Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery

I went to the National Portrait Gallery yesterday to see the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize.

It was pretty much empty as it is near it’s end date, which was great as then there was no one in the way or having the feeling you have to move on so the next person can stare at the picture!

As I have enjoyed taking some portraits myself recently I was more interested this year than maybe previous years, and in specific the square shots.

Definitely worth going before it finishes on 16th February

Towner Gallery Visit

I visited the Towner Gallery today, it’s always worth going to whatever the exhibition that is on. Based in Eastbourne it’s not too far by train from Brighton, and I can take some photos around the town after, and enjoy their coffee and cake while there!

The current shows are a, big one showing lots of David Nash’s large scale paintings and sculptures made from trees. Plus a smaller room of work from the Towner collection curated by Caroline Lucas, which links the collection to the climate crisis and our relationship with nature.

Info on the David Nash show

David Nash: 200 Seasons

Info for the show: BRINK: Caroline Lucas curates the Towner Collection

BRINK: Caroline Lucas curates the Towner Collection

I mostly started thinking towards the student end of year show and presentation of artwork more than fully engaging with the art!

Love the connection between 2d and 3D artwork
The grid presentation here I thought was brilliant
The size of the work here was wonderful, you have to walk (or for me wheel!) along to look at all the aspects of the work
Loved the size of the Wolfgang Tillmans image, as well as joe it is hung.
Simple bulldog clips top and bottom!

A great visit and some great work and presentation ideas!

Deciding upon a Photography Project!

Being a tutor (for ten years now!) of two photography course in which students have to produce normally two photo projects, I have seen many different ones over the years!

Here are some notes of help:

First of if you are a beginner choose a project that will help you learn something somehow.

If you want to learn different camera skills and learn in general the make your project a photo essay. (As not all photo projects are photo essays)

Some good photo essays I have seen include;

Markets

Local parks or London parks!

Seaside locations

Or basically pick a location and document it!

The photo essay can then have and test you on the techniques to produce; landscape, still life, portrait, low light, bright light, fast or slow moving subjects. You can practice quite a bit with a photo essay.

If not a photo essay then a thematic project such as a series of landscapes of different piers around the country (see Simon Roberts for that!)

I see portrait projects quite often, this can be five portraits of friends or family each sitter photographed in two particular ways. This gives the project structure and continuity between images.

Anyway there are many different ways to produce a project, I have seen many great projects throughout my years teaching and I am sure I will see lots more too.

Eadweard Muybridge at Kingston Museum

I was visiting family just before Christmas and was in Kingston Upon Thames so went along to see the Eadweard Muybridge exhibit at Kingston Museum.

Muybridge was born in Kingston before travelling to America where he produced his famous images.

His images are very important in the history of photography and film.

The exhibit is not big, it is though a permanent display and worth look if your in the town shopping.

I could certainly look at the panorama of San Francisco again and again!

New Images from Hove Lagoon

I went back to Hove Lagoon last Sunday and took a roll of film there, here are 3 images.

I enjoy going to the same place again and again as you see different things, the light changes, the weather will be different. The people I see there and what will be happening that day will change my reaction to the space and inform my photography that day.  

All images from the roll will end up on Instagram at some point.

Winter is here and the paddling pool area for children at Hove Lagoon is closed until next summer
Charlie and Luca after they had been out enjoying the waves on Hove Lagoon Beach
For some reason this fence on the push back from Hove Lagoon seems to fascinate me. the view beyond and the grasses around it

Go on and ask!

ok so a simple message here is go on and ask!

I will explain, for many years I would class myself as a landscape photographer and not at all looking to produce portraits. Times change, and I am no longer traipsing through woods photographing trees. So if I am classing the work I am doing as more documentary in nature (as opposed to documenting the landscape) I am going to have to photograph people.

Rather than capturing people in a candid fashion I do tell my students to ask their subjects instead. I had to do a project in my second year of degree to stop people and take their photo, so I thought I would pluck up the courage myself and do it again.

Here are some new portraits

Ed Ruscha at the Tate Modern

I visited the Tate modern a week ago, mostly I was there just browsing and enjoying the building and being with friends.

I did though while I was there go and see the Ed Ruscha room and look at his images of car parks from above. Wonderfully presented Square images in a grid on the wall

Ed Ruscha is quite an inspiration for photographers in general, I find his photography work a good balance of straightforwardness and beauty.

My Ideal Camera Kit

So I have asked my L2 & L3 to research their Ideal Camera Kit, I thought I would have a go too!

This is hard as there are so many cameras lenses etc!

I am also aware of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome!) and I do think that you can get a lot more from less equipment. I was at the Tate Modern and ended up getting “Life in 50mm: The Photographer’s Lens” which topic is well just about using the one lens.

“Life in 50mm: The Photographer’s Lens”

so i have mentioned in a previous post I have a few cameras, quite happy at the moment using the Nikon F3 with the standard lens (50mm 1.8) and the Rolleiflex (which has a 80mm 2.8 lens, equivalent to standard in 35mm terms)

What do I lust after though?

I would love to use Medium Format Digital, which would be the FUJIFILM GFX 50R. A rangefinder style digital with a whopping large size 51.4MP sensor!)

FUJIFILM GFX 50R

or

A super upgrade for my Sony A7ii and have the Sony A7R iv a small sized full frame camera with a 61MP sensor

Sony A7r iv

Film camera wise, I owned before and would love to get again a Mamiya 7 Medium Format film camera. Decent size 6×7 negative rangefinder camera with super sharp lenses. I have seen mint condition coming from Japan for £2000 (add tax when into uk of 20%).

Mamiya 7ii

Or!

Money no object a leica, here is the Leica M10-D Black Camera Body a digital rangefinder with no screen to review your images!

For the small sum of £6500! (and I would still need a lens!)

Leica M10-D

Or…

I could go on, but I think I will leave it there!

Some images from the first roll out of my Nikon F3

I have recently been streamlining my hobbies, which has led to me selling my bikes and buying more cameras including the Nikon F3. I am not going to do a review of it (it’s great!) as there are loads done already. It’s certainly a great camera to use and works perfectly.

Here are some of the images in a video below

Some images from the first roll out of my Nikon F3
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