Friday, 30 January 2009

Funny As F##k Friday.

I'm thinking NHS.

Big Brick Man?

You may or may not have heard, over on Manchester Confidential about the idea and campaign to bring Antony Gormley's "Brick Man" to the banks of The River Irwell. It was originally intended for the small wool town of Leeds apparently it was going to cost the Yorkshire folk money and well anyway it was "airy fairy" so it was never built. Fast forward twenty years, should it come to Manchester? well Salford actually, Should we not want Leeds cast offs? Is it just another wheeled out Gormley? Is he the Starbucks of sculpters? all questions being debated over on MC.
I personally think this or something else equally magnificent would be great for the place, an antidote to all the corporate glass and steel of the last decade. It doesn't have to be by Gormley, I thought Mark Wallinger's Big White Horse was a fantastic idea. People are banging on about us not copying other places and not wanting Leeds cast offs. I bet they are busy typing complaints on a PC in a soulless apartment over looking that fucking big wheel. Come on lets have a bloody great big statue!

Michael Donald.

Image copyright Michael Donald
I found Michael Donald's series "All Things Must Pass" over on Foto8. The series looks at a community in London that is focused on blocks of flats that are eventually demolished. This is a lovely and well received piece of work, great social documentary photography.
Communities dispersed, split, moved on. It happened a lot in Manchester/Salford in the 70's and continues to happen today.
Part of the strength with Donald's series is the superb editing.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009


Image copyright Mark Page

Photography Talks Liverpool.

Focus on Photography
Saturday 7 February
Join Open Eye Gallery and the National Conservation Centre in exploring the work of two of the twentieth century's most celebrated photographers. Complementing the current exhibitions David Goldblatt, Intersections Intersected (Open Eye Gallery) and Recollections, Philip Jones Griffiths (National Conservation Centre) this day of free gallery talks highlights the evolution of contemporary documentary practice through the work of two highly influential photographers.
11.30am National Conservation Centre, Whitechapel, Liverpool.
Join Dr Julian Stallabrass (Courtauld Institute of Art) as he discusses the role of Philip Jones Griffiths in the history of photography and his impact upon the globalised contemporary art world.
2.00pm Open Eye Gallery
Professor Tamar Garb (University College London) will talk about David Goldblatt's photographic exploration of life in South Africa before and after the collapse of apartheid in 1990.
Read more about the exhibition>
Visitors are welcome to attend a single event or the whole day. There is no charge to attend either venue but booking is advised
National Conservation Centre 0151 478 4999
Open Eye Gallery 0151 709 9460

Damion Berger

Image copyright Damion Berger

Damion Berger's series is bucking current photography trends on two counts. Firstly his decision to use black & white, he explains,

" My decision to photograph in black & white was a central choice. Without the immediacy of colour and the blue hue of the water to provide context, one's recognition that these pictures are taken underwater isn't immediate. It promotes a somewhat abstract sense of place which in turn serves to strengthen the feeling of suspension and movement that permeates through the series."

And that sense of movement is trend buck #2. Teenagers having fun and not standing posed with morose expressions, all too rare and oh so welcome.

Monday, 26 January 2009


Mel Trittin from Cigarettes & Purity one of my new favourite blogs put a call out to send in pictures taken as Obama was being inaugurated (first time) last Tuesday. Mine is second row down, 3rd from left the black & white shot.


Is the BBC wrong with this? It seems odd to me, and maybe just a little sinister.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Gorton Monastery and the valuable lessons I learnt there.

The first time I had really paid any attention to Gorton Monastery or The Monastery of St Francis & Gorton to give it it's full title was during my college days. Some lad had used it in one of his projects it was at the time still very much derelict and it's future was undecided.

Fast forward to the tale end of 2005 and it was announced that after much campaigning, funding had been secured so that it could be renovated and turned into amongst other things a focus for the community of Gorton. I thought that it would be a great idea to document the regeneration of this interesting piece of Manchester's past.........of course I was far from the only one.

