Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Ken Gonzales-Day

Thanks first off to PETE for pointing this out. When he told me about 'The Lynching Walking Tour' I thought that it was going to be some kind of sick money making tour. That comes, I think from all those shit Photojournalism workshop scams that came out of Haiti earlier in the year, but no it's not like that, this is Art with conscience.
Last year when URBIS was still URBIS and not a football museum when it's remit was still to educate and not merely entertain and make money, they had a ground breaking exhibition,
BLACK PANTHER: EMORY DOUGLAS AND THE Art of REVOLUTION. As you entered the exhibition on one of the first large walls were several huge, almost 20 foot photographs of lynchings. Shit that was too much for many people myself included. I didn't like the fact that it smacked of sensationalism. I'll just add here and for the record that Emory Douglas wanted them as well as the creative department. I can also see their point of view. In the end they were toned down.
Why am I saying all this? It's by way of an introduction to the work of Ken Gonzales-Day and his series 'Erased Lynching' and the (self guided, and that's an important point) tour that goes with it. By removing images of the victims and the morbid sensationalism and gore, and focusing on the crowds he has managed to concentrate our gaze on the perpetrators. We are forced to look at the faces of ordinary ish people committing sickening acts.
When discussing Art with such a dark subject it seems a bit superficial to talk about the fact that I also found it an interesting use of 'found photographs' appropriation and digital imaging.It also educates me. I have never thought about California in relation to lynchings before. Of course it also raises that old chestnut about photography as document.

Monday, 29 March 2010

New Gallery For Manchester/Salford!

A new gallery on Bridge street, right opposite Salford Central Station is to open. SALFORD CENTRAL ART GALLERY or SCAG is over 2000 square feet of new art space which places photography right at the center of it's programming. Starting as it means to go on the first show is to be a right Bobby Dazzler.
'Manchester Poly And the Class of The 70's is a look at the wealth of ground breaking talent to come out of the photography course ran at Manchester Polytechnic during the early 70's. The exhibition features the work of Martin Parr, Dan Meadows, Peter Fraser, Brian Griffin, Charlie Meecham, John Darwell and Kate Mellor. With such a line up this looks set to be one of the highlights of the UK photographic calender for 2010.

But then a noise outside startled me and I woke to realise that it had all been a dream. There was no new gallery and there was no new show looking at why the planets came together for those brief few years back in the funky decade. It had all been nothing but a dream and all we were getting was a fucking Football Museum. You didn't think I was going to let that lie did you?

David Bate

Spent some of the day looking at the complex work of David Bate, His work really intrigues me and makes me want to know more about it.

Saturday, 27 March 2010


Not wishing to come over as the 'Delboy' of the photo blog world but I do have a printer for sale, I'm having a bit of an upgrade. Excellent condition Epson R1800 It's pigment ink based +A3 and has served me well. £100 to the first person to email me at info@manchesterphotography.com good photo printer was almost £600 new. Buyer collects.......

Keepy Uppy

Just as I've managed to finally get my hands on a snide copy of CS3 (In Manchester snide is slang for official, proper, legitimate fully paid up) ADOBE are due on April 12th to release CS5. Above image from the always piss funny PHOTOSHOP DISASTERS.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Rafal Milach

Image copyright Rafal Milach
There's not that many images from Rafal Milach's series 'Black Sea of Concrete' on his website. He has turned the series into a Blurb book. In fact he was a photo book 'Grand prize winner 2009' for the work. You can see much more of it by clicking your way through his book HERE on the Blurb site. Oh yeah and you can read an interview HERE.

A Life in Politics.........

Let that be a warning.........

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Manabu Yamanaka.

Image copyright Manabu Yamanaka

"Of the hundreds of people, I selected 16,
who I believe possess abilities,
which elevate then above normal
human being to a level whose some of the greatness of
Buddha is manifested"
The above was written about his series 'Arakan' which the above portrait is from. Yamanaka's work his hard to look at stuff, hard also for me to understand much of his motivation for doing the work and making the long term series. It's work that comes out of a culture I don't know or understand, but I know that there is something much deeper going on than anything exploitative which if this work had been made by a western photographer I would no doubt now be shouting the toss about along with plenty of others. This work somehow seems, and I hate saying this as it sounds proper wanky, 'spiritual' Is that just me looking at with a daft romantic view and because it comes from 'The East'? I can't put my finger on it.
You can read more about the work HERE and read an interview HERE. Make your own minds up........

