The Indecisive Decisive Moment

Here’s another one from yesterday’s trip into town. As street photographs go it’s not really doing much but in a way that’s why I like it. Ordinary people doing ordinary things. I like that the green shopping bag has ‘tea’ written on it while the lady is drinking a bottle of orange pop.  Henri Cartier-Bresson talks about the ‘Decisive Moment’ while Elliott Erwitt talks about the ‘Indecisive Moment’. I like to think some of my images sit somewhere in between the two.

On the High St there was a white Transit van parked up and this was in the front window. Not my idea of a visual joke but it takes all sorts doesn’t it.


A bit less shotgun

I’ve been into town today. Thursdays is usually busy. There’s a flea market where things to be bought are in the last chance saloon. I keep hoping that I’ll find that rare copy of The Americans by Robert Frank or as the title will be ‘Les Americains’ the French version, the version before the American version was published. You can often pickup ‘carte’ photographs for a few quid or old family photograph albums which have come from house clearances. The occasional decent film camera. I was given an Olympus Trip the other week by the way.

I’m trying to be more measured in my street photography. A bit less shotgun and a bit more carefully considered and observed. I took eleven images which is nothing like my normal rate. If Gary Winogrand was still around imagine how many he’d shoot with a digital camera ?

I often pop into Oxfam as well. Check see if there’s any photography books. Got a Thames and Hudson Photofile book on Magnum Photographers for £1.99 which was nice.

Be More Dog

Photography, the making\taking  of images is for me, much of the time a cathartic experience. Catharsis means providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions. If you look closely at this image you can see a face with a long wispy nose ? Well I can.

I’ve been for a walk up on the wonderfully named Big Moor. I needed some fresh air and a big open space in which to allow me some free thinking. I find thinking difficult. My best thoughts, my most creative thoughts are in the middle of the night or while out walking when I’m surprisingly free of thinking. By allowing my mind to wander aimlessly I’m at my thinking best. The wind was blowing. Autumn is battling it out with summer. Autumn will win. Off in the distance I could hear the deep throated roar of a Stag staking his claim to his Hinds, readying himself to fight to the death if necessary his self proclaimed right to procreate.

My dog talks to me. Metaphorically of course. “You think too much” he tells me, “live in the moment like me, yesterday’s gone, what’s tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself ? live in the moment like me ! be more dog!”.

Death is inevitable, sure as eggs is eggs. Be more dog.

be more dog

Trying harder

Someone’s been working hard. There’s a ‘dynamic list’ of street photographers on Wikipedia.

Here’s a Link I’m not on it. If I were I’d be sat between Ken Grant and Sid Grossman, one living and one dead. I’m not in the List of 50 Greatest Street Photographers either on website. I really must try harder.

In the meantime here’s a photo I took in Brasil of a bloke pissing up against a wall.


Save the last dance for me ?

I was just about to start this blog piece and my mobile rang. Some Industrial Injuries Noise Group wanting to know if I’ve ever worked in a noisy environment ? No. Has anyone in your house ever worked in a noisy environment ? No. I spent most of my working life working in an office and the wife worked in a hospital, both of which I doubt were sufficiently noisy enough to permanently damage my ears. I had to listen to some shit in my time but again I doubt this qualifies.

Last night I caught up with my friends Maria Falconer and the legendary Paul Hill. Maria was giving a presentation to Chesterfield Photographic Society entitled “Performing for the Camera” about her professional work of Dance photography followed by her more personal work,  some of which gained her a Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society ( FRPS ). Maria was pleased to see me and she gave me a hug. Her dance photography is superb and her personal work is deep, multi layered, carefully thought out and intense. You can’t make an omelette with cracking a few eggs and Maria makes a good omelette. Check out her work on 

It must be well over twenty years since I last attended a Chesterfield Photographic Society evening. I used to be a member and I was even known to win one or two of their regular competitions. I was made welcome. The President, a nice chap welcomed me. “What kind of photography do you do ?”  he enquired. ” “Erm erm  oh a bit of this and a bit of that ” I replied.  There were two members there last night who I recognised from all that time back. What can I say ? Local Photographic Societies in most towns and cities have an important role to play. They serve a function. They meet a demand. I’ve nothing against them. They do what they do and they cater for the keen photographer …….but ? I have a but ! When I was a member was about the time of the Day in the Life initiatives. Twenty Four Hours in the life of a city or a country; Day in the Life of Los Angeles, London, Sydney, Bombay etc etc. Books were published, exhibitions were arranged. I suggested we do one for Chesterfield. That we set a date and a group of us would document Chesterfield over a full twenty four hours. My idea went to the Committee and after some discussion it got watered down to “we’ll get members to submit some images on the life of Chesterfield”. I lost interest in the Society after that. Going back last night little seemed to have changed.

It was great to see Maria and Paul. After the gig we went to the pub for a pint. It was Quiz Night and they’d laid some bread and chips on which Paul polished off as quick as he could while I got the drinks in and Maria got some crisps. We talked about relationships and how people try and control others in all sorts of subtle and manipulative ways.

Chesterfield Wants Me