Archive for June, 2011

The F Words

FFS, it’s #ff today, and also several week (owing to major personal crisis) since I last added some links to my blogroll here. So, with Friday in mind, I bring you….


First up, I present First-Stop which ST84 Photo discussed here.

A free-to-use portfolio site for green-minded creatives who want to connect and do business with others who share their intentions of reducing or zeroing their paper emissions in marketing campaigns.

Next, we have Fire-Cracker, an online portal established in 2011 by Fiona Rogers to promote European women working in photography.

Rogers currently works at Magnum Photos London as the Cultural & Education
Co-ordinator, a position she has held since 2005. Prior to that she was employed at a popular London gallery and studied BA Arts & Media at the University for the Creative Arts in Surrey. She holds a postgraduate certificate from the London College of Communication in Creative Enterprise Management. (All cribbed gleefully from the wonderful site itself).

A name that will be familiar to many readers is Flak Photo, a daily online magazine that celebrates new photography. Produced by Andy Adams, the site highlights new series work, book projects and gallery exhibitions from an international community of contributors.

I urge anyone on Facebook to also check out the recently founded Flak Photo Network and Flak Photo Books. Two groups also initiated by Andy (FPBooks is in its infancy) to bring photography industry specialists globally to a central hub, to discuss ideas, ask questions, and share great work they have come across. Flak Photo Books does what it says on the tin – Flak Photo goodness and conversation goodness, all around photobooks.

Also of major note, Foto8 an online portal for all of the following fotofood: – A space to discover, share and debate photography
The site exists to bridge the divide between photographers, authors and their audience through interactive displays and a constant stream of new stories, reviews, commentary and resources.

8, The Photography Biannual
Dedicated to publishing photo stories and new writing that supports photojournalism and original story telling. Exploring the boundaries between photography, journalism and art to shine a light on subjects that shape our world.

HOST Gallery – Documentary Photography and Photojournalism in London
HOST, in Honduras STreet in London, has achieved a popular and respected exhibition schedule, alongside its program of face-to-face encounters with photography and film. Events include: talks with photographers, film screenings, professional folio reviews, and book launches and social events for magazine subscriber-members.

The first pair of festivals, from Houston, TX we have Fotofest and from Derby, UK, we have Format Festival. And it’s more than worth keeping an eye on both, as I can hint at yet more amazing visual feasts coming from both in the near future…

And a shout out also to Fraction Magazine and its offspring, Fraction J.

Fraction Magazine features the best of contemporary photography, bringing together diverse bodies of work by established and emerging artists from around the globe. Each monthly on-line issue focuses on a central theme, creating an implicit dialogue between differing photographic perspectives. Fraction also offers in-depth photography book reviews. For his outstanding work, David Bram, Fraction’s editor and publisher, was selected as the 2010 recipient of the Griffin Museum’s Rising Star Award.

Fraction was founded in March 2008 by David Bram and Joshua Spees

Fraction J (fresh from September 2010 until the internet implodes) is a publication for documentary and photojournalism, run with help from Jason Houston and Stella Kramer.

Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, we present 14-19 who say for themselves, “We want to celebrate the creativity and originality shared by our peers and those we admire, still in the earliest stages of their photographic lives. We do this through our online gallery, imprint, bookshop and exhibitions.” And the wonderfully brilliant additional gem, “We aren’t ageist.”

So, there you have it, a mix of the old and the new. Or the old and the young. Or the young and old, because 14-19 sound like veterans already (packing the complimentary anti-wrinkle for you guys as I type…). Enjoy.

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Seconds2Real Photo Exhib Liverpool

Just got in from hanging the prints by Austrian/German Street Photography Collective, Seconds2Real.

Big shout out to Sam, owner of Bold Street Coffee for welcoming this exhibition to his space, and big shout out to Ceri from Open Eye Gallery who kindly helped with the hanging. Appreciated, guys! πŸ˜€

This exhibition of Seconds2Real Street Photography Collective prints is at Bold Street Coffee until mid-July, check it out over a coffee while you can!