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


One of the great things about working HERE is that I get to spend the days with great painting's like FORD MADOX BROWN'S 'WORK' more about the painting HERE.
Click on painting to enlarge and view all the stuff that's going on.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

As I am starting work HERE on Monday, post's may be a tad sporadic until I've settled in.

Top Tips

manchesterphotography has always been about as far away from a technical photography blog as it's possible to get, but if you do want to find out what that small black button on the side of your camera that's marked +/- means then maybe go HERE coz it's no good asking me, I've not got a clue either.

Lewis W. Hine, Spinner, Cotton Mill, Augusta, Georgia, silver contact print, 1909

You can look at photo's all day and then every so often one comes along that just stops you in your tracks, even one from another world away.

Friday, 19 March 2010


When no one was looking, we became the most watched country on Earth
Reality TV is about CCTV in Britain.

David Dunnico has documented these 'hoodies' of the 'surveillance society' including the organisations who operate it, companies who sell it and people who oppose it. The exhibition mixes strong graphic, urban images with humour and reaches a surprising conclusion that Big Brother probably isn't watching you - but your supermarket definitely is.

Reality TV: CCTV
24 February 10 - 27 March 10

Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester.


Thursday, 18 March 2010

DEAR Blacklab...

I read with interest your recent POST on Plagiarism and what a fantastic thing it is, the post and plagiarism. I too love a bit of copying as much as the next man.

There's a couple of points I'm not to sure about though.

Can I take it that you think we've all made enough pictures? Is that in general or in specific genres or motifs? That's where my cliches section came from but even photographers embracing the love of plagiarism will no doubt end up falling fowl. I've also been a long time slagger off of much modern conflict photojournalism as pointless same old same old but surely you can't have too many images in general can you? I think it was Joerg Colberg who said that "that's like saying there are too many books; Or something along those lines. Exploring and appropriation is great let's do it, collage for the 21st century but let's also look at different ways of actually making new and original images and ways of using those as well. I for one am getting sick of that fucking cowboy just as much as I'm getting sick of 'girl in tree' pictures.

Although it's always good to look for new ways of doing things lets not 'throw the baby out with the bath water'.

  • Now plagiarism (I like the word copying) of course there's different levels and motives. The three basic one's that spring to mind are, Your run of the mill "I've left college and I tend to be American and I want a big big camera and I love Alec Soth" type of Herbert. Nothing wrong with that, I once thought I was a Dutch Lady and shot exclusively at night, no prizes for guessing who said Dutch lady is. This is good copying this can also be called influenced by and I think younger photographers should to a degree be encouraged. If they have anything about them they will soon get bored and start looking around. (Does anyone know how this fucking bullet point button works on Blogger it's driving me mad, I'm trying to look professional here for Christ's sake)

The second type is up there in the top right, your good old Richard Prince, Jeffery Koons styley this is always acceptable it's Artistic Mums apple pie, Have fun go play I've even got a bit in mind myself for a wet weather project.

  • The third (there's that bastard of a bullet point again, will you just fuck off) And this is the one I don't like it's the insipid cynical gallery sales shit that is not only accepted but is positively lorded, that's what will stifle and bring this this Art form to it's knees as sure as a Printworks slapper on a Friday night. Sooner 'Trawl The Visual Wreckage' than get involved with that bollocks.

Of course we are prone to repeat and too much work is made for other photographers (bloggers) to coo over, I know that in portraiture I must, where possible, now use large format with my subject square on, full body and not smiling if I ever hope to be taken seriously and this is the problem not the amount of images out there it's that art photography has become the Paris Salon.

Colour correction what the fuck does that mean? How can it be the wrong colour. Full graduations of grey, no burnt out whites, rules of thirds blah blah blah. And books on how to edit? Bollocks that's what it is. Let's not stop making new images or recording the world lets just chill out and have some fun lets all find our own voices. It can be done. The camera is no more limiting than oil and canvas, and it took throwing the rule book out of the window to breath new life into painting and yes that involved plagiarism. I tell you what, Punk photography that's what we need.

  • Anyway always a pleasure Blacklab,

Lots of Love Manchesterphotography xxxxxxx

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

New Cliches Of Photography #20

Crap collage.


Ever wondered where all them photographers of stuffed animals get their props from? I think I have the answer. HERE.

