Category Archives: Photography

when it hits you just like that

I’ve been so busy these last few weeks sorting out an opportunity that could change my life forever if I were to get it. At the moment I’m panicking that I’ve put in all the effort but won’t get past stage one. OMG I’m on X-factor crossed with Sliding doors but without the singing. I just wish I knew which path I’ll end up on.

I was supposed to have a lazy day today but I’ve edited the radio show I do, such a laugh, I’ve had the cameras out twice (forgot to put film in the first time round) Cut the weeds down in the garden, washed up (very rarely do this) sorted out stuff for work tomorrow, scanned in my colour negatives, which were processed yesterday and I am so in love with them. Whist waiting for them I wasted time and went into a charity shop looking at books, turned round and there was a cabinet full of cameras. I saw the box brownie and nothing else, I didn’t care if it worked I just wanted to own it. I found later one of the mirrors was damaged but hey if the film still exposures I have a right little gem in my hands. (and breath)

Loki Lego
Loki Lego

I started watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to try to get myself to sit still. I was still working away on the computer but at least it’s something. I have then sat and watched Avengers Assemble and in doing so dug out my Lego Loki keyring. I tweeted this and got told I was obsessed. My reply was ‘It’s probably why I’m still single. That and going through my computer, it dawned on me that I have been living in the same house for almost 4 years and next month I would have been single for that same time. Ouch.

In that time I’ve been to hell and back. No one can judge me on what that is as no one, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors or in someone else’s head, no matter how much you think you know them. The moment I realised that I was getting back to some kind of norm was when my sister said ‘Mum is happy, some of the old Helen is coming back’ She was right. The old Helen that enjoyed life, did take things too seriously sometimes but there was always that spark.

Now I have a few regrets but I have so much going for me right now that I have to just hold this feeling of content and if things don’t work out the way I want them to, well I’ve had a blast, and I’m grateful. At least I know there are other opportunities out there I just need to grab them.

I just want to say thank you to my Mum and Sister for their support. My friend Lynn  and her family. Kirsty White for absolutely everything. Niamh and the book clubbers  who attend all manners of groups and world book night. South Leeds Radio for giving me the opportunity to learn to produce a programme. If I’ve forgotten someone I’m sorry. I suppose I should thank myself for not giving up. For being determined to carry on even when it got tough, or to not let people bully me again. As someone said, I was beaten these last 8 months or so now I have the chance to forget all that and start a fresh. I may not have what I want in some ways, but I’m damn lucky to have what I do now.

I wrote this, and you have to be so careful what you write and publish these days but I wanted to see if anyone else has been in the same situation and let me know your thoughts.

Thank you for reading

xxx

Advertisements

Sunday Post

Getting more and more creative lately by finding out the delight of 120 and 35mm film. I have also dug out a few of my own cameras and found by chance a box brownie in a charity shop, and to think I was only in there to waste time. Must take chances like that more often. I will post results once I have developed the films

Martin Parr

Martin : “We’re very bad at actually photographing our own lives.”


Join internationally renowned Magnum photographer Martin Parr and author Susie Parr in conversation with Greg Hobson, curator of Only in England.

The event will focus on Parr’s early work The Non-Conformists, which was taken in Hebden Bridge during the 1970s, where Martin and Susie documented what they saw as a traditional way of life in decline.

Martin will also discuss one of the great influences on his work – Tony Ray-Jones – and why he is revisiting The Non-Conformists now.

As part of the event there will be a Q&A session with a live Twitter feed. Send in your questions for Martin and Susie via Twitter prior to and during the event. All answers will be tweeted live from the floor.

Please tweet your questions to @mediamuseum and include the hashtag #Parr.

Following the event there will be a unique opportunity to purchase and have signed a range of titles by Martin Parr including his recent publication The Non-Conformists.

The Non-Conformists has not been exhibited in Yorkshire since 1981 and will be on display as part of Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr from 27 March 2014.

Tweets from the event!