Seconds2Real are an Austrian/German collective.

Bold Street Coffee Opening Times:
Mon-Sat 9am-6pm
Sun 10am-5pm

And now, for the photos…









(That’s me, doing some hanging. Those are my “techy clothes” and baggy for grooving to the photo goodness while being all techy and stuff:

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Collateral Damage Part III

Panos Pictures have shared this video discussing the agency’s history and the changes in documentary photographer and photojournalism over the last few decades.

Harry Hardie who co-curated Collateral Damage with Paul Lowe (LCC) is a key contributor the discussion in the Panos video, as is Mishka Henner who exhibited in the Collateral Damage show.

This is a brief side-note to the conclusion of my review of Collateral Damage, which will be posted later today (and that’s a promise!), but the video is worth 25 minutes of your time and is an excellent way to augment the material ST84Photo has been discussing in this review.

Part I and Part II are also worth reading and chock full of links to the relevant sources.

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Collateral Damage Part II (Paul Lowe & Harry Hardie)

You can read Part I here.

After a quick coffee and lunch, we reconvened at Novas CUC for the afternoon of the LCC seminar: talks by Paul Lowe (LCC), Mishka Henner, and Dr. Jennifer PollardDr. jennifer Pollard (LCC), and a roundtable discussion that also included John Davies.

This “talks and discussion” session was scheduled to be broadcast as a live webinar, with input from a global audience. But this wasn’t to be. I believe the politically astute term for this scenario may well be “technical glitch”. I also believe the politically not very astute gesture for this may well be a faux-shock gaping mouth and a finger pointing directly at the LCC MA Course Director. Hi Paul. Got my MA application, yet? Just checking.

To be fair, it was more that the venue had a very weak wifi signal, a fact known to ex-musical heathens like myself, from days spent practicing in the adjoining rehearsal rooms of Elevator Studios. But I was surprised that neither the venue nor the Look11 team seemed to have sought a workaround for this event, or to inform the LCC of this issue. I’m not sure who really dropped the ball here, but it was a fairly rookie mistake from someone or, more likely, several.

Lowe’s talk could be described as a Rough Guide to Conflict Photography History. I mean no insult there; as a relative newcomer to looking at conflict photography beyond the pages and webpages of the broadsheets, it was a very useful introduction to the debate, and I culled much in the way of notes for future reference.

Lowe’s argument was essentially that rather than there being a supposedly fairly recent trend of making a different form of conflict photography in response to photojournalistic efforts, photographers had been doing this all along. It wasn’t something that started with Paul Seawright and contemporaries (see here for more), but rather has it’s roots as early as the days of Stanley Green, who was experimenting at the start of the 20th Century with this notion of alternative story-telling, using metaphor and allegory to photograph the unphotographable (to quote that threadbare phrase).

He elaborates that while an increasing number of photojournalists are taking cues from the fine art world in how they make and present their work, we ought not to pass over the icons of classic photojournalims, like Green and Robert Capa, who frequently did find alternative ways to document what they witnessed.

That said, he noted that photojournalism trails behind fine art practice in adopting new techniques and methods of portrayal, leading me to question both why this is, and whether it will continue as the distribution media for classic photojournalism continues to weaken and new channels of distribution are created and experimented with. It seems to me that experimentation and reiterative processes are key to fostering creativity, and with a distribution media either in collapse or in flux (depending on the strength of view you take regarding the rise of the mount olympus of social media), the time is ripe for some truly innovative work to be produced. I think we may have yet to see that work be made, but I do wonder if, how, and when it might happen.

He also shared a few variations on The Capa Quoteβ„’ (note: quote must be uttered with defiant tone) “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”

Joel Sternfeld: If your pictures aren’t good enough, then you’re too close.

Todd Pappageorge: If your pictures aren’t good enough, then you’re not reading enough.

This sums up a move away from the literal into the metaphoric, a move perhaps most strongly demonstrated in the work of Paul Seawright, Simon Norfolk, and in Broomberg and Chanarin’s The Day Nobody Died (links in Part I of this review).