I contacted the trust and they said that I could come down and talk about it. So I made an appointment with their "Arts Officer" that alone should have told that I was on a hiding to nothing! Anyway I went down, took my portfolio and had a meeting. My plan had been this. I naively thought that this would be a great way to carry out an interesting project and make some money, not a lot, I'm a realist, but some.

The outcome of the meeting was that I would be very lucky to, and it would be a great honour for me to take photographs of the restoration work as many many photographers had asked to do it. I was told that they would try to secure me funding etc and I ended up so convinced that they were doing me a favour that I thanked them very much and left.

I decided that I would start the project in January 2006, a new project for a new year! And just after New Year I rang to make an appointment. After a few false starts I was eventually allowed on site but only with a very reluctant chaperon. I have always worked alone never had assistants or any of that and believe it or not am pretty shy, so having someone stood next to me "clock watching" was off putting to say the least.

Work at the Monastery continued at a fairly steady pace, I photographed where I could as there was a lot of the site I was not allowed to access. I fell into a routine of going around once a month. This looking back was not really enough but hey I was doing this for nothing! I was also shooting 6x6 at the time, colour neg film shot with a combination of a Minolta Autocord and an old Rolli.
Shooting around 10 rolls of film a session and paying for all the developing was taking it's toll on my funds, and still not a sniff of any money from The Trust even though by this point they had started to ask for images for "promotion".

There was a fair amount of local media attention, and after a BBC programme, interest became national. I was contacted by a national and asked to supply some images and joy oh joy got paid by them. I decided that as money was still not finding it's way from the trust I thought that I would start offering some of the more decorative prints for sale via my web site. Now I'm not talking huge amounts here, I was printing them myself 16inch square and selling them for £30, not I'm sure you'll agree a kings ransom!

I sold a few and then low and behold I get a call from the "Arts Officer" saying that "The Friends" some shadowy committee of half wits were unhappy with me selling prints and making money! I had to basically promise to donate the money to the fund or I'd not be allowed to carry on. Well after investing several hundred pounds in film and processing costs not to mention over twelve months of my life I had had enough, I had lost interest in the project and stopped. So now I've got several hundred images of part of the restoration of a church, some of which can be seen here. I thought I'd let some of them see the light of day at least once!
What did I learn from the experience?
  • Never undertake a long term project unless you really believe in it.
  • Never undertake a long term project unless you are willing to do it for free.
  • It's unlikely that you'll ever make money as a documentary photographer.
  • People think that if they let you photograph something they are doing you a favour.
  • Art's Officer's are a waste of skin.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Funny As Fuck Fridays!

How near to the knuckle can you get with comedy? This close, the brilliant Frankie Boyle.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

New Cliches of Photography #5

People with shit over their heads..............

Elijah Gowin

Image copyright Elijah Gowin
Interesting techniques don't do it for me alone. Together with some interesting subjects and a good dose of variety though and I'm hooked...............

Monday, 19 January 2009

Robbie Cooper.

I used to own a playstation, a PS2 I think it was. I'd convinced myself at the time that one of the main reasons I was getting it was to use the DVD player feature. I was soon to get sucked into it's lair. It was a time when I had given up on photography, worked in a pub and smoked way too much weed. Driving games where my poison, I'd sit up till 4am watching my imaginary car going round and round. Then one day I snapped out of it, I took the thing, complete with the games down to Cash Generator and picked up a camera again.

Well that's my little cautionary tale over.

The phenomena of computer games doesn't seem to be loosing any strength, they are now as much part of mainstream western culture as film, and as such many photographers/artists have rushed off to make work about the subject. Nothing wrong with that they should, It's a very contemporary subject that should be explored fully. So what I'm saying is I've seen the "Gamer" photographed many times, and no doubt even a I speak (write) someone somewhere will be scribbling a message to self in a note book "Do series on gamers".

Well by all means go for it, perhaps as photographers we are getting a little too concerned with never repeating ourselves, always feeling like we have to come up with something new. Perhaps sometimes though you can repeat, and just do it, well really really well. Perhaps setting the bar that will be the measure of all photography about Gamers.

I think Robbie Cooper's "Immersion" is going to take some beating though...........

