Tuesday, 30 December 2008

The Black n White Issue.

Image copyright Daido Moriyama

Image copyright Mark Page

Image copyright Susan Lipper

Image copyright Jason Evans
Black and White small format photography. I've been thinking a lot about it lately. There's been plenty of discussion about it online as well. Commentators and bloggers questioning it's value as a tool for photojournalism. It appears to have fallen out of favour with curators and galleries at least in the US. If it's not shot large format, preferably 10x8 in colour and blown up to the size of a house no one seems interested. I can't remember the last time I saw mono work by any emerging photographer (God I am beginning to get to hate that phrase!)
Take for instance Fjord http://www.fjordphoto.org/ which is a collective of young (not many born before 1980) photographers. Out of over 70 photographers only 2, Grady O'Connor & Nils Orth had work on the site that was black & white, other than the artists who stick in just a couple of mono's all Juergen Teller style. I've used Fjord as an example because many of the photographers are the rising stars of the Art photography world at least the American Art photography world. It's funny because O'Connor and Orth's work stood out for me as well, not only because it was mono but because well, it was a little different. Most of the work on the site is a bit, formulaic, samey. Maybe photographers shooting black & white are the new mavericks!
Here's an interesting articlehttp://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/blogon/2007/03/tip_of_the_tongue_a_new_intera.php I found courtesy of Reciprocity Failure http://reciprocity-failure.blogspot.com/ I know Stan's been thinking about similar issues himself.
This writing seems to be more positive about the future of Black & White and also talks about the current trend for big and colour.
As a foot note I've been photographing a series on Manchester in Black & White for almost a decade. When I started it, it just seemed the natural way to go if you were doing a serious documentary piece. I'm still working on it in Black & White, all be it now digitally. I've still got a year or two till it's finished, maybe by then things will have come full circle and Black & White will be back in vogue, the new Colour !
Featured photo's from
Oh yeah and Me!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Christmas Photographic Zen.

This has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, I'm just preceding all posts for the next couple of days with the word Christmas.

I found this a while back and it's fascinating, watching the way Daido Moriyama works. There's no sound to the clip which at first annoyed me but after watching it a couple of times I think adds to it. I've seen many a film of other well known for want of a better word "street photographers" work, and with Daido it's just less, I don't no, just less showy. You know all that sticking the camera in peoples faces, off camera great ferckin ring flashes, laser guided camera in bushes malarkey. He is after all in my Gods section which he is no doubt well chuffed about. http://manchesterphotography.blogspot.com/2008/08/daido-moriyama.html

Christmassy Goodies

It's become a bit of a Christmas tradition for me the last couple of years, buying myself a couple of photobooks. This year it was "When It Changed" by Joel Sternfeld http://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/mshowdetailsbycat.cfm?catalog=DP522 and "The Day-To-Day Life Of Albert Hastings" by KayLynn Deveney http://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/mshowdetailsbycatAmazon.cfm?catalog=PP034&i=&i2=&CFID=8936731&CFTOKEN=73050694 Both top books from different ends of the scale. Great big issues of world importance through to small moments that make an individual life.
Photography I bloody Love it!
Both books found in Waterstones on Deansgate.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Goodwill To All Men.

Well was it a good un? Mine was. I know I'm a moaning bastard but I do really love crimbo. That whole Christmas bubble surrounded by people you love, usually family thing. Keeping the world at bay for a while.

But that's over now so listen up. This fella is beginning to piss me off
http://www.jmcolberg.com/weblog/ it was one of the first photography blogs I read. It's been around since the the begiining of the known blogging world......... about ten fuckin minits. But already it's become some kind of establishment as far as (western) photography is concerned. Oh God if there's one thing that Mancs hate it's establishment, http://www.bbc.co.uk/legacies/work/england/manchester/ always been a trouble causing bunch. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zgGTQgvCPOU So anyway a little bit like the Queens speech and the "alternative" message

Is this brave of Channel Four or do they just love playing Devil's advocate a little bit like me?

