I’m a big fan of Kent, If you know my blog you’ve seen shots from Whitstable already. I also plan to go to Dungeness before Summers out – as it’s a beautiful – if a bit of a ghostly place.
While there are some places I’ll probably never go due to tricky reputations, loads of of it is amazing. It’s hard to put a reason to why I like it. Its partly due to the fact that people are often approachable – and I find people don’t conform in quite the same way that Londoners do. It feels like people are themselves more here, less worried about how they appear. Classes mix better, there’s less snobbery, It feels freer, wilder and older, more traditional without necessarily being fuddy-duddy.
I’ve been to Margate a few times – and there’s even an old post of the seafront with a couple of friends walking by. But that was a rainy winters day. I was really pleased to see the seafront full of sun worshippers as our car turned the corner to face the beach. Theres a swimming pool right on the beach, I guess for younger and the less strong / more anxious swimmers, and I caught them there and on the beach itself (above) as the sun was descending.
Another Koko shoot. I have a real fondness for Rock and Roll. You know, the real thing, rhythm and blues, rockabilly, the one that knows its past and isn’t a cheesy pastiche.
J D McPherson, singer-songwriter and guitarist from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, is awesome. If you’re curious, or know but want want a reminder, perhaps just want to see him in action look at JD Mc – North Side Girl. My friend who got me the pass tells me he used to be an art teacher and made it later in his life, his first album was released in 2010 – when he was 33. I admire this – and the fact that he’s clearly deep in the tradition of american music – which is more apparent at the gig than the video I’ve attached.
Even though I haven’t been posting here enough lately it doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy or thinking about photography. Despite realising that Graphics is my career (and incidentally, being happy about that, my MA I has opened a new reasoning for project work which has further revealed and refreshed design work) I have made headway – especially with music – which you may have seen – and will see more of shortly.
A lot’s been going on, take a recent trip to Wales over the bank holiday. It’s funny how things work out – two photographers with a history of street/event work and portraiture trying landscape photography out. We were in new territory and one which meant I could dust off my old 17-40L lens – which is incredible, and hasn’t been used with any conviction since 2011.
We stayed in Dolgellau, southern Snowdonia, and drove around over the weekend. Despite seeing facebook posts of friends in the Snowdon area being rained upon with biblical vigour we enjoyed sunshine throughout. The Welsh countryside IS beautiful – more spectacular than I expected. We are inexperienced at this type of photography – I would claim just two good shots. I find photography like fishing. Sometimes it opens up to you offering a huge catch and sometimes you get stuck with an old boot.
The shot below was the one. The One. Best of the trip. Pleased to share it with you all.
I had a dream last month that George Clinton of Funkadelic told me he’d teach me to sing. Thereby improving my interplanetary funksmanship. I though this was pretty funny when I woke up so I put it on Facebook. A friend of mine who works in Koko, a great music venue in Camden Town, London, said he was playing and she could get me in. Freaky. I was also reading one of those books on synchronicity at the time so maybe there’s something in all that.
The show was last night, 15 April, I also took photos for the Venue, ‘two birds, one stone’ right? – only for the first song though, as the promoter went bonkers about photographer passes, but hey, it happens.
So a couple of photos from that event. Incidentally George didn’t offer to teach me sing – but my interplanetary funksmanship went through the roof, one out two isn’t so bad.
If you want to listen to some try this
I went to Marrakech in Morocco in February.A lot of people there (far more than here or anywhere else I’ve been) just didn’t want their photos being taken at all. I was thinking about what Robert Capa said about “If your photos aren’t good enough you’re not close enough” – especially in relation to this one which I took with that in mind.
This is how I felt in Marrakech, wandering around alleys in or nears the souks hassled by bicycles ,vendors and children. They alleys are too narrow for cars and the sound of a two stroke moped engine and bicycle bells are almost always present. I did enjoy it and yet i was very hassley.
As for the quote, there’s wisdoM in what Capa said, but i dont always agree with this theory – its more of a tool than something to live by perhaps? – There are other things to show in photography. Like Trent Parke – who can see wonder in the world, Tony Ray Jones who often describes people through their clothing or what they’re doing or Saul Leiter whose personal work always disguises people into the abstract of repeated patterns graphics or motifs.
I also wanted to mention Niall McDiarmid – WHo has just published a street photography book around Vauxhall Station. I’ve just bought his book so there may be a review coming soon.
There’s things I return to again and again. I dont really know what it is that compels me to stand on a street and take these photos. But i do enjoy it. I find it’s meditative, gives me a sense of play – and its like spending quality time with yourself – which is always great and sometimes not as easy as you think!
I bought a new Fuji camera – different to my staple of Canon equipment – I like it, but i’m breaking it in. So I’m not the master of it yet.
So the Barbican is one of those places, going back to this being a sense of play (like a sketchbook). But i also know I take the same kind of shot again and again. And at the moment I’m asking myself “what is it i’m trying to say?”