Thursday, 23 December 2010

The snow leaves, the post arrives!

Post has been fashionably late the last few days and I have been patiently waiting for the arrival of many prospective parcels with presents inside for family and friends, some are still missing in action but today there was one less to worry about. The arrival of my new book, I know it's hot on the heels of the last one but I felt the need and it was one that had been brewing in my head for some time.

Open Wide Plastic Panoramas is a collection of Holagaramas and Dianaramas made over a number of years and in various countries. The book contains loads of images which are double page spreads, 108 pages broken down into the loose themes of Land, Water, and Gatherings.

There is something fantastic about opening a package that you sort of have an idea of what is inside but then you really don't know quite what to expect. Nothing like the smell of new book!

Whatever you do this Christmas and whatever way you spend the season enjoy the time and if there is one thing I know I love it's seeing the look on other peoples faces when they open something they weren't expecting but really love.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Snow Arrived

Trapped inside all day today but not due to the snow, I'm looking after my youngest who has finally succumbed to the seasonal yuck that is a virus. I look from the window with mixed emotions, desperate to be outside experiencing the cold and the fresh snow falling at a great pace, the hard edges of the road below softening each time I get to look out and check the depth.
The heat coming from her small body is in stark contrast to that which I can feel against the glistening glass of the window.
I only have my phone upstairs with me and it seems I can't get away long enough to find the pinhole I wanted, so todays pics will be from a low rez iphone app not something I normally do but heh I want to share the snow here!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

The Snow is Coming!

I have been trapped in a strange mood lately, not a negative one but something that has prevented me from making images this last month. I have done nothing of consequence except take pictures of the rapidly growing kitten, not something I would normally do but then new kitten new baby I suppose everyone has a fascination for a while. As for having no theme or focus this month I expect that is because I have been distracted with the prep for the exhibition. I can now move on, it is down had some great response but I would have liked more sales but that is the current climate here.

The climate is my focus now, I'm hoping to travel tomorrow and the impending snow is a little worrying it will possibly delay me or at worst it just won't happen another day will be on hold till later. In some repects though the change will give me something to do. I have been wanting to get on with my pinholes for some time and I am feeling surrounded by lots of potential activities. The snow is something I made images of last year and it will be great to revisit the subject. Last year the images were also made using a Diana F+ as well as a Pinholga here are some of them.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Pinhole and Plastic Book

I'm feeling more relaxed now, my exhibition is up and my book is out and getting some nice feedback, I haven't done as much promoting as I should or could have done but now I have a bit more time on my hands to do that. It took me a while to put together and I left the book to brew for a few months, I think it's a good thing to do as you come back to the book with fresh eyes and a new perspective. Some images remained and others were removed, the theme was narrowed down to give more focus and hopefully the final result is something intimate that people will want. The hard back version,though I say so myself is beautiful, blurb's production on the print is great.

The majority of the images are centred around the beach I grew up on, so I have a strong emotional connection with this area. The fleeting nature of the human figure in this landscape is what interests me, the beach has not changed much over the years but I wonder how many lives this piece of coast has had an impact on. The images contained within these pages hope to capture that transcience of the figure, the lack of impact, fortunately, that we have on this landscape.

A lot of the images if you follow my flickr or lomo homes you will be familiar with but there are also new ones in there.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

PInhole and Plastic Exibition

Wow! talk about a long sleep in of course now that the exhibition is up and running my body decided it had had enough of three hours sleep a night for the past week or so and it caught up in a grand fashion. All eighteen pictures are up on the wall and all are for sale, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I have had some great feedback already. The Pavilion Cafe in Dulwich Park is a meeting point for all park goers, especially when it rains. A hub of life and bubbling conversation it's walls are a well known gallery for those in South London and often further afield.

