Monday, 31 March 2008

Photoshop disasters.......

Image via photoshop disasters blog

After yesterdays post showing how amazing technology can be, here's one showing that in the wrong hands it can turn us into creative dicks. For a good giggle the very entertaining Photoshop Disasters blog

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Brave New world.

Have you ever wondered whats going to happen to the millions and millions of photographs that we keep creating. Just the amount of stuff on somewhere like Flickr let alone elsewhere.Whats going to happen to all those images? Then along comes someone like Blaise Aguera y Arcas. Now that name doesn't exactly trip off the tongue which is a real shame because this guy is a REAL life genius, and is now as we speak creating things in conjuncture with Microsoft that is going to change photographs and photography and our whole relationship with images for good. Digital photography has only just begun, and I for one am very excited. Click on the link for something truly jaw-dropping........

Saturday, 29 March 2008

What now?

This weeks TIME MAGAZINE cover featuring the article "Britain's Out Of Control Kids"
First we had CCTV now British youth. Our American cousins seem to have a fairly dim view of us of late. Are they right? Has Britain finally gone to the dogs? Is it the same as ever? Is it their fault, exporting their crappy culture? See poll on your right.

David Spero

Image copyright David Spero
First saw David's work "Settlements" at The Cube gallery last year. The above image is from his "Churches" project. More:

At The Cornerhouse.

Preview 4th April 6-9pm And on till 1st June.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Bang Said The Gun, Dan Cockrill and Mark Power.

In Manchester by Dan Cockrill
I found the poetry of Dan Cockrill via Mark Power's long awaited new website Dan & Mark, NO Cockrill & Power, yes that's better, are working on a collaborative project enigmatically entitled "Destroying The Laboratory For The Sake Of The Experiment" That work is ongoing and can be seen on Power's site. Cockrill's poetry can be read along with the work of Martin Galton & Sjanneke Milligan over at the brilliant Bang Said The Gun.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Elbow: The Seldom Seen Kid

Sitting here doing work at 11.20 with a glass of red & Elbow's new album, "The Seldom Seen Kid" as the perfect accompaniment. Well recommended.......

Alessandra Sanguinetti

Image copyright Alessandra Sanguinetti

Photographing animals, and avoiding sentimentality or cliches is never going to be easy. Using that subject matter Sanguinetti has however produced a powerful and poignant piece of thought provoking work. It shows our often exploitative and barbaric relationship with domestic animals. This work is filled with more emotion and depth than many lesser photographers could extract from a work on human suffering.

Piccadilly Dreaming

Image copyright Mark Page
Now I know it's hard to imagine how the wonderful Piccadilly Gardens could possibly be any better, but if you can, now is your chance to have your say by meeting up with and ranting at Councillor Pat Karney. Apparently he's in charge of them and is looking to hear from people who have views on the future of said gardens. 11Am Cafe Nero, Piccadilly Gardens, Saturday 29Th March if you want your say.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Fighting The Fascists!

