the lifeboat station project

There are some places whose names become inextricably linked in our memory to events (usually disasters) that happened there:


ABERFAN
DUNBLANE
PENLEE
ZEBRUGGE
LOCKERBIE
WORLD TRADE CENTRE
GRENFELL TOWER
HEYSEL STADIUM


All appalling disasters which resulted in tragic loss of life. All are entrenched in our collective memory, even though we may not have a personal memory. The Aberfan tragedy, for example, happened exactly one year before I was born. There is no possible way I can have a “real” memory of it. Memories of my own childhood up to the age of around 5 or 6 are hazy at best yet Aberfan is etched on my mind, to the extent that on mention of the name, I “see” the old black and white news footage and photographs.
Continue reading “the lifeboat station project”

On-demand publishing

Edited and updated historical post from www.steers-gallery.co.uk Originally published 30/12/12

Have you tried “on-demand publishing” yet?

It’s an oft-quoted fact that people no longer print their photos.  We live in an age when anyone and everyone is a photographer, and you can upload the most banal photograph of your breakfast to a potential global audience before you’ve rubbed the sleep from your eyes, but people just don’t print their photos, preferring to view them on a smartphone screen, brushing each image aside, glancing but not looking, seen but not digested, instant gratification, instantly forgotten, swipe, swipe, swipe… It seems the humble photo album, that printed link to our, and our family’s past, is now itself, a thing of the very past it used to celebrate. What a great shame that is.  Continue reading “On-demand publishing”

exhibitions and influences

I love talking photography. Discussing and debating what I like and what I don’t care much for. Sharing knowledge and ideas can feed your own interest and also be a potent fertiliser when you feel your artistic life beginning to wither.

I’ll often drop in on any local gallery, and if the exhibiting photographer / artist is present, there’s nothing I like more than having a good old chat. There’s a connection between us as I take in what they’re exhibiting. I try not to critique, that’s not why I’ve walked through the door, but I’ll point out what I like and offer an opinion if pressed. If the exhibitor is proud / happy / confident enough to put their work up for public consumption then they’ve already won my respect, and that goes for any art form, not just photography. Continue reading “exhibitions and influences”

kids grow up…

At what point do children lose their patience and stop humouring a camera-wielding parent?

Of course, some never will. They’ll continue to generously provide their parents with beautiful moments to capture and cherish for the whole of their lives together, and on through successive generations. But the fact that that kind of sustained photographic document has become “newsworthy” in recent times shows just how unusual (and enviable) it is.

From their first breath, I photographed my two boys. Documenting their lives through the taking of enough photos to fill a book. Indeed, I did fill a book. Charting the first ten years of parenthood, it was a personal memento. I made just a single copy which made my wife cry when I presented it to her one Christmas morning. My intention was to follow it up with a second volume on year twenty, but here we are, nearing my oldest son’s eighteenth birthday, and I have barely enough good shots to fill a flyer. Continue reading “kids grow up…”