I´m pleased to say that I will be holding an exhibition of my landscape photography at the Litvai Galerie für Fotografie in Landshut, Germany from October 15th until November 19th. Obviously I´m very pleased and excited about this – but also somewhat nervous!
It´s been a busy time recently, hence the gap in posting here. Last Saturday I held my first photography workshop here in Landshut, it was hosted by a local photography store, Foto Petzold. The subject was abstract city photography. It went well and I had a load of fun leading it – hopefully the four participants did too! I´ll be presenting this workshop twice next year – I´ll posting more details about it soon.
I´ve just finished quite a challenging video project. An electricity supplier has built a new fish ladder which runs between two hydro power station on the River Isar here in Lower Bavaria. Kerstin Erbe and I had the job of documenting the path of fish along it, from it´s beginning at the hydro power plant at Niederaichbach to their exit at Altheim. This video has a number of firsts for me. Firstly it´s the first time I´ve used my Nikon D800 for a complete video. That entailed buying a new camera rig with follow focus and production monitor. I was really pleased with the results from it. Secondly, because we also wanted underwater footage of the fish swimming against the current, I bought a GoPro Hero 4. This worked well and shooting at 2.7K allowed me room in the edit to do some zooming and pans. The water tight case that comes with it was excellent and when placed on the extra pole, got me into a few interesting corners. The big third were the drone shots! Yes I´ve now got a DJI Phantom 3 Pro Drone. That was a real quantum leap for me, involving a pretty steep learning curve! Anyway, after a few piloting problems, I got the hang of it pretty quickly. I´m still pretty cautious with my flying though and am keeping it simple. This can film up to 4k video as well as taking stills. I´m really pleased with it and can recommend it. Here is the link to my video on Vimeo, I hope you enjoy it!
A few months ago I received an email from the editor in chief of the UK magazine “Woodworking Plans and Projects” asking if he could use one of my images. He wanted it to illustrate a story written by one of his readers. It told the story of how some of the wood saved from the demolition of the Tate and Lyle Sugar Refinery in Liverpool. UK, had been used in various woodworking projects. The editor had googled Tate and Lyle and the search result threw up a Blog article that I´d posted in February 2013. I was pleased that I could add to the readers enjoyment of the article – hopefully.
This enquiry and licensing of the use of one of my photographs highlighted a number of points for me. The first being that a photograph that I´d taken more than 40 years ago still had a use today. The second being, as well as fun, how useful blogging can be. The third, how important search engine optimization (SEO) is. And last but not least, the importance of picture captions and that they should say something useful about the photograph.
Going back to the first point, a photograph never looses it´s power to say something, to illustrate something and to bring back memories. I can still remember walking through the remains of the Liverpool dockland as they went under the wreckers ball and disappeared for ever or was spruced up into a sort of Disney World of the British nautical and industrial past. It also brings back harder memories of strife, poverty and division that was so much part of the British story of the 1980s.
By the way, the now long gone Tate and Lyle Sugar Refinery and it´s demise still has an important place in Liverpool folklore. No-one can know how something – even an ugly building – or a photograph of it´s innards being ripped out, can retain meaning.
I really should get on with scanning more of my old negatives and positives and getting them archived and online – who knows what stories are buried there, and for who!
I´ve just received the pdf proof for the forthcoming book, “Travel, Modernism and Modernity” written by Dr. Robert Burden. I´m very pleased about this because not only did I provided the main cover photograph (a Tuscany Landscape) but also did the picture search for the book´s subjects (Joseph Conrad, E.M. Forster, D.H, Lawrence, Edith Wharton and Henry James) and the photo montage. The book, published by Ashgate Publishing Limited, in the USA, will be appearing soon.
I´m happy to write that my photograph, “Frauenau Trinkwassertalsperre”, has been selected by the jury to be displayed in the second annual exhibition at the Litvai Galerie für Fotografie in Landshut. The exhibition runs as part of the 9th Landshut Art Night.The jury comprised the Artist Stefanie Reiter, Jörg W. Ludwig, Galerist, LA Projects and Franz Schneider, Chairman Neue Galerie, Landshut. The Vernissage will take place at the gallery on Friday the 12th September from 8pm.
Es freut mich Ihnen mitzuteilen, dass mein Bild „Frauenau Trinkwassertalsperre“ von der Jury in die zweite Jahresausstellung der Litvai Galerie für Fotografie, im Rahmen der 9. Landshuter Kunstnacht, gewählt worden ist. Mitglieder der Jury waren Stefanie Reiter (Künstlerin), Jörg W. Ludwig (Galerist, LA Projects) sowie Franz Schneider (Vorsitzender Neue Galerie Landshut).
