Upcoming Solo Show

Washing fibre based paper prints in my home made print washer
Washing fibre based paper prints in my home made print washer

I’m having a solo exhibition soon.

Here are the details.

The show is entitled ‘Thanks Pandemic’. The exhibition  consists of 25 silver gelatine prints printed in my darkroom.  It is on display at the Hunt Club Community Arts Centre, 775 Ballarat Road, Deer Park, VIC 3023, from the 7th of October until the 8th of December. An opening celebration will occur on Friday the 7th of October from 6:30 to 8:00pm.

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Instagram or some other platform?

my instagram page on 28-08-2022
my instagram page on 28-08-2022

Recently there had been some consternation regarding Instagram’s user interface changes. There was a concerted effort to drive photography based traffic to other platforms including, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.

I don’t understand why there has not been an overwhelming response to these ideas. Even so, photographers managed to connect and make meaningful work BEFORE Instagram, so why not migrate to another service?

I guess one part of the problem is signal to noise ratio. This is especially difficult if you are new to a service like Tumblr, or Flickr. Personally speaking I have never cracked Tumblr’s algorithm. And while I’m no Flickr super star I certainly have in my “friends list” on Flickr, plenty of good photographers whose work I enjoy all the time.

So how do you find these good photographers? There’s a couple of ways.  Look at someone you know already is a good practitioner. Their contacts and favourites list will point you in the right direction. Also look at the albums they have created, this gives you a quick insight into their thinking about their photography. For example are they just focused on cameras equipment or places, or other more esoteric ideas about what a photo can communicate? Lastly, look at my favourites or someone else’s you know already.

Here’s a short list of photographers; in no particular order. Well actually in the order that they uploaded work to Flickr, while I wrote this post. Also bear in mind I am heavily biased towards, Urban Landscape, and New Topographic styles of photography.

Then there’s groups. These are groups of people whose interest are shared, whether it be subject matter, or genres or some other connective creative tissue. Find a group whose ideas align with yours and then scroll through and find some photographers whose work resonates with you. Follow them and look at who they follow and before you know it you have consumed a large chunk of time and in the process discovered some great photographers and photography.

Here’s a small  list of groups that reflect my own photography interests; again heavily biased towards urban, landscape and street photography.

Either way the social connections that make the web a great place to connect is never more than a few clicks away.

If you decide to give flickr a go let me know and we can connect there too.

*A caveat in these groups I am administrator

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iPhone turns 15


The iphone turned 15 recently, it has had a profound impact on my practice as an artist, but my experience clearly differs from many photojournalists use of the device.

Two articles dropped in my inbox recently, that demonstrate this. One from the AP News the other The Guardian. Mostly written by photojournalists, they seem either to venerate or denigrate this device. There is some shade of nuance between each extremes, to be fair. Many talk about using the viewfinder as a kind of extension to their seeing. Clearly none have worked with a medium format film camera, or large format film camera which requires the user to step back and take in the whole scene or think about a back to front and or upside down view on ground glass. In the 1950s these were common cameras for the press of the day. The iPhone actually mimics the ground glass of a 5×4 monorail or studio camera in terms of physically moving your face away from the device to compose the picture. This seems to have escaped most of the interviewees in both articles.

A blurred image of a moving car only made possible by a smartphone, in this case an iPhone, caused by shutter roll
A blurred image of a moving car only made possible by a smartphone, in this case an iPhone, caused by shutter roll

This then raises some issues about a professional versus an amateur. I myself have never sold or made an image for a client for money. Yet I have used film cameras of many types and sizes for more than 30 years. I have been an educator specialising in photography in all its forms since 1993. Taking the time to consider what is in the frame forms a large part of what I do all the time, regardless of camera used.

Also, I use a third party app to make pictures with my iPhone, this alone has impacted on my picture making experiences, with this device.  Yet I sense none of the professionals in the articles think this way? This third party app allows me to capture RAW DNG files and process them as I would any other digital capture.

In the early days of phone cameras prior to the iPhone my own experience with phone cameras, was one of being highly experimental . I had no preconceived ideas about what the device could achieve and no expectation that it would replicate the real world in any way shape or form. As I  experienced it. So why should a device with better optics and more resolution, interchangeable lenses amongst other things ever be expected to do this?

