Bath Time!

Sometimes it is good to refresh your ideas, or to face a new challenge, as a photographer especially if, like me, you have been stumbling along blindly for a very long time. It was with this in mind that on Saturday I drove down to Bath and attended a Leica Akademie day at the home of the Royal Photographic Society.

The day was managed by Robin Sinha (a good photographer in his own right) and featured the documentary work of the talented Celine Marchbank. We started with a look at Celines book about the death of her mother, a very deep personal piece of work which I found difficult to view following the death of my own wife from that dreadful scourge which sadly affects so many. The book itself showed how photo books can be a wonderful medium for presenting work, and Celine had the added advantage of a history in graphic design – and it showed!

After a very pleasant buffet lunch, and a play with the new Leica M10 (I want one!) we were sent off with the brief to bring back a group of images which could be edited down to produce a 10 image storyboard. The rest of the group headed into town but, because of walking limitations, I stayed very local and worked roughly 100 metres from base, concentrating on one of the very few antique shops left in Bath now. Luckily the owner gave me free reign to do whatever I wished. Below are my final selection of images, all of which were taken using my Leica M9 fitted with a 35mm Summarit f2.5. Interiors were taken at 1000iso, and exteriors at 400iso. Processing was using Lightroom CC, sometimes utilising a Kodachrome 25 preset.

I always find the presenting of my work to others daunting, and I have never been a heavy shooter, but I think I faired reasonably well in the final analysis.

The antique store in Wells Road, Bath, England.

The antique store in Wells Road, Bath, England.

Ornate upholstered chairs at a street market in Bath, Somerset, England.

Ornate upholstered chairs at a street market in Bath, Somerset, England.

Inside an antiques store in Bath, Somerset, various signs adorn the windows of the office area. The great variety show humour and and information at the same time, making it a friendly place to visit.

Inside an antiques store in Bath, Somerset, various signs adorn the windows of the office area. The great variety show humour and and information at the same time, making it a friendly place to visit.

Animal pelts and a yellow hat adorn an artistic bust inside an antique shop in Bath, Somerset.

Animal pelts and a yellow hat adorn an artistic bust inside an antique shop in Bath, Somerset.

A top hat adorns an artistic bust and the walls display Union Jack and a patriotic sign inside an antique shop in Bath, Somerset.

A top hat adorns an artistic bust and the walls display Union Jack and a patriotic sign inside an antique shop in Bath, Somerset.

A marble bust is surrounded by other bric-a-brac inside an antique shop in Bath, Somerset.

A marble bust is surrounded by other bric-a-brac inside an antique shop in Bath, Somerset.

A young woman looks through historic photographs surrounded by other bric-a-brac inside an antique shop in Bath, Somerset.

A young woman looks through historic photographs surrounded by other bric-a-brac inside an antique shop in Bath, Somerset.

A man looks through the antiques outside a shop in Bath, England

A man looks through the antiques outside a shop in Bath, England

A Fat Face label adorns an extra small item in a charity thrift shop, Bath, England.

A Fat Face label adorns an extra small item in a charity thrift shop, Bath, England.

(Taken in Bath, England)

(Taken in Bath, England)

Posted in Uncategorized, Leica, Leica, 35mm Summarit, Leica M9 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

In Defence of Street Photography

The French art critic Charles Pierre Baudelaire (1821 – 1867) said about artists of that time:

“The painters of now must no longer spend their time in their studios studying plaster casts, clothing their subjects in the costumes of ancient Greeks and Romans: no, the painters of now must immerse themselves in the chaos of the city, plunge into the crowd, become at once mirrors and kaleidoscopes, reflecting every fragment, every corner of modern life no matter how base, vulgar or ugly. The painter of today must go in search of modernity.”

Of course Baudelaire would have been commenting on the future of the art which would lead to Impressionism and the work of artists such a Renoir, Monet and Pissarro, but his words and sentiments can be applied equally well to the growth of the nascent medium of photography which was increasingly powerful in its’ artistic importance.

His words should be used today as guidance to the value of street photography as an art form which is as vital and as valuable as a record of social history as anything any artist put by brush on to canvas.

