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 !!
This is not one of those instructional how to Blogs. I don’t do equipment reviews or anything like that, nor do I tell you how to go out and take the perfect street shots. That’s up to you to find out and there’s plenty of self appointed experts out in the blogosphere who’ll tell you what they think they know. If you want my advice then by you’re welcome to ask for it and I’ll try my best to oblige. My wish is that my images and work encourage and inspire you to go out and have a go yourself and attempt to say something about the world you occupy.
I don’t generally focus my camera on street entertainers for the simple reason that it’s too easy. They expect to be photographed, it’s part of the deal they make with their practise and therefore will happily perform for the camera. As such the subject is flogged to death. I don’t turn my camera on the homeless on the streets either. That’s a subject which photographically needs a much more in depth analysis.
The Badger Chronicles Series
January is a shitty month. I’ve never been a big fan really. Here in the UK it’s cold, wet and damp. This last week the sky has been a leaden grey. If it wasn’t for the BBC crime drama Death in Paradise I wouldn’t get any bloody sunshine right now. The temperature this last week has been about 4 degrees. Apologies if you live in a much colder climate and you’re thinking “hey that’s nothing you should try minus fifteen” or something but here in England anything approaching freezing starts to become a national crisis. We can’t cope.
Yesterday my Version Lightroom 2 decided to throw a wobbler and re-assigned the Folder drive to a different drive letter thus rendering all my images missing. Yes I know we’re on Lightroom 7 or whatever but when I buy a software package I expect it to last forever. I only use it to catalogue and work flow my images with a bit of exposure tweeking anyway. So now I’ve got to go through the whole sorry process of re-assigning the drive letter. The bastard ! The good news is that with my Windows phone now set to Windows 10 I can load the proper version of Instagram. Check me out andygreaves54. So I can up my Instagram profile. Hoorah to that !
I didn’t get a good night’s sleep last night. There was a party going on in my head, lights were flashing, thoughts were dancing. If I could have got up and put pen to paper without disturbing the wife and dog I’d have written a bloody good stream of consciousness article for your edification. Not even a middle of the night cup of tea could send my unwelcome party goers home so I just had to lay there and keep quiet and still.
I’m a bit into fashion. I think fashion is cyclical, what goes around comes around. These days I can’t afford much. If money were no object I’d be going for Armani and Boss with the occasional bit of Gucci and Prada thrown in. A man’s clothes should be simple, unfussy and well made. I can’t be doing with needless buttons and fussy paraphernalia but plenty of pockets for man things. I love a good pair of shoes. Traditional and rugged in design. Recently I’ve been getting my clothes gear from a bloke on the market at knock down prices. I love browsing the Vintage clothes shops, like I said what goes around comes around. I remember when the Chopper was released by Raleigh bikes on an unsuspecting British public. Robert whatsisname over the road had one. He had everything. The first version the handlebars were just fastened by a bolt to the cross bar. Consequently the cow horn handlebars ( see t-shirt for illustration) worked themselves loose resulting in some unforeseen road accidents. Raleigh then released a version where the handlebars were welded.
John Steinbeck writing about Robert Capa – An extract from A Russian Journal with photographs by Robert Capa – published by Penguin
“Capa has one curious quality. He will buy a lighter, but as soon as it runs out of fluid he puts it aside and never uses it again. The same is true of fountain-pens. When they run out of ink, he never fills them. A pencil he will use until the point breaks, and then it too is laid aside, and he will buy another pencil, but he will never sharpen a pencil. I flinted and filled his lighters, sharpened all his pencils, filled his pen, and got him generally ready to face the world again.”
Robert Capa writing about John Steinbeck
“My four cameras, used to wars and revolutions, are disgusted , and every time I click them something goes wrong. Also I have three Steinbecks instead of one.
My days are long and I begin with the morning Steinbeck”
USSR. Russia. Stalingrad. August 1947. – Robert Capa
Today’s good news is that Donald Trump is not coming to London amid fears of mass protests. The gobshite has shit it ! Neshed it. Chicken ! Yella ! Not only is he a gobshite but he’s a coward as well. In a way I’m a bit disappointed. It’s a long time since we had a really good demonstration. Not since the Poll Tax Riots in fact. A Donald Trump visit would fetch everyone out; the Communists, the Anarchists, the Gays, the Lesbians, the Blacks, the disabled, the Punks, fetch everyone ! Frankly I don’t think the Authorities could handle it. The whole route from Heathrow to the centre of London would be lined and the cost to the police would be astronomical. In fact I reckon our Prime Minister has been on the phone to the big orange twat, “Hello is that Donald Trump ? Do you mind awfully if you don’t come to London after all ? To be honest Donald I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment what with the NHS in crisis an all “.
I found myself watching a programme on TV this week. Like ya do when you’re waiting for your tea. It was the actress Miriam Margolyes ( she’s found herself a nice little job hasn’t she ) travelling around the American South visiting places. One old bloke she talked to told her how God had spoke to him the other day and God had said “Trump he’s ma man”. I nearly choked on my own teeth ! If anyone tells you that they believe God is on their side then do a runner. I’ve been to New York four times and Washington once and I loved them. Even so I can’t really say I’ve seen America can I, but what struck me about America was its contradictions. I mean I was in the hotel room and on the TV was the film Leon by Luc Besson. In the film there’s a tacit implication that the girl Mathilda is having an affair, even though she’s twelve, with Leon the hit man. Now what was interesting was that bit in the film had been erased out for the American audience which actually made it more implicit not less but hey”. So that’s ok but a block from the hotel there’s a video store and at the back of the shop you could buy porn videos of people shitting on each other. I don’t get it ?
Why anyone wants to paint the word “cock” on a brick wall is beyond me but you find these things on a walk.
Ok so it’s time to get back to some street photography. The street is accessible and immediate. I was in London a couple of years ago. I’d been tramping the streets all day. I was on Oxford St. The sun was going down and the winter light was fantastic. I noticed this bloke in red across the road collecting for the homeless charity Shelter. There’s been a lot of talk about homelessness over this Christmas period. There’s something about this shot that I love. It’s the young woman on the right walking towards me. The look on her face is classic. I love it when someone engages with me and the camera.
Gimme Shelter ? A classic Rolling Stones track ……..” It’s just a shot away”