Anyway in response to this self opinionated fuck wit, (the blogger I mentioned not Mr Arab world, although you can see how ego's grow) I give you my Things I'd love to see less of in 2009
  1. 10x8 Banal photo's that look like they were shot by Alec Soth's younger less talented brother (or sister)
  2. Found photo's passed off as original art work.
  3. Blogger's that voice opinions, but dismiss those of anyone else.
  4. Crap photography books published because some photographers names will sell any old shit.
  5. Shit photography posing as art.
  6. Bad typologies posing as something else.
  7. Photo bloggers who are arrogant enough to think that their opinion written over a couple of paragraphs is as relevant as anything written by Roland Barthes, John Szarkowski, Walter Benjamin.
  8. Photo blogger's who can't even be arsed doing a top 10 of things they hate.


Monday, 22 December 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Well that's it I'm shutting up shop for the holidays. A very Happy Christmas to you all, don't eat & drink too much, oh alright go on then, and I'll see you soon and I'll leave you with this................

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Head Of A Man (With Red Eyes) 1938 by L.S Lowry

It's one of my favourite painting's by Lowry. You can keep your Mona Lisa, if you want enigmatic, you'd be hard pressed to find a better portrait. And talk about intense, this picture is straight from the bowls of Lowry's darkside. Darkside the affable Mr Lowry?http://www.thelowry.com/lslowry/lslowryslife.html Yeah them matchstick men and matchstick cats and dogs were the public face.

`I can't do a cat yet. The only way I can do a cat is by doing a very bad dog and then in a way decapitating it and it becomes a cat' - L.S. Lowry.

"Man With Red Eyes" is often thought to be a self portrait although Lowry himself described it as an imaginary portrait. It was painted around the time of his all controlling mothers death, there is some confusion as to whether it was painted before or after. Lowry also described it as a "Way of letting off steam"

Why am I telling you all this? Well having recently been to The Lowry centre to see Jem Southem's brilliant new work there http://www.thelowry.com/WhatsOn/EventDetail.aspx?EventId=3465 it's re-ignited an almost life long fascination I've had with both Lowry the man, and Lowry the painting's. Which goes to show you what a great job Mr Southem has done.

I have also decided that after almost two years of blogging I needed a "profile head"http://www.blogger.com/profile/07052975033689540251 and as often this blog is my way of letting off steam and the fact that there's many a morning when I look and feel like this, I thought yep, that's the head for me.............

I will no doubt be posting about Lowry again February time when the professional art critic and fulltime "dick" Brian Sewell has finished his reputation assignation attempt on old L.S.
although Lowry's got Howard Jacobson fighting his corner so he's in good hands! http://www.thelowry.com/WhatsOn/EventDetail.aspx?EventId=3703

Lovely though it is, to think this is all that Lowry is about is to miss so much.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Funny As F##k Friday

There was a time when Christmas wasn't Christmas without Morecambe & Wise!http://www.morecambeandwise.co.uk/

Tram Heads.

Image copyright Mark Page

Over the Christmas period "Tram Heads" is going to have to take a back seat. (pun intended)


Greg Stimac.

Image copyright Greg Stimac

You know me, I love a good typology.


Jim Turbert

Image copyright Jim Turbert
Like the gentleman in the last post Jim Turbert also has a beard, but Jim is much much better at self promotion and has lots of good pictures of himself. Here: for a fun way to spend some time http://www.jtfanclub.com/ I wonder how many T-Shirts he sells?

Face of Terror.......

Apparently this was the face of terror in Manchester! Is it me or does this bloke really need some PR shots doing? http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1086434_terrorist_jailed_for_life

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Marcus Doyle.

Image copyright Marcus Doyle

Have been meaning to post about Marcus Doyle's www.marcusdoyle.co.uk stunning urban landscapes for a while. I hope he's got a publisher lined up as they'd make a fantastic book. He also blogs under the title of B-mode http://www.marcus-bmode.blogspot.com/

Second Time in Two Days and Again Posting About Pigs.

