I’m running a Street Photography Workshop in London next month. The format will be the same as last year – two Saturdays with a weekend in between (28 June & 12 July). Photofusion are hosting as previously and you can read more details on their web site, or you can contact me if you have more questions. If this is of interest, you might also enjoy this new video which shows Bruce Gilden at work on the streets of New York.
Definitions, pigeon-holes, limitations and inspiration. Are people who hang on to the “old” forms of street photography the equivalent of stuckist painters? I’m tempted to write something longer in response to the suggestion that Street Photography is dead but in the meantime here’s a picture of a bus stop.
I’ve been intending to make a shelf-challenging book of panoramic photos for a long time but the intended size has even intimidated me, so in the meantime, I’ve put together a small, pocket-sized, version. Entitled, Small Book Big City, this is a limited edition of only ten copies and to ease the pain of the size versus price ratio it comes with a print (approx 20″ / 50cm long) of one of the images. You can see all the pictures in the book and find out more, here.
This is mainly a plug for a course I’m running at Photofusion in October but as ever, you can ignore the text and just look at the picture (click to enlarge). The course is called ‘Starting Digital Photography’, it runs for three days (3, 4, 5th October) and is aimed at people who want to get the most from their digital SLR and an introduction to Photoshop. More details on the Photofusion page. The course is limited to eight people but if you’d prefer something more tailored, or shorter, I also do one-to-one tuition.
I recently started reading “City Gorged with Dreams: Surrealism and Documentary Photography in Interwar Paris” which ought to be interesting because it’s a study of “surrealist realism”: the exploration of a real-life surreality encountered on the streets of the city. On reaching chapter three – Nadja: a ‘voluntary banality’? – I thought I’d better break off to read the book of the chapter title. I didn’t really take to Breton’s style of writing and although I enjoyed his descriptions of the meetings with Nadja the story had more impact after finishing it, first by reading the introduction (glad that I didn’t read it first) and secondly by filling in details via a quick google and reading this essay, Trailing Nadja by poet, Susan Elmslie.
Coincidences ensued. In a box of booja-booja chocolates, the message (Boojagram No. 17) read, “Practice a reliable attitude towards fish”. I didn’t think much of it, except that it was a little odder than the usual sentiment. However, I then went out and drove over a big fish, maybe a piece of salmon, in the middle of our road and on the return journey noticed a black glove in the middle of another road. Unrelated to this, I walked past a woman who said into her phone, “I get lost if I walk around”.
5DWII – day five. So, what have we learned about Landscape this week? “It’s just a medium” [JA] or a vessel that we can pour whatever we want into. I’ve mostly been reminded that it’s just another unhelpful label although I have been enjoying making some bad landscape pictures. As labels go, I certainly prefer the term street photography but that’s because I have a very wide open view of what street photography is and can be, whereas some people think it died with HCB or Winogrand. A term with little or no baggage would be ideal but unlikely. Joining ‘urban’ to ‘landscape’ only makes it worse.
Taking pictures of shop windows can be a lazy form of street photography but sometimes they’re hard to resist – apples.
The Lartigue show at the Hayward is great. I really admire his playfulness and experimental spirit. The upstairs show, ‘About Face: Photography and the Death of the Portrait’, not only has a naff sub-title but also seems to get itself in a knot about the use of technology in photography, which they say is “challenging our perceptions of beauty and truth”.
At one point, the curators say we can no longer accept the idea of portraits being windows on the soul (who ever did?) and then alongside a series of red-eyed (from flash) teenagers, they claim the red eyes made them look like predators (or words to that effect). As if non-predatory people won’t have red eyes. They go on to say that the red-eye effect is a “technical glitch normally removed in printing”. Hilarious.
There are some interesting things in it but I recommend ignoring the interpretation boards. This is another of my “diCorcia without flashlight” pictures.
I didn’t take that picture!! Have I got your attention? Wondering why I’ve posted that terrible flower picture in my blog? Well, I’m thinking about starting up an online photography magazine. You may think that’s the last thing the world needs but I’m fed up of looking at the dross but more than that, I’m fed up of looking at pictures of flowers* in photo blogs. Bad excuse? Well, to tell the truth, I bought a new camera and this was the easiest thing to try it out on (now you understand why there’s so much of it in the blogging world).
However, If I get enough good suggestions for the photo-mag I might actually do something about it.
*OK, I know it’s possible to make good pictures of flowers, it’s just that I never see them.
I’m reading The Look of Architecture which makes connections between architecture and clothing that had never occurred to me before. It’s also a bit negative about the failure of photography to capture important aspects of architecture which makes me wonder what the author would think of Tadao Ando: The Colours of Light which also seems to be at the top of my pile at the moment and has some great photographs by Richard Pare.