Photography

Question time

 

 

At our May meeting we invited members to think of questions they had and to put them to the group in the hope that there would be enough shared wisdom to help find some pointers or answers. Questions were wider ranging and it was amazing to see how the group seemed to find some wisdom for pretty much all the questions. As ever we also looked at photos - Dorota shared some ideas for the forthcoming BEAT exhibtion and Jonny shared a mix of recent photos from Barcelona, woodland and bluebells (see above).


Documentary Photography and The Don

donmcullin interview

Continuing our new themed approach to our monthly meetings April's focus was on documentary photography. Members had been encouraged to attend the shows of Don McCullin and Markéta Luskačová at Tate Britain and we had a lively discussion about the past, present and future state of social documentary photography in the light of these photographers' work. Discussion was also had of a future project for the group on this theme and how it could support our BEAT show later in the year.

Edmond Terakopian then gave a talk that he had recently made at the Photography Show in Birmingham marking 30 years as his life as a photojournalist. He took us a on a journey from the discovery of his passion for photography through his award winning work on local and national newspapers to assignments on the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and post earthquake life in Armenia. It gave a real insight into his work and the members really enjoyed it. Edmond blogs here and his latest reflection is on Don Mcullin in conversation.

To round off the evening Ray Higginbottom showed some of his excellent documentary prints from his garden allotments project plus recent work from New Orleans.


the memory of trees

 

 

February's meeting saw a couple of new people join. The deadline for entering BEAT 2019 is 19th March so that was a big focus along with planning the year ahead (see the post above).

The meetings now being on Wednesday mean that Ray Higginbottom will be back joining us from time to time. He is now editor of one of the RPS magazines for the visual art group and the first one he has done arrived the day before so he was able to show us that and it looked great! And we enjoyed looking at some of the latest photos he has been working on which include a new exploration 'the memory of trees' (an Enya album title inspired theme!). Here's a couple of the first photos above...


Online Gallery

There is a brand new online gallery which currently has two projects in of the two group shows including Oblique Strategies. You can order prints to buy too! Please note if you are ordering a print that is square it will get sent to you square even though that doesn't seem to be an ordering option. Here's the blurb from the about section of the site:

Welcome to our gallery website where you can view the group's projects and also order prints from some of our photographers. If the image you're after is not featured here or available for purchase, please contact the photographer directly to make arrangements.

The online gallery's print sales system (best used on a Mac or PC) caters for everything from smaller and resin coated prints at very affordable prices, aimed towards the photo enthusiast, all the way to larger prints (including real BW prints, fibre prints and Giclée prints) aimed more at the appreciator of very high quality prints. All prints are made by Metro Imaging, one of the UK's top professional photo labs.

Please note that if the image you're ordering is in a square format, the size of the print will correspond to the smaller dimension of the print size ordered. For example, if you order a 10"x8" print, a square image will be 8"x8"

Huge thanks to Edmond Terakopian for his efforts in setting it up.


Looking Back, Looking Forward

At January's meeting we may have had the most people showing photos ever - it felt that way anyway. We spent a while reflecting on what has been a fantastic year for the group with lots of exhibiting as a whole group, in small groups, in individual shows and in the wider LIP exhibition. And the group has welcomed several new members so it feels as though there is lots of energy and (crucially) photography. Below is a selection of single images that were shown as a sort of pick of the year's photos.

Angelika showed photos of a visit to Chad, and Edmond showed photos from Moscow State Circus whilst it was on Ealing Common.

We then spent a while looking forward and agreed to take part in BEAT again and will decide theme next time and then March meeting will be one where members share photo books they have created - looking forward to that!

The photos below are from Omar, Frankie, Dorota, Edmond, Robin, Jonny, Ali and Chris (M) respectively 

 


Oblique Strategies Challenge Results

A while we back we set the oblique strategies challenge - see here for the explanation. But essentially each person drew a card at random and took an image in response. I have pasted the photos (or one of them for each photographer) and the oblique strategy and photographer below each image.

