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Showing posts from 2013

Lewis Hine

" the early 1900s, child labor was still extremely common in the United States." article here

I remember being overwhelmed by this photograph when I first came across it over three decades ago, and nothing's changed looking at it now.  Hind showed what photography was capable of.  It became his tool of choice in a campaign for social change.  In those split seconds of exposure time while gathering evidence needed in the fight for reform there was simultaneously a more personal kind of acknowledgment. The lasting importance of Hine's photographs comes not from his choice to make visible those human beings whose place at the very lowest rung of society meant they were almost invisible, but from his astonishing connection with people, as individuals. Photographer and photographed are long gone, and yet the image remains,  a record of a gaze shared, a moment that still holds the power to carefully unfold us all.

Lee Jeffries: portraits

Lee Jeffries, accountant, amateur photographer and awareness-raiser (and fund-raiser) from Bolton, Lancs. Interview here.

Surprisingly even on photography websites he is slaughtered by other photographers for these pictures.  Their reflex criticism seems a direct throwback to the sort of ethical grandstanding that became prominant in the1970s.  Originally posited by academics from traditional fine art and upper middle class social backgrounds whose sensibilities made them innately mistrustful of what they considered a shabby and inconsequential medium. One that was in fact just too much of the people, for the people and by the people. It didn't have the cultural stature of  painting. It was practiced by tradespeople, or faceless technicians and artisans, amateurs, photojournalists, pornographers and, perhaps worst of all, the great seething mass of the public itself recording key moments in their own lives.  But there is a long history of photography working for social change, and…

I'm not sure what it's called, it breaks rock and concrete

Yosuke Kashiwakura: Crow's Nest

National Geographic slideshow link: 'Crows Nest' by Yosuke Kashiwakura. 'The crows that live in Tokyo use clothes hangers to make nests. In such a large city, there are few trees, so the natural materials that crows need to make their nests are scarce. As a result, the crows occasionally take hangers from the people who live in apartments nearby, and carefully assemble them into nests. 

Lee Jeffries: Lost Angels

About 115 metres, (Nov '13)


Even in Kyoto, 
how I long for Kyoto 
when the cuckoo sings Basho Matsuo (1644 ~ 1694))

It's the shortest day of the year, the start of winter.  A blowy, almost mercury sky, but not cold and fine for an early afternoon stroll... and without a camera.  All the ones I've owned this year have been either tried and sold or returned with faults.  It felt like going out without some essential item of clothing, or an arm.

A friend recently mentioned her gratitude jar.  I sometimes find it harder to remember amongst the inevitable difficulties there are still good things, and moments when life surges through one's blood and the thrill is just as wide and lovely as when first felt a lifetime ago.

Without thinking I ended up at the path where I have so often in the past taken photographs of the houses being built, a path that has been 'improved' recently.  This has entailed destruction of half the trees and bushes alongside it and coating it with a thick la…

Women photographers

There is a camera review site that I read most days soundimageplus and lately David, a commercial photographer blogger, has been posting links to women photographer websites, to promote awareness that it's not just a male industry.  He's up to three links so far and struggling to find more.  Looking back through my own art photog blog this year it seems it was predominatly female photographers who impressed me the most.  My 2013 shortlist - in no particlar order:



Kerry Skarbakka: The Struggle to Right Oneself

Self-portraits, here
Interview here

European Photography No. 93. Edited by Andreas Muller-Pohle

Photo-eye bookview

Red dress

Polly Gaillard: House, Greenville, South Carolina, 2008

Carlos Loret de Mola

I just heard from Carlos that copies of his $10 Rivington zine are now available through his website - £8.85 by Paypal, shipped to the UK  Exhilarating series. Total bargain.

Computer game character

When my nephew was little I remember him showing me how to use his playstation (ps1, probably) and after he'd gone to bed - leaving it switched on and with the disk loaded for me incase I couldn't figure it out -  I stayed up half the night playing virtual golf, at a level that he'd moved on from in probably 15 minutes - and determined afterwards to continue instead to waste my time in my more routine and less techy ways, as before.  I did good. 

In the last few years, whenever I'd come across TV or online ads showing game footage, it was a bit worrying that virtual worlds had probably become the truly great art works of this generation. That was a bit of a bummer, really.

Last week I saw the last ten minutes of Charlie Brooker's two hour countdown of the Videogames That Changed The World and may be about to succumb to a second interaction.  Being Charlie Brooker, and brainy, Twitter was named as the number one game of all time.  'The Last of Us'  was in …


(A week later this was completely filled in, flat and ready for foundation work.)

Vivian Maier: Self Portraits



I, thing

The forecast yesterday was for cloud today so waking up to sunshine and blue sky instead was a result for cycling out of town to my new favourite construction site after breakfast.  And the new camera even fits inside my inside coat pocket, result2.  I even managed to navigate there, despite an almost overwhelming urge to take the wrong turn that I have succumbed to every previous time (adding a couple of miles to the route).Result3. No security. Result4. Suspicious people making my way back out.  Fail1.

The eos m has a nice LCD screen.  The number of settings displayed by default - including an essential histogram - means it's pretty drenched with information, with just a glimpse of the actual scene somewhere beneath. It does the camera thing, though, and even 4:3 is selectable.

the first day of the end of november

Jim Dow: Americana (1968 - present)

website link


Carlos Loret de Mola: Rivington

Photo-eye book taster link
& artist website link
'Photozine relating an ambiguous encounter of a woman and a man in the city. Printed and bound in a numbered edition of 100.'


I saw the video by Dylan Winter (appropriately enough) a few days ago and tried it today.  My candle-power flowerpot heater is too hot to touch after 30 mins so the science holds good.  I'm walking around in t-shirt and shorts, practically.

Intent content

When I bought a camera recently it was probably the camera I would have preferred to be using for the last year - it has a lot of pixel power.  It can do everything.  It was the most expensive camera I'd ever bought.  It is even marketed as semi-pro.

But being an amateur it seemed to come with unreasonable expectation and added responsibility built in - features that hadn't been discussed on any of the review sites.  The casual and fun aspects had been completely engineered out, unless I've missed those in the complex set up menus.

So after this brief upgrading I only took a few photos and decided to downsize.

Interestingly, seeing the technically bad Disuke Yokota photos a few days ago made clear that I don't relate very well to doing things very well either.  So, it's not just me - as well as it's just not me.  There are a lot of serious art photographers with very high production values - which goes far beyond their equipment, extending to research, travel,…

Daisuke Yokota: Site

Tate photography curator Simon Baker mentioned Disuke Yokota in a recent interview


Piet Mondrian / \

zen garden

Beth Moon:

Photo-eye link

Getting the image

"The most decorated combat flight in U. S. history didn’t take place in a major battle. It was a photo-reconnaissance flight" - story here

Bud Thues, Zeamer, Hank Dominski, Sarnoski (Front Row) Vaughn, Kendrick, Able, Pugh.

Life cycle of big things

From the train window last week I saw work had started on a site of former heavy industry just outside town.  (A bloke I used to work with had previously been a foreman there and he had suggested that the contamination was so bad that it was unlikely that permission for homes to be built would ever be given.  It seems it wasnt so bad after all....)  The factory itself had been pulled down a couple of years ago (I'd taken some photos before and after the event), the site cleared and so finally construction was under way.  I cycled out there today (which took over an hour even though it's only five miles after I took the wrong turning, twice, like I think I did every other time I've been out there).  It was worth the long ride and the cold fingers if only because the light was so pretty and the sky was brimming with crazy summer blueness.  Almost stone buds, the first rocks and debris are appearing.

- broken concrete & half moon

grey skirt