“It’s good. We’re all bored of the sheen&gloss of propaganda,it’s so unconvincing.” MartinParr on the authenticity trend in ads @mediamuseum

Photography student said 24 of 30 class mates never go to exhibitions, only viewing work online. They are missing so much! #Parr

Martin #Parr: “If people don’t want to see exhibitions, I’m ultimately disappointed” – nothing better than getting up close seeing the real thing 

@King_of_Swing He stated that whilst the rise of amateur photography via social media was a good thing in and of itself…most photographers who take images do so of cliched things. He believed most “selfie” photography to be uninspired.

Martin #Parr@mediamuseum says we are very bad at photographing everyday moments in our everyday lives despite our desire for #authenticity

Martin #Parr: “We’re very bad at actually photographing our own lives.”

Susie #Parr: “I think it’s very lazy to accuse Martin of cynicism. He’s much more subtle than pointing and laughing.”

Martin #Parr: “I’m delighted by the way photography has taken off through social media”

Martin #Parr on the rise of Instagram: “The most democratic art-form in the world has more followers than ever before”

Martin #Parr: “I’m now back to documenting.. and celebrating the local community and finding stories”

Martin #Parr: “Despite the fact I have this reputation as a cynical photographer, I really like people”


I saw this event ages ago and so glad I did. I have admired Martin Parr’s work for some time. I was first introduced to his work when I was studying at university. When I saw this I was so excited. I managed to get a couple of books to take and sign and was hoping to find a postcard of the hotdog he took but instead I got my ticket signed by both him and Susie parr.

On Friday night, being a bit of a chicken I posted a tweet to ask him and a question. On the screen to the right of his slideshow was a ‘tweet stream’ and half way through the talk mine popped up and stayed there for the rest of the duration and  when the questions were being asked I was too scared to put my hand up until the question lady asked if I was there.  I could have hid and said nothing but I put my hand up and she gave me the microphone and I went crimson. I could feel I had gone bright red. I asked him about how we’ve taken off with taking photos of food and posting it on Instagram to be acceptable and he said he quite liked it, He said the art of photography is knowing what you’re trying to say, communicate otherwise others won’t know, if you don’t so have an idea of what you want to say. I was then cheeky enough (as I slid further into my seat) to ask him how he gets away with taking pictures of people and not get spotted or glared at. He replied, ‘I bet you look guilty when someone catches your eye when you’re taking photographs’. I just smiled and he said ‘The trick is not to look guilty and to look away’ or as Susie said look away or somewhere else so they don’t realise what you’re doing’.  He smiled the whole time he talked to me and I just sank starstruck. Thank you Twitter for making me brave.

Go see the exhibition at the amazing media museum and get a close-up look at some amazing photography pieces 

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/yorkshire-living/arts/art/the-big-interview-photographer-martin-parr-1-6536526

http://www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/PlanAVisit/Exhibitions/OnlyInEngland/DiscoverMore.aspx

The museum is on twitter but Martin Parr sadly isn’t. https://twitter.com/mediamuseum

Links to exhibition

Galleries One and Two: 28 March – 29 June 2014

Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr examines the close relationship between the work of these two important photographers and their fascination with the English.

Intrigued by the eccentricities of English social customs, Tony Ray-Jones spent the latter half of the 1960s travelling across England, photographing what he saw as a disappearing way of life.

Humorous yet melancholy, these images had a profound influence on photographer Martin Parr, who has made a selection from our Tony Ray-Jones archive for this exhibition including over 50 previously unseen photographs.

Parr’s selection will be shown alongside his rarely seen work, The Non-Conformists, which documents a declining traditional way of life in 1970s Hebden Bridge.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/10287046/Englishness-celebrated-by-Tony-Ray-Jones-and-Martin-Parr.html

Thank you for reading – from a starstruck Helen

It’s all about the print

I’m trying my hardest to get my head around the programme indesign and how to design and print booklets and I think I just had a lightbulb moment as I managed to print double sided on my home computer!!!!