Some of Manchesterphotography's top tips for avoiding CSO's

Ok so calling Community Support Officer's fascist's may be a little strong but so is calling them Community Support anything. I was giving GMP the benefit of the doubt over this whole "photographers getting hassled on the streets shit" and on the whole I still think that Proper Bobbie's aren't to bad I've only been told off once in 10 years that I can think of and to be fair the copper in question was wrestling with a particularly gobby lesbian at the time. However I do keep hearing stories about these CSO muppets including this from Ed O'Keefe. (
I feel that I know you well enough to send this email. After reading your blog / been subscribed to for the last six months or more you struck a cord with me on Tuesday. I'm subscribed to and had previous read the list of the photographers ten commandments but it was the link to the uk photographers rights that I really enjoyed /sat through reading. Then out on Wednesday night giving a lesson onnight photography to a mate we got approached by the community"support officers" in Salford Quays. We got the usual questions, left us feeling angry - we had done nothing wrong."
So having been taking pictures on the streets of Greater Manchester for over a decade and only ever being approached once (see above) I thought I would share my TOP TIPS for avoiding confrontation with ANYONE.
  1. Get a PRESS CARD these are great and make you feel dead important into the bargain. If you are a student on a photography course you can get one. If you are a grown up and supply pictures for print, web etc as a living you can get one. Now this is the thing, you have to prove that you earn the bulk of your living by doing that, however rules can always be "massaged" If you know what I mean. As you may notice mine is way out of date but still seems to fool people, although probably not now!
  2. Act like a tourist/exchange student. Note this technique should only be used in Town/Salford Quays used in certain area's of our fair city may, no will result in a mugging. You will need a rucksack, a camera pouch "sensible" shoes or naff trainers, anorak and either a really silver compact or ridiculously expensive SLR.
  3. Use an old camera. I used a Minolta Autocord 6x6 for years, people would just smile and make comments like "ah a real camera. It changes you from a weird photographer into a vintage car enthusiast type, and no one thinks of a terrorist in an Austin Heeley.
  4. Ask yourself do I really need that whistle & bells half ton of SLR. It draws attention and on the whole the general public hate photographers. They think we are either paedophiles or paparazzi, or both. Chances are that unless you are trying to record Ronaldo firing one past the scouser's or Jordon's arse, a quality compact would make more sense.
  5. Dress like a Scally/thug. This will ensure that CSO's will avoid you like a shit in a swimming pool. The last thing they want is some scally who knows they have no power's to start shouting "wot you goin to do knobhead" This approach is also useful when photographing around them dodgy area's I mentioned, but please only use a compact, loose the rucksack and for fucks sake don't let them think your from the social!

N.B manchesterphotography takes NO responsibility if any of the above advice leads to arrest or beatings.

Friday, 21 March 2008

The Nameless Thing

Parasite or Dream Come True? asks Ian Hough

To keep you occupied over a wet bank holiday, (that's me always half empty) why not check out the brilliant Nameless Thing an absolutely smashing blog from Ian Hough. Well brilliant if your not from Didsbury, Chorlton or a City fan. Pay special attention to "The Four Quadrants of Manchester" post......... here:

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Hin Chua

Image copyright Hin Chua

Some interesting street photography over on from Hin Chua. I especially like the series "The Avalanche"

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Philip Jones Griffiths 1936-2008

1936-2008 Philip Jones Griffiths
Quote: "The ability to keep things in perspective is very important for a journalist. In a tense situation you need the ability to be there, yet somehow step aside; to keep a cool head and keep working without getting frustrated."

It is with sadness that I hear of the death of one of Britain's great photojournalists.

Candid camera is it wrong?

Image estate of Walker Evans

Image Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Is it? Yesterdays post was all about our rights, what about theirs? Is taking a portrait of an unsuspecting member of the public wrong or exploitative? Philip -Lorca diCorcia won a court case upholding his right to do it, as it was Art. Is this a good enough justification? Candid shots of people especially in urban environments has a long tradition, diCorcia's series "Heads" is a modern take on Walker Evan's "Subway" I have been doing some myself recently which is why I'm currently asking myself and you is it OK to do or are we just a bunch of gits? To your right I've added a poll so please let me know.............

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Our Rights

Lot of talk both here and on other blogs just recently regarding us (photographers) and our freedom to perform our ODD (Metropolitan police description, although often pretty correct) pastime, job, passion for photography so from photojojo here:

The Ten Legal Commandments of Photography
I. Anyone in a public place can take pictures of anything they want. Public places include parks, sidewalks, malls, etc. Malls? Yeah. Even though it’s technically private property, being open to the public makes it public space.

II. If you are on public property, you can take pictures of private property. If a building, for example, is visible from the sidewalk, it’s fair game.

III. If you are on private property and are asked not to take pictures, you are obligated to honor that request. This includes posted signs. Carry on reading Here:

Now this of course is USA law but what about us in dear old Blighty? Well it's funny you should ask coz here's the the Rub.

Please feel free to compare /discuss..................

Monday, 17 March 2008

Zen & The Art of Michael Kenna.