Robin

"which elements can be grouped" by Robin Segulem


Robin

"towards the insignificant" by Minako


Robin

"disconnect from desire" by Danilo Leonardi


Robin

"use an unacceptable colour" by Melissa Lestari Meigh


Robin

"define an area as 'safe' and use it as an anchor" by Chris Kirkpatrick


Robin

"the inconsistency principle" by Frankie McAllister


Robin

"make a blank valuable by putting it in an exquisite frame" by Jonny Baker

Chris_acretion

"accretion" by Chris Moxey

Richard

"always first steps" by Richard Baker Donnelly


Iranian deserts, London streets, waterways and protest marches

For those of you wondering what we get up to at our monthly meetings we'll be adding some blog posts following meetings to give you a flavour.

It's proving to be an exciting year for the group with three group exhibitions lined up - at the Dominion in Southall in June on London Waterways; as part of BEAT in September at St Mary's in Ealing; and in Artisan coffee shop in Oct-Dec. On top of that Chris Moxey is taking part in Thirteen in May-June (see below). So we caught up on those. More details will follow.

Then a key part of meetings is always looking at photos and giving feedback and encouragement. This month...

Dorota shared photos from her recent visit to Iran.

Irandesert

Sean who is relatively new to the group showed a selection of his black and white street photography in the West End over a 20 year period (which is stunning). And then some of his more recent work venturing into the same streets but with a mobile phone camera rather than film. His practice is to shoot and not look at photos as he goes which keeps the mystery alive. It was great having this juxtaposition.

Sean McDonnell_LIP_1

Sean McDonnell_LIP_2

Brig has been protest marching and showed photos from those - this one is from Unite for Europe demonstration

Unite4Europe_01

Chris showed some of her work that she will be exhibiting in the Dominion exhibition and you cen see the previous post for one of her photos for the Thirteen group exhibition.

Moxey2


Infinitely more important is the looking!

Eggleston

There is a William Eggleston exhibition of people just started at the National Portrait Gallery (see here for a review). On Thursday evening several of us in the group had the privilege of going to hear a conversation with him about his work. The conversation was between Bill (if I may call him that), the curator of the show and Sean O Hagan, writer on photography for the Guardian and Observer (and clearly a fan).

William Eggleston was described by Sean O Hagan as the greatest living photographer. He is now quite frail in a wheelchair but whilst he took a while to respond to questions his wit was biting - it was both an informing and hilarious evening. The work looks amazing. I am sure you don't need me to tell you that Eggleston is celebrated for the way he embraced colour photography as an art form, both causing a huge reaction and controversy in his show in New York in 1976. He is not thought of in relation to portaiture so this is quite an original representation of his work I think.

What was entertaining about the interview was that a lot of the questions were leading Eggleston to explore deeper meanings in his work or photography in general but largely he was having none of it. So to give a couple of examples he was pressed whether Warhol had influenced his work - cue 10 second pause followed by "No!". Was his work symbolic - cue 10 second pause followed by "No!". Looking back on it was it symbolic - cue 10 second pause followed by "No!". Exploring the significance of his first moving image film looking for its significance he responded "We got practically nowhere". When hanging out with various celebraties whose pictures are in the exhibition, again looking for deep conversations he responded that with Joe Strummer "Don't know what we talked about - nothing important!". It really was laugh out loud funny, as well as a lesson for those conducting the conversation into perhaps asking a few more open rather than closed question. But there were a few threads that flowed much better such as when he was asked about his friendships. 

As a photographer he only takes one frame - he can't see the point of more; he doesn't take time to set up - it's not an issue; and he doesn't crop (another "no!" answer). As he reflected on travelling he suggested 

As one wanders round the world often one doesn't know the next place you're going to be. It's usually some kind of suprise, mostly of a happy kind.

And when asked about the writing on various photographs in the show it seemed to get to the heart of the matter. He said the photographs speak for themselves. If you look they say a lot. 

More than words it's the looking at the results that's important, not the writing or the talking. Infinitely more important is the looking!

So get yourself down there and do some looking!