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Showing posts from October, 2013

Paris Lees - trans campaigner

profile here



I got a new camera today. I haven't bothered opening the box yet, as it's just a dSLR and looks pretty much like my last one, a lump of magnesium with electronics in it covered in black rubber.  I get nervous buying cameras, it's like starting a new relationship.  It's all that 'getting to know you' and starting from the beginning again.  And you always think this is going to be the last one.

I think the last new camera I had was a red Hanimex 35mm film camera, which I got in a closing down sale in a hardware shop for £2.99 (might have been £3.99) about 15 years ago.  As you can see it had a lever to allow for various lighting conditions - that was it, settings wise, but it was plenty.  I so loved that camera.  It was the first time in maybe ten years since having given up photography and having sold my 'proper' cameras years earlier that it was suddenly uncomplicated and fun, and with no expectations.  Maybe all relationships should start like that.  T…

John Divola: As Far As I Could Get

The title of this series refers to the distance Divola could run having set his camera's ten second self-timer and pressed the shutter button.

Robert Adams: Summer Nights Walking

In the Tyler Green interview with landscape photographer Robert Adams (part 2 of the show) it was interesting to hear his reply to a question on working alone. Tyler had heard from a friend of a friend that Adams wouldn't take a photograph if anyone he knew was hanging around observing him.  Adams explained his wife was the exception, and then went on to talk about one other occasion when he broke this rule, during his night photography project in the 1970s.  He was getting scared out there on his own so hired an art teacher he knew to accompany him - a guy who he knew had been trained as a sniper in the army, (I presume this meant he actually carried a gun) - and it still took them a week to calm down from the jitteriness they both felt.  That anxiety wasn't totally misplaced.  Adams later heard about a triple homicide occuring shortly after at one of the locations they had been working, and around the time of the night they'd been there.

I don't feel so bad now havi…

Mike Starn & Doug Starn: Yellow Seascape with Film and Wood Blocks (1988-1989)

Landscape show review at Collectordaily
Mike and Doug Starn, their framing is worse than mine - oh but worse in a much better way.

John Divola: Dogs Chasing My Car in the Desert (1996-2001)

Modern Art Notes podcast here

Dogs series here

Bruce Springsteen and Robert Frank

Robert Frank photograph (late 1950s)

Yellow face moon, and golfer

According to the moonrise calculator the actual full moon was half past midnight last night.  I was about to go to bed and had a sudden guilt trip that I should be using that intense light so instead I went and got the camera and tripod and was out the door and down the street. 

It was very creepy at the fence of the building site.  After the torrential rain earlier there was belated dripping through the trees right behind where I was shooting, made more intense by an otherwise perfect stillness.  I thought someone was watching me nearby and having encountered thieves a few nights ago I didn't stay long.   Home at half one and listened to the excellent Grayson Perry and was asleep by 3.  

Woken by a dog barking at 7 and sounds from next door.  Tired and hoping it wasn't a Monday morning, but when I noticed a shining hint of blue on the horizon I crawled out of bed and went out again with camera and tripod for an hour.   The yellow-faced moon had swung across half the sky sin…

9mm MDF

The forecast late last night was for rain but it was mild and dry here today.  I went down to B&Q just before it shut and got some 9mm MDF cut for a couple of recently printed photobox prints.  Without glass or a proper frame they are austerity-era lo-cost, unprotected and would be non-archival, all good things.  The kid who did the cutting did a great job, especially considering it was only the second time he'd used the machine, apparently. As for vulnerability, several days ago I walked on a print I'd left on the floor - it was an old one, fortunately - of a white transit van left parked on a building site in the snow over Christmas last year, by moonlight  (yes, I know, how romantic).  But one I walked on two days ago is one of the new ones, unfortunately. In fact both prints already look like they were found in a dustbin.  They say teenagers are incredibly clumsy because their bodies are growing at such a fast rate that the brain can't quite keep up and their &…

Primark: PU AND CHIFFON dress (2013)

£13 £5

Grayson Perry: BBC radio 4

Link to show here

Gesture: 2012


Kennard & Phillipps:

Tom Hunter: The Way Home (2009)

John Goto: Kafka in America (Harbour)

Julie Cockburn: Little One/Daydreamer

Francisco Gomez de Villaboa: Made in Toledo

Federica Landi: (work in progress)


