Trip to Sheffield yesterday. I needed to get out. It’s been a difficult last few weeks. There were a couple of things I wanted to check out and this was a good opportunity. and take in some street work at the same time. I parked where I always park just off Bramall Lane, the home of Sheffield United FC, my team, and walked up through the centre of Sheffield. First stop was the Hungry Bhudda in the new Castle Market; traditional Nepalese food like you’ve never tasted before. Unfortunately I wasn’t hungry, my guts have been in crisis just lately but it did look good.
I’m trying to alter my street shooting approach. I’m wanting to engage with and attempt a more portraiture mode of operating. Approaching subjects, having a conversation albeit briefly and making an image. It doesn’t do to stand still in your photography practise. There’s only so many ‘men standing looking bored outside shops’ images you can take ? I’m enjoying the results so far.
Second port of call was the gloriously named clothing outlet Clobbercalm down at Kelham Island. A wonderful retail space you could just stand in for a while and take in. Great looking denim orientated clothing at prices beyond my purse but I sure would love a pair of Redwing Boots.
This is a view of Chesterfield’s world famous Crooked Spire which has not been seen for decades.
Having lived in the town all my life I think I’m qualified to say that this Spire is ingrained in our identity as Chesterfield folk. As we travel around the town we effectively revolve around it. It’s part of our psyche. Business’ and organisations fall over themselves to have a name with as closer proximity or derivation of the word ‘Spire’ as possible, Aspire being one of them. I’ll call this Blog Aspiration ! Geddit ? It’s good to aspire, to have aspirations.
My Instagram following is up and down like a tart’s knickers. I seem to gain a load and then lose a few but on the whole I think it’s steadily increasing. I’ve been informed that there are 600 million Instagrammers out there so I thought is was high time I got me a crumb from this particular pie. It’s fun and I’ve nothing to lose. I continue to discover some amazing photographers out there whose aim is to document their surroundings and those that share it. I’ve had brief conversation with people all over the world whose passion for the subject is as strong as mine. For my sake I’m glad most of them speak English but if they don’t we can communicate through our images.
Where possible I’ve listed their names and Instagram id. Otherwise just their id. The first six are particular favourites. Check em out !
- Andrew Johnston – andrewj.98
- Sam Wainwright – sam_wainwrightuk
- Liam Money – sadbreh
- Carl Anthony Bull – lords_of_the_earth
- bobbybeasleys – bobbybeasleys
- Luke Saxon – luke_saxon
- Alexander Timofeev
- Chris Donahue – chrishundo
- David Fidalgo – bricksstreetphoto
- Kai Naito – kainaito
- Belfast street – belfaststreet
- Tanya Nekrasova – nekrasovastreetphoto
- SM Kakon – sm_kakon
- Craig Easton – mrcraigeaston
- Richard Mills – mrrichardmills
- Bobby Bosston – 88.shotz
- Dan Kazimierska – Dan Kazimierska
- Chris Duesing – chrisduesingphoto
- Mark Hallum – makusan_hallum
- Luke Saxon – luke_saxon
- Jonny – jmpsharp
- Shiva Traanman – s.traanman
- Richard Barnard – ftwentytwo
and don’t forget me either !!
A couple of weeks ago the Poetry Blog Voices of a Hidden Self invited me to discuss my photography and the similarities and differences between poetry and photography. It was a wonderful and enlightening discussion and I invite you to read it.
You can view the discussion here:Voices of a Hidden Self
You can also buy some of this amazing poetry at these links:
A TRAVELLING FAIR
VOICES OF A HIDDEN SELF
One should always experiment with new imagery. Don’t rest on your laurels. Don’t stand still. Try new things out. Challenge yourself.
I’ve been doing some re-evaluation these last few days. A quick Google Academic search has yielded two pdf documents; The Communicative Roles of Street and Social Landscape Photography – Timothy R Gleason, University of Wisconsin and Eyes on the Street – Photography in Urban Public Spaces by Jennifer Tucker. I need to put some theoretical meat on the bones of my practise. I’ve not ruled out doing a Phd the successful culmination of which I’d be able to call myself a Doctor ! My understanding is that when doing a Phd you need a question in which to research. My current thinking is Street Photography as a means to explore National Identity. Like how does national identity shape or reflect street photography in a particular country ?
One of my annual forays into London and I decided to make ‘workers’ a subject to look out for. I often make lists of things to look out for with the camera; people carrying things, people bending over, people with dogs etc etc. London centre doesn’t start coming alive until mid morning, when the tourists start moving around. Before that it’s mainly workers going about their business. A recent look back at these images and they continue to appeal to me.
I firmly believe the streets is where much of a society is played out. It’s politics, relationships, the good and the bad. Shoot the streets and you capture something of the society you live in. It’s as simple as that.
The US President ( I can’t bring myself to write his name) comes out, completely ignores the debate on gun control and instead wants to talk about how his society deals with mental illness. Well he would wouldn’t he, given the fact that the National Rifle Association made a substantial financial contribution to his election campaign. Still It’s good of him to want to talk about mental illness. It’s a huge problem and no doubt a massive drain on the national purse or wallet if you prefer. There are myriad reasons for mental illness but one of them must surely be the pressures put on a person from the society within which they live. I can hardly comment on the mental illness problems of the USA from my perch here in the UK, suffices to say we have a mental illness problem here too. What we don’t have is a rampant gun problem and a constitutional right to bear arms. You get someone with mental illness and marry that up with an armoury of guns and you’ve got a dangerous situation in the making, just possibly. We’ve had gun attacks here sure but nothing like the frequency and appalling consequences of the US. I can’t go down the road and buy a semi-automatic even if I wanted to. It’s crazy that a young man can carry a gun at the age of eighteen but must be twenty one to buy a beer.
Still what do I know ? I’m just a frustrated photographer. Leave nothing but footprints take nothing but photographs folks.