These days, having a camera in my pocket at all times is both liberating and exciting. As of todays date I have over 147 thousand iPhone images alone. Are they all earth shattering works of art? No! Is it possible to look back over this archive draw conclusions about what the images can “say”. Yes. The pandemic alone has prompted me to consider photo opportunities themselves. Some may see some light at a future date. Could I have done this without an iPhone? No. Would I ever have contemplated it? No.

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Moving Towards A Post Adobe World

In my never ending pursuit to escape the clutches of Adobe’s leasing model, I’m always on the lookout for alternative software to manage organise and process my digital files. This last few months I have been working exclusively without any Adobe products. Lightroom was my go to tool until I resurrected Aperture by Apple on an old Desktop. Now I’m using 2 apps to do all the heavy lifting.

Neofinder's interface, is like Adobe's Bridge, but creates a catalogue file or files,
Neofinder’s interface, is like Adobe’s Bridge, but creates a catalogue file or files,

NeoFinder is the first. It is now my digital asset tool of choice. Finding and using this software has potentially saved me from buying a new desktop computer. The software is stable, fast and flexible. If it had an ability to “ingest files” and process them as raw then I’m set.  As Neofinder does not, my workflow consists of using Apple’s Image Capture.app to ingest files, Neofinder to rate, sort and organise, and Affinity Photo to process the raw files.

Affinty Photo, is a powerfult digital editing tool with a similar feature set to Adobe's Photoshop with out the ongoing lease cost
Affinty Photo’s raw processor interface. It is a powerful digital editing tool with a similar feature set to Adobe’s Photoshop with out the ongoing lease costs.

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New Photobook & Sundry Upcoming Events

A selection of books made since about 2004 to 2022
A selection of books made since about 2004 to 2022

I am in the end stages of a new photobook. It’s titled Not Landscape. I am hoping the print run of 20 copies will be here in time for the photo 2022 weekend photobook fair 21st and 22nd of May. This book came together relatively quickly. After discovering a website of obscure avant garde art UbuWeb, I watched a rare video by John Baldessari, titled “I shall not make any more boring art”. Baldessari had also made a series of photographs in the 70s that poked fun at the “rules” of photography, seen here on his website. Also here.

Concurrently I had been mulling over how I made an earlier book using Blurb. ‘What’s the ugliest part of your body?’. When making it. I had decided to compromise on its layout and not crop the images resulting in a book that few people handled correctly as it was landscape orientation. As a consequence it had lots of wasted white space. I feel this didn’t add anything to the idea. This time I decided that I would print full bleed, and use pictures that were portrait in orientation. I also wanted to add some text to engage the reader. So after perusing my library and searching the internet I found of series of snippets of text and quotes that posed pointed questions about landscape, landscape art, and landscape photography. With these two ideas in mind I collated as many images as I could that were portrait in format, ie Not Landscape, the book’s title, printed out a set of them. Then started editing them into a book.

A spread from the first draft of my 2022 book, Not Landscape.
A spread from the first draft of my 2022 book, Not Landscape.
A spread from the first draft of my 2022 book, Not Landscape.
A spread from the first draft of my 2022 book, Not Landscape.

I have some copies of my ‘What’s the ugliest part of your body?’ left. These are $15.00 each, and after making them now consider it unlikely I will make a second edition.

The cover of my 2017 book, What's the ugliest part of your body?
The cover of my 2017 book, What’s the ugliest part of your body?

I have one copy of my book Contact for sale as well.

Contact my Pandemic inspired photobook from 2020/2021
Contact my Pandemic inspired photobook from 2020/2021

So pop on down to the Melbourne Art Book Fair this weekend 17th to the 20th of March, to purchase a copy of either ‘What’s the ugliest part of your body?’ or Contact. Hopefully Not Landscape will be on offer as well. Our stand is Melbourne Photobook Collective.

Alternatively the Photo 2020 is running a photobook weekend there will be some of my books there too, 21st May [12 to 7pm] and 22nd May [12 to 4pm]  at PSC 37-47 Thistlethwaite St, South Melbourne.

☛ Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | Twitter | Tumblr ☚