly it seems to be about remembering something that happened, like walking through the wheat field. The relentless photograph everyday project seems both a help and a hinderance. It makes me take photographs. It doesn't make me take better photographs.
At work I'm coming to the end of one year of photographing the life of the hospital school. One more half term to get all the shots I haven't got yet - a portrait of each member of staff - a mini series "day in the life of a teacher / a classroom assistant / a pupil"- Brian's music sessions / the physical environment / the equipment.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Past pupils remember their time at the Hospital School

With some help from Shaun I hung the 5 portraits that I took of past pupils of the Hospital School in a corridor at the school at Chelsea. This was also my college submission for the Public / Private project. I included a sound module with the 5 recordings of my interview with each pupil. I'm pleased with it but wish I'd used larger frames with a mount. Still it's great to have it up and will be interesting to see what people think.

at 12 o' clock midday on the 29th May 2011, wherever you happen to be, take a photograph

at 12 o' clock midday on the 29th May 2011, wherever you happen to be, take a photograph by mdx
With help from Adele we managed to get 7 of our group to contribute a photo each for the PhotoFest. If we'd had more time I would have liked to include a map showing where each one was taken. Still as a first group project it was interesting to see it through to completion.

I also manage to get Thomas (M) confused with another Thomas (Z) that I know, and then invite Thomas Z to submit a photo instead of Thomas M from the course! Thomas Z takes a photo of himself - I think that Thomas M has taken a photo of someone he knows, and then another friend sees it posted on flickr and says "hello Thomas Z", I start to wonder if Thomas (M) knows Thomas (Z) and then I realise that I've invited the wrong Thomas! ......

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Almondsbury Interchange

Almondsbury Interchange 1 by mdx
Almondsbury Interchange 2 by mdx
Almondsbury Interchange 3 by mdx
Almondsbury Interchange 4 by mdx
Almondsbury Interchange is a four level stack interchange for the M5 and M4 motorways. It was opened in 1966.