I’d really like to get hold of this book but at £34.85 for the hardback cover I’ll wait a bit. Geoff Dyer’s an excellent writer on photography and his book The Ongoing Moment is a must read. I’m a particular fan of Winogrand after having completed an essay on him for my Masters Degree back then. I think it’s fair to say Winogrand is the Godfather of street photography. Certainly inspired me. I’d like to think he’d approve of this image below. Winogrand once said “when I’m photographing I see life, that’s what I deal with”. You don’t really need any more of an excuse to go out with your camera than that do you ?
It’s the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness, and wasted apples. We were out walking the other morning and came across three ladies picking fruit. Earth mother types. One of them told me it was alright they’d got permission off Andrew the farmer, “frankly I couldn’t have cared less if you hadn’t I told her”. The dog carried on walking, it’s biscuits he’s interested in.
There’s all sorts of places will let you work for nothing these days. They call it volunteering. If you’re lucky you can get to chop down trees. It’s a very manly thing to do is chop down trees. One of these blokes told his fellow choppers I was going to put the image on social media and claim they were chopping down the trees in our local woods. Yeah right ! as if I’d do something like that ?
It’s one of the things that really winds up my my Mrs. People who just can’t help opening their mouths and uttering dribble. One time we were walking up a large hill and it was really windy. This bloke (it’s usually some smart arsed bloke ) coming in the opposite direction down the big hill shouted “it’s windy up there !”. The Mrs was apoplectic !
Current Instagram favourites: Check em out they’re doing some seriously good work.
Andrew Johnston – andrewj.98
lords of the earth – Carl Anthony Bull
It takes guts to stand in the middle of town preachin de word of de Lord. Guts and faith. A man has to have faith man ! Exactly what in though is open to debate. I’m not going to start that one.
It’s raining, the bag for life has gone to work and the dog has gone back to his bed. He’s not a rain dog ! He’ll tell me when he’s ready for a walk….. and a crap !
I’ve just applied for a ‘bank’ job. That’s the term for a zero hours we’ll call you when we need you type of job. It’s delivering car parts around the area. Ten hours per month with the occasional Saturdays. Sounds right up my street. I guess it’s for when other folk go on holiday etc. I’m honest and reliable, friendly and experienced. I know a jubilee clip when I see one anyway. I spent a lot of my working life driving up and down the country.
My website expires tomorrow and I’m not going to stop it. It will save me forty quid a year.
I’m currently reading Modern Nature by Derek Jarman. It’s in diary form about and around his Prospect Cottage and garden at Dungeness. Dungeness is a fascinating place and Jarman was an interesting left field character. A film director artist and gay rights activist amongst other things. This is what he has to say about being English;
” I can’t abide the English system that has everyone queuing except those that have no need to – as they jumped it long ago. Nor can I abide the values of this repression, it’s false houses, marriages, families, the Church of England, sport, all the rotten paraphernalia, the anger fizzes on below the surface waiting to explode ……..destroy”
Derek Jarman on Dungeness
Snowy – Don McCullin
I must have been about twelve. My Dad was on a business trip to Cambridge and he took Mum and me along for the day out. I remember it was a blisteringly hot day and I remember because we’d set off early we took a nap on the banks of the River Camb just opposite Kings College Cambridge as we watched folk punt up and down the river desperately trying not to fall in. Later roaming around the town I remember seeing Snowy. He would busk as a sort of one man band in the centre of the town and these white mice would run around the rim of his top hat. It’s always delighted me that I actually saw this man in Cambridge and this is one of the reasons it’s one of my very favourite images of all time. It’s a bloody good portrait as well.
A few years later at eighteen when I got my first camera ( an OM10 ) and I started to get into photography Don McCullin’s images were frequently published in Amateur Photography, Practical Photography and others. It wasn’t so much his ‘war’ images that did it for me but his many images from his travels around England. For obvious reasons I could relate to these images and they’re still some of my favourite. McCullin was an early influence on me and my photography. Much much later when I did my MA in Photography and decided to do my thesis on being English, McCullin’s Autobiography Unreasonable Behaviour proved invaluable. As McCullin stated;
“So much of my war had involved watching national identities take shape that I began to ask myself who I was. What were the English and what did they represent ? What for that matter did I represent ? I decided to take to the road in my own country to find out.”
“I immersed myself in the industrial communities of the North and soaked up the desolate beauty of cities like Bradford”
” I went into the slums it was hard to believe still existed in England, where people brewed their children’s tea in old beer cans, where wallpaper hung in great furls from damp walls, where fungus grew around greasy stoves that occupied ( as in my childhood) the centre of impoverished homes that boasted of few other amenities and possessions”
Bradford – Don McCullin
I had to admit to this bloke that I’d never seen Star Wars, or ET for that matter. Nevertheless I liked his t-shirt and he let me make an image . No I really do like the t-shirt, seriously. I’m more of a Godfather 1 and 2 man myself even though Godfather 3 was a bit shite. I’ve seen Blade Runner but prefer a film like Leon. I’d have a Leon t-shirt any day if I could find a decent one.
Check out Humans of New York humansofny on Instagram. Seriously good street portraiture and every image a lovely little story attached.
Meanwhile I’ve been extracting stuff off my Website that I’ve pretty much decided I’m gonna close down. Here’s one from a little Blog series I did called Overheard Street Conversations.
Overheard Street Conversations #1
Middle aged woman getting into car at side of man in drivers seat –
“we were going to Tesco’s mainly because of your hair”
It’ll be interesting to see how Trump wangles his way out of this one. I’m betting he’ll manage it somehow by brandishing everyone a liar except himself. Stormy Daniels feels vindicated and no doubt richer but how she managed, despite being a porn star, to allow him and his sweaty arse to squirm all over her is beyond belief. Makes me nauseous just trying not to think about it. Like my dad used to say “I’d rather sleep wi her with her clothes on than thee wi nowt on”.
Here in the UK if Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Semitic, my cock’s a kipper ? He might be critical of Israel and it’s policies, especially towards the Palestinians but that ain’t the same as being anti-Semitic. No scrap of evidence has yet been produced to support the claims by these rich Tory backers who are frightened shitless of Corbyn getting into No 10. That’s the trouble with fake news ? It’s fake and ultimately those who perpetuate it shoot themselves in the foot because everybody will believe nothing, which can’t be right. The Anarchists must be rubbing their hands with glee.
I’m thinking of discontinuing my Website. I can save my self £40 a year and instead devoting myself to this Blog and my Instagram feed which is gathering followers slowly but surely. The website’s rate of return is negligible and I’m beginning to find it unwieldy. For instance it’s not easy to size up portrait images despite it supposedly being easy and the explanation of how to do it is not easy to understand. The support is ok but could be better.
I’ve just been into town and a meeting with two other young creatives about starting up a local lo-fi zine. If it gets off the ground it should be interesting. Watch this space for more info.
Here in the UK we have what is called a ‘Free Press’. It’s all part and parcel of our so called ‘Democracy’. This Free Press means that the media i.e. newspapers, radio and television etc can pretty much say and do as they please, all in the name of freedom of speech which is and should be the bedrock of a free democratic society. Being a Free Press in a society such as ours comes with a massive social responsibility and duty to that society which it is supposed to serve. A Free Democratic press should report facts and opinion based on facts. The problem here in the UK is that most of the time, they don’t ! Most of the time they print lies, half truths, half baked stories and drivel. We are subjected on a daily basis to sensationalism, innuendo and fiction cooked up by people pursuing their own or someone else’s agenda.