Image copyright Michael Kenna

I've been ranting lately, about Lulu (not the singer) Simpson (not the cartoon character) I've been a little stressed (buying a house) I need some calm (not the crap sleeping tablets although I think that's spelt kalm). And searching for something tranquil always makes me think of the work of Michael Kenna. Not always embraced by "ART" photography, his pictures are perhaps too beautiful, a quality that isn't in high regard in the current Art world. He is a craftsman of the highest order, printing these stunning objects himself. Small jewel like prints. He has said that his work is influenced by Haiku poetry: I'm going now to cleanse my mind take a deep breath and indulge myself with more of his work. Join me at PS he's originally from Widnes as well so I'm claiming him for the North-West photographers links section!


We have a "newbie" to photo blogging here in Manchester. Gill Moore's already excellent Scatterdrum.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Lulu lied to me.

I had a little dream.

No not the weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllll Scottish singer but the "print on demand lot" I was so excited when I discovered the whole self publishing gig. I could publish my own professional looking book, as and when I needed it. I spent days formatting it to their exacting standards, sending it, and sending it again and again. PROBLEM UPLOADING FILE It kept saying again I tried. Spoke to some body called Micheal F or Brian M (not their real names) can I help you? your welcome! Have a nice day live chat . I ordered it I waited one week, two weeks, three weeks. It arrived God I am so EXCITED My work in a book, I can pretend I'm a photographer with a book, I can open a separate section on my website, BOOKS it will sell and sell Robert Frank's The Americans all over again!

It arrived OH MY GOD in a packet like what you get from Amazon........... I tear it open.................

I didn't even want to show it to my cat. It looked like it had been printed at the local library. Talk about banding. The pages weren't even in the right order, In short it was just a £10 piece of papery crap...........

I'm going to take two days off blogging to lick my wounds............................

Thursday, 13 March 2008

50 top blogs?

From The Guardian, top 50 most powerful blogs......... "Manchester photography could try harder"

CCTV we love it here at manchester photography!

This is being organised by The Cornerhouse and looks pretty interesting.........."Artist Shaina Anand and Cornerhouse will open the CCTV control room at Manchester Metropolitan University to members of the public" more here:

Munem Wasif

Image Copyright Munem Wasif
"I am a Documentary photographer...... My work starts when news photographers finish theirs." Munem Wasif

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Mr Simpson's whistling penis.....

Image copyright Low Level Liver

Lets face it that's what it is, The Beetham Tower, the architect (and I use the word with my tongue well and truly in my cheek) Ian Simpson's big "cock" extension. Anyway It kept me and half of Manchester awake last night making that horrible noise. How come one silly little man can impact on a cities vista so much and also affect the sleep patterns of all it's central residents?

I have it on good authority that the guests staying at The Hilton last night were well and truly pissed off, and received refunds! Can you imagine being one of the daft fuckers who paid upwards of 300k to live there?...........................

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Michael Todd

Image REUTERS/Greater Manchester Police/Handout
I am very sorry to hear of the death of Greater Manchester's Chief Constable Michael Todd. My sympathies to his family and colleagues.............

Nooderlicht 2008

Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, the NetherlandsSeptember 7 - October 26, 2008
Deadline for
submitting work: 1 April 2008 (prolonged)

Behind Walls - Eastern Europe before November 1989
Main exhibition
Almost twenty years ago the fall of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall changed the world. But until 1989 the walls stood firm. In the communist days of the old East Bloc countries there were a number of talented photographers active whose work could not reach the audience it deserved because of censorship, repression and the Cold War; not locally and definately not in the West.

Monday, 10 March 2008

How To.

Now, I have never had any intention for this site to become one of those nerdy "how to" kinda places but I found this and I think it could be useful and whats more it's free. Word of warning though, please use sparingly..............

Kate Furnell

Image & text copyright Kate Furnell

Kate Furnell is doing something very interesting with her series Will You Clock Me Out? "using still photographs and sound recording to push the barriers of photography formats" as she says over on her website is Something, if your a regular you know I'm very interested in. On top of this she is also a contributor to my favourite local mag Salford Star

Sunday, 9 March 2008

High Culture for School Kids.