See the brilliant little film above and here for his website

Sunday, 18 January 2009


You know there's a lot of shit out there in the big wide world, and perhaps I'm from a generation that still naively thinks Rock n Roll can change the world, or perhaps I'm just shallow, but I've seen little that depresses me more than Iggy Pop selling fucking Car Insurance............

Saturday, 17 January 2009


Image copyright Mark Page
Not all will close due to the "Credit Crunch"

Funny As F##k Friday

I thought I'd bring back Funny As F##k Friday. So here you go first off this vid which I'm sure you'll admit is piss funny. Apparently Mr P Diddy's mum is in the video! Can you imagine that conversation? Mam, Mam will you be in my video? Yes our Sean but have I really gotta sing "like I'm grinding fer tips" for fucks sake I'm yer Mam it's just weird Sean.......

And whats also been funny today has been NY's Art Photography elite tearing chunks out of each other. Here:

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Anastasia Taylor-Lind

Image copyright Anastasia Taylor-Lind

I was on a tram this morning at 6:30am and there in the first carrage was a fella talking shit and drinking "white lightning". This to most people in our great nation is what would probably come to mind if you said Cidermen. However in small pockets of the country, I think maybe in the woods or somewhere like that, you get these men who dress like it's 1880 and make their own cider or zider I bet they call it, still. Why don't they just go "up the spar" like everyone else ? I hear you ask. Because it's traditional you plebs, that's why.

I'm glad people still do stuff like that. And it's nice that photographers like Anastasia Taylor-Lind are recording this for prosperity. Nice little sideshow presentation with interviews with The Cidermen here:

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Pitting ur feet in yoou moth..........

Wot e twet!

Photographic Zen..

Image copyright David Williams


Image copyright Frank Relle

The latest edition of the excellent online photo mag Fraction is now at
Highlights are Frank Relle's (above) Nightscapes of New Orleans, showing that there is still some mileage in well done and considered night time photography, and Victoria Ryan's unashamedly beautiful landscapes.

Noorderlicht 09

Received today
"16th Noorderlicht International Photofestival 2009 – Submissions welcome Photographers and curators from all over the world are welcome to send in their work and proposals to participatein the Noorderlicht International Photofestival 2009 (6 September through 4 October).To learn more about the theme of the festival and how to submit, please visit our homepage:"

Monday, 12 January 2009

BuRN Baby BuRN.

David Alan Harvey copyright of the photographer

Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey has had a blog for a couple of years. Called "Road Trip" I loved reading it. It would focus on the travels of Mr Harvey and was beautifully seasoned with little words of wisdom on photography and life.

As the months went by the comments section grew into quite a community and Harvey being the generous soul that he is, would organise get together's and portfolio reviews as well as open invitations for folks passing through NY to look him up!

In the last twelve months or so, he has also started an "emerging artists" fund, part financed out of his own pocket, is there no end to this mans generosity!

Anyway things have moved on and he's still as keen as ever to encourage the next generation of photographers, and has now introduced "Burn" There's stacks to see here from new photographs each day, photo essays, articles the "emerging artist" fund along with words of wisdom and encouragement from this top draw photographer.

I wish him and Burn all the best, It's nice when one of the good guy's has a chance to influence things a little bit.

Nice One!

To all of you who have submitted to Expiration Notice we've had some really strong work sent in, and to all those who've not yet got around to it you've got till the 31st. I say that but if you're not selected for the first February edition and we like you're stuff then you will be rolled over till the following months.

We've also changed the submission criteria a bit. It's the gallery representation bit. That's no longer a bar, now it's just age so still 35 or over we think that's the important bit.

Also a massive thanks to the bloggers who have got behind us and given us a plug thanks to

On the down side I'm a bit gutted by the response from my own country men and women........

New Cliches Of Photography #4

The "found" photograph.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Christoph Bangert @ The New Artland Gallery.

