Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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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

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Clouds

‘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

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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

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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

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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

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Fennel

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

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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

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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

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Gibraltar Farm Barn

Gibraltar Farm Barn, Tempsford, is a Grade II Listed Building.  The official citation is as follows. ‘Barn, later adapted to store flight equipment for Special Operations Executive agents, and now a memorial. Early-C19 with mid-C20 modifications. Concrete plinth, weather-boarded and … Continue reading

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Dunwich

The Medieval port town of Dunwich has long since been washed away by storms and spring tides – the tower of All Saints’, the last of the ancient churches, toppled over the friable cliffs in 1922.  A local legend says … Continue reading

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Shingle Street 8

‘At Shingle Street we strolled towards the sea, our feet setting up a slow rhythmic, percussive rattle in the shingle. Valerian, sea kale and horned sea poppy bent in the wind, their muted red, green and yellow blending with colours … Continue reading

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Shingle Street 7

There have been buildings and people living at Shingle Street since the early 1800s.  The Martello towers, the coastguard cottages and the massive shingle bank give it an air of permanence, yet this is the most mobile of coasts.  When … Continue reading

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Entomophobia

Entomophobia is an excessive or irrational fear of insects, more specifically, apiphobia (bees), myrmecophobia (ants), lepidopterophobia (moths and butterflies) and spheksophobia (wasps).  A traumatic experience with an insect may trigger the phobia.   In addition to bites and stings and the … Continue reading

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Fen Landscape 34 – Flaming June

“Thermometers crept as high as 33C last week, with the mercury rising highest in Porthmadog in north Wales on June 28 … Scotland also recorded its highest EVER temperature last month – 33.2C in Motherwell, also on June 28 … … Continue reading

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