Where Photography and Poetry Meet – A Discussion

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:






I was helping out a neighbour yesterday. He mentioned he’d not looked at my website lately. “That’s alright” I told him, “I’m updating it at the moment, it’s been about a year since I updated it so it’s about time there was a change”. There was a pregnant pause. I felt the need to elaborate, to fill in the void as it were, “I think you’ll find the stuff is a bit more edgy this time around”. “oh” he said, “is that a term often used in the art world?”

As I’m constantly looking back at my images ( and editing them ) I’ve just realised I’ve got two images of men with facial bandages.

The Dog’s Tail

I’ve noticed some of my blog posts now come with adverts. I don’t endorse any of these products but I’m guessing it’s the price I’m paying for this free blog writing facility here on WordPress ? Such is life. I’m also guessing that my blog is now sufficiently popular at 602 subscribers to warrant such advert attention. I’m flattered kind of.

That’s not me in the image above by the way. This bloke was capturing the sea so I took the opportunity myself. He didn’t mind although I’m not sure he fully understood my approach. He had a standard digital camera with a neutral density graduated filter on. Not my approach but hey it’s a broad church this photography lark. I very often find photographers a bit reticent to talk, engage in conversation. They can be a bizarre bunch can photographers.

the wife with her own camera and a straight horizon

My main problem with shooting seascapes is getting the horizon dead straight. I know you can straighten in the edit but for me the challenge is to get it right in the camera and negate the need for cropping. If it isn’t straight it tends to get deleted. The Fuji X Pro with the standard lens I find is easier than the Nikon D300 with zoom lens I find but it still takes practice and concentration.

The wife has discovered the joys of mobile phone photography while on our holidays. We were sat in the caravan listening to the rain and looking at her images from that day and doing some impromptu editing although she didn’t realise it. Two very similar images of the dog on the beach and it came down to the angle of the dog’s tail. Whether the one with the tail pointing up was better than the one with it pointing down. Yes it was that finite ! In my opinion the one with the tail angled upwards was the better, she turns to me and says “is this what you spend hours upstairs doing on your computer?”. I think she’d finally arrived at a point of understanding with my images.


Just Being

We’re back off our holidays. We’ve had a great time. Celebrating ‘just being’ because believe you me I don’t take holidays for granted and in these troubled times I don’t take being alive for granted either. Sometimes we need to just stop and live in the moment. If that’s one thing my dog teaches me, it’s to live in the moment. I like nothing more than to walk the beach, camera in hand, watching, listening, looking. Listening to the waves. Feeling the wind on my face. Looking at the play of light, the colours of the clouds, the brilliant white of the waves. Just being!

Stay tuned for some holiday inspired photo work.

My 12 Street Photography Tips

If I thought for one minute that I was a successful photographer slash street photographer I might be a bit more confident in offering you my top tips for better street photography. You’ll find lots of other websites and street photography blogs offering similar advice with maybe a proven track record in the genre;  publications, sales etc etc. Nevertheless what you’re about to read I hope you’ll get something from. These are just  my thoughts and feelings on the subject based on over 30 years of using a camera.

  1. As Winogrand said something like ‘When you put four edges around a set of facts you change those facts’. It really is as simple as that. Don’t make photography hard for yourself.

2. Know your camera. We had an acronym in the iT world RTFM … ‘Read the F**** Manual !’, the same applies to photography. Know your camera and get to a point like driving a car where you operate it without thinking.

3. Follow your intuition and instinct. If something catches your eye it’s probably good for a photograph. Shoot first, think later.

4. Anticipate the moment. Keep looking !

5. Make lists of what to look out for when out with your camera. Make notes. Carry a notebook.

6. Study the work of other photographers and in particular the recognised Masters. know and acknowledge your influences.

7. Put the miles in. The more you practise the better you’ll get. Photography is like fishing. You have to be patient.

8. Know what’s going on in the world. Yes that means politics. Politics gets played out on the street everyday and everywhere.  Sometimes in grand eloquent gestures and sometimes very subtly.

9. Study human behaviour. Psychology and Sociology are good starting points but don’t forget there’s Anthropology !

10 Educate yourself. You never stop learning. Read books. Don’t just read about photography. Read about life. Read the critically acclaimed books about  your own country and people. Read the classics of literature. I read John Steinbeck because I like his style of writing but read anything.

11. Photography and especially street photography puts you in a unique position. Some would say a powerful position because you see people in a way they do not necessarily see themselves. Be aware of this ! Think about this.

and finally

12. You’re never going to survive unless you’re a little crazy !