 

Posted in photography, Street, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Craig Semetko Workshop – Hamburg 2016

Last weekend I was in Hamburg to join the Craig Semetko workshop on street photography organised by LFI. Now, I will confess that I was a little dubious as to whether I would gain much from this and it worked out fairly expensive taking into account the fact that I had to book 4 nights accommodation and flights from the U.K. and face the hard fact that the value of the UK pound had plummeted by over 25% in Europe since it was decided (not by my vote) that we should pull out of the E.U. I have been shooting ‘street photography’ for around 50 years, and have exhibited it pretty much world-wide so would I really gain anything? In the end I decided that, at the very least, I would get to meet Craig who has been a friend on Facebook for a long time and whose work I admire. As it was I found I learnt more than I could have imagined, met some great new guys and together with the picture editor of Die Zeit Sunday magazine (you don’t meet people at that level every day of the week!) Basically I had a ball despite the cold Hamburg weather.

I have posted a few of my favourites below, all were shot on a Leica M9 with a 35mm Summarit-M f2.5 lens at 800iso to allow me the depth of field and shutter speed combination I wanted. I hope you enjoy them.

Oh, and if you get chance and street photography is your thing (or even if it is not) go and meet Craig. He is a great entertainer and a consummate professional when it comes to street photography. As for LFI, they are great guys and special thanks must go to Simon Schwarzer.

Below are a few of the images taken on the trip:

A couple stop in the street to share a snack, the man looks totally bored.

A couple stop in the street to share a snack, the man looks totally bored.

On a cold winters day in Hamburg a shop worker steps out on to the street to smoke a quick cigarette.

On a cold winters day in Hamburg a shop worker steps out on to the street to smoke a quick cigarette.

A couple enjoy a breakfast roll from a stall at the Fischmarkt in Hamburg, Germany.

A couple enjoy a breakfast roll from a stall at the Fischmarkt in Hamburg, Germany.

Am elderly woman carries home her shopping from the St. Pauli Fischmarkt in Hamburg, Germany.

Am elderly woman carries home her shopping from the St. Pauli Fischmarkt in Hamburg, Germany.

A elderly man in an overcoat and with a cane walks through the streets of Hamburg, Germany.

A elderly man in an overcoat and with a cane walks through the streets of Hamburg, Germany.

A man waits patiently outside the Lego store in Spitalerstaße in Hamburg, Germany.

A man waits patiently outside the Lego store in Spitalerstaße in Hamburg, Germany.

Posted in 35mm Summarit, Black and White, Leica, Leica, Leica M9, Lenses, Monochrome, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sweet Jars

I found this small corner shop in the rural Hampshire town of Bishops Waltham: old Hampshire that is, not the New Hampshire masquerading on the north eastern corner of the United States. It bought back so many memories for me of when I was a child, and of walking to the corner store where Dolly would serve me with a white paper bag with my choice of sweets from a jar, all for a penny (yes, I am old). It is good to know that some things do not change, although there were the prepackaged confectioneries also available of course.

Rows of sweet jars on the shelves of Sweet Corner in the small Hampshire town of  Bishops Waltham invoke memories of childhood in a world of prepacked heavily marketed alternatives.

Rows of sweet jars on the shelves of Sweet Corner in the small Hampshire town of Bishops Waltham invoke memories of childhood in a world of prepacked heavily marketed alternatives.

Posted in 35mm Summarit, Leica, Leica, Leica M9 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wilton & Wool

I have just published ‘Wilton & Wool – The Sheep Framing Heritage of Wiltshire’ on this link https://spark.adobe.com/page/vNzf3Tpw9WonI/.

All images were taken on a Leica M9 using a 35mm Summarit-M f2.5 lens.

Gerry

 

Posted in 35mm Summarit, Animals, Leica, Leica M9 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Little Duck Forge

I recently had the opportunity to photograph Lucille Scott (aka The Iron Maiden) working at her blacksmiths forge in the Eastney area of Portsmouth, Hampshire (UK). Lucille, who trained at the Hereford College of Technology, is one of the very few female blacksmiths (if that is the sex-appropriate word) working in the United Kingdom. She produces bespoke ironwork both for architectural use and as works of art, as well as teaching her craft.