One of Britain’s least affluent areas, Salford is rarely in the news for the right reasons, but for the head teacher, Robert Jackson, this is a shame. “There’s a lot of good stuff going on here,” he says. “The schools are a real haven.” more Here:

Colin McPherson

Image copyright Colin McPherson

Colin McPherson is the next Redeye network speaker this coming Wednesday (12th) at The Chinese Arts Centre, Thomas Street Manchester at 7.oopm. He will be talking about two of his recent projects, "Catching The Tide" about Scottish Salmon fishing and also about his recent book "Mersey:The River That Changed The World" although not to sound biased but that title could go to good old River Irwell! Here for his website: and here for book details:

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Friday, 7 March 2008

That's the attitude we like!

Sent by David Dunnico
David Dunnico sent me this over, maybe in the current police climate we should all be carrying them. Here for what I'm talking about: David of course is beating the bastards at their own game! On a serious note though, I have loved the way that this whole issue has flown around not only the UK blogging scene, but world wide. Here for example: freedom of speech is still alive on the web........ for the moment at least......

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Redeye Network meeting

LIVERPOOL REDEYE NETWORK MEETING19th March 2008 7.30pm - FreeOpen Eye Gallery, Wood St, Liverpool.The speaker for this event is Peter Hagerty, a photographer and writer who has been making photographs for more than thirty years. He was the first exhibitions Director of the Open Eye Photography Gallery and also founder of the Edward Chambre Hardman Trust at No 59 Rodney Street, Liverpool which is now maintained by the National Trust.

I'm really looking forward to this one and recommend it as Peter was my old history and theory of photography lecturer at Stockport. And was always very inspirational and a joy to listen to. I'll even leave Manchester and travel to Scouseland for this one!

China Town

I love China Town, and we are lucky here in Manchester in having the UK's largest. After this weeks look at the work of some Chinese photographers I thought it would be a good way back into Manchester. Here for some great info about our BRILLIANT China Town:

Deutsche Borse winner...................

Image copyright Esko Mannikko
This years winner Esko Mannikko, congratulations and here for more:

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Zhang Jungang

Image copyright Zhang Jungang

After yesterday's forage into totalitarianism, (see yesterdays paranoid post!) today it's back to great photography from China, by Chinese photographers. Zhang Jungang has some really interesting images on his mysteriously named website

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

You What?

Fotofest 2008

Weng Nai Qiang 1966

Should you be passing through Houston, Texas between March 7th & April 20th you could catch The Fotofest Biennial 2008. This time featuring the work of 34 Chinese photographers. Here:


Image copyright Zhouhai

Back to China and a long term project entitled "The Unbearable Heaviness of Industry" by Zhouhai and here:

Afshin Dehkordi

Image copyright Afshin Dehkordi

Well done to Afshin Dehkordi who is the winner of Fujifilms Distinction award 2007,for the above image. more here about the award:

Monday, 3 March 2008

Yi Deer

Image copyright Yi Deer

Yi Deer's work is concerned with the history of China. The above image is from his series "The Golden Fairytale". He often places himself in the frame, acting as a character. Here for more of his work, although I have struggled to find more writing about him on the web:

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Liang Yue

Image copyright Liang Yue
I wrote here that I was getting a little tied of seeing work by British and western photographers photographing China. So I thought that over the next few post's I would look at some work by Chinese photographers photographing China, as for me this makes more sense.

And as this is a blog about photography & Manchester, and we have the largest China town in The UK I think it fits our remit perfectly. First off Liang Yue.

Like the hoards of western photographers that currently flock to China, Liang Yue’s work revolves around the rapid changes in China. Her Morse Code work looks at the social issues conceptually. The images are made after one of Beijing sand storms, which covered the entire city in a yellow dust. She then went to various locations with a torch at dusk, attempting to mark and record that indefinable moment between day and night, using it as metaphor for the changing social, and psychical landscape. See here:

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Carl Pinnington

Images copyright Carl Pinnington
Above are two images from North-West Photographer Carl Pinnington. I saw "He Ain't Heavy" which is the title of the series that these where taken from at the Bolton MA show at Richard Goodall's gallery at the start of the year. There I saw them in book form, which worked very well. Some of the series can be seen at although this really is only a taster. Carl's other work can be seen at