Sète, April 2011

black and white photography, urban landscape
Sète, Hérault, France, April 2011

Sète, Hérault, France, April 2011

This is another photograph where I am faced with a dilemma. The composition is better horizontally flipped – the tree and the lamppost are stronger, more assertive and menacing. Normally I would have no hesitation in presenting a flipped image, but in this one the van’s registration plate gives the game away.

I appreciate that some, maybe many, viewers will feel cheated by the flipped version – but I have ultimately gone for what looks better – preferring to get the overall feel of the photo right, and have it spoiled by a minor detail, to getting a small detail right whilst diminishing the feel of the photograph.

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Three Pin-Hole Photos of the Same Apartment Block

architecture, black and white photography, experiment, urban landscape

These three were taken with a Holga Wide Pinhole Camera in the vertical panoramic format. Lamalou les Bains is a prosperous and bourgeois spa town, with many clinics. However there are certain areas that have suffered neglect and dereliction. Not surprisingly, these are the most interesting to explore and photograph. These flats, at first view, seemed to be unoccupied, but as I photographed them I realised that they were in fact inhabited.

 

A Morning at Coloubres

black and white photography, landscape, urban landscape

It is easy to overlook the many small villages that dot the map just to the North of Béziers. The fact that they are built on a flat coastal plain means that their buildings rarely struggle for a place in the landscape, unlike villages in the mountains, where buildings have had to be fitted as best as possible into the often difficult terrain available, making for a more visually interesting environment. And the fact that these villages all center around the single industry of wine production can leave them all looking quite similar to one another.

However, Coloubres has its own character – maybe because it is built on a low, elongated hill. It certainly offers some interesting panoramas (unrepresented here – I’m sorry, I’m not very strong on ‘views’) and has enough quirky spots to have made for enjoyable photographing on the morning of the 5th of April. In addition the light was particularly good – sunny, but with a softening veil of thin cloud.

 

Lamp-posts at Valras

landscape, recent work, urban landscape
Valras, Hérault, France, October 2018
Valras, Hérault, France, October 2018

I’m in the process of preparing a project for a group exhibition on the theme of ‘connections’.

The theme had me scratching my head for a while. Then one day I looked up and saw something that seemed to perfectly embody the theme: telegraph poles and the overhead wires they carry and which connect us in various ways. 

I’ve long found telegraph poles, electricity poles, and overhead wires beautiful and intriguing. They can be seen as elegant, incredibly tall, thin plinths topped with abstract sculptures consisting of wires, boxes, tubes and hoods holding lights. I hope that I’ll be able to make some photos that communicate the beauty I find in these forms. 

The above photograph was taken at Valras. It had been quite a few months since I last visited this beach resort (I avoid it during the Summer months as it is too crowded and too hot) and I was struck anew how this place always gives me something interesting, exciting and beautiful. 

Friday Night was Curry Night…

black and white photography, landscape, road photographs, urban landscape

Bradford, West Yorkshire, July 2008

Bradford, West Yorkshire, July 2008

The photo was probably taken on a Friday evening through the windscreen of my good friend Michael’s car as we motored along the Batley-Bradford road .

Friday night was curry night for our group of friends. For years we’d meet at a pub and afterwards go on and complete the evening with a curry. ..Good beer, good company, good food and a belle-laide landscape to photograph – could Life have been any better?

Coming into Liverpool on the School Bus

landscape, road photographs, urban landscape

Liverpool, England, June 2008

Liverpool, England, June 2008

This photograph was taken from the school coach as it crossed Liverpool to take students to the Liverpool Tate on an Art Department trip.

Back then, I was the (part-time) technician for the Art and Music departments. I also ran the school’s photography club, and, for an hour or two each week, taught black and white photography to small groups of first year pupils (you can see a photo taken during one of these lessons here).

In 2008 I had to leave England and come live in France. I loved my work and felt

Shop-Windows at Valras – n°3

landscape, self-portrait, urban landscape

Valras-plage, Hérault, France, November 2015

Valras-plage, Hérault, France, November 2015

This is the third in a series of shop-window photographs taken at Valras, all on the same day: Thursday the 19th of November 2015.

I took these using Fomapan 100 developed in Rodinal at 1+49. This is probably my favourite film/developer combination, though I like Ilford Delta 400 in Rodinal too. But Delta 400 is twice the price of Fomapan 100, and is very hard to get hold of in France.

I can’t work out why the buildings reflected in the top-right corner appear to

Shop-Windows at Valras – n°2

self-portrait, urban landscape

Valras-plage, Hérault, France, November 2015

Valras-plage, Hérault, France, November 2015

This is the second in a series of shop-window photographs taken at Valras, all on the same day: Thursday the 19th of November 2015.

In this one you get a self-portrait, my Canon EOS 50e, and the Mediterranean (over there between the land and the sky…)

In the first of this series I shared a regret that I had not visited Valras in almost two years, and promised myself to return there soon.

Well, as it happens

Shop-Windows at Valras – n°1

urban landscape

Valras-plage, Hérault, France, November 2015

Valras-plage, Hérault, France, November 2015

Thursday the 19th of November 2015, Valras-plage, seems to have been a good time and place for photographing through shop windows.

Browsing through the contact sheets for that day I noticed an interesting series of photos which explore what happens when you juxtapose transparency, reflection and shadow. I think it was something to do with the quality of the light. And it may have been because so many shops were closed for the Winter, making photographing easier to do and adding a ghostly atmosphere…