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Showing posts from March, 2012

Punctured bicycle

Despite having a stash of new blades, a straight(ish) metal edge and a half decent cutting surface I can't seem to maintain much concentration when trimming the Photobox prints I received a couple of days ago. Maybe it's feeling tired from work or the lack of self-belief sometimes when it comes to competence at something new. The frame will mask the imperfections but even so it's nothing to be proud of.

After mending a puncture this evening I thought I'd best not risk adding an oily smudge or two to the next few (despite having washed my hands in white spirit and washing up liquid a couple of times). Like most things with this new experience of preparing to show some pictures in a proper gallery, I've found it takes time, a lot of time.

I remember research that showed that people view an image and form their opinion of it in a fraction of a second, so it does seem wildly disproportionate, the amount of prepping leading up to those vital milliseconds. But that'…

tonal range fail

That's me in the corner


Peculiar lens abberations occasionally appear, particulary in landscape shots taken in bright, low sunshine, a bright drop of intense blue with a burnt out speck of white at its heart, a twisted fierce strangulation of light ricocheting between lens elements, insanely misplaced.

Aberrations are appropriate and today's haphazard sequence of mistakes while prepping image files for print provided another way of seeing something that had gone wrong and recognising the value in the flaw. What I filter out is often too clumsy to be of value but I like to be open to found meanings that come my way.  They are often valuable reminders that life is full of all kinds of disjointedness and peculiarities.  It's made that way.

Tenderpixel Press Release

Soft proof

I am not all that sure of the value of soft proofing in image editing software. I tried it once before with the Blurb book printer profile and when turning it on and off the effect was mainly that of seriously deteriorating the photograph in that the colour, tonal range, contrast all collapsed into some kind of murky visual sludge.  The book turned out fine nonetheless.

So I wasn't too annoyed when I spent a couple of hours this evening unsuccessfully trying to get a Photobox printer profile installed before ordering several large prints.  I ended up mucking about with the pre-installed soft proofing profiles - which I found can split an image into the individual components which make up CMYK - and also CMY without the K (black).  As with other messing around with software effects the instant changes are curious and interesting but it turns out with proofing the changes cannot be saved, presumably as this is merely an aid to viewing and not a real alteration to a file.  I took som…

Ralph Eugene Meatyard

Untitled [Masked Boy Standing in Doorway]
 ca. 1959

Sam Abell talks about Richard Prince

I have been a long time fan of New Topographic style man-altered landscape photography and  a few years ago I was using the images from those 70's American photographers and inserting my own colour transvestite self-portraits into their original black and white shots. This felt like an act of hommage as well as appropriation and felt personally satisfying. But I did have a slight unease about exploiting their work and yet resisted trying to come up with my own images. As I hadn't photographed landscapes for decades I was apprehensive about it, I'm not entirely sure why now. It was starting at square one again.  I was aware I could possibly get away with using those 70's photographs but was risking potentially offending (if ever the work was shown, highly unlikely, but even so) those people (such as Lewis Baltz) who I admired so enormously.  Then one Sunday a few years ago I just biked out to a disused quarry and started shooting.

Here's Sam Abell talking about …

Richard Prince and adverts of masculinity

Whenever I come across photographs 'by' Richard Prince I'm still slightly in awe of his sensibility about what counts as photographic art. More so than even Ed Ruscha he was provocative and ahead of the curve. The sublime 80s Marlboro Cowboy magazine images which employ aspirational core values of the rugged American male (intriguingly cigarettes are absent) were appropriated from ads - a strategy which was so different in style and approach from the cool, banal and minimalist styles of the time - and somehow the result was satisfyingly neither flippant or overly earnest. The usage was both admiring and yet critical.

I didn't regard him so much as a photographer himself but instead as an artist (he went on to become a painter) who used photographs, but he used them extraordinarily well. He was clearly a terrific editor and through re-contextualising the images within fine art he found a new way of making a point about these kind of images. His close exposure to ad…


Johnny's in the basement mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement thinking about the government

Bob Dylan: 
Subterranean Homesick Blues

To be given a wall to put photographs on in a London gallery for a month is a massive privilege (thanks, Richard Ansett).  Mine is gonna be down in the basement at the Tenderpixel Gallery in late Spring. 

That scrunched up feeling of fearfulness

I have increasingly mixed feelings about the prospect of good light and blue skies on Sundays.  (Sundays are the best day for sneaking into construction sites as most are either closed or else have minimal numbers of workmen around.)  But with the sense of anticipation at the opportunity to take photographs is the churning, scrunched up feeling that accompanies it that is to do with trespassing and the anxiety of confrontation. I'm  not sure what would happen.  Not knowing is always a generator of discomfort.  As is the thought of physical manhandling.

I recognise that trespass is a highly appropriate motif as a male who cross-dresses and have become more aware that the nervousness about going to shoot landscapes somewhere I'm not meant to be is remarkably similar to when putting on a skirt or dress and preparing to go out somewhere.  It is similar also in having to dig deep and come up with some determinaton to overcome that and just go ahead and risk it anyway, which is invi…