Author Archives: George Coles

Not drowning but waving.

Here we have the view from Brighton Pier taken on the Bank Holiday a couple of weeks ago. As it is very close to a sewage outfall most people presumed  the pretty patterns to be the result of human bowels, in fact ( I was reliably told) it is an algal bloom.  I must admit  even armed with that knowledge I would have hesitated at the waters edge, though mind you as I have not swam in the sea for many years I would have done so anyway. Makes a nice little snap but only works with addition of the old photographic cliche of the poignant lonely person.  Algal Bloom….sounds like a character from Joyce’s Ullysses  ( I never got past the first chapter ! )

Problems in Brighton

  1. Rubbish everywhere.   2. Too many cars and nowhere to park them. 3. Too many students ( who don’t pay council tax but make most of the mess). 4. Too many new flats and no increase in public services. 5. Bonkers school admissions policy. 6. Me.  7. My kids. 8. Too many  joggers. 9. Pretentious arseholes .10. You can’t say anything un pc without somebody telling you  that “you can’t say that”

P.S … but I wouldn’t live anywhere else

Butterfly

The trouble is as I approach my sixtieth year I realise I haven’t got much past having the mentality and humour of a fourteen year old boy, and yes I know this snap doesn’t adhere to the pc sensibilities of our age  and it could be deemed I’m taking the mick but in my own little way I’m being affectionate. The people I would take the piss out of is the muscle, bound 6 pack gym freaks who are so caught up in their own narcissistic world of body perfection.

iPolar

My dear wife and youngest son head off to see the Australian side of the family in a couple of days time, the temperature currently in Sydney is around 35 deg , which is 34 degrees higher than here.  As much as I’ll miss them it provides a nice break from the routine humdrum of family life and all that entails , basically the chance to be foot loose and fancy free for a month and as the days get longer, brighter, hopefully warmer, to return camera in hand to the streets of Brighton once more.

Food Bank Brighton

February  is a poor month to be a street photographer in England, ..cold, wet, shitty light when there is any, so hence my neglected blog as a result of not being out and about much.  I’ve been fortunate this winter though as I’ve had some decent workshop jobs which have kept me in the dry and warm with a few pennies rolling in to sustain the family and I in the life style we’ve  become accustomed to.  I’ve been busy though and I’ve worked out a format to exhibit ‘Life of Brighton’ but still undecided on what form a printed version should take. I still have plenty of time to make my mind up though.

This image involved hanging around for an hour or so on a rather deserted street corner waiting for a suitable subject to walk by while fending off questions from curious/suspicious residents as to what I was doing. Such a glam life I lead !

This moment..

 I do get a twang in my conscience when I take  a photo like this, but the grim irony of street scenes such as theseI find very hard to pass by.  Was “this moment” an opportunity for me  with a camera  or does it mean anyone can be someone if they really “want it” or “work hard “.  The old lie  “You can do anything”, the trouble is we only hear the success stories and nothing of those who fell over the edge. Luck or conversely bad luck has so much to do with our outcomes, to paraphrase Shakespeare  in Twelfth night ( which was 2 days ago ) “some are born with bad luck, some achieve bad luck and some have bad luck thrust upon them”.  I don’t know this young lady’s story , I normally stop for a natter, but she was well out of it, and by the time I went back an hour later but she’d  upped and gone, hopefully somewhere better than this. Happy New Year.

The thrill of the chase

AA  lone  soul fishing on a still winter’s day at the sewage outfall on Shoreham beach. There are  many analogies between photography and fishing,… the hours spent hunting for a few seconds of joy, the despondency of the missed strike, the hope big fish is only just round that corner, the solitary nature of the chase etc etc.  What I’ve realised over the years of walking the (same old) streets is that I never get bored,  …maybe cold, tired , irritated, hungry and footsore, but the alertness to possibility of a chance  that you need to take ‘street ‘ snaps  is totally absorbing. I guess that is what they call the thrill of the chase. Talking of which I’m heading off to Lewes today to watch toffs with dogs and horses wishing they could chase foxes, they should just ride up and down our street in the early hours, there are loads of them !

Europe is over there… somewhere.

I’m an ardent believer in the idea that a good photograph ( whatever that is ) should be ‘about ‘  something and not just ‘of’ something, which is probably why I ‘m a big fan of political cartoons.   I don’t normally bother with scenes like the one above but it did seem vaguely allegorical of the current state our relationship with those chaps over the channel.. i.e. a mad dog, a wall and a distant horizon.