Tuesday, December 29, 2020


To finish of the year, here are some photo portraits spanning fifty years. What is portraiture? How does it differ from any other kind of photograph of someone?

The defining characteristic is that these are all more or less posed. The sitter contributes to the result by intentionally making an expression, or holding their body in a particular position. The sitter knew that I was waiting to click the shutter. The trick is to make the image not look like a mugshot.

I learned a lot from my evening classes with Jorge Lewinski decades ago at the London College of Printing (now London College of Communication) when I was working as a photography assistant.

The final two images are of the painter Emmanuel Levy, who was a student at Manchester School of Art at the same time as L.S. Lowry. Both studied under Pierre Valette. Emmanuel Levy's charcoal portait of me can be found here.

Shop window

Looking through the contact sheets for my more recent black and white photos, I realized that not a few are of shops and storefronts around Sheffield city centre. I have never previously considered this as a 'theme' but they say something about the city and the streets I have walked up and down with my point-and-shoot camera.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Digital Lomography

It could be said that the term 'digital lomography' is an oxymoron because 'Lomography' refers to photography with cheap/ plastic film cameras (like the Lomo).

For me, it means letting go of preconceptions — giving up any pretence of making 'artistic' photographs and just enjoying the process, letting random chance dictate the shapes and colours that appear in the frame.

A basic consumer-model digital camera is perfect for this, and a lot cheaper than film. There are no limits to the numbers of pictures you can take, less inhibition about pressing the shutter.

The two cameras featured are Canon SD780 (1) and Hitachi HDC-1491E (2-6).