I am trying to put together a presentation for a talk to a school next week on the theme of Light and Dark using a retrospective collection of images. One of the difficulties is not getting sidetracked when trying to look at old work without getting embroiled in editing it. The tools available in the software I use for post production, Adobe Lightroom Classic have changed and I can now realise some fantastic pictures from the information available in old digital files effectively the modern negative. The picture here is a prime example I love what I have been able to do now using the new tools. The picture is also a selfie the beady eye at the bottom of the frame
I am available for one on one or small groups for tuition if you would like to know what I do. Drop me an email there is a link on here.
Today’s office is Starbucks at Hartshead Moor, Service Station. Drinking out out of paper because the pot-washer is broken.
Having visions of a human pot washer sitting in a shitty room behind the scenes having a nervous breakdown or a heart breakage.
Image taken with Huawei P20 pro on Aperture setting at f0.95. Processed in Lightroom Mobile using my own black and white high contrast pre-set and a little burning in. I find getting a satisfactory image straight out of the phone impossible. Same with a camera really. If you want to learn how to do it get in touch.
There have been many influences on my work and inspiration comes from many sources. I can be inspired by the human form, music, the landscape, the enthusiasm and actions of others, music, to name but a few. The photographer Robert Adams has been both for me. An English language academic in the U. S., turned photographer he has for me all the right qualifications as a guru. I have tried to read Sontag and Barthes but for me they don’t speak the right language. (Notice that they don’t get a link here you’ll have to Google ’em yourself) Adams’s book ‘Why people photograph’ is a seminal work. It is a collection of articles and critiques. Adams once said “Your own photography is never enough. Every photographer who has lasted has depended on other peoples pictures too – photographs that may be public or private, serious or funny but that carry with them a reminder of community.”
Over the years I have developed a visual signature, a creative personality. How did I do it. Influence. I took lots of pictures. I looked at millions of pictures to discover the photographers and artists that I wanted to emulate. I studied their work. I bought books. I have never tried to copy other’s work. I know some teachers think that’s a good way to learn. For sure one of the biggest influences has been Ralph Gibson and for me it is obvious in many of my pictures including the one of the woman in the header above.
However although I don’t copy, often a picture is or almost is a pastiche of something else, for example the picture here of Chloe climbing stairs. When I took it Marcel Duchamps Nu Descendant un Escalier‘, was definitely in my mind.
On another occasion I was overtaken by a black dog in snow I quickly snapped a shot which reminded me so much of this one by Joseph Koudelka. Koudelka has been an influence for sure. I am fascinated by white lines at road junctions because of this shot.
A few words about books. Art and photography books can be expensive and the chances of finding a bargain in a charity shop these days are slim. You can of course view work on the internet. However the Photofile and Photopoche books are really good value for money. New they are 8 or nine pounds new and can be bought second hand on Abe or Alibris. The new ones can be bought on Amazon. The Photopoche ones are written in French. I have around 40 of them and they do fit in your pocket. They are from the same stable and are identical in size.