I decided on a mixed theme Exhibition as it was so difficult to narrow down the thousands of images I have but also the current work was mostly based around water and the coast and I wanted something that park goers could connect with especially if they are not regular beach visitors. The images were made with a number of different cameras, mostly Toy cameras old Dianas and a Rand from the sixties and new Lomo Diana+ and F+ along with my fave the Holga. Pinholes have also featured heavily and I have used the Pinhole Blender Mini 35 for most of these. Eighteen images are featured and most of those that know my work online will be familiar with them.
Also featured is a picture of the cover of my newly published book with the same title "Pinhole and Plastic Shots on a Beach" this is available in softback, hardback and imagewrap from my next post will feature some pics from this.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Missing month!

A little image for Dia de los Muertos!
October seems to have vanished in a blaze of glory or at least glorious colour, it has been filled with many events that would have been worth talking about at least at the time but in retrospect seem a little pointless to comment on at great length. I am a year older but also a year younger...than I thought! now this worries me because if I'm doing this forgetting thing now then it's really all down hill from here.

Did I mention I now have an allotment?! well I shall be taking images whilst I convert the plot into something more useable, it wasn't wildly overgrown but it has and is still being cleared slowly but surely and I have some great ideas for the biodiversity side of things with a living roof on the shed, that is soon to be erected. I have developed a new ability to sense where waste scaffold boards are hiding and grab them for raised beds. I also have great plans to use the shed as a Camera Obscura at the same time as a potting shed! I shall post pictures of the developments once I'm not using a film that is meant for the Art of Waiting project, though I have been using a number of cams including a Diana mini holga and LCA to record the changes.

Halloween celebrations have also been and gone but here they are a little bit of a damp squib but we are catching on, I should have pics of an Anime/Manga convention with some very 'cool' costumes which was held at Excel on the last weekend of October.

I have also been busy putting together a new book which I can now say is published and ready to view. This one has been a while in the making as I wanted to get the feel right. It is available to buy from Blurb and I have also been able to get a local bookshop interested. I hould at the moment be preparing for an exhbition in Dulwich, South London but I'm waiting for Frames and of course my prints are not quite as expected so the little time I have is now being wasted with waiting for corrections. I shall post again with details soon as I only have a few more days before it is supposed to be up. Love the pressure!!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Toycam Book Best Seller!

It's been a while since my last post and lots has gone on and I feel guilty for not sharing, anyway the best thing so far at least for you to really share in is the publication and the obvious great reception that the Toycam Book has received. It is in the best sellers listing on Blurb. The book was put together by some very dedicated members of the Toycam community over the last year. I must say all their efforts have been rewarded, it looks fantastic now it just needs to be bought.

The book has 49 artists contributing and over 100 pages and images, it is available in both softcover and hardcover versions. The book is a wonderful collection and if you are passionate about Toycam images then this is most definetly the one for you.

Way back in May I thought I had this image in the book, it does however turn out I was right in my speculation and it wasn't this one at all but the one of the blossom (above) again a double exposure but missing my little one!

Whatever you do, enjoy the book a lot of effort has gone into its creation.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Impossible view!

Continuing with a look at what happened to my images whilst in France here are some more with a close up of the "Killer Crystals" they are quite interesting in fact but not certainly not good for the pics. These images were taken at Le Pont Du Gard.

The darker image is the iphone pic of them before I returned to scan them properly. They have faded quite a bit, I shall do a review of them again in a week and rescan if there are significant changes. A close up showing the crystals!

Friday, 3 September 2010

More impossibles disappearing Instantly!

Here are some Impossible PX pics from France that are disappearing before my eyes, as I was saying in my previous entry the film was working in temperatures averaging 34 deg so I suppose it was going to cook pretty quickly but I am amazed at the amount of crystals on these, especially as it is supposed to be the more stable 100PX. I'm curious what the 600 will do now that I'm back in England.

The darker images here were taken on a phone within a day or so of them being taken so in some respects they had already started their deterioration. The scans were made one week after returning, if I had realised I would have scanned them within minutes of emptying the car!

Arles was hot and my SX70 was always in my bag so it could have got warmer than ideal. This image was taken while sitting in the shade of the Ampitheatre, now used as a Bull Ring it was a very bright day beyond the shade, the image was covered as it came out and then put between the leaves of a sketchbook straight away. The gloop, as usual spilled out the back. The chemicals did not spread to the top and there is a build up of crystals primarily at the top where the streak is, though the rest is covered in what looks like a fine misting of salt.

The next image is the Chappelle of St-Gabriel Tarascon we came across this place whilst driving west toward Le Pont du Gard, it was amazing, set in an olive grove it had once had olive presses and been the centre of a large commercial business hundreds of years ago, now it was silent but for Cicadas and their susseration in the tinder dry landscape. Sadly this image didnot like the heat it went brown straight away i didn't bother taking another. Instead I look forward to the Holga images of the place.

Solargraphy Project Featured!

The project I am currently working on with a group of children and adults is featured in my local council blog, this is great recognition for the children and the site. The project is ongoing and I'm sure once the original Solargraphy part of it is complete we will still carry on trying out other experiments.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Holiday Return and Impossible Destruction!

I have been back a week from my road trip around France and seem to have spent it catching up on washing and sorting camping gear, before going away again for the bank holiday weekend. I wish I had been more focused and had concentrated on scanning my IMPOSSIBLE PX100 instant images before they disappeared for good. I only just discovered that despite all my best efforts to save these First Flush little beauties from eventually annihilation by Killer Crystals, de-lamination undeveloped patches and whatever else the atmosphere can throw at them that they were fading away rapidly, much quicker than anyone has reported before.

I will attempt here to go through what I did before, during and after the series of images, some of the images are slightly blurred these were copies taken using either an iphone or a digital Olympus to record the changes once it was realised that they were happening fast, this was anything from a day or so after up to yesterday when I got them out to show someone and discovered the images were fading.

I feel quite gutted by this, especially the one of my daughters as it was really beautiful and now it seems like my oldest is being wiped from the image, like the loss of someone dear it hurts, it's disturbing, a memory loss an incorrect recollection. I wish I had realised and had captured it before this terminal development.

Don't get me wrong I do not hate the film in fact the results when they first appeared where breathtaking, there is nothing like it, no hint as to what the picture may become with that electric blue square in your hands and the expectation that you have whilst you wait for the image to develop in the dark.

I'm scanning them like mad now and at least I shall have a record of them in this form as I really do not believe they will be here for long as the originals. So first things first I used PX100 Silver Shade/ First Flush in a SX70 Polaroid Alpha. The film had been kept in a fridge well wrapped in paper bags, prior to packing it in a large film box(see last entry) with other cams and film and silica gel packs.

The first image is taken in Chalon Sur Soanne looking along a very narrow side street. It is home of the first photographer and has a wonderful photography museum. The image was hidden straight away and put in the box it came in until it developed 2 mins later. The temperature was approximately 26 degrees. The image itself was lacking any real contrast and was very faded looking already, banding appeared near the top and the obligatory gloop oozed from the back all over my cam and hands. The image carried on changing both getting darker in some areas and lighter/ burnt out in others. It was kept in a PX box from then, in the ambient and variable temperatures of our holiday.

The second image is the one of my girls the first of these two shows the image earlier in it's short life and taken with the phone. it has been scanned only 13 days later!! As you can see the earlier image is so much clearer and the contrast is good. The image was taken at Saintes Marie sur Mer in temperatures averaging 33 deg. it was a dry heat though. Again it was placed in the dark immediately and the camera was inverted so the image was away from the light. Prior to this the camera was just in my bag in the heat with me all day! Enlarging the images it is easy to see the crystals. The sides of this also split and oozed.

Image three was a joy to make, this is the where the first cinema(ever)was shown in La Ciotat in the South of France, it was hot about 34 deg. I thought it was appropriate to use the experimental film to make an image of what was then a frightening and experimental landmark show. Anyway the same old story, the original image was darker and had better contrast and was thankfully captured by phone. The conditions were not that different to the others discussed, the light flare at the top was there straight away but has expanded over the past two weeks.

I have more images to show you but I shall leave those until tomorrow!

Please reverse the order of the images as described I forgot to change the upload order!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Time for Hols!

So it's that time of year again and I'm trying to pack a box of cams and film for my road trip across, around or through France. I don't know where I'm going or what I'm going to do or see but I love that aspect of this trip. The only thing I really struggle with is what cameras to take. I have far too many and use far too many at any one time so I find it very difficult to limit myself, you never know when you just might need that panoramic or that instant or that sampler; holga; Diana; pinholeblender; pinhole wpc; pinholga etc... let alone the many different types of film.

I have been hanging on patiently to use my Impossible Project film and now is the time to use it, a little project while on the road! So my box is getting bigger and luckily our tents are getting smaller so at least that means more room in the car but not neccesarily in the tent!

I think the hardest thing when packing is to finish it early, I know that sounds ridiculous but then you have more time to think about all the extra things you might want to take, so I tend to do some sort of subconcious procrastinating in order to avoid this!

This year I am also going to do Lumen prints as I travel around i wont fix them but I shall put the exposed images in a light tight bag that I have made for the purpose, hopefully they shall be ok. I thought it would be interesting to see how quickly the iamge is made depending on the sunlight. The U.K. sunshine doesn't quite have the kick I want.

I'll be back soon with lots of new work and a relaxed glow!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

A strange view!

I've been doing a lot of sun based photos lately and I thought I would leave two pots for some solargraphs down at my parents in the hope of capturing a different view, so I placed them way back, April 5th to be exact, one at the front of the house and the other at the back. The back was a familiar view as it had once been my bedroom and was now the guest room so I new where the arc of the sun would go over the gardens.

Now my idea of capturing a sun arc should have been relatively easy but of course I didn't count on having parents around that fiddle, clean and of course open windows! It's the opening of the window with the pot attached that has thrown me and to some degree the image I was hoping for. So hear they are anyway and despite a lot of movement they have captured something!

The pot at the front of the house overlooks the road and I can only think that it is busy enough to have created the light trails as well as the suns arc, it's not what I expected tho and I think I need to work out the image more but its certainly interesting and quite a different colour!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Instants with Fuji

During my week at HESFES I did many different types of photography from solargraphs, pinholes to medium format and Instants using a Holgaback which now takes Fuji film. I tend to carry a small Muji notebook with me now so that I can do transfers instantly and also have somewhere to store my prints as I carry on with what I'm doing.
These are a few of the images I made and the transfers, I was having a lot of problems with my back falling off and of course light leaks and instant film don't always go but I do happen to like the ones I got by accident, lots more tape is obviously needed for this now as the crappy Holga springs have had their day!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Messing with Lumen prints

While you all wait an inordinate lentgh of time for me to post again, I have been busy or not busy at festivals, while at the last one images from which I will post one day (being realisitc here) I was mulling over what my next workshop at the reserve would be as it was booked for the first morning after returning from HESFES.

So I decided upon something easier on the organisation and got the kit ready for some Lumen prints which would hopefully give results that all would enjoy and with not a great deal of effort. So the tiny little toilet on the reserve was blacked out in preparation for the fixing of the images once they were thoroughly cooked by the sun that morning. The first batch the paper was wet to help pull out some of the colour from petals and then they were sandwiched between glass like a contact print. The results were great and the children and adults loved the images. The usual organic matter was placed on the BW Ilford photo paper for varying times but all at least 50 mins to one hour, when I say usual I meant flowers but one did include a partially desicated frog which came up with a nice result.

The only fix I had was the Ilford rapid fix which unfortunately did not do the prints much justice and in some of them I cold see the colour being leeched out, a shame a some of the flowers had bled and the colour was picked up by the BW paper. I did think at the time that there needed to be another solution. After finishing the pieces that had been made by the children and showing them the prcess in the darkroom. I decided to lay out more for myself these I would take home and leave for as long as possible, they did in the end get exposed for aprox. eight and a half hours before fixing I thought I would try scanning them as I do the solargraphs, the colour is always retained on them when I do it so I figured it would work the same way, luckily it did and these were much better but I still needed to fix. Ammonium Thiosulphate was in the Rapid fix and having done a bit of research I discovered that Hypo was what I needed, Sodium Thiosulphate by it's chemical name and I should then use hypo check to make sure it's still doing it's job!

