Photography as terrorism

I have been stopped by the police many times. When I was in my teens and early twenties it became a joke among my friends; "How many times were you stopped on the way here Tom?" they would say. Anyway. I have often been stopped simply for taking photographs. I have not yet been arrested for it but it came close a couple of times.

Here's a picture I took of some Police in one of those situations.

There was a protest happening outside Downing street and I got in trouble for being on the wrong side of the barriers i.e. the Police side. I was promptly and roughly escorted to the 'correct' side. My insistance that I could walk there without having my arm twisted (literally) almost got me cuffed.

I know full well what it means to be in reach of the long arm of the law. Even so, I almost thought this campaign by London's Metropolitan Police was an early April fool's joke. Sadly not.

Here is photographer David Hoffman showing his feelings about the poster. Thanks to Peter Marshall for taking this shot. Check out his blog here.

This may be in London but my experiences with the police here in the U.S. tell me the sentiment is the same. So I encourage you all to go out there and take photographs. While the law allows still allows it.

Pimp my Leica

This Canon 50mm f/0.95 modified with a Leica mount is currently on sale on ebay. Just in case you want to shoot at night inside an english castle lit only by candlelight.

Stereotyping? Racist? Innocuous? Funny?

Last Monday I was sitting in a pub over fish & Chips and a pint in West London, discussing Manchester United's 3-0 win over Liverpool, the financial crisis and the resemblance of Annie Leibovitz' Vogue cover shot of NBA star LeBron James and model Gisele Bundchen to the movie poster for King Kong. Here's my good friend Aneel displaying the article that brought this to our attention.

Here's the cover ...

And the Poster...

And the article is online here.

Stanley Kubrick

I'm not a fan of using lights and flash in my photography. I try and avoid it whenever possible, even in very low light. I reckon a fast lens and a steady hand are the way forward...

So how did Stanley Kubrick shoot Barry Lyndon almost entirely with available light, including this candlelit scene? Fast film? No. Nikon D3 at ISO 6400? Erm, no. Here's how he did it. I don't think 'compromise' was a word Kubrick was familiar with.

Easter Bunny

Sorry. I couldn't resist....

More here.

I'd love to write a long essay entitled 'Bush in Wonderland' but I simply don't have the time...

Self Promotion

Some of my photographs recently appeared on No Caption Needed as part of the Photographer's Showcase series. I then got a mention on the Conscientious blog.

Here's the links to the actual posts.

Thanks to John at No Caption Needed for offering me the opportunity. It's nice to be appreciated.

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2008

While in london this week I checked out The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2008 on show at the small but excellent Photographer's Gallery. This Photography Prize worth £30,000 is awarded annually to an international photographer who is judged to have made the greatest contribution to photography over the previous year.

From the four nominees my personal favourite photographs were by John Davies. I really appreciate the fact that he photographs scenes that appear innocuous but are loaded with history and politics. I have seen his work before but never the actual large scale prints where the wealth of detail can be truly explored. It helps of course that his view of England is one I feel a deep affinity to.Fazal Sheikh's work is perhaps the most important of the four. Nominated for his work 'Ladli' about women in India it is my mind an important and powerful work. The testimonies of women who have suffered terrible hardship is combined with Sheikh's beautiful portraits to create a melencholy document and one well worthy of attention. If you can't afford the book, you can view the whole thing (words & pictures) online here.

Jacob Holdt's photographs were interesting - as is his life story - but to be honest I didn't spend much time with them. Although there were some great photographs, on the whole I found the stories behind the images more fascinating.

My least favourite was the actual winner - Esko Männikkö. I just didn't see anything unique in them. Sorry Esko, I love Finland but these photographs just left me cold.

Boogie Night

I got this invite from my friend Boogie, just because I can't go doesn't mean you can't. It would be worth going to. Let me know how it is.


FYI: Click! A Crowd-Curated Exhibition

Click!  A Crowd-Curated Exhibition

Open Call (March 1–March 31, 2008)
Evaluation (April 1–May 23, 2008)
Exhibition (June 27–August 10, 2008)

Click! is a photography exhibition that invites Brooklyn Museum's visitors, the online community, and the general public to participate in the exhibition process. Taking its inspiration from the critically acclaimed book The Wisdom of Crowds, in which New Yorker business and financial columnist James Surowiecki asserts that a diverse crowd is often wiser at making decisions than expert individuals, Click! explores whether Surowiecki's premise can be applied to the visual arts—is a diverse crowd just as "wise" at evaluating art as the trained experts?

Click! is an exhibition in three consecutive parts. It begins with an open call—artists are asked to electronically submit a work of photography that responds to the exhibition's theme, "Changing Faces of Brooklyn," along with an artist statement.

After the conclusion of the open call, an online forum opens for audience evaluation of all submissions; as in other juried exhibitions, all works will be anonymous. As part of the evaluation, each visitor answers a series of questions about his/her knowledge of art and perceived expertise.

Click! culminates in an exhibition at the Museum, where the artworks are installed according to their relative ranking from the juried process. Visitors will also be able to see how different groups within the crowd evaluated the same works of art. The results will be analyzed and discussed by experts in the fields of art, online communities, and crowd theory.

The exhibition is organized by Shelley Bernstein, Manager of Information Systems, Brooklyn Museum.

(323) 445 - 0780

PDN 30 - Christina Paige

Congratulations to Christina Paige on being selected as one of PDN's 30 new and emerging photographers. It was a pleasure studying with her at the ICP and she's a hard working and talented photographer so it comes as no surprise to me to see her in this selection!

Rules of photography

For example - never shoot into the sun. Unless you have a pinhole camera and photoshop, like Jerry Spagnoli does...

Meet the new boss

Riot Police Detain a protester after Dmitry Medvedev wins 70% of the vote in Russia. Medvedev will be President Putin's successor while Putin himself is widely expected to take the role of Prime Minister. (Photo: AP)

Clemence De Limburg - Satmar Exhibition

Clemence De Limburg will have work from her Satmar series on show at the Camera Club Of New York in The Arts Building, 336 West 37th Street, New York, NY 10018. Clemence is the winner of their annual juried exhibition. The opening is on 7th march at 5.30 and the show runs until April 18th. Make sure you check it out!

Click here for more details