Lucille Scott (aka The Iron Maiden) working at her blacksmiths forge in the Eastney area of Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Lucille Scott (aka The Iron Maiden) working at her blacksmiths forge in the Eastney area of Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Lucille Scott (aka The Iron Maiden) working at her blacksmiths forge in the Eastney area of Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Lucille Scott (aka The Iron Maiden) working at her blacksmiths forge in the Eastney area of Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Lucille Scott (aka The Iron Maiden) working at her blacksmiths forge in the Eastney area of Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Lucille Scott (aka The Iron Maiden) working at her blacksmiths forge in the Eastney area of Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Lucille Scott (aka The Iron Maiden) working at her blacksmiths forge in the Eastney area of Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Lucille Scott (aka The Iron Maiden) working at her blacksmiths forge in the Eastney area of Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Lucille Scott (aka The Iron Maiden) working at her blacksmiths forge in the Eastney area of Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Lucille Scott (aka The Iron Maiden) working at her blacksmiths forge in the Eastney area of Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Posted in 35mm Summarit, Leica, Leica M9, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Southampton Pride 2016

My home town of Southampton is a multicultural city and major seaport. It is also a young city where around one in every eight of its population is a student. It is not surprising therefore that there is an active LGBT community but it has not held a ‘gay pride’ event for more than a decade. That was put right recently when a parade through the main shopping area was held, complete with whistle blowing, banner waving and a lot of good natured fun.

The Pride Parade celebrating sexual preferences and orgainised by the LGBT community makes it's way through Southmpton for teh first time in more than a decade.

The Pride Parade celebrating sexual preferences and orgainised by the LGBT community makes it’s way through Southmpton for teh first time in more than a decade.

The Pride Parade celebrating sexual preferences and orgainised by the LGBT community makes it's way through Southmpton for teh first time in more than a decade.

The Pride Parade celebrating sexual preferences and orgainised by the LGBT community makes it’s way through Southmpton for teh first time in more than a decade.

A man carries a 'bear culture' flag during the Southampton Pride event. 'Bear' is an affectionate gay slang term for those in the bear communities, a subculture in the gay community and an emerging subset of the LGBT community with its own events, codes, and culture-specific identity. The International Bear Brotherhood Flag was designed in 1995 by Craig Byrnes.

A man carries a ‘bear culture’ flag during the Southampton Pride event. ‘Bear’ is an affectionate gay slang term for those in the bear communities, a subculture in the gay community and an emerging subset of the LGBT community with its own events, codes, and culture-specific identity. The International Bear Brotherhood Flag was designed in 1995 by Craig Byrnes.

A teenager who is too shy hides his face whilst his friends pose for a photograph at the Southampton Pride Parade event (taken with his permission)

A teenager who is too shy hides his face whilst his friends pose for a photograph at the Southampton Pride Parade event (taken with his permission)

Two young female friends pose together for the camera at the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

Two young female friends pose together for the camera at the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

A member of a roller blade group takes part in the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

A member of a roller blade group takes part in the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

A couple pose proudly for the camera at the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

A couple pose proudly for the camera at the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

The Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Cathie McEwing checks an iPad wearing her full regalia at the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

The Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Cathie McEwing checks an iPad wearing her full regalia at the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

A young male couple decked in Pride flags pose for a photograph at the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

A young male couple decked in Pride flags pose for a photograph at the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

An empty pushchair is used as a flag support at the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

An empty pushchair is used as a flag support at the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

Three girls from the local student population blow bubbles and pose for the camera at the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

Three girls from the local student population blow bubbles and pose for the camera at the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

Two young girls carrying inflatable unicorns at the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

Two young girls carrying inflatable unicorns at the Southampton Pride event, held in the city for the first time in more than a decade.

Celebrating the first Pride Parade in Southampton for 15 years, this transgender person is happy to be photographed

Celebrating the first Pride Parade in Southampton for 15 years, this transgender person is happy to be photographed

 

Posted in 35mm Summarit, Leica, Leica M9, photography, Southampton, Street | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment