Most of my photography is quite realistic but every now and then it’s nice to try something different and let the imagination sail before the wind.
Category Archives: art
Where land meets sea
The last few weeks have been hard and blogging has been far from my mind. But I wanted to share this slideshow, which I made for a talk I gave in the summer at the Shed Gallery’s ‘Muse’ exhibition in Lyme Regis. It features a few of my own pictures, but mostly inspirational images by other photographers that I selected from the Gallery, on the theme of my talk, coastal photography. Being a very proud Mummy, I must add that my favourite thing about it is the music, an original score composed and recorded for the talk by my very talented daughter, Maggie Talibart. Not too shabby for thirteen!
Spectra over London
Spectra, by Rioji Ikeda, is one of several art installations in London at present to commemorate the centenary of the start of WW1. Certainly an imposing sight. You don’t have to go into London to see it as it is visible for many miles around. However, if you do want to see it for yourself, you will have to be quick – tonight’s the last night.
The Shed Gallery
Seeing your work exhibited has to be one of the greatest thrills available in photography. Liberated from the hard drive, your images come to life, and take on new meaning as they resonate with the other exhibited images. People actually come to see them, and contemplate them, in real time, and not just because they want you to visit their blog/photostream/FB page/twitter feed. Well hung, a collection of images becomes a body of work. And, let’s face it, exhibiting your own work is just plain cool.
Staging an exhibition is a huge undertaking, and not just in terms of the obvious challenges: deciding on your image criteria (theme, style etc), choosing your best images, getting them printed to an exhibition standard, mounting and framing and making an aesthetically pleasing hanging plan. Obviously, you have to find a venue. Then, depending on your venue, you have to think about publicity, stewardship and pricing (if your work is for sale). As that last point hints, it’s not a cheap project either. Just a little bit of research locally has led me to conclude that a solo exhibition is going to cost well into four figures. And the harsh reality is that most exhibiting photographers fail to sell enough prints even to begin to make a significant dent in all that investment.
Yet, this year I have had the pleasure of having images exhibited in three (soon to be four) prestigious exhibitions. Am I broke now? No, because last Autumn I joined The Shed Gallery. I was on holiday in Lyme Regis, on Dorset’s beautiful Jurassic Coast, when I came across an exhibition at The Malthouse. The images were all printed on aluminium, which gave the exhibition an edgy, current vibe, and worked well in the space. I also liked the way the photography mingled with original pieces of art, paintings and sculptures, giving an added layer of texture and interest. The exhibition was by The Shed Gallery, and I got chatting to one of its owners, Chelsea Davine, herself a talented artist and photographer. The Shed is an online gallery specialising in aluminium prints. There are plenty of ways of selling photography on-line but The Shed offers the added benefit of staging real exhibitions of selected works and also has hanging space in Chelsea’s Barcelona Gallery.
Since joining, I have had my work exhibited in London, Bristol and Lyme, and am delighted to be one of the featured photographers at a second exhibition in Lyme next month. I have more than recouped my membership fee in sales and I have had the pleasure of exhibiting without any of the effort or financial risk; Chelsea and her business partner Ben do all the work! In January, I attended the private view of The Shed’s Albion exhibition, at the Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery under The Tramshed restaurant in trendy Shoreditch. I mingled with celebrities sipping champagne and actually looking at my work! I have also met, either online or in person, some very nice people, and enjoyed some inspirational images.
Sadly, I can’t attend the winter exhibition as I will be in Australia, but if you are in Dorset between 17th December and 6th January, do consider popping into our exhibition. And if you want to know more about The Shed, just pop over to the website and have a look round, visit The Shed’s blog, or feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.
Keeping it simple
Most photographers I know are always developing their art, changing and adapting to new subjects and new moods. They also tend to change in the way they see images, and this feeds into new images they make. When aesthetic changes are experienced by a large enough number of image-makers, they become fashion. Thus, a couple of years ago, in landscape work, so-called High Dynamic Range, or HDR, images were all the rage. Done subtly, HDR simply means properly exposing an image so you have detail in the shadows and the highlights, something that with few exceptions has always been a minimum standard for landscape work. The trouble with the HDR fashion as it emerged towards the end of the last decade was that the effect was exaggerated until the image came to look surreal. For me, many HDR images started to be about displaying the technique rather than the landscape as it was revealed by the light prevailing when the image was taken. Yet it is easy to see how this happened.
The power of photoshop, and HDR plug-ins like Photomatix, is seductive. It is so easy to keep on editing, always seeking more impact, way beyond the point when perhaps, in the cold light of the next day, one should have stopped. I have done this myself, egged on by sites like Flickr and 500px where the ‘success’ of an image depends on its being immediately striking rather than any lasting appeal. Of late, however, I find myself seeking a more subdued aesthetic, one that I hope is truer to the moment as I experienced it when I took the image in the first place. These images of my lighthouse muse, La Corbière, are the case in point; simple, minimally-edited captures of brief moments when the light seemed to connect with the landscape in a way that pleased my eye. They are not clever and they will not win any awards but I begin to find myself more satisfied with this sort of image than any other.
Of course, as with any fashion, there eventually has to be a backlash, and the HDR pendulum seems to be swinging back the other way. So, perhaps in my love of the understated I am just another victim of fashion’s vagaries… Has your approach to image-making, or image-appreciation, changed recently? I would love to hear your thoughts.
I hope you will forgive me for reposting this image, which I first blogged last year. At that time, The Broken Light Collective asked me if I would allow them to use the image. Shame on me I have only just this week got around to sending it! The Collective is a group of photographers living with, or affected by, mental illness. I am honoured that Into the Mist is currently their featured image and I cannot think of a better use for it than as inspiration for anyone who might be struggling with illness.
Signed limited editions
I am very excited because local gallery, Arté, in Weybridge, Surrey is currently featuring four signed limited edition prints of my local landscapes. The four images they have chosen are below.
Arté is a lovely family-owned local gallery, and well worth a visit if you are in the neighbourhood. The owners, Mike and Sally, are sure to give you a warm welcome.
Back to Burano tomorrow!
This weekend is the last for the Albion exhibition in which six of my images are included. If you are up in town, why not pop by for lots of interesting photographs exploring Britain and “Britishness” and some lovely, affordable original paintings and sculpture (we bought a beautiful painting for our living room). I will be dropping by on Sunday with my daughter, the only family member yet to see it. Maybe we will see you there!
Albion is open from 11am to 6pm at the Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery under The Tramshed restaurant, Rivington Street, Shoreditch.
My first exhibition private view
Thursday was the private viewing of Albion, The Shed Photography’s exhibition at the Cock n Bull Gallery in Shoreditch. It was super to see my images on the wall, especially my London City shot, blown up huge and attracting attention, handily placed as it was next to the champagne.
If you are in town any time between now and 4th March, do consider popping by. You can always treat yourself to some beautifully authentic English cuisine in The Tramshed afterwards. Perhaps we could meet for a coffee?
My other exhibited images:
Medicine for the Soul
See here for a walk through of the complete exhibition.