Thhis book arrived to day! only £3 and it has a plastic cover!!!

new book!!!!
new book!!!!

 

 

 

This is the first booklet that I printed at work:booklet

I have also been trying so many different techniques. I’m back in the darkroom and have been producing photograms and then using the copystand to photograph my work then take it through photoshop to add some effects and use quotes from songs.

Photograms

The photogram represents a unique art form requiring only the action of light on a photosensitive substrate.

The history of photography is punctuated by practitioners who have developed a technique or style that has become a part of art history.  The first period of “photogram” exploration was to gain scientific record of natural objects (e.g. Anna Atkins).  The second period was a rediscovery of the artistic potential as illustrated by Christian Schad, Man Ray and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy in the Dada, Surrealist and Constructivist periods of art, respectively.

More recently, photogramists have utilized the photogram as a means of artistic expression to produce a wide variety of designs and surreal imagery.

This imagery is being created using traditional silver-gelatin black and white materials and other photosensitive media including cyanotype that are now considered alternative methods. Others are using both negative and positive acting color photographic materials to create photograms.

 

Untitled-1
This is one of my favourites.

Whilst cleaning I came downstairs to find my indesign book had been delivered and had landed in the pile of rubbish. I got ridiculously giddy and after lunch sat down and started finishing off my booklet. I got so obsessed with doing photograms with the tapes and printing on neon paper I wanted to make something that could be bound into a little book. I also want to do some postcards with the above design and possibly some stickers. the possibilities are endless.

So here is my little book designed on indesign and printed double sided on my a4 hp printer. I love my printer so much. It’s amazing what you can do with technology these days.

And finally, completely unrelated. I did an fb quiz on colours and this is what turned up. I think its spot on:

 Red:  You seem to thrive off of your own internal energy source and give off your own heat. If there’s work to be done or a problem to get solved, you are the superhero that your friends rely on. Your friends wonder if you ever sleep.

Thank you for reading

xxx

Never grow up

I was talking to my colleague today about how my friend told me last night that I looked all grown up, what with wearing a skirt and tights and how much I’ve changed in last year (or I think that’s what she meant) and he told me that you should never grow up. I don’t intend to. I think I’ve regressed since becoming single and what appeared as anger was actually hurt in most cases when people pushed me out after years of friendship, because better things came along.

Today I had loads to do but felt it time to put my mark on the place. Its been a month since I started my new job, its temporary but I love it. I’m trying to absorbed every minute of it. I’ve so far taken 4 black and white films and processed them, I just need to do some prints in the darkroom. It’s all so exciting.

“It’s about reacting to what you see, hopefully without preconception. You can find pictures anywhere. It’s simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. You just have to care about what’s around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy. ” -Elliot Erwitt
download (3)
Biography
 
Born in Paris in 1928 to Russian parents, Erwitt spent his childhood in Milan, then emigrated to the US, via France, with his family in 1939. As a teenager living in Hollywood, he developed an interest in photography and worked in a commercial darkroom before experimenting with photography at Los Angeles City College. In 1948 he moved to New York and exchanged janitorial work for film classes at the New School for Social Research.Erwitt traveled in France and Italy in 1949 with his trusty Rolleiflex camera. In 1951 he was drafted for military service and undertook various photographic duties while serving in a unit of the Army Signal Corps in Germany and France.While in New York, Erwitt met Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker, the former head of the Farm Security Administration. Stryker initially hired Erwitt to work for the Standard Oil Company, where he was building up a photographic library for the company, and subsequently commissioned him to undertake a project documenting the city of Pittsburgh.In 1953 Erwitt joined Magnum Photos and worked as a freelance photographer for Collier’s, Look, Life, Holiday and other luminaries in that golden period for illustrated magazines. To this day he is for hire and continues to work for a variety of journalistic and commercial outfits.

In the late 1960s Erwitt served as Magnum’s president for three years. He then turