I am a DJ I am what I play !

A few weeks ago an old friend of mine invited me on to his Hospital Radio show to talk about photography and my selection of music for his Seven Decades of Heaven slot. I took the opportunity to take along my camera, well why not ? and get some shots while Darrell did his thing. He’s an excellent DJ, knows when to talk and when to shut up which is more can be said for some of our nationally known DJ’s. A photography mate of mine once said to me that he believed any professional photographer should be able to come out of any situation with a decent set of images. On that maxim ( and I agree ) I approached this situation. It was a small studio with no natural lighting. Not only do I believe I should come out of any situation with a decent set of images but that you have to work with the space an all it’s clutter and paraphernalia. Not a bad job me thinks.

For those of you interested in my Seven Decades of Heaven playlist:

1950’s – Hounddog – Big Mama Thornton

1960’s – A Day in the Life – The Beatles

1970’s – Strange Town – The Jam

1980’s – Appetite – Prefab Sprout

1990’s – On Every Street – Dire Straits

2000’s – Hometown Glory – Adele

2010’s – Mirrorball – Elbow

1960

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Radio Radio

It was great to be a guest on my mate Darrell Roberts’ Thursday evening radio show on Millside Hospital Radio   

I got to choose seven tracks from seven decades for his 7 Decades of Heaven at 7 feature. Bearing in mind this is a hospital radio I kept my choices as eclectic and middle of the road as I could. Nothing too heavy or left field. I injected a bit of a street ( photography) theme as well. Here’s my choices;

Big Mama Thornton – Hound Dog

The Beatles – A Day in the Life

The Jam – Strange Town

Prefab Sprout – Appetite

Dire Straits – On Every Street

Adele – Hometown Glory

Elbow – Mirrorball

All these can be found on You Tube or Spotify should you wish ?

Taken with Lumia Selfie

Darrell Roberts and I in the studio

Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks: Born 1912 Died 2006 –

Worked on film, music and writing as well as photography. Acclaimed for his picture stories published in Life Magazine.

Best known as a film maker Shaft (1971 ) which he wrote and directed.

Covered stories for LIFE on Black Muslims, Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver and the Black Panthers.

You can see more of Gordon Parks work here. Gordon Parks  

Keyboard Warrior

Keyboard Warrior

I had one of those ridiculous discussions\ debates on Facebook the other day. As usual it quickly descended into mud slinging and personal insults. Not from me I hasten to add though I’m not entirely blameless, my initial post was a little inflammatory. Still you can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs. I don’t know why I got involved other than it was on a subject I care about and people being led a merry dance pisses me off. A bloke (it’s usually a bloke ) was bemoaning the fact that his body of photographic work had failed to meet the criteria for success which would have granted him some letters after his name. He’d travelled hundreds of miles and spent considerable amount of money in his attempt to reach this particular state of photographic nirvana only to be knocked back yet again by so called experts who one assumes had the necessary letters after their name ( these particular distinctions) and therefore were qualified to dispense advice and support etc etc. I waded in. Why was he even bothering with this charade ? Did the likes of Cartier-Bresson, Arbus, Frank, Winogrand, Brassai, Ray-Jones et al put their work in front of panels to get some distinction or other ? Is this what photography is or should be about in this Instagram age ? Having your work judged by middle aged in blazers who don’t know their arse from their elbows was probably a little bit harsh of me but you get my point dear readers ? Hope so ? One or two took offense as you can image and as I say it quickly descended. Me and my big mouth eh ? I fought my corner but was labelled as ill informed, thick and a co-conspirator with a bloke who tended to agree with me. I’ve left the Group now, I’ve left them to it. I do hope the argument is still raging though. I don’t know why I joined the Group in the first place since their photography approach and mine are I think at different ends of the spectrum. That’s fine though, not a problem. Photography is a broad church and for what anyone wants to get out of it. Distinctions and Panel Judging is not for me. What really tickled me though was not for the first time I was referred to as a keyboard warrior ? Someone agrees with you on Social Media and they press Like and that’s ok but you don’t agree with them and you become a ‘keyboard warrior’ like it’s an insult. Some people love to put their opinions on Social Media but can’t take it when someone challenges their opinion.

During the course of this debate I pointed my audience in the direction of this post by celebrated photographer Paul Graham which I think is well worth reading – Photography is Easy Photography is Hard 

I’ve fallen in love with my wife.

Technology 

My email account on my Windows Phone started working again after about a week. I’ve no idea why it started working again any more than I know why it stopped working in the first place. I deleted the account in Settings several times and double checked the what do you call its more than once. It occurred to me that the  Chinese blackmail man might have got into it and buggered about with it but that seemed a bit far fetched. Numerous searches on the Internet  of Windows Mobile phone forums failed to find a solution either. I find those things as much use as chocolate teapots. A radical and drastic  resolution was to factory reset the phone so I prepared of that eventuality by manually writing down all the phone numbers I would certainly lose. I also spent some considerable time deleting archive crap from my email account on my laptop. I’d like to think it was these two actions that brought about it’s rise phoenix like from the ashes. I like my Windows phone, my Lumia 535 but I’m not convinced Microsoft devote as mush time to them these days as they should.  Just because they’ve lost the competition to Android phones, Samsung etc doesn’t mean they’ve got to give up the ghost on the rest of us who don’t want to shell out thousands of pounds for a new phone every ten minutes.

Photography 

British photographer Paul Reas has just published a 30 year retrospective of his work which you can read about here Fables of Faubus 

Here’s a classic image by Tony Ray-Jones: Brighton Beach 1966

Poetry 

The Luckiest Guy Alive John Cooper-Clarke’s second book of Poetry arrived today and it’s already a classic. JCC is now sufficiently well known for him to be applauded by pop Artist Peter Blake to have designed the cover and very nice it is too. There’s some crackin poems in there, some I’ve heard and some I haven’t. I’m gonna try and memorize the brilliant ‘I’ve Fallen in Love with my Wife’ in time for Valentine’s Day next February.