Seba Kurtis: New Website & New Shows

Image copyright Seba Kurtis

More unashamed promotion of one of manchesterphotography's favourite locally based photographers Seba Kurtis who's work I love (Giz A Print). He's updated his WEBSITE with more work and more info about the work HERE, and also has work coming up in the following shows at various shows around Europe Including HERE.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


Image copyright Todd Fisher
Nofound is the blog by French curator Emeric Glayse where I found Elena Chernyak's work (last post). There's loads of weird and wonderful photography over on Nofound but tread a little bit carefully if at work, you may get some funny looks if you know what I mean. Some stuff great, some stuff odd, some stuff trying a bit too hard and plenty from the Dash Snow school.Well worth a visit though.

Why am I shouting?

Elena Chernyak.

Images copyright Elena Chernyak.

I thought I'd spruce manchesterphotography up a bit by adding a "READERS WIVES" section.

Only messing, It's work from the Russian photographer Elena Chernyak's series 'My Mom's friends' I reckon you could only get away with this as a girl photographer, I can just see me asking my Mum's friends....

Monday, 15 March 2010

We've Had The 'mock' Tory Posters,

Now for the labour one's HERE.

Stan Does Blurb.

Image copyright Stan Banos

My Yankee mate, fellow blogger and top photographer Stan Banos has taken the Blurb route to share his excellent series 'SMALL REWARDS'. See a preview and buy HERE. Read about it HERE. Some people sneer a bit when it comes to Blurb books, but I've got a Steidl book with an Ink splat on one of the pages so nothings perfect.

Having been down the Blurb path myself last year and working on a couple more at the moment, I know that it may be 'print on demand' but a lot of work and thought still went into it. I've been happy with the quality as have two "proper" book sellers who now stock it. So viva Blurb and viva Stan's new book!

Tracey Emin

Painting by Alan Hawkins
She's fucking bonkers Tracey, 'mad Tracey from Margate' that's how she gets portrayed. I love her, have done since I first went to Uni back in the 90's. Here was an Artist who didn't "have a plumb stuck in her mouth" as my Mum would say. She's still unaffected and straight talking and has loads of wise words for aspiring artist's. See her interviewed HERE.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Is too much photography messing me up?

Why do I find the Mary Shannon Johnstone series 'BREEDING IGNORANCE' the hardest most disturbing set of photographs I've looked at in a long while? Is there something wrong with me? All the shocking images I've seen already this year Haiti & Chile, I've flicked through but dead cats? Not wanting to take anything away from Mary Shannon Johnstone's pictures but these images shouldn't affect me more than photographs of human suffering should they? I've never seen pictures like these before compared to the thousands I've seen from disaster zones. Is that why? Did the shock of the new remove the blinkers from my eyes for a moment?

Guido Mocafico.

Images copyright Guido Mocafico

I really like Guido Mocafico's typologies even if they are................ how do I put this? A little bit camp.


Letting you know that CONSCIENTIOUS has been redecorated is probably a complete waste of time as there can't be that many of you who don't already visit it.......

Friday, 12 March 2010

Pilgrim Power.

I've just added the blurb to 'PILGRIMS' over on my homepage. It reads thus........

"Manchester United are the biggest football club in the world and I love them. I've wanted to make work related to them for a long time and this, the 09/10 season seemed like a good time to do so. as it's the centenary of Old Trafford, the clubs ground.

Like the club, the ground is also world famous with estimated yearly visitors (excluding match days) of 330 000. If Old Trafford was a church and to millions it is, it would be right up there on the pilgrim trail. Focusing on the PILGRIMS who come in their thousands to visit and more importantly have their photographs taken at the famous landmark, arose this series of portraits. I have along with their family and friends taken their pictures as proof that they were there at Old Trafford. Allowing the subject and designated family photographer to decided the pose and position I now have a set of other peoples travel photographs......

In keeping with the aesthetic, all images where made on a digital compact and printed by a high street shop."


Video by Foto8

No two ways about it when it comes to opportunities to show photography and resources/places to see photography, the UK lags behind the US and much of Europe. Your HEY HOT SHOTS and CRITICAL MASSES are in the UK as rare as a creative bone in a Manchester Councillor's body.

And so it is with great pleasure I can announce the birth of something British and photographic.