Image copyright Christoph Bangert

Manchester has a new gallery. Well I say new, new to me anyway. It actually opened in October 08 but has only just made it onto my radar, well I never claimed to be a news hound. OK so this is good, especially as they are showing photography and that's much needed as we seem to be one of the only cities in the western hemisphere without a dedicated photography gallery. I mean a gallery that shows real photography not a load of secondhand Athena style posters shot by some has been model, you know the place I mean. (RG)

It's a brave show this, controversial (see last post) It may ruffle a few feathers, but that's no bad thing, so hats off to this Small independent space. This show their second, features work by New York based photojournalist Chistoph Bangert and regardless of your views on the relevance of the mediums ability to show us anything new in modern conflict and the morals behind it, this guy can take a powerful picture.

He is also due to do a talk at The Midland Hotel on 29th January 7pm so you will have a chance to grill him over his motivations as only a Manc audience can and should. Tickets need to be booked in advance at £3 (going to relevant charities) from the gallery

I'm pretty excited, about this whole new space and I expect you all to give it your support................... lets hear it for Artland.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Unconcerned But Not Indifferent

Image copyright Tim Hetherington

Interesting article over on by Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin about The World Press Photo Award. I think it's of special interest as Broomberg & Chanarin where both jury members. It again examines the purpose photojournalism in the modern world. The comments section at the end is also worth a read!

New Cliches of Photography #2

Mounds & Heeps

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Wolstenholme Project.

Click this flyer to read:
Wolstenholme Projects’ is an artist group currently based at 11 Wolstenholme square in Liverpool.

The space, in the centre of Liverpool, was renovated in time for the 2006 Liverpool Biennial. Between September and November the venue was host to three exhibitions, involving a total of over 60 artists. The exhibitions, dedicated to showcasing emerging artists, received good audiences and a very positive critical response. Since then we have been focusing on bringing artist groups into the building to develop their projects and share ideas"


Image copyright Muge

I love Muge's pictures. He must of battled amongst the herds of western photographers busy trying to portray his country to get these shots. If I want to learn a bit about China through photography then the best way to do that has got to be through the eyes of a talented Chinese photographer.

Monday, 5 January 2009

The Three Graces.

The Antiques Rogue Show

Liz Smith By Andy Hollingworth
Sometimes the telly makes something really really good, even the BBC, which let's face it these days is prone to make shite like Torchwood No this time they really did themselves proud with The Antiques Rogue Show. If you missed it you've got 7 days to catch it here and if you want to see how the "little man" can joop the art establishment or perhaps more accurately the Museum establishment, and how even Bolton can throw up the odd genius then it's a must see. A fair amount of thought and pondering on Art in there as well, and as for the acting, brilliant! Do we have a better actress than Liz Smith?
All based on this oh so British tale that makes me proud!

Sarah Pickering.

Image copyright Sarah Pickering

Interesting that a young photographer like Sarah Pickering who is more known for her colour work has chosen to shoot her latest series "Incident" in mono. Of course because of the subject it makes complete sense, what would be the point of using colour film to shoot a smoke blackened room? Black & White shows off the smudges that have been left by human activity so well. I love the fact that she has made this oh so unfashionable choice for the sake of her work. I may just add that the above image as scene online, in no way represents the quality of the photographs. I've not been lucky enough to see them in the flesh but even in the magazine Photoworks the quality of the prints is hinted at.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Olivier Pin-fat

Images copyright Oliver Pin-fat

First off I've got to thank local boy, (via Argentina) and great photographer Seba Kurtis for putting me on to this guy, so thanks Seba.

Olivier Pin-fat born Norfolk now resides in Asia and making some exciting raw images. A well known blogger recently said he would like to see more Black & White photography that doesn't look like it was made in 1975, Well I think this stuffs pretty fresh so here you go!

Friday, 2 January 2009

Happy New Year & A Happy New Project........

So after months in the planning (well OK one month) we are now taking submissions!
Over 35? got a great project on the go or in the bag? Not got galleries snapping at your heels? Well fuck em, coz me and our Stan from Reciprocity Failure
had this top idea to gather you all together on an online gallery, showcase your work and maybe get some of you noticed along the way! If you're interested send us 8 jpegs 800 widest side @72 dpi to before the 31st to be included (subject to selection) in the first batch in February.