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Showing posts from October, 2019

sixth fence

I cycled to photograph this row of security fences four times yesterday and, between down-pours, twice more today. Looking at the pictures on my eMac at home each time immediately afterwards I was again and again trying to figure out the best way of going about it to get a better result. With these last two I was hoping ten hours of rain would have made the earth embankment behind the fences a darker tone.

Most times the sky has been a typical bare, north european sky in October, almost monotone.

The compulsion to keep going back seemed familiar, it was the same sort of anguish to push on from years ago, disregarding endless doubts just to get something done, whether it was absurd or not.

There is a row of little houses not far off one end of this site and anyone there noticing me must have been increasingly concerned, what with my constant coming and goings.  Feeling observed doesn't help with taking enough time to hold the camera straight for 32 pictures going one way, then 32 …

Jens Olof Lasthein: Home Among Black Hills

website and outerfocus podcast


Generation Access

A lot of these fence panels are tagged with the name and contact details of the company who hire them out. These ones are from GENERATION Scaffolding and Access. I assume they come under 'access', as in stopping people, like me, from having access. The nearby factory site is cleared now and two excavators have been left parked at the gate where I've been doing panoramics for the last year, blocking the view, while presumably blocking anyone cutting their way in and moving on to the site (there's nothing to take).

The forecast was for a cloudy morning but sun this afternoon, so if there was anything to take pictures of I could  do a repeat later in the day and have something that works across that change.

I'd photographed the fence at site A, Oasis Estate, Carholme Road, maybe a hundred times over the years of its demolition and re-development, as a sub-set of photographing there, and at site B, Phoenix Estate, several times out at Hykeham, but only a couple of time…

John Divola: SFV, 71-73

Tim Carpenter: from 'A most serene republic'

website and collectordaily review of his latest book

Phoenix Housing Estate

Oasis Housing Estate

shoe print, rain and mud

reflection, (detail)


The forecast for rain nearly all day was pretty accurate and I set off expecting my third or fourth soaking in as many days, (one or two of which have been super-nice, it's not cold, and it's life). The camera kept going despite the constant soaking it was getting for nearly an hour. Every few shots I'd swab the water off it with my tee-shirt, and try to lean over it to protect it. For a cheap consumer point and shoot that's unexpectedly good. If it had been an expensive camera, even one with weather-sealing, I'd have gone home early if having bothered to go out at all. 
I wanted the earth tones from the saturated soil, the shining rain on the ground was an extra. I was taking sweeps and single frame images with the intention to composite later. The one thing I had strangely not accounted for in the slightest was sinking in to the mud up to my ankles.  In the past on other sites this feeling used to scare me, the dirtiness and also being nearly stuck. 

Lewis Baltz: Candlestick Point

When this first came out I thought it was a bit obvious, both the subject, wasteland, and the New Topographic aesthetic, which seemed to me a bit less effective, almost becoming less careful, compared to the sublime works 'New Industrial Parks' and 'Park City'. But lately I've looked at it again a few times and, for whatever reason, I find it increasingly meaningful. Looking at this flip-thru just now I like the sensation of being there, while he explored and found the things he was interested in looking at. He becomes very much alive again in these photographs, and for that alone I'm very glad.

Lewis Baltz "Candlestick Point" Flip Through from Pier 24 Photography on Vimeo.