Monthly Archives: August 2013

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Friends of P.

‘If you’re friends with P.

Well, then you’re friends with me…’

The Rentals (Sharp, 1995)

Apart from Anton Corbijn who reportedly ‘made’ artists successful (Quirins, 2012) it is usually the fame of the artist that has facilitated the photographer’s commercial success: Would we know of Kevin Cummins without Joy Division, Steve Gullick without Nirvana, Pennie Smith without The Clash, Glen E. Friedman without Fugazi, or Autumn deWilde without Elliott Smith? Read More →

‘The force that marks the routine’: positioning my photographic practice

The notion of truth in photography can be examined according to three photographic functions (Short, 2011: 11-19): recording of truth (literal depiction to create a sense of personal history or identity), telling a story (documentary), constructing altered realities (decontextualized and re-presented reality). I had always convinced myself that my photography fell into the first two categories; I’m not so sure now… Here is a first attempt at positioning my photographic practice among my contemporaries. Read More →

‘It’s harmony in my head’: A very particular set of circumstances

I sometimes enjoy taking photographs of the gear onstage or the roadies completing sound check. The aim of these photos is to check that my camera settings are appropriate, especially in terms of exposure and white balance. But invariably I end up really liking these photos because they give a different mood and view on artists. However, I am aware that these photographs do not necessarily represent artists the way they are traditionally represented in the media. If context usually informs interpretation of an image then I must argue that, for me, context can distract the interpretation process. Read More →

‘Something’s Happening Here’

Cut a (not so) long story short; my name ended up on the guest list to photograph the band It’s A Beautiful Day. ‘Who?’ I heard me say. An hour before making my way to the venue I googled the name and read that they were part of the San Francisco music scene, i.e. think… 1960s, Jefferson Airplane, psychedelia and progressive rock. Personally I can’t think along those lines and I felt it was far too late to investigate further. I would turn up, have a drink with the lovely acquaintance who had put my name on the list and see what happens. I thought that it would be an interesting experience to take photos of a band I had never heard of, and a band that plays music I don’t know much about – psychedelia and acid trips have never been part of my musical landscape.

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Photographing Simone Felice

What we witnessed on the night, embodied in Simone Felice’s performance, was as Guibert (1981) and Arnaux and Marie (2005) wrote: ‘something beautiful, too beautiful’; ‘if the image had been taken, it would probably be framed – untrue – unreal’; ‘this text is the despair of the image, and worse than a blurred and hazy image: a ghost image’; ‘where aesthetics are sought, meaning is lost’. What I saw, listened to, felt, and photographed on the night cannot be easily pieced together with images, and in fact, with words either: Fragile and passionate vocals, precise musical arrangements, lean yet sensuous arms, banter and wit, laughter and tears… Read More →