Die Vernissage findet am Freitag, 12. September ab 20. Uhr statt.
After many months of work, www.openmind-images.com has a completely new look! I´ve still got a lot to do on it – it´s always going to be work in progress as I load new content – but it´s now reached the stage that a beta version can go public.
So, please have a look around it, sign up for the newsletter check out the new look picture galleries – and hopefully, enjoy it!
Humans seem to need to quantify things, everything in fact. And as our societies have become more complicated, so has the quantifying too, or so it seems to me. The Piraha tribe in the Amazon have only three words for counting, one, two and many. They obviously can get by quite well with that, but we´ve needed to expand our base. We quantify how many pixels our cameras can record, how far it is to the sun, how far to the nearest star, how small things are, and the size of an atom, how long our trousers are and how much horse power the engine of our car has. Our language has kept pace with this need to quantify; we have developed concepts of quantity and names for these concepts, for example – one Light Year (about 9.5 trillion kilometres). Here is another example of naming a concept – a trillion. We call numbers, tens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, billions and so on. After a certain point though, I lose grasp of the reality of these names for quantities. We can write a number in two ways – it´s written name or, for us in our parts of the world, as an Arabic numeral, so one is also 1, twenty is also 20. And this is my problem – what does one billion or it´s name in the English system, one milliard look like in Arabic numerals? Well it´s 1,000,000,000. Now here I´m with the Piraha because I can´t visualize that number, I can visualize 50,000 because that´s how many people, or there abouts, used to pack into Anfield football ground on a Saturday to watch Liverpool FC, but 1,000,000,000 people? If you multiply that number by 7.1 (not the Anfield number, but the billion) you´ve got the human population of the Earth, or there abouts, now that´s a quantifying concept, hard to grasp but it´s a help. How about 3.5 billion? That´s about half the world population or three times the population of China. I´ll throw another number in, eighty five or 85. Now I can grasp that, it´s a few more people than who can travel on a Fokker 60 short haul passenger jet.
So let´s bring these two numbers together – 85 and 3.5 billion because they do have a connection; which is that 85 people have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion people on this planet. So a few more people than who can squeeze into a Fokker 60 have as much money as half the world population. The club of those 85 is starting in Davos. Their representatives are being wined and dined in this exclusive resort in Switzerland. They´ll produce some hot air about helping the poor, even use some of those “number concepts” to quantify the imaginary help they´ll, with great ceremony, give those 3.5 billion. But it won’t change anything, Merkel, Cameron and Obama, et al, or not into that concept. Their concept is the fallacy that the trickle down economy, which they support, is actually doing anything for the poor.
So what´s the point of all this, besides me letting of steam, that is? I guess there isn´t one really, things will go on as they are, the Davos hypocrisy will be repeated year after year as the gap between rich and poor widens and those at the top end will carry on paying their minions to push the trickle down lie. I knew that I could visualize 85 but I still can´t get my head around 3.5 billion. And I know that the more than huge disparity between what lies behind those two (or 2) numbers is disgustingly wrong.
Oh, and by the way, that poster I photographed on the platform at Landshut main station with my iPhone, translated reads: “ Food speculation is a murderous game”. It just seemed to be right for this post.
No photo here because this is horrendous! In North Korea you can be executed (murdered) for watching a South Korean TV Soap! Reports unconfirmed say that over the last couple of days 80 people have been shot for either doing that or being prostitutes.
That little bastard, Kim Jong-un must be really scared if he´s prepared to do that. The Nazis did the same to people listening to the BBC during WW2. There are lots of similarities between the two systems, it just seems that Jong-un is even more incompetent than Hitler was.
The refugees and asylum seekers are still occupying the Rindermarkt in the center of Munich. The last few days have witnessed a deterioration in the condition of the asylum seekers and many are now in hospital. The last days have also witnessed some rather unfeeling and arrogant comments by members of the Bavarian State government, particularly the social minister Christine Haderthauer, who has uttered a series of comments which have been totally lacking in respect towards these people and the situation that they find themselves in. Now the Bavarian President, Horst Seehofer has involved himself in an attempt to solve this problem. In my opinion it boils down to one basic human right that has been missing in the treatment of these people – respect. If you treat people without respect, they will one day rise up and demand it.