To conclude his talk, Lowe argued that instead of judging this style of work based on individual pieces or even individual photographers, we would be better off viewing it as a collective narrative that provides a sustained and complex response to the too-frequently seen classic photojournalistic images of conflict that blinds us emotionally by saturation of imagery to the reality of the situation they set out so earnestly to depict. As Lowe said later, “the problem isn’t in the presence of certain kinds of images [classic photojournalism] but in the absence of certain other kinds of images [the more allegorical and metaphorical style discussed in his talk].” Conflicts, and their effects, run too deep for a solely surface appearance of them to suffice in documenting their true nature.

Edit – struggling to find the relevant links for the rest of this post and must dash for work. Shall finish up later tonight.

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Nate Larson – Call For Submissions

Nate Larson runs a tumblr blog, documenting the desktops of creatives from around the world. And he wants your desktop! Well, a screengrab of it, anyway. 5 minutes of your time, and intuhwebz fame is guaranteed*.

From Nate:
Artists, writers, & other creative folk – please send a screen capture of your desktop for Nate Larson’s ongoing blog project. I’m curious to see how creative people organize their thought process in the digital age – whether it’s minimal or complex, customized or corporatized, or how it reflects other evidence of your artistic work you do:

*Maybe. Depending on how you define “intuhwebz fame” and how frequently Google crawls tumblr.

Hoping to add Part II of the Collateral Damage – Landscapes of Conflict exhibition and one-day seminar (Paul Lowe, LCC, and Harry Hardie, HOST) later tonight.

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Seconds2Real Exhibition Exclusive Preview

Seconds2Real European Street Photography Collective are exhibiting work at Bold Street Coffee, Liverpool, from 15th June until 13th July, 2011.

To celebrate the exhibition, ST84Photo blog will be bringing you exclusive interviews and images with the photographers running throughout the exhibition. ST84Photo will also be documenting the installation and opening of the exhibition, to give those of you who can’t make it in person a taste of the brilliant atmosphere and images on display.

To get the ball rolling, this post would like to introduce the cast of exhibiting photographers:

Kay von Aspern – Vienna
Elisabeth Schuh – Vienna
Guido Steenkamp – Berlin
Thorsten Strasas – Berlin
Natalie Opocensky – Vienna
Alexander Magedler – Vienna
Heiko Menze – Vienna
Mario Cuic – Munich
Christian Reister – Berlin
Andreas Stelter – Minden

Locations were the images were made are:

The time frame the images were made during is:

Interviews will be coming to ST84Photo blog soon, so watch this space!
Update: Interviews with the Seconds2Real photographers will start appearing on ST84Photo from Thursday 16th June, 2011, so watch this space!

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Landscapes of Conflict – Part I

A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate to be invited by Paul Lowe to attend a one-day seminar for LCC students at Liverpool’s CUC.

Why Liverpool for a London University event? Well, Paul Lowe and Harry Hardie have curated the group show, Collateral Damage for Look11. The show features conflict photography and seeks to offer a refreshingly different perspective to the repetition of ‘stock’ compositions that are heavily featured in photojournalism new pieces.

The show runs Tues-Sun, until 26th June 2011. Check it out while you can – my personal opinion is that it is one of the strongest exhibitions in the Look11 festival, and the curatorial aspects of the show really enhance the selection of images by contrasting the approaches of different photographers and positioning them so the different perspectives play off each other very strongly.

The day began with a tour of the show, and some time spent visiting some of the other Look11 exhibitions; some of the Lightbox work and the John Davies/Donovan Wylie Signs of War exhibition at Milk and Sugar. This was followed after lunch by talks from Paul Lowe (LCC), photographer Mishka Henner, and Dr. Jennifer Pollard (LCC), and a roundtable discussion that also included John Davies.

Collateral Damage features work by Simon Norfolk, Tim Hetherington, Zijah Gafic, Paul Lowe, Edmund Clark, Lisa Barnard, Ashley Gilbertson, Adam Broomberg and Olivier Chanarin, Brett Van Ort, Mishka Henner.

