Monthly Archives: August 2014

The photographer as a fisherman


Brighton fish690

Well it’s good to be back to be back home, as much as I have enjoyed leading the good life in France for a couple of weeks, it satisfies my stomach but not my mind and I yearn to return to the buzz of city life. On Sunday I made my annual pilgrimage to Notting Hill for the carnival which was busier and louder than ever but was rather disappointed with my photographic efforts.  I met up with Leonard Neuemann  from whom I bought my Leica CL a year or so ago and we spent a  pleasant couple of hours discussing the state of  photography and  wandering about snapping. He’s a very well informed interesting man and a good photographer , no doubt we’ll meet up again, he also kindly bought me lunch for which I shall return the favour with a print.

The analogy of fishing to photography grows stronger the more I consider it. The hours spent walking ,waiting, following, just to press the shutter release at that exact fraction of a second when everything moves into an aesthetic form within the four walls of the viewfinder is the same as the same as the fisherman watching his float from the river bank  and  waiting to strike.  Blink and you’ve missed it. Even when conditions are seemingly all in his favour the fisherman  as well as the photographer can come home empty handed, which is how I felt after developing my films from the carnival, having said that there were one or two images that might be useful for later projects.

I’ve got the next four weeks to get the Brighton Pier show sorted which no doubt will go down to the wire and I’m sure I’ll be having a few sleepless nights before it’s all hung and up and I can sit back and enjoy it. I’m into that rather unknown territory now of organising the publicity and working out who what where and when to send the blurb. I’ll try my usual tactics of naivety, charm and lack of pride to see what doors I can open. I’ll keep you posted.



It’s the playing not the winning.

Champlong, Haute Loire.

I suppose one of the great things about being on holiday is that it takes you away from the normal humdrum of daily life and routine and gives you a chance to view  your life from another perspective and whether changes are needed. I’ve been looking back at a few of my old photos and wondering whether they would have been better in colour and the answer would probably be yes. That led me on to the future possibility of not working in black and white and not producing images in the darkroom and the answer I gave myself was it  just wouldn’t be me. I’ve come to realise with so many things it’s what you put in to achieving something is more important than the result itself , it is the touch and imperfection of human hand that imparts soul and depth. The simple analogy is would I prefer home cooking from scratch or a bland and easy ready meal from Sainsburys, my 1956 Leica M3 with no light meter to some state of the art Canon, my old London Taxi  to an Audi Quattro, fix up my own house or get the builders in ? It’s the journey not the arrival that counts and for me therein lies the difference between digital and analogue,  I think I’ve  finally become a living dinosaur !

En France cordiale

Champlong, Haute Loire

Oh well the taxi didn’t make it to France after all the work and hassle of getting the engine rejuvenated. It was all a bit of a rush to get it back to Brighton and then to take it off on a 1000 mile trip without running through any teething problems would have been a risky undertaking, possibly similar to running a marathon post major heart surgery. On the plus side I’ve saved myself a substantial few quid on diesel and my battered Citroen is a good deal quicker though lacks somewhat in the character stakes. Our French house is as comfortable and shambolic as ever and the time slips away very quickly here, no sooner than you’ve had breakfast it seems to be time for lunch then no sooner again the evening beer seems to be in my hand. I finished the Zadie Smith novel which has been by my bedside for far to long and ripped straight into Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love which is so beautifully written that every sentence leaves you wondering… genius. Besides the usual work on building projects around the house (one of which has left me with a nice cut across the face and an associated black eye) I have had a bit of time to reflect on my photography and what next to pursue, but that I’ll leave for another post. Time for lunch.