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Showing posts from September, 2012

Alejandro Catagena - Carpoolers

Alejandro Catagena, standing on a bridge every morning overlooking a busy road, pointed his camera down onto the traffic below. A seemingly simple strategy based on viewpoint and location and one which resulted in an extraordinary depiction of the contemporary reality of globalisation.  Not only would he have got to recognise the same vehicles day after day but some of the workers must have got used to seeing him there, too.  Check out the slideshow on lens culture website.


Various small differences (preliminary versions)

Justin Newhall

Website here

Michael Lundgren - Juniper

Transfigurations series here

Christopher Colville - Constellation

On Flak website

Justin James Reed

Justin James Reed website

Monroe, New Jersey, 2006

Backs of heads, double exposures - Helen Sear

The KlompChing gallery (run by Darren Ching and Debra Klomp Ching) in New York is currently showing a collection of Helen Sear portraits where the subjects are obscured by ornaments placed directly in front of their faces.  The website has also shown her series of backs of heads with double exposure, of which this is one:

Inside The View, No. 20 (2008)

Eva Stenram

Drape is a series of staged photographs where the female (?) subject remains unseen while purportedly posing for the camera, by Eva Stenram.  Featured on the 1000 Words photography website with an accompanying review by Louise Clements.

Over a fence and a thousand frames

The site near me has had its security fencing beefed up in recent weeks and so far no-one's 'found a gap'.  To get in now would look conspicuous as it is a public area so I bottled it yesterday and came home empty handed, feeling disappointed with myself.  FAIL.

Similar today, people coming and going.  It's a stupid kind of nervousness.  I remember as a kid, six or seven years old, climbing over a fence when my brother, who was gonna follow me, called out - 'police'.  I had to chew down on my natural reaction to try and get back over, 'fess up and just stay still and not make a sound.  Expecting a voice of doom to announce I'd been seen.  But no.  I think after a few minutes it was quiet so I got back out.  I'm still climbing over fences many years later. 

The overcast sky had been the excuse in my back pocket for bailing today, as it comes out blank in photos.  But having made it in I tried the in-camera HDR, which mixes two seperate exposures.  I…

Photo icons cluster

'When I Paint My Masterpiece' - Bob Dylan

I've had the words of this song going around in my head for three days now, particularly the line 'Got to hurry on back to my hotel room/Where I've got me a date with Botticelli's neice'.

Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble
Ancient footprints are everywhere
You can almost think that you’re seein’ double
On a cold, dark night on the Spanish Stairs
Got to hurry on back to my hotel room
Where I’ve got me a date with Botticelli’s niece
She promised that she’d be right there with me
When I paint my masterpiece

Oh, the hours I’ve spent inside the Coliseum
Dodging lions and wastin’ time
Oh, those mighty kings of the jungle, I could hardly stand to see ’em
Yes, it sure has been a long, hard climb
Train wheels runnin’ through the back of my memory
When I ran on the hilltop following a pack of wild geese
Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody
When I paint my masterpiece

Sailin’ round the world in a dirty gondola
Oh, to be back in the land of Coca-Cola!

I left Rome an…

On a cold day remembering people

Everything's been done yesterday already

You don't have to be making pictures long to find that it's not uncommon to think of something and find it's been done, but what's odd is often that the discovery that it's been done happens sometimes within just a day or two.   Last week it was Rosemary Laing with mymymy! upside down landscapes idea:

And today, just hours after I had started splicing parts of self-portrait frames together,  Dennis Neuschaefer-Rube rips me! off : )

Must see photographers website

So many terrific photographers are gathered together at website. 

 (Cig Harvey Fallen Apples)

Biology and manufactured components


For someone like me who finds it impossible to make decisions about anything (hence strategies like cornflakes for breakfast every day to keep things simple), the email today about THREE prints being available from American artist Susan Logoreci was a kind of torture.  I'd first seen her precision, wonky townscape art on the cover of a Lloyd Cole CD Antidepressant several years ago and loved the bright colours and earthquake waywardness.  It's two in the morning and I've finally made a decision.  I'm exhausted.  Her drawing it must have been less work.

Mixed-up (but not mixed up)

I deffo agree with the theory that narrowing down an area of interest paradoxically opens up what seems a vastness of possibilities.  This seems to be so with the subject of transgender, for me.

This weekend one of the ideas was 're-creating people' but trying to do so by taking 'empty room frames' and then combining them with a self-portrait shot taken immediately afterwards, and unlike an in-camera double-exposure being able to control the mix in the edit, fading myself out.