This time it's back to that old chestnut and the police having nothing better to do than harass photographers. Now it was bad enough when it was Mr photo enthusiast, but now they seem to have the right to do it to proper paid up card carrying jorno's. This is how the home office replied to questions by the NUJ. http://tenpercent.wordpress.com/2008/12/17/home-office-criteria-so-wide-it-effectively-bans-photography/

The bubble in contemporary art is about to pop, blah blah blah

Getting sick to death about hearing how the art market is going to be affected by the credit crunch. Any one in this game for the money must be a bellend. If I wanted quick money I'd be a fucking armed robber............. http://www.jmcolberg.com/weblog/2008/12/a_second_tulip_mania.html

Manchester Markets.

Image copyright Mark Page

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD TO ROCK n ROLL. old English proverb.

I've been a bit slow on the blogging front here at manchesterphotography I know. But there has been a reason for it, I've not just been "swinging the lead". I, together with Stan B from Reciprocity Failure http://reciprocity-failure.blogspot.com/have been busy plotting and putting together the skeleton of an online gallery that we are just about to release on an unsuspecting photo public. I say a skeleton of an online gallery because we need to fill it with some wonderful photography, and that's where (some) of you lot come in.
After various online debates about ageism within the art world and the fact that "emerging talent" really seems to mean "young talent" and the fact that if you've not made it by the time you're thirty-five you are going to struggle. read here: http://reciprocity-failure.blogspot.com/2008/12/too-old-to-f-stop.html and here: http://blog.magnumphotos.com/2008/12/allage_gut_strategy.html and other places as well which I can't find now. Add to this the fact that so many competitions have a cut off age around thirty and it was all beginning to piss me right off.
So me and Stan thought well lets play them at their own game only we'll put out a shout for over thirty fives. All that life experience, technical experience less of a willingness to swallow the latest art photography fad, and we should be onto a winner. We are going to do a proper press release after we've got Crimbo out of the way but I wanted you lot to be the first to know and hopefully submit. So if you want to appear in the first crop you need to be over 35 not have gallery representation and of course be fucking good!
For guidelines contact details and general info go here to our shiny new site. www.expirationnotice.blogspot.com

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Vermeer'esque lighting..........

"The Potato Eaters" by Van Gogh

"The Kebab Eaters" by Mark Page

Interesting post over on Magnum blog yesterday. http://blog.magnumphotos.com/ It relates to a competition that they ran last month looking for links between magnum photographs and paintings. You can see their choices here: http://blog.magnumphotos.com/2008/11/surfing_the_archive_competition_entries.html The article then goes on to criticise photographers who compare their work to that of painters in order to give it some sort of authority.
You wouldn't catch me doing that.

Monday, 15 December 2008


Image copyright Mark Page

Sad Loss of A Northern Icon.

Photo: Sportsphoto Agency
R.I.P Kathy Staff 1928-2008 A.K.A "Nora Batty" born Dukinfield, Greater Manchester.

Jem Southam "Clouds Descending" @ The Lowry

Image Copyright Jem Southam

Two great photography exhibitions on at The Lowry at the same time, brilliant! This one "Clouds Descending"http://www.thelowry.com/WhatsOn/EventDetail.aspx?EventId=3465 was especially commissioned for the gallery. The Lowry are good at this, using the work of L.S as a springboard for creating new work by artists. This time it was a chance for arguably the UK's leading landscape photographer Jem Southam to respond to the work of Mr Lowry.

I think it's fairly well known that when Lowry wasn't creating his painting's of Manchester/Salford streets he was to be found making some of the Twentieth century's greatest seascapes. To choose Southem to retrace Lowry's steps and create new work is a stroke of genius. Southem is renowned for choosing dull overcast light with which to make his work and this fits so nicely with the Lowry paintings that are displayed alongside Southams large format pictures. His placing of the horizon near to centre is also a nice tribute to Lowry.

The show is on until 22 March and I recommend you go see, It's the show area's photography show of the year for me.

PS here's an interview with Southam: http://www.seesawmagazine.com/southam_pages/southam_interview.html

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Justin Partyka

Image Copyright Justin Partyka

I first saw Justin's work way back in Source Magazine winter 2004 http://www.source.ie/ I've been an admirer of his series "The East Anglians" since then. I've been meaning to blog about him for a while, but if I remember right he didn't have a website. Well he has now and here it is http://www.justinpartyka.com/main.php This is a fantastic bit of Documentary work.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

1000 words.

