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Showing posts from 2014

Lewis Baltz

I remember feeling upset waking from a dream in 2013 in which I had found out Lewis Baltz had cancer.  It was just a dream, no relation to fact as far as I knew and it had ended on a note of relief in that Baltz had turned up (in an airport, I think it was) and he was smiling and relaxed and well which made me very happy.

I was sent a link earlier today to a final interview, the intro revealing his death from cancer and emphesyma on November 22nd 2014.  Dreams are good practice runs but the surge of grief was difficult even so.  For a little while I could undestand why fans of silent-era film legend Rudolf Valentino supposedly took their own lives upon news of his death.

I would sometimes google to find a contact address for Baltz, despite not having anything to say to him but 'thank you' ...and... 'thank you' and, well, I didn't know what I'd have to say if I had found a contact email address for him, and maybe 'thank you' actually was enough.  But, as…

Lewis Baltz (1945-2014)

“Jamboree Read, between Beckman and Richter Avenues, looking Northwest,” 1974

what makes a house a home?

July 2013

I came across this pic earlier from a session in the summer of 2013 - oddly it seems like ten years ago rather than 18 months. To get the overhead point of view I had weighed down with bricks the ends of the legs of my fairly heavy tripod which was extended out several feet from the top of a cupboard over this mattress.  I half expected it to topple onto me at some point - although the more likely cause of death would have been a stroke from all the standing up and then lying down again involved with operating the self-timer during the first couple of sessions, until I bought a remote release.


After Noam Chomsky



water's edge


by water

Christmas Day

by water


pink and red and gold




Christmas Day

First day of winter

Looking back

Last time I worked on printing up my small book of photos of a fence along one side a building site was summer 2013. (It wasn't a fence as such, as it got replaced over the years.)  I got about 1300 pages done back then but I kept taking more pictures for some time after.  The very last time was close to when construction work had just about finished so not much new was happening and it was on an afteronoon when some guy came running after me shouting that I was breaking the law for taking a picture of his house and he was going to phone the police.  This Christmas-time I'll finish that book and I think I've found where I was last up to with my printing, September 2013. I found a note explaining everything, as if written for a stranger.

the last hour of autumn

Two days ago I saw someone in the street and thought it was you


The cloud's fear of falling

Changing room


Drain down before X800 into the F&E

full moon

Found, reticulated contact sheet (circa nottm.)

The immortal mortals

BBC article on 2001: A Space Odyssey re-release

old french connection jumper (from before the fcuk t-shirt)

proof of ghosts

the indestructibility of flowers

Purchase price


Sunday photography at out-of-town site B for the first time in ages.  Mud squeegying through a leaking boot sole straightaway and nil sunshine and no ideas when I got there (with a rucksack full of  jars of Loyd Grossman tomato and chargrilled vegetable pasta sauce picked up at Sainsburys on the way). The light, the sky, the earth, no.  That sense of 'what a waste of time but I'm here and so might as well take pictures' was not unfamiliar, and it'd been months, the mud and muck looked slightly different.

After five minutes photographing plastic in the dirt it was time to resort to BIGPAN mode.  The camera (WX60) while being super-tiny has a monster megapixel in-camera panoramic mode which with a wave of the hand captures everything down to the molecular level, while leaving near total devastation in its wake. Moments before pressing the shutter this was a street with new build houses, most - fortunately - unoccupied at the time.

spine scape

fragmentation land

sounds of chickens


Barbara Strachey: Virginia Woolf, 1938

Diane Arbus would have been only 15 years old at the time Barbara Strachey took this picture but I think this square format photograph of novelist Virginia Woolf is pretty much what her portrait might have looked like. The famous pre-Raphelite-looking photographs of Woolf when she was a young woman by George Beresford are undeniably wonderful but this, taken when Woolf was in her mid-fifties, is their equal. The waves of light glittering through the branches of trees (with such wispy, soluble trunks), the crashing wave of light across the centre of the picture and the exquisitely delicate whirl of silk scarf held tight to her throat by a brooch nearly as big as an egg. The unsteady expression in the face, awaits forever the moment when the shutter will, finally, pop open its eye and in an instant take into account all the great breadth details it finds there.

Diane Arbus: Jorge Luis Borges, 1969

Falbala wool coat