The exhibition is largely laid out across three ‘corridors’ where images from two photographers face each other. Brett Van Ort and Edmund Clark are paired together, both works dealing with “what exists but can’t be seen” – Brett’s work shows beautiful looking landscapes in frames which open to reveal coldly photographed product photography of the mines hidden in the landscape, while Edmund Clark’s work comprises photographs of letters sent to inmates at Guantanamo Bay. The photographs are of scanned copies of the letters, with text blacked out, as prisoners never received the actual letters themselves but the scanned copies. The photographs are the more poignant for this fact – the sense of distance the viewer feels is akin in kind to the detachment the inmate has from the actual letter sent, and often sent by a family member. Both works allude to dislocation between beauty hinted at (or proclaimed, in Brett’s work) and the dangers that aren’t at first apparent to the viewer, but ever present for those living in these spaces.

The next ‘corridor’ features work by Tim Hetherington (whose tragic death this blog wrote about here ) and by Lisa Barnard. A perhaps unintended consequence of this pairing is that, in light of Tim’s recent death in Libya, and the attendant discussion in the media and photojournalism forums of the psychological effects of warfare on both those who participate in it and those who document it, Lisa’s images depicting the psychological training and treatment of American troops takes on a further potency than it otherwise might have had. Tim’s work featured in this exhibition is early work, examining the graffiti in post-conflict zones, pointing to the territorial nature of disputes. These ghostly echoes of the causes and basis of war are powerful, both for their similarity in appearance to the markings left in all urban spaces, and for the link with Lisa’s work, namely that marks of war live on after the war has ended, both physically and psychologically. It makes the viewer question where the end of a war actually is.

The final corridor pairs Paul Lowe’s images of the wall separating Israel and Palestine, and Mishka Henner’s aerial google views of American military bases around the world (his 51 states). Each offering unique perspectives on the divisions of architecture, symbolic of the divisions between nation-states, these images carry a hypnotic weight through repetition of content and framing. There is a pervading sense here, as in other work featured in Collateral Damage, that this could be anywhere, and the absence of stereotypical or easy markers for locating the spaces depicted adds to the force of interrogation the viewer faces – by refusing to show whose backyard this is, it becomes everyone’s backyard. Interesting, then, that Lowe and Hardie feature Ashley Gilbertson’s Bedrooms of the Fallen along the side wall, printed in large-scale panoramic format (a powerful counter-point to the comparatively tiny panoramics of Lowe’s Wall), depicting bedrooms of American soldiers. Instigated after Ashley was working on assignment and witnessed the death of a soldier who had taken him to the top of a mosque for picture opportunities, the work is laden with emotional cues and is reminiscent of the Rimbaud poem, The Sideboard and Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology (see also Gibson, Affordances, 1971) – objects are never merely objects but always exist in relation to us. In this case, the artefacts of youth where life has ended, there is an unsettling feeling created by looking at a bedroom that will never be slept in again. The relationships of attachment, entertainment, and utility that these objects once had in relation to their owners are now broken, and instead the whole room becomes a shrine for the family remembering their loss.

Next to Ashley’s work, and on the opposite wall, creating a pair crossing the walls of Van Ort and Clark, are two images by Simon Norfolk, from Full Spectrum Dominance: Missiles, Rockets, Satellites in America. Like Van Ort and Clark, there is a notion here of what can’t be seen – the missiles are created and transported in top secrecy, and the satellites are fired into space, where they can’t be seen, only their effects are tangible. Here, Norfolk photographs the single brief moment when they are visible, and spectacularly so, during their launch. That these two images are the only clear signs of the “shock and awe” of warfare in the exhibition reminds us of the link between the quieter images presented by the other photographers and the newspaper images we are all saturated with, but Norfolk does it in a conceptually intriguing manner; the viewer is reminded of the childhood (or childish? maybe) interest in war games for their spectacle, for the fireworks we celebrate with every November, for the sheer sense of display.

In all, Lowe and Hardie ought to be commended for producing an exhibition that explores a wide range of different dimensions to the effects of war, on the military involved, the people stuck in war zones, and the families of those lost in the name of supposedly noble causes. Henner’s work also shows how the military machine is everywhere, and inescapable in terms of distancing oneself geographically (and, by extension emotionally), the from the debate. The work presented is quiet but insistent in it’s interrogation of the viewer, and manages to ask questions without polemicising strongly one way or another. A fantastic exhibition, and extremely well delivered.

You can read Part II of this review here, where I get into the talks and discussions in the afternoon session of this event.

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Diemar/Noble Announce Fitzrovia Photography Prize

Diemar/Noble Logo (for ST84Photo Blog)

A representative from Diemar/Noble informed me about this year’s Fitzrovia Photography Prize, so I thought it worth sharing with my readers here. The prizes are superb, and I am hoping to find a couple of hours to spare when I’m in London before the deadline to try to make some frames to submit myself. It would be an amazing opportunity to get a portfolio review from the Gallery, and the rest of the prize packages are just as impressive.

Press Release From Diemar/Noble:
“This year Diemar/Noble Photography, London is pleased to announce The Fitzrovia Photography Prize sponsored by John Lewis, Oxford Street.”

The competition theme is ‘Within a Mile’ i.e. all photographs entered must have been taken within a mile radius of the gallery, which is situated in the heart of London. The competition is currently calling for entries.
Selected works will be exhibited from the 21st July until the 20th August 2011. The competition is being sponsored by John Lewis with prizes for both the winner and two runners up. The deadline for this competition is 25th June 2011 and there is no entry fee!

For more information please visit the Diemar/Noble Photography website

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The Migration Museum Photography Competition

I received an email from Sophie Henderson, Project Manager for the newly established Migration Museum. She wanted me to publicise this among the participants of the Street Photography Now Project run by The Photographers’ Gallery, for which I am the Community Manager. I offered to share it here also, to reach more people.

They are running a competition jointly with The Guardian newspaper seeking images relating to migration into the UK and emigration from the UK.

The deadline for submissions to the competition is 17th June, 2011. So you have until next Friday to submit your images. Good luck!

This competition is seeking images relating to immigration into the UK, and emigration from the UK. Very sorry to those who have images of other forms of immigration, but this is to seek images in keeping with the remit of The Migration Museum, which is focussed on UK-related migration.

From Sophie Henderson of The Migration Museum:
I wanted to tell you about an exciting new project, headed by former Minister for Immigration Barbara Roche, which aims to establish a new national Migration Museum in the UK. We’ve got a new website at

We are also running a "100 Images of Migration" competition with the Guardian for people to upload images resonant of migration. Images might relate to a personal family history, or to something in the public domain like a banknote printed on Huguenot Portal family paper. Or they could show a tabloid newspaper headline screaming about a nation swamped by immigrants or anything else that speaks of migration.

I wondered whether you or any of the street photography participants might be interested in contributing some images. Images can be uploaded via the Guardian article at… or our website and the competition ends on 17th June 2011. Winning entries will feature in Guardian Weekend Magazine.

Best wishes

Sophie Henderson

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Seconds2Real Exhibition Prints Arrive!

Seconds2Real Exhibition Prints

As you can see, I have just taken delivery of a nice stack of wonderful exhibition prints, sent to me by Seconds2Real Photography Collective.

I am showing their work at Bold Street Coffee Shop in Liverpool, June 15th until July 13th. If you’re nearby, drop in for a coffee and check out this quality work!

The image above is to give you a sneak preview of some of the images to be shown. You have to be there to see it in full… πŸ˜‰

And, to celebrate this exhibition and the strong work made by this German and Austrian collective, this blog will be featuring two interviews each week with members of the collective, from this week until the end of the exhibition. Interviews will include some images by the photographers, too. How neat is that, eh?

(The photograph above was made with my new Olympus E-PL2, which I won in a competition on Pub photography in London)

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