Yes, OK, you can have a bit of time off the Sunsets. But don’t think I’m done yet. I’ve got more…
Told you there were a lot of sunsets coming. Hope you’re not too bored.
I’m about to wrench my arm patting myself on the back with this one. You see, the way I know that this is good shot is that I’ve just been through a massive variety of settings and balance tweaks to produce different versions, and aside from the obviously fucked options where I crank one slider up all the way and destroy the shot, there’s not one of them I don’t like – the shot shines through in all of them. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not a highly original shot, but today, I care less about that than I do about having taken a really nice photo that brings me immense pleasure. I hope you like it, too.
This version’s my favourite, but I’m going to upload the unaltered original, too, so you can see what choices I’ve made in developing this. You can see the original here, if you’re curious.
Back from a week’s Holiday in Woolacombe, down on the North coast of Devon. A week of basically, doing bugger-all. Picnics, playing in the surf, and just chilling out – we deliberately didn’t avail ourselves of a car, so that we couldn’t go and Do Things – we were basically restricted to what was available within walking distance, which was a few places to eat, and some surf shops, and that was the lot. I have decided that as much as I like city breaks, where I have plenty to do, there really is a lot to be said for getting away from it all for a week.
We got a lot of really good sunsets, too, so expect a few more beach-at-sunset photos in the next while.
Spent an extremely agreeable afternoon yesterday in town with friends. Saw the Ernesto Neto + The New Decor exhibitions at the Hayward gallery, and was struck but the difference between the two of them, in that one permitted photography, and one didn’t. Now, I know that the Neto was intended to be very interactive, but it struck me that the families were all at that one – it was well populated with kids playing, and lots of parents taking photos. They weren’t the only ones, I hasten to note – there were loads of people there taking photos. I know there are people who look on the prevalence of cameras at artistic events as a plague, but I think it’s great (within the bounds of not spoiling the enjoyment of others) – I see people with cameras out as a sign that people are building memories, or making art in response – that what they’re looking at is something they consider it important to remember, or something they want to respond to. The Neto space was one where people were playful. It was ace.
Meanwhile, The New Decor did not permit photos, and staff swarmed towards those they thought might be taking photos crying injunctions against such behaviour. There were a few kids going through here with their families, but even surrounded by lots of really very interesting design/sculpture/stuff, they didn’t seem half as interested or engaged. Now, obviously, this wasn’t entirely, or even mostly the fault of the prohibition on photography, but I’m sure it didn’t help. The whole space was much more serious, despite the fact that the ideas it was working with were equally, if not more, playful, yet the exhibition was clearly sending out signals that this was not an appropriate space to build emotional memories, or to respond to art as you saw fit.
I understand (I don’t like, but I understand) the prohibition against photography of paintings, or other photos. Copyright blah blah etc. But these were 3D objects – a photo is an intrinsically different thing, and I fail to see how it can violate the copyright of a 3D object.
I understand that unlike Neto, they didn’t want people actually climbing on the art, but that doesn’t mean that could have allowed a bit more interactivity with the work – they might have been able to get the kids (and indeed, some of the adults) much more engaged.
(The photo is not of the exhibition, it’s of the temporary fountains on the South Bank. It seemed thematically appropriate.)
I was thinking of one of my old photos as I took this one, and it’s come out as quite a nice companion piece, really.
I spent some of Sunday in Battersea Park with Miranda, stopping in at Comica Comicket and the Hypercomics exhibition at the Pump House Gallery. The image above is one of Dave McKean’s sculptures for the show.
I remain painfully dissatisfied with the state of hypercomics (as distinct from webcomics) but that’s a rant for another time and one that everyone has heard me give before, and in any case, until I actually put my money where my mouth is, I should really shut the fuck up on that front. That said, Mr Goodbrey, who was part of the show, continues to be one of the few people out there trying to do anything interesting, and Mr McKean’s take on them within this exhibition was interesting, but I think more about being an art exhibition than about the narrative potential of an hypersurface. But still, pretty and interesting, hence the photo.
It’s the first UK comics event I’ve been to in a few years, and it was really lovely to see people there. And I’m delighted to see that the bodies of work that people I have collaborated with in the past, particularly Messrs Goodbrey and Azzopardi put me to shame.
Oh and Gillen was there, as well, but obviously his output is a load of old toss that anyone could have come up with. The bastard.
So, having said I’m condensing everything down to one blog, it’s time to talk properly about the exception. Anyone paying close attention to my flickr stream will have seen a new set appear there titled "365 Bullets". The long and the short of it is: I haven’t done nearly enough photography in the last 18 months, and what I have done, I haven’t shared enough of. So, in order to break that habit I am doing a photo-a-day project, using my iPhone camera, and the plastic bullets app – the idea being to force myself to take more photos, and to be less perfectionist about them, by only allowing myself a limited amount of control (a choice between 4 random effects, basically) over the post processing. If you want to follow the whole project, you’ll find it on its own tumblr, but in any event I’ll be posting the better shots (because with 365 photos, they can’t all be winners – some days, I’m just not going to see anything that interesting) to flickr and then to my blog, so you’ll get to see the good ones anyway.
I’ve been playing with an app called Plastic Bullet on my iphone. It takes an image, and applies a bunch of random filters to make it look like it was taken with a particularly crappy old camera. Most of what it does isn’t fit for anything but amusing myself, but every so often, it throws up a gem, like this one, snapped at the pub yesterday.