CONTACT EDITIONS is brought to you by Anna Stevens & Emily Graham and is a chance for selected photographers to show and sell prints, video interviews with said photographers and others plus competitions, slide shows, exhibitions and fresh bread. (I made the last one up to see if you were paying attention, you were well done.)

They are also running a blog, CONTACT PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG which has loads of good stuff on.

Although based in London they are already featuring three Manchester based photographers SEBA KURTIS and LOCK & HENNER so none of that London centric nonsense. Give a big cheer and your ongoing support.................

Colin, you pipped me to the bloody post!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

The Really Wild Post.

Image David Spears.

I've said it before but I keep doing this blogging in no small part because of the people and organisations I come across. I get people sending me all kinds of links to all kinds of weird and wonderful webby places. And this is no exception;

"Hi Mark,

My name is Melissa, and I work on Rentokil's blog http://www.rentokil.com/blog>.I just wanted to let you and your readers know that we've just posted an interview with David Spears, a science photographer who specialises in macro photography.

http://www.rentokil.com/blog/shooting-insects-for-science/>. I would greatly appreciate it if you let your readers know about it.
Thank you for your time.

Kind regards,Melissa Campbell"

This is one of the more surprising ones! Who would have thought that Rentokil would have a blog. Go take a look. Cheers Melissa I did enjoy it.

While looking up David online I came across THIS. 'WILD FILM HISTORY' website which has got some great films on it. Brilliant this Internet.

Come and get yer............

Image Copyright Jason Knott
Brian Morrison who's studying photography at Blackpool emailed me a while back to say that they were having a print auction to raise money for their third year show. I love Blackpool college. Not only do they turn out some great photography they also come up with genius idea's like this and persuade the great and the good to donate prints for them to sell. Participants include Stephen Gill. Bid on a Gill print only a tenner so far! Go buy some Art........

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Robert Voit

Image copyright Robert Voit

Second lot of spooky trees of the day this time from Robert Voit. His 'NEW TREES' series are more "why are we humans so ridiculous" spooky. These pretend trees are about as convincing as me at a drama group pretending to be a tree.

VISURA featuring Simon Norfolks 'Blenheim Oaks'

Image copyright Simon Norfolk

Latest online edition of VISURA is now out, one of my favourite webmags. This edition featuring Simon Norfolk's spooky 'Blenheim Oaks' a little bit of 'Sleepy Hollow' going on here. And where's that mist coming from? I reckon he's got a diesel FORD Transit running just out of shot.....

Monday, 8 March 2010

Don McCullin @ The Imperial War Museum.

If you are a young photojournalist with aspirations of photographing war & destruction, famine and suffering and think that your pictures are ever going to change the world well this show should show you that you are on a hiding to nothing. If the pictures made by Don MCullin can't change the world, well no ones can.

It's not easy viewing and as the misses said it made you feel a bit dirty walking around looking at the pictures with all the other day trippers. It was a Sunday and busy. There was something for the kids going on at the Quays so lots of them running around with pink balloons. It added to my unease.

Listening to McCullin on the videos you get the feeling that the whole thing makes him uneasy to. He states that he never intended to make Art but he has, and Art as great as anything etched by Goya. Every print in this massive exhibition is hand printed by the 75 year old McCullin in his distinctive dark style.

So could I get over my unease at looking at such images in a gallery setting? Yes, in no small part due to the compassion that McCullin shows his subject and because an Artist as great and as dignified as Don McCullin deserves to have his lifes work seen by as many people as possible.

PS Give his new landscapes a bit of thought.....

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Ikuru Kuwajima.

Image copyright Ikuru Kuwajima
Winner of THE FUJIFILM DISTINCTIONS AWARD 2009 (not for the above picture I just really liked this one) Ikuru Kuwajima has got an absolute wealth of top photojournalism on his site. At only 26 Japanese Kuwajima has relocated to the Ukraine where he is pursuing long term projects. He also has a great blog called EASTBOUND showing his work in progress and travels around Eastern Europe.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Alice In Wonderland 1903

The very first film version of ALICE IN WONDERLAND made in 1903 by Percy Stow & Cecil M.Hepworth. More details HERE.

Fake shops

Obviously THIS would fool me like it has the clampit in the picture but would it fool business leaders? Surely that should be the question.
Why not just invite 'not for profit' organisations to come up with uses for them and reduce the rates for everyone else? Although of course fakey shops is also an idea.