Joy of Joy (and with this clip) King of Kings! new edition of the online brilliantness that is "1000 Words Photography". This "Boxcar willy" ( I blasphemer) clip found on their blog: http://www.1000wordsmag.com/

Fresh Milk.

Okey dokey, first up tonight M.I.L.K (moments of intimacy, laughter, kinship) OK so it should spell M.O.I.L.K which of course is nonsense so they pretended the word "of " is not included but I digress. M.I.L.K or Fresh M.I.L.K coz it's the second time they've done this, eh? clever! Is calling for submissions. 150 lucky people will get their work published in a book called yes you guessed it M.I.L.K, and also get $500 and one sod will get $50,000 which is stacks! You will be judged by Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt. You have till New Year's eve. Oh and bloody wonders in photography competition world it's free to enter (take note critical mass & others). http://www.freshmilkphotos.com/

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

"If There Were A Little More Silence" Online group show by Women in Photography.

Image copyright Michele Abeles www.micheleabelesphotography.com

I'm not sure that I understand or agree with a site just dedicated to women photographers, It just seems well a little redundant. I don't know that women are particularly under represented in photography and the arts, or not taken seriously in the art world, or maybe I'm wrong. I'll tell who should band together, old gits like me. We could form the "not yet emerged and getting way too close to our sell by dates at 40 to ever emerge now people in photography" group. Until that glorious day comrade, I'll leave you with some fantastic images from Women In Photography. http://www.wipnyc.org/


I've been looking for ways to offer some of my work for sale via my homepage. www.markpagephotography.com I am going to offer box sets of prints of complete series, but these are going to cost a bit due to materials. I thought I would also offer Photo-grids which I think is a good way of displaying Typologies anyway. I will offer them at A3+ size which means I can print them myself maintain quality control and keep costs down. I've just got to build a shop page now and get them on. The above image is "25 Potential Weapons Descending in Order Of Desperation" http://www.fractionmag.com/group1/group1.html I think £25 signed & dated is a fair price. I think this is also a good way of displaying "Tramheads" as that project grows. www.tramheads.blogspot.com I course with my superb business acumen I will miss Christmas completely.............

Daniel & Geo Fuchs

Image copyright Daniel & Geo Fuchs

Using oversized portraits of toy figures, including those of celebrities like the one of Andy Warhol above, to look at issues of amongst other things self promotion.That's partly what Daniel & Geo Fuchs are doing in their series "Toygiants" http://www.toygiants.com/toygiants.html and here for their homepage http://www.daniel-geo-fuchs.com/

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

I Am Your Autopilot

I've got a feeling in my water about this lot. Interesting music great video's a desire to collaborate with artists from other disciplines, great stuff. I Am Your Autopilot are a band to keep your eye on. Here in Manchester we often talk about how creative we are as we sit around on the piss in Northern Quarter bars, but every now and again something really creative does indeed come through. Their debut album is now on iTunes called "Robots In The Orchestra" and here for samples on myspace http://www.myspace.com/iamyourautopilot

Monday, 8 December 2008

Alphabet Trucks by Eric Tabuchi.

Felt a bit glum today, Shitty dark weather amongst other things. So in an attempt to cheer myself up, up went the Chrimbo tree and I went on the hunt for some fun photography. I love typologies but often they seem to contain image after image (obviously) of dull modernist Architecture in flat monochrome (not compulsory) So a brightly coloured lighthearted piece of work like "Alphabet Trucks" by Eric Tauchi was a better tonic than ten minutes under one of them daft sun lamps for getting rid of SAD.

Cities On The Edge.

Image copyright John Davies

"Cities On The Edge" is an exhibition which is currently on at Contemporary Urban Centre (CUC), 41 - 45 Greenland Street, Liverpool L1 0BS until 18th December.

It is curated by and features work by British landscape photographer John Davies. It looks in part at relationships between Liverpool and five other European port cities, and also features the work of Gabriele Basilico, Ali Taptik, Philippe Conti, Wojtek Wilczyk and Sandy Volz . Here for the website:http://www.novasscarman.org/contemporary-urban-centres/north-west/

Friday, 5 December 2008

Funny As F##K Friday.

