Catharsis – the process of releasing strong emotions through a particular activity or experience, such as writing or theatre, in a way that helps you understand those emotions.
I find photography a cathartic experience. There I’ve said it.
The image below I captured while drinking a lovely pint of Plum Porter brewed by the Titanic Brewery of Stoke on Trent. Granted there’s not much happening in this image but it gave me an idea for a photography project which would become an extension and if you like continuation of my English project work. A search for national identity. In Post Brexit ( Brexit ! a horrible word) Britain there’s little excuse for a lack of photo projects. The social landscape is likely to be changing quite dramatically.
On the subject of Britain my friend Simon Roberts’ latest project and book ‘Merrie Albion’ looks interesting. Check it out.
Merrie Albion: Landscape Studies of a Small Island by Simon Roberts, published by Dewi Lewis and priced £45 will be launched at Paris Photo, and Roberts will sign copies of the book at 4pm on 10 November. Signed copies of the book can be pre-ordered for £37.50 plus P+P from Roberts’ website. dewilewis.com
Prints from this project will be at the Flowers Gallery booth in the Grand Palais at Paris Photo, and Flowers will host a major exhibition of the work in its London gallery from 17 January 2018. flowersgallery.com
This blog post I’d also like to highlight the work of David Severn. I’ve provided a link in the photographers section. Of interest to me is his Whitby Goth weekend series being as we were in Whitby last week.
I’ve managed to get out with the camera today. A little place out of town has had its Annual Armed Forces Day. I took the dog. It’s like a summer fete but here with the emphasis on celebrating our Armed Forces. I thought I might get a “Make Love Not War – See driver for Details” car sticker but not a chance of it. I went a couple of years back so I pretty much knew the kind of shots I was going to get and was looking for. Still I’m always open for the unexpected and basically whatever catches my eye. In my notebook list of things to look out for I have t-shirts. I’m drawn to the odd t-shirts that people wear and slowly building up a bit of a collection of t-shirt photos. I asked this young lady and her parents If I could take a picture, stressing I wanted the t-shirt and not the girl’s face. I wanted to protect her identity. I wanted a generic t-shirt shot but I love the way the girl’s smile is repeated in the curve of the writing “I’ve got” and the top line of the square. Yeah I’m rather pleased with this image.
Over the next few months I’m going to strive to bring you some photographers you may never have heard of. I’m going to start with three British photographers who are particular favourites of mine with no apologies for the black and white examples shown here. I’m not going to give you a biography of each one because a) I’m lazy like that and b) there’s plenty of information on the Web for you to research yourselves. Homer Sykes and Ian Beesley have recently had work published with the wonderful Café Royal Books while Vanley Burke can be found on his own website. Enjoy !
To be honest I don’t spend a lot of time reading other people’s Blogs. I simply don’t have time. Aware of this I try and keep my own Blog entries short and sweet which probably explains why I worry it’s sometimes short on detail. A bit soundbite ! I don’t dedicate as much time to it as I should. I’m getting on a bit and I’m a bit weary. I don’t have that youthful energy. I’m too busy earning money to keep afloat to try and forge a living as a street photographer and frankly I don’t think I produce the kind of work that sells or there is a market for. Besides when you start trying to make money from the thing you love the magic can quickly dissipate.
I’m going to break the habit of a lifetime and tell you about a Blog I’ve been looking at for a few weeks now. That of Eric Kim. Here’s a street photographer who according to his Blog has managed to make a good living from his passion and if he is to be believed has worked extremely hard and all credit to him. He’s an excellent photographer and a good Blog writer. Generous with his knowledge and informative of other photographers. He thinks a lot about his work and the work of others and is constantly learning which is evident in how his work has developed over the last few years. As he’s admitted his street photography is very different to how it was when he started. Check out his Site but please don’t abandon me.
Every dog Has its Day – Get your coat you’ve pulled
Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time
That we might be exactly like we were
Before we realized
We were sad of getting old
It made us restless
Oh, I’m so mad I’m getting old
It makes me reckless
It was just like a movie
It was just like a song
When we were young
Songwriters: ADELE LAURIE BLUE ADKINS, TOBIAS MACDONALD JESSO
Apparently there’s craze sweeping America at the moment, which I suppose it was inevitable has found its way over here. That of ‘creepy clown’, people dressing up as clowns and frightening the shit out of people young and old. Apart from anything else it’s giving genuine clowns in the clown industry a bad name. People who’ve spent their lives perfecting the art of being a clown for genuine clown reasons are now being undermined by others who think all they’ve got to do is go to a fancy dress shop, buy a clowns outfit and run around their local park, shopping mall, school playground erm being a clown frightening the bejesus out of people with a clown aversion.
I asked a work colleague of mine the other day who this Kim Kardashian was ? I keep hearing her name mentioned. Is she married to that creepy clown Donald Trump ? Apparently she’s a reality TV star with a large bottom which may be due to surgical or cosmetic enhancement. One supposes if that’s the case it was to make her more attractive to the opposite sex my colleague suggested. “What” I said “like a Baboon ?”.
I’m beginning to think I’m living in some kind of parallel universe. Either that or the world is going slowly mad. We’re beginning to eat ourselves, metaphorically that is. That there’s something in the water or the food we eat that’s making us lose a sense of what reality should be. I mean why would you walk around wearing a t-shirt with ‘Not Dead Yet’ written across it ?
I often think that much of my photography is about trying to make sense of this crazy world we’re living in. It’s not about making pretty images of wild daffodils on hillsides or the ‘decisive moment’. That as a practising street photographer I’m like a detective at the scene of the crime, looking for clues. Bits of information which will somehow become the sum of a much bigger part