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Shingle Street 18

In my post of 13th January 2018 I described a ‘crater-like depression’ on the beach at Shingle Street.  I said, ‘There is a little standing water, probably left over from and original inlet connected to the sea – the bottom looks too high to receive water seeping through the wall at high tide.’  I was wrong.

Yesterday when I arrived about an hour after high tide the depression was fully covered with water.  I left at around low tide: the water had receded exposing mud enjoyed by feeding waders.  It is clearly connected to the sea through the porous gravel making it a tidal lagoon.

Photos: Shingle Street, 9th August 2019 

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U3AC Summer School 2018: A (Partial) History of Photography in 50 pictures

I ran my one hour session on the history of photography for the U3AC Summer School today.  As the title above says, it was partial in being only part of the story and my personal take on the subject.  It seemed to be fairly well-received.  Some feedback gave things to think about for future sessions.

  1. Someone thought the pictures I included were not always interesting or attractive – not something she would hang on her wall.  I had explained that I was not showing the pictures that were necessarily the first or best is a subject area, rather the aim was to establish a broad narrative.  She did have a point, however, and the pictures must engage a non-specialist audience.
  2. Why had I not included fashion and erotic photography, the latter from the Victorian period especially?  Was it because they are not important in the development of the medium, or out of respect for the sensitivities of the audience to the darker byways of photography?   Well, it certainly wasn’t the latter and both could have been included, as indeed might have sports photography and so on.  It was really a matter of the time available.
  3. How much should the work have to be explained?  If it is so esoteric it needs an explanation isn’t it failing as a work of art?  This is an issue for all the arts and I’ve always taken the view that most people (self-included) will benefit from having some introduction to the work.  My presentation would have been a deal shorter if I had not tried to explain what conceptual photography and so on is about and the audience would have gone away a deal more confused.
  4. Why is the staged work of Gregory Crewdson highly regarded while the comparable approach adopted by members of tie Photo Secession and the Brotherhood of the Linked Ring is largely derided?  Discuss, as they say.
  5. And a bit of self-criticism.  I sought to avoid doing a technical history of photography, but probably ought to have included a bit more on why the pursuit of faster film and lenses and more compact cameras was important in allowing photographers to realise their creative visions.

Photos:  1.  Untitled (Ophelia), Gregory Crewdson, 2001  2.  Fading Away, Henry Peach Robinson, 1858

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Fen Landscape 36

Nothing much to say about this picture other than that I like the way the electric fence mirrors the overhead power line. Photo: Stow cum Quy Fen, Cambs, August 2019

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Take a Seat – Take a Moment 18

This guardian looks as if she’s not just taking a moment: she has the air of a permanent fixture, someone for whom the moment has become a lifetime of dedication to the tranquil beauty of Agios Kapnikoreus amid the bustling streets of Athens.  Maybe she awaits the Second Coming – in the Greek Orthodox Church the ‘Lord Jesus Christ truly will return. His second advent is not a myth, nor an empty promise, nor is it a metaphor.’  Photo: Agios Kapnikoreus, Athens, Greece, June 2019

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Tablets on the Acropolis

TUI has provided its visitors to the Acropolis with tablets and handy sunshades.  Presumably a tablet avoids the need to look at the real thing, see and think.  Perhaps tourists now don’t even need to get off their air conditioned coach and can instead enjoy a virtual visit.  It might make the Acropolis a much more civilized place.  Photo: Acropolis, Athens, Greece, June 2019

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100 Photographs 056

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