Saturday, 22 March 2014

Small World

Almost immediately after watching Tom Wood on What Do Artists Do All Day? I ordered Photie Man and Men / Women which I'd been prevaricating over for some time. Once more I'm left wondering if the pictures have gained interest through the passage of time and their value as social documents isn't outweighing their merits as pictures. That's not to say there aren't some really good pictures in the books, there are, but perhaps there are just too many pictures. That can be a problem with books of a retrospective nature which are rarely concise.

The nostalgia conundrum also applies to another book which I read a review of recently which also harks back to the time the seventies turned into the eighties - the time I was a student in Liverpool. The same period when Tom Wood and Martin Parr were photographing Merseyside.

As the captions for the pictures in the Tom Wood books are at the back rather than accompanying the pictures it took me a while to realise that I have a photograph of one of people in Photie Man. Which made me think about the theory of six degrees of separation.

Here's my picture of Dick Young which was shot in black and white because digital hadn't been invented and I couldn't develop colour film!

This afternoon I made a trip to see the local photographic society's exhibition of its open competition prints. It was as dreary as ever. Nothing much has changed in over 30 years. The subjects are still the same (there's always a craggy old character with a beard, a swan or two and some yachts), all printed to a 'high standard' of blandness. Some say the internet is homogenising photography, it's nothing new it's been like that pretty much for ever. Just the values vary from sub-group to sub-group.

I reverted to the Fuji for my pocket camera, but got annoyed by its handling yet again. Not being able to remember how to change the settings I frequently mess with doesn't help. Grrr... I guess I'm wedded to the SLR functionality.

The parking theme progresses. Although I remain at a loss to understand why I frame my pictures the in the haphazard way I do. If the rain stays away tomorrow I might do some serious photography instead of my unfocused wandering around snapping.

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