Photographs that inspire me – A series

Chris Killip

From Chris Killip’s body of work and book In Flagrante I’ve always been fond of this image. I have the poster showing this image from Killips’ Serpentine Gallery exhibition. Martin Parr has a large print of this in his office. There’s elements in it which remind me of my own childhood. The duffle coat, the sock and sandals. I looked a lot like that little boy. The man reminds me of a character Ken Baggaley  who used to live just down the road from us at Salisbury Crescent. I’m sure he’d often wear a jacket like that and a shirt buttoned at the top just like that. He used to work at a local engineering firm where my Dad worked and if he saw you he’d shout across the road at you, “hey up how tha goin on?” no matter who you were with. This image was taken up in the North East of England.

Teaching T- Shirts

“Look” I said to my learners on the taster morning “I’m not knocking that kind of photography, if someone wants to photograph a host of golden daffodils on a hillside then that’s fine. If they want to photograph beautiful sunsets or a herd of wildebeest rushing majestically over the horizon  then I’m ok with that and I’ll help them do that but let me tell you, photography can be just so much more than that and after over thirty years of using a camera and studying this thing then It’s just not what I personally do. And I’m not here to tell you what a great photographer I think I am because to be perfectly honest with you I don’t think I am. I compare myself with the very best, the Masters of photography which most people have never heard of and in that respect I’m quite average.”

“well what do you do?” asked one of the punters

So I showed them some of my work. I’m not sure they got it ?



Make Art not War !


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.