Catching Up.

How's it going?

I type this to you at an earlier time of eleven O'clock this evening with a cup of tea beside me and "Fargo" on the television. I've not seen this show before but so far theres some dude being held captive, some crazy blonde chick acting all batshit and some native american dude in a pick up truck  murking fuck outta folk. Whats going on? I have no idea but needless to say I'm fuckin hooked already.

Bit of a strange way to open a blog post, granted, but it ties into my recent obsession of gas stations, mountains and general love of american style photography. 

Yup nothing new here still obsessing over the same style as last time I posted but this time I have learned the names and work of the purveyors of this stuff. Not sure if purveyors is the correct word to use but it sounds fancy so just go with me. The guys I work with in the deli have got me hooked on the following

Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore

Joel Sternfield

Joel Sternfield

William Eggleston

William Eggleston

I may be late to the party in discovering these amazing photographers but they are definitely helping shape and influence the way I wanna take photographs. I've become entwined in the simplistic yet skilled way that they shoot. From composition to subject the whole package gives me a semi whilst perusing. If I'm honest I don't know whether calling their work simplistic yet skilled is offensive or not.

Whilst on the subject of honesty I must admit that recently my health has not been great. I'm holding loads of tension in my lower back which is causing me some fuckin shitty ass nights sleep and I've been feeling anxious and lethargic. This is my excuse for not posting or shooting as much for the past month. Instead I have been living vicariously through the images of the photographers I love instead of going out and using their work to inspire new adventures. I've replaced booze for cups of tea, late nights for earlier nights and exploring for staying in with the heating on. I've had an overwhelming sense of guilt hanging over me recently for letting the evenings slip by with out editing photos or going to social events. I'm trying to combat this by staying focused on honing my skills behind a lens. As a result I have set my self a goal of creating a series of strong works with narrative and specific subjects with in a year. To help me do so I plan to get more free lance work and build my confidence in shooting portraits of people I don't know. In turn I hope this helps me lose that awkward as fuck, silent observer vibe I give the people staring uncomfortably back at me.

I'm planning to go to "The Dare Photography Experience"

It's run by the insanely talented Gary Lashmar and Claudia Rose Carter. You guys will know Claudia's work as she was the legend that drank PUNK IPA with us all, shot mine and Abi's wedding and led us round the beautiful forests in Norway. From what I've read and heard the workshop inspires confidence in the students to shoot uncomfortable situations naturally and with strength. This is something that I really need help with. A lot of you will be well versed in my bullshit excuses for not getting shots of strangers when out in public. 

Abi & I shot by Claudia in Norway.

Abi & I shot by Claudia in Norway.

In other news I managed to get in contact with Jack Latham last week. For those of you who read my last post will understand that Jacks work, as well as a few others, blew my fuckin shit to pieces at "Diffusion Festival". Turns out we go way back... Yes understandably I was fuckin stoked on this! We used to hang out like ten years ago and first started talking at a house party where the two of us were less than sober. We caught up briefly over Facebook and hung out last Friday. I joined him briefly for a shoot he was doing to promote the amazing work of Ucan Productions. Ucan Productions is a performance and creative arts co-operative for blind and partially sighted children, young people and their friends. It is also ran by Jack's parents... Fuckin legends!

Before we went to the shoot Jack critiqued my work and gave me some pretty sound and solid advice on how to improve my work and where some of my images can be improved. It was nice to hear some supportive and genuinely encouraging words from someone who is fast becoming a big name in the photography world. 

As a result I've edited a few shots from a couple of weeks ago in a completely new way. No presets, no fuckery, just gentle adjustments while keeping an eye on the histogram and cropping in a way that feels alien to me. 

Please forgive me for posting more petrol station stuff...

I'm pretty stoked on how these have turned out but I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket. I'm hoping in a few weeks time I will look back at these and pick fault with them. Not in a negative sense but in more of a "man, I shoot and it so much better now" kinda way. By the way feel free to put me in my place if you disagree with my new found confidence in the future. 

I strongly recommend you guys check out Jack's site as his work is bad ass.

I also recommend you guys buy all of his shit so he can fund his trip to Iceland to finish "Sugar Paper Theories". 

Sugar Paper Theories may still be a work in progress but has already named him the winner of the "Bar-Tur Photobook Award" and claimed a spot in The National Portrait gallery. He was also awarded the "Magnum/ideastap Photographic Award" in April 2015. Clever cunt. If you buy his work it will fund him to continue his work and in turn keep me hooked on a constant supply of visual crack. By helping him you are directly benefitting me.

I have battled with squarespace crashing for too many hours now and have possibly broken a record for amount of links posted in a blog. Im off to bed.


Good night all. Thanks for reading.