Author Archives: brianhuman

Ipswich Encounters

‘To Ipswich with Roy [Hammans] and Dave [Runnacles].  Street photography nearly got me into trouble.  First. A woman took exception to me photographing her on Westgate Street – I didn’t respond and just kept on walking.  Second, after taking pictures … Continue reading

Posted in Street Photography | Leave a comment


The agapanthus derives its name from two Greek words: agape, which means love; and anthos, which means flower. Together, the agapanthus is the flower of love. In the traditional language of flowers it meant ‘love letter’.  Maybe this flower suggests … Continue reading

Posted in Urban Ephemera | Leave a comment

Anglesey Abbey – Re-imagined Images

Lord Fairhaven’s work to create a great garden in the uninspiring Fen-edge landscape at Lode was something of a magnificent obsession.  Pevsner describes the grounds as ‘embellished by much statuary skilfully disposed’, an eclectic classical collection gathered on the Lord’s … Continue reading

Posted in Anglesey Abbey | Leave a comment

Talking Pictures 4 – Bill Jay

My photographic education continues: a copy of On Looking at Photographs – A Practical Guide, David Hurn/Magnum in conversation with Bill Jay (Lenswork 2000), has arrived from St Louis.  In the introduction they say: ‘Its purpose is to suggest how … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Talking Pictures 3 – John Szarkowski

Yesterday’s post suggested that Szarkowski’s Looking at Photographs is still relevant to the way we discuss photography, but that’s not to say that everything has stayed the same.  He treats all photography as conceptual before the introduction of dry plates … Continue reading

Posted in Urban Ephemera | Leave a comment

Talking Pictures 2 – John Szarkowski

It’s 45 years since John Szarkowski’s Looking at Photographs was published.  I wonder how many photographers read it now (or any other critical texts on photography for that matter)?  I think he still has a lot to offer, his take … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments


‘Clouds were a particularly good subject for an artist like Coburn [Alvin Langdon Coburn 1882-1966] who sought the broad poetic view of things.  Granted that no two clouds are the same; nevertheless, their meanings (except to farmers and meteorologists) were … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Joan Leigh Fermor 3

Joan Leigh Fermor as a photographer, as opposed to a handmaid to male writers, has long been something of an enigma: the claims made for the quality of her work were hardly borne out by its limited publication during her … Continue reading

Posted in The Mani, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Taking Pictures Revisited

On Friday J asked me why I chose monochrome for the picture of Shingle Street posted on 26th July.  That’s a very good question.  There are three parts to the answer. First, I find Shingle Street a strange, rather haunting … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cambridge Open Studios

The Cambridge Open Studios has grown into an extraordinary phenomenon with over 370 artists showing their work in 230 venues across Cambridgeshire through four weekends in July.  Its success prompts three questions.  Is Cambridge and the surrounding area exceptionally rich … Continue reading

Posted in Cambridge | Leave a comment

For the Birds

A bird is seen as a symbol of the soul, especially as it ascends to heaven after death, in eastern and western art, culture and religion.  The image of a bird and snake fighting represents the conflict between heavenly and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Talking Pictures

I’ve applied to join the U3AC Photography Forum in 2018-19.  If successful I think I shall focus my efforts on trying to improve the way the Forum talks about photography and photographs, see post 16th June 2018.  There are many … Continue reading

Posted in Remains, U3AC Photo Forum | Leave a comment


Fennel is both beautiful and useful in the kitchen; I have some growing in my garden.  Growing, but not flourishing, it amounts to no more than a few weedy stems, despite my efforts with the watering can and occasional doses … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Shingle Street 9

Shingle Street is a strange place.  Maybe it’s the remoteness, the restless sea and the unstable shape-shifting shore.  Maybe there are ghosts too. The lost name ‘German Ocean’, remembered only in the eponymous Mansions, echoes to the fervent patriotic clamour … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Russian Friends

Whatever Presidents Trump and Putin are up to, relations between Britain and Russia are poor.  But that’s hardly a surprise: it’s been the historical norm for most of the past 200 years.   The two nations confronted each other in ‘The … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment