Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Seduced by Art

Monday, December 17th, 2012

This morning I went to see ‘Seduced by Art’, the first exhibition at the National Gallery to feature photography. What a disappointment! The majority of photography in the exhibition was of the Turner Prize variety – full of nothing but post-justification of a trivial concept. The comparisons between the photographs and paintings were trite and largely meaningless and showed a complete lack of knowledge of photography on the part of the curators. I find it hard to believe that the comments in the labels had any thought behind them whatsoever. My favourite referred to the photograph of the naked Man with Octopus Tattoo by Richard Learoyd (which has been used on the poster for the exhibition) which describes how the tentacle rising up the man’s back follows and reinforces the curve of his spine. It just doesn’t!

Seduced by Art

For a review that states it better than I ever could (and before you choose to part with the  £12 entrance fee), you should read what Brian Sewell thought of the exhibition.

Michael Kenna

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Trees in Snow

I saw a beautiful exhibition of photos yesterday by a guy I was at college with in the 1970s – Michael Kenna. In the intervening years he’s become one of the world’s top landscape photographers. I’m amazed at the consistency of his style over all these years – simply stunning!

If you have a chance to see the exhibition it’s on for the next few weeks at Chris Beetles Fine Photographs in London, and finishes on January 2 2013.

St Olaf House

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Back in 1979 I had the good luck to photograph a series of buildings for the ‘Thirties’ exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. The photos were used in the exhibition in a series of slide programmes with 2m square screens and featured several landmark buildings from the 1930s. One of my favourites was St Olaf House, the head office of Hay’s Wharf, situated on the Thames between London and Tower Bridges. St Olaf House was designed by architect Harry Goodhart-Rendel, right down to the details such as the door handles, clocks and carpets. One thing he didn’t design were the bas relief sculptures on the river frontage for which he commissioned his friend Frank Dobson.

I’ve spent this afternoon scanning some of the original photos which were shot on 120 Ektachrome film on a Hasselblad.

When I get time I’ll scan some photos of the other buildings, which included Highpoint 1, the Penguin Pool at London Zoo and Dudley Zoo (Berthold Lubetkin) and some of the stations on the 30s extension to the Piccadilly line (Charles Holden).

Fuji FinePix F600EXR

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

I’ve recently purchased a Fuji FinePix F600EXR so that I have a camera that I can keep in my pocket all the time. On my list of ‘must haves’ was the ability to shoot RAW which most pocket cameras don’t have, and those that do tend to be in the £300+ price bracket. When it was first introduced in August last year its list price was about £320 (street price £280) but in January this year a new model (F770) came out and the F600 can now be got for about £160 – half the original list price. It’s probably not quite as good as some of the other cameras in its class (notably the Panasonic LX5) but it has some features that I’ve been very impressed with, notably the ability to shoot panoramas. When compared with the panoramas that I shoot with my Nikon D300 they’re obviously inferior, but considering that they’re stitched in a couple of seconds in the camera, I’m really quite impressed. This, coupled with a 15x optical zoom (24-360mm equivalent), macro focus down to 5cm and a whole string of features I’ll probably never use, has made me very happy.

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Dulwich, Old College Grounds and War Memorial

Southwark Cathedral

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Southwark Cathedral have just added a tour of three 360° panoramas that I produced to their website. The tour shows views of the nave, altar and crossing, and choir. The cathedral dates back to Norman times when it was known as St Mary Overy (over the water) although it only received cathedral status in 1905. Much of the current building dates to between 1220 and 1420 when it was rebuilt following a fire. In 1536 following the Dissolution of the Monasteries the church was rededicated to St Saviour. The tower and choir were restored in the early 1800s and the nave was totally rebuilt in 1839 in Gothic style. Further extensive building work was carried out in 2000 to provide conference and educational facilities.

Kennington Park Festival of African and Caribbean Music, August 1973

Monday, October 24th, 2011

The summer of 1973 had not been good. I’d split up with my girlfriend and had to move back home for a couple of months before I started on the photography course at the London College of Printing. I hadn’t been out of the house for weeks, but I’d heard that there was going to be a Festival of African and Caribbean Music in Kennington Park so I thought I’d go. It was fantastic and was the first time I’d smiled in a long time. I recently rediscovered the negatives of some of the photographs I took there and after a mammoth scanning session I thought I’d share. Let me know if you like them.

Click on the photos to see them larger.

More Panoramas

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Clapham Common BandstandIt’s a while since I’ve blogged, but I’ve been doing quite a few new panoramas recently and also tidying up some of the old ones. New ones include small tours of Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall, the newly restored bandstand on Clapham Common and The Rookery (the site of the old Streatham Spa) at the top of Streatham Common.

360 Cities

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

In the last couple of days I’ve been uploading some of my panoramas to 360 Cities, the world’s largest 360° panoramic photography community. You can see my panoramas here.

I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist!

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! (PHNAT), the campaign group set up to fight unnecessary and draconian restrictions against individuals taking photographs in public spaces, organised a flashmob outside London’s City Hall today. Not a lot of people turned up (maybe between 70 and 100) but a letter was handed in to Boris Johnson.

What many people don’t know is that the land along the embankment between Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast is privately managed, and the company that runs it has draconian restrictions on what can and can’t take place there. This is also true of many other places in London – Canary Wharf and Broadgate have similar restrictions. Try taking photographs with a professional looking SLR and see how long it is before you get stopped by one of their security guards. You score extra points if they start talking about ‘the terrorist threat’.


There are a few more photos of the event at Flickr.

Bluebells in Banstead Woods

Friday, April 29th, 2011

BluebellsI’ve just added some panoramas of bluebells to my website that I took yesterday in Banstead Woods in Surrey. It was a beautiful afternoon and there were carpets of bluebells everywhere.

You can also see more bluebell photos at Flickr.