Absolute corker this week. Dave Spikey- Obituaries.

At Last.

If like me you're too poor (nowt to do with credit crunches, just general povvyness) to buy Paul Graham's "A Shimmer of Possibility" in book form, he has at last uploaded if not all, a fair sized chunk of it to his website. http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/possibility.html You can also read a great article about it here written by Colin Pantall. http://colinpantall.blogspot.com/2008/01/paul-graham.html

"I'd Like To Teach The World To Eat Red Meat In Perfect Harmony"

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Call For Submissions?

"Gallery is calling for submissions for its continuing artistic programme based in the visual media. Proposals will be considered without restriction. The University are looking to potentially fill a fractional 0.4 post. Submit a personal project of themed images designed as a precursor to the Final Show project. Academics who might be interested should the approval be granted. They seek a photographer. What?

Is it me or is a lot of art talk and "calls" like Stanley Unwin?

Jean-Christian Bourcart.

All images copyright Jean-Christian Bourcart
I wish I could have a beer and talk about photography with Jean-Christian Bourcart........ http://jcbourcart.com/index.php?ART&media=Photography

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


Image copyright Mark Page

Fowl Camera Equipment.

Chicken head camera stabilizer http://gizmodo.com/5098255/hackmodo-use-a-chickens-head-as-a-camera-stabilizer

Thanks to Martin O'Neill for this. Check out some of the folks Martin's photographed, you may recognise some of them! http://www.zyworld.com/sugarbeach/Hot_News!.htm


Images copyright Mark Page

David White In The Footsteps Of Robert Howlett (almost)

Above is the iconic photograph of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, without doubt the greatest man ever to wear a top hat. This photograph was taken in 1857 by a young Robert Howlett, within a year the horrible chemicals used in the process were to kill the young Howlett stone dead.
Bristol based photographer David White has recreated the process minus the nasty chemicals and death bit. He has photographed many of Brunel's greatest engineering projects using a precise replica camera he had made and a period lens. The resulting images are beautiful, and lugging a camera that size about is stupid. Beautiful images and stupidity, nay playfulness in photography both appeal to me.

A presentation about the work here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_7753000/7753202.stm
More about the project here: http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.brunel200.com/legacy/images/david_white/box_tunnel.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.brunel200.com/legacy/bristol_arts_projects/david_white.htm&usg=__ErnjPeOGQEBtXeBu067QA5-ksTE=&h=296&w=350&sz=73&hl=en&start=2&tbnid=d5wGqDXIsJv1ZM:&tbnh=101&tbnw=120&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddavid%2Bwhite%2Bhowlett%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

And David's website here:http://www.nospin.co.uk/

Found thanks to Benjamin of Duckrabbit here: http://duckrabbit.info/blog/

"Reality Hack" by Andrew Paul Brooks.

Andrew Paul Brooks latest show "Reality Hack" is now open at Urbis. http://www.urbis.org.uk/page.asp?id=3282 It explores parts of Manchester not normally seen, produced in his own unique style. Well worth a visit, on till May. Here for more images: http://www.andrewbrooksphotography.com/image.php?ID=726


Yesterday I got spotted by my first "Tramhead" I am happy to report that bewilderment rather than a smack in the mouth pursued. www.tramheads.blogspot.com

Photo Opportunity So To Speak...

Featured the work of Juliana Beasley www.julianabeasley.com back in May, and It's just come to my attention that she is selling three images from "Last Stop: Rockaway Park", all well priced. They are editions of 15 with 2 aps. All photos are 18X18" with image size at 14.5x14.5". This money will be very helpful in supporting her latest project down in Mexico.
Lets all fuck off the chain stores this Christmas and give art! She can be contacted here: jujubeasley@gmail.com Just tell her "Big Mark" sent ya.................

Tuesday, 2 December 2008


Image copyright Mark Page
I'm not a religious man, I don't think I'm sentimental or superstitious. I also like to think that I'm not easily shocked, but this really stuck in my throat. Barton Cemetery.