With my dad in Soho, London. He talks a lot, and manages not to be boring. Rare, I like that. Another thing I like is that if I have my camera he doesn’t mind me taking a picture. And another. …and another. This is also rare. I photographed him in some winter sun, near the corner of Greek Street and Bateman St. The low afternoon sun was glorious, and a reflection from a window picked him out against the background.
My best of the year so far.
I regularly come back to this thought: Do I have the courage to get a T-shirt printed with “I want to take your photo” and stand in a place like that all afternoon gathering any willing people, no charge – just for fun? Not yet.
London people are often very reserved. They can treat you like you’ve popped out of a spaceship just for making eye contact. But this is a good area at this time of year for a mix of really interesting people, for light and for capture. …Maybe one day I will get that T-shirt.
The main picture was taken with my camera, but I have also been trying out my phone. London moments don’t always wait for me to go home and get the equipment I feel I need for a good photo. I dont know if you’ll see anymore from my phone, just because I don’t like the quality. The misty mornings have been amazing, too good to miss – Anyway, Examples follow:
I took this in a place called Kilrush in Ireland a couple of years ago when I was visiting my grandmother, who wasn’t very well.
It was either December or January and the sea mist had crawled inland each morning, the cold weather had also brought a snap of frost so the mornings looked like this. I remember thinking that this is what Winter meant, that the world had been suspended and time had stopped.
The morning we left we awoke to snow, a different landscape, time had resumed its normal pace and the spell of the frost and mist was broken.
I’ve been thinking about scale again. After my trip to the US it was bound to happen. I kept hearing those trains. Both in Canada and in the US when i was there this Summer. Here’s one of the results – I’ve been working on it for a while – There’s a couple of points which still need a little alignment. But I like you guys so i’m showing you a preview now.
Poppies in the medical section of the Chelsea Physic Garden
I had an opportunity to shoot some filming for a local paper, Kensington and Chelsea Today, They were doing some filming and wanted some shots of the process for editorial. It was in Chelsea Physic Garden on Albert Embankment London.
With its high walls the Physic Garden can easily be missed, one of those places I always intended to go to but never quite made it. It’s very beautiful and quite fascinating. The plants are divided by how they’re used by man not by their own families. Which made me look at the way I thought about plants. For example, these poppy heads were in the ‘cardiology’ section with some caged (highly poisonous) deadly nightshade and some other plants. But the divisions weren’t just medical, they also included more everyday uses for plants. There was a perfumery, a section on plants used as dyes, foods, clothing fibres, one where plants were divided by the vitamins they can provide, a clutch of carnivorous plants and an area of flowering plants to help feed the Physic Gardens bees.
Open from April – October annual membership is £38 I believe, and single entry is £8, its not usually open Mondays unless you’re a member. Here’s a link.
So three weeks in the US and Canada comes to an end tomorrow when I get my plane home. During this trip I went all around Vancouver, drove through Canada’s BC to the US (Montana, through Idaho and Washington). Met some cool people, saw skunk, wild turkeys, bison, eagles, buzzards, a coyote, groundhogs, antelope, deer (and fawns), a bewildered moose, stayed in a yurt and locked the keys in a trunk of our rental car in the middle of nowhere. Its been great – I can’t tell you how much I love this part of the world. It always feel like an adventure, and well, It was. I got some good pictures of street life and wilderness that will appear here in the coming weeks.
I also drew up plans for a three photo projects for when I return.
So, I hope to be back here soon. But for now back to London, to sort out more work, and a new place to live. Gulp….
This was actually taken about a month ago when life went a little crazy – nothing bad, in fact a lot of work came my way so it was good. So here is the Thames, as seen from London Bridge on a spring evening in early April. It was beautiful – and it will be again.
I saw this exhibition at Somerset House London last Thursday, It was pointed out to me by another blogger, who had nothing but high praise for it. The title; “Henri Cartier Bresson – a Question of Colour” holds that name that carries a certain type of weight which may or may not be problematic. I should point out while I respect Henri Cartier Bressons position in the history of photography, I have yet to be totally thrilled by his work. (Is this photography heresy?)
This show plays with the fact Cartier Bresson was unimpressed by colour (yes, I know he did use it on occaision) as a medium for photography. Personally I am passionate about colour photography, perhaps this is one of the reasons I haven’t given him much time.
However “A Question of Colour” is deftly curated to challenge Cartier-Bressons perception of colour, the show presents Cartier Bresson black and white prints (previously unseen in the UK) that display his command of illustrating form, then show those who have been influenced by his work using colour in creative, sorry, exceptionally creative ways. Interestingly this has been put together as a positive. Reinforcing Cartier Bressons influence, and the practice of using colour. Nice.
This is an amazing collection for me in many ways. I am familiar with Saul Leiter, Fred Herzog, Trente Parke (above), Joel Meyerowitz – but it has altered the context of other photographers I know Carolyn Drake, Helen Levitt, and introduced me to some who I can see myself admiring for some time to come, particularly Boris Savelev and Harry Gruyaert. These are truly sophisticated images, rich and descriptive in their use of colour and tone.
My wallet, usually full of dust and cobwebs, was gleefully prized opened to buy a copy of the book that came with this show. The shop assistant told me it had sold out over a week before. SO thats over two weeks before the end of the show? Testimony to how people have enjoyed it, and enough to warrant a reprint… please?
When I saw this show I became really excited, its obvious this is similar to something I am reaching for with my shots, well those that are like this. Which is why, for me, this is the most successful exhibition of the last twelve months. So I emailed the curator, William E. Ewing, to tell him how impressed I was- he mailed back to say hello. Charming fellow.
The show closes this Sunday! But it is free…
If your image is hotlinked above and you’re not happy about it let me know…