Above you: October 17th, 2013



Steve Huff: camera review, 2013

Steve Huff reviews the Fuji X20

rectangles at B&Q

Andy Hendriksen: camera review, 2012

Sometimes shopping online for dresses, photobooks or camera bargains is how I avoid doing real stuff where I have to make a decision of some sort. But I've not been more than dipping a toe (photobooks) for the last few weeks while slogging away at printing out my BIG 1400+ PAGE (AND THAT'S ONLY SO FAR) BOOK ( the tag 'little' can now be dispensed with, I think).  Until today - and now it's cameras. It all started when after breakfast I framed an old 40" x 30" landscape and dropped a matt/mount over it, effectively cropping it down to the central portion, which changed the aspect ratio to 4:3 - digicam format, and it looked a lot better.  A couple of pictures I had printed big recently were natively in that format and it's a squat, chunky shape that knows what it is and is just fine being that way and no hang-ups about not being skinny - which is growing on me.  3:2 is starting to look a bit catwalk and chocolate bars, and not in an appealing way. Wer…

Sky about to rain

Spencer Murphy: Anonymous Gainer, 2010

via Flak

Grayson Perry:

The Independent profiles Grayson Perry who will be on Radio 4 next week. Considering the paper the comments that follow the piece are surprisingly denigrating.

EastbisterAh meet the Widow Twanky of the phoney art world. A slightly tacky pantomimic tribute act paying homage to an ego trip of his own cheesy desires.
A decent enough draughtsman though no more than an average 6th former doing a subsid subject. Without the cross dressing he would be just a very average 'artist'.
droochusStudied fine art at Portsmouth Polytechnic, did he? That explains a lot.

Gussy Fink-nottle
Grayson perry: A weird very average artist, that lacks articulate and coherent conversation.

Jamie Bakeridge
But why is he wearing women's clothes? Why was this question not posed? Does he have gender dysphoria? If so, I sympathise, and I hope he will be able to get treatment. If not, why? Is he just bringing his sexual kinks into the public sphere? If so, why does the journalist not challenge him on …

Mickey Smith:

Her wesbite here

Nick Brandt: Portrait of Elephant on Bare Earth, Ambosoli, 2011

Peter Beard: Elephant Embryo, Tsavo, (1963)

John Sadovy (1928-2013): Assassination of Secret Police (1956)

Link to print details on Christies auction website

The Boxer: Orlando Cruz

‘Being punched in the face is nowhere near as scary as coming out', said Orlando Cruz, a member of the 2000 Puerto Rican Olympic boxing team -  link here

 (Photo: AP)
Quote: He became the first openly gay man in professional boxing, a sport not exactly overrun with people known for tolerance and understanding.
Since that announcement, Cruz has won back-to-back fights and he'll carry a 20-2-1 mark and 10 knockouts to the ring when he meets Orlando Salido for the vacant WBO featherweight belt Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center.
By speaking a few short words, a great burden was lifted from Cruz's shoulders. He proposed to his boyfriend, Jose Manuel, earlier this year on Facebook, and the couple is set to be married next month in New York.
Cruz's fear that he would become the target of angry boxing fans never materialized. The LGBT community embraced him, and on June 18 in Chicago, he was a part of the first class of the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall…

Edward Weston, and photographs

To quote from his Daybooks, October 14th 1931: on having to make a living taking photographs he regards his studio "portraits (as) so nauseating that I have covered them over when signing my name.  Some are horrified at physical prostitution, and I agree it must be inconvenient and often disgusting. But I am prostituting my spiritual self every week of the year. A few might feel and share the shame of my degradation."

There are so many moments in Weston's record (written very much for posterity) where the rickety self-justifications for his  value system collapse - his back-stabbing of friends, carping about the work of other photographers, ripping off Mexican peasants, resenting the working class expectations of decent pay (he believes in 'surival of the fittest!').  At one point he almost abducts a 'pretty' beggar girl in the street of a town he is passing through - to give her a better chance in life with him - but the girl's pleas for him to speak…

Old photographs

Terrific collection of photographs on the Sotheby's website, including -
Anonymous American Photographer: BANJO AND FIDDLE PLAYERS sixth-plate tintype, in a half-case, circa 1860s-70

Sonya Noskowiak: 25 November 1900 - 28 April 1975

I'm most of the way through Edward Weston's daybooks.  It's turned into a drag of a read, particularly as fame beckons in the early 1930's and the writing becomes more self-aggrandising.  I just came across a photograph by his partner Sonya Noskowiak, which took me by surprise - as there has been no mention in Weston's records that she had any involvement in photography at all.

Then while looking her up on wiki I came across this wonderful portrait by Imogen Cunningham -


notes to self if ever making a second copy of a small book