This covers one familiar trans area, the one of anonymity (the tactic of turning my back to the camera when I walk into the shot), but touches, too, on how to suggest memory, which after all is what a photograph is, and, ramping that aspect up a bit, addressing mortality.   Photos (and sound recordings and videos), particularly of people we know personally who have died, have an uncanny quality about them, an unreality even if all the facts (appearances, sound of a voice) are correct.  They are g…

Almost something

Japanese Girl

I woke up at 7.55 this morning and even though it was Sunday I got out of bed to write some things down that I could photograph today in my dress-up shoot, having prepped last night in readiness (washed my hair, shaved my legs, etc.).  They were an idea I'd had several months ago that I never got around to and had forgotten.  'Women I Loved' (provisional title and overtly DH Lawrence influenced).  I was thinking of choosing clothes to wear that would in some way enable me to present as those who meant something.  There's usually one or two per year on average : ) and for all sorts of reasons.  The one that springs to mind first is Miss Williams, a recently qualified teacher at my school when I was about 12 years old.  With each photographic representation would be a little back story.  In her case it includes my best friend from that time, Roger B., and how one evening he suggested we 'go visit' Miss Williams as she lived nearby.  She saw us from her upstairs r…

Dust everywhere

One of the reasons I was never keen on a DSLR was the inevitablility of dust on the sensor - and a few days ago I made the huge mistake of testing for it. If you test for it your peace of mind will be shattered fore v e r r r r r r r. Even if what you photograph is mostly sort of dust anyway.

Timothy O'Sullivan - Colorado River (1871)

Appropriation - complete with cover up

The Obama campaign poster by Shephard Fairey still looks pretty cool but the artist has been totally busted after issuing proceedings to end accusations he had used a photograph taken by photojournalist Mannie Garcia.

As for that word HOPE.  It was thrilling when Obama became president - but he had little practical experience and despite various peakTV moment 'radical' proprosals such as to close Guantanamo Bay and to give the Palestinians a fair deal all came to nothing,  or actually less than nothing.  Bush-style troop surges and routine complicity with Israel have been maintained (admittedly, unavoidable in both the US and UK where all main parties would be bankrupted if those lobby groups withdrew funding - and the associated swing vote over there can be pivotal).  One of the low points was when the Washington administration of HOPE promptly withdrew funding from UNESCO when they recently recognised that Palestine actually existed.  FAIL.

Full story on the artist's LIE…

Crushed berries

The gap in the fence I could just squeeze through has been sealed up down the bottom of my road, so it was back to inching my way along the side of a ditch, negotiating thistles and nettles to get shots of the new build.  The fab light today was reminiscent of that New Topographics American mid-west bleached look, that was around in the 1970's : )

Spiders from Mars

Spider-warm early September and the garden is inaccessible beyond the back door with sheaths of web shining in the sun.  Like meteorites frozen within the brief exposure time of a world-size camera on their fall to Earth, spiders, bloated black stones are unmoving against the blue, interrupted by the unexpected occasional time-lapse progress of a few inches as prey entangle themselves.

Predators are so objectionable, particularly us humans with our great machinery of invisible animal slaughter. The spider by the front door managed to cocoon a moth four times its size, it has become a giant trophy it inspects, and its own body swelling impossibly bigger.  When I noisily open the door it scuttles clumsily away from its victim like a naughty obese child disowning its morbid curiosity at what it has done, I am laughing.

Rage photography

I think I've heard that very small figures can be used by psychologists to enable young children to articulate their experiences physically and in an open manner.  There is also a genre of photography where tiny dolls are photographed to create alternative toy-scale versions of reality.   Katr!in Jakobsen seems to have taken something from each for her 'All Will Be Fine' series on paedophilia which came about after witnessing child exploitation in Thailand and Cambodia while photographing for UNICEF.  It was during the flight back she became aware that the plane seemed to be filled with sex tourist single men, inciting a rage that led to this series.

Tate Exhibition Oct 2012

William Klein + Daido Moriyama Tate Modern: Exhibition 10 October 2012 – 20 January 2013

Thieves like us

The demolition site near my house that was a factory a couple of years ago and which is now becoming a big housing estate has occasionally had gaps in its security fencing. I don't know who makes them but I know I'm not the only one sneaking in there and I guess there is some thieving going on. Now and again the gaps are all closed up and they did a good job the last time so I thought that was probably the last time I'd get in. But this evening even though the sunlight had dipped low it was still powerful and it was too nice to not go for a walk - and just checked the construction site on my route - and yeah a couple of new gaps had re-appeared, just one of them wide enough for me to squeeze through, and only jiust. Whoever is creeping in there is pretty skinny.

I never expect to see anything new but there are always signs of progress, whether new foundations or more and bigger hills of earth and rubble. I  might be doing my own thing but am becoming more aware that I h…

Accident No. 6

Trent Parke - Sydney Opera House

Trent Parke's astonishing street photography is from the Joel Meyerowitz 70's lineage, and probably surpasses it, but having just seen his series from backstage at Sydney Opera House it's clear he also can do a pretty good William Eggleston, too. 

... and

People photographs

I used to have two online shopping compulsions (well three counting cameras), but mostly clothes (dresses, skirts, tops, heels etc), and photo books.  The clothes buying thing has faded a lot recently but the photography books thing has got worse.  When I get them I leave them for a while then on the offchance edgily flick through them for one or two minutes then put them away, forever usually.

I pulled down a Nicholas Nixon book of portraits a couple of days ago to confirm if they really were the best photographic series of portraits of people I'd ever seen, or if I had over estimated them.  Photographing people became his preoccupation shortly after being included in the seminal Rochester New Topographics show in 1976.  His tender open hearted connection to the dispossessed, elderly, sick and dying and vulnerable is probably still unsurpassed, but admittedly an approach that perhaps has simply become, for a variety of reasons, marginalised over time.