Mr Cads saved the day and I got both for my next workshop. The images here are some of those done with the children and also some are my later experiments on dry paper for 8+ hours.
For further info and really beautiful images visit the late Jerry Burchfield's site, stunning images and such a loss to the alternative print processing world.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Hop Farm Music Festival

Well, I have been experimenting with my last aqcuisition and decided to take it along to the Hop Farm Music festival in Paddock Wood Kent last weekend. I have some of the results back and I thought I'd share. I think the intersting thing here is the fact that my 360Spinner is obviously capable of doing at least 37o+ degrees in one spin, now wether that will stress the rubber band is another thing but I like the overlap!

I also like the fact that you can manually spin the thing and that provides for a lot more experimentation, (Something I have yet to scan) so the best thing was the fact that I could put my hane up in the air and be sure that I would capture everything and there was a lot of 'everything' around me. I have no idea what the capacity of the space was but the crowd was a lot bigger than i had expected for this fest.

The line up was described as the best of the summer so far... no doubt true, the Highlights were certainly Mumford and Sons: Seasick Steve: Laura Marling: Magic Numbers and Johnny Flynn with Ray Davies and of course the legendery Bob Dylan, sadly I feel his performance was pushing the limits of his abilities now and the crowd were certainly good at singing, thank goodness as the songs were difficult to distinguish when they were not. Unfortunately i missed the whole of Pete Doherty's set as I was queueing for a beer! for over an hour!! Foy Vance who opened the fest was good, I hadn't heard of him but he got everyone warmed up ok.

So I have some 360 Spinner images here for you, more pics on the way with my Diana and the LCAinstax but first I am heading back down to a field adjacent to the Hop Farm to go to another week long festival, HESFES, this is going to be rammed with music, workshops and conferences so I shall be busy making images all week and hopefully putting my feet up and listening to some good music.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Impressions on the Spinner!

This is the first roll that I have taken with the new lomography 360 Spinner, the film is Expired Fuji Superia 400ASA and I shall tell you the settings as I go. I like the camera, the idea and the potential I think it could go far, in fact I know it will travel with me as soon as it's tested properly.

I used the 400 asa as this is the optimum film suggested. The weather conditions weren't brilliant, it was five in the afternoon and a dull even light was over our back garden. It still looked bright enough for a 400ASA !and would be in any other camera but the majority of my shots are seriously underexposed except for the ones were I hand turned slowly... obviously letting in much more light. So onwards and upwards as they say and let's see if the next roll improves somewhat!

Ok in reverse order! image 6 Sunny Setting Hand turned the cam whilst it rested on the table, much better exposure!

Image 5 Sunny Setting hand turned the camwhile standing not a full 360, the white band is where I paused.

Image 4 Sunny Setting full pull and spin shot of peonies, in there somewhere! this was adjusted in PS as it was way too dark see below

Image 4 Sunny Setting full pull and spin shot of peonies, in there somewhere! this was far too dark and adjusted as above.

Image 3 Cloudy setting full pull and spin of Peonies and rest of garden, don't know where the cast came from but hey these are test shots!

Image 3 Cloudy setting full pull and spin of Peonies and rest of garden, the cast is not funny or the lack of image!

Image 2 Cloudy setting hand held full pull and spin, oh dear look at me agh! this has again been adjusted

Image 2 Cloudy setting hand held full pull and spin, too dark yuck!

Image 1 Sunny Setting full pull and hand held, the first shot what a disappointment, this has been pulled form the gloom in PS.

Image 1 Sunny Setting full pull and hand held, the first shot... what a disappointment. I'm hoping it was just that I underestimated the overcast qualities of our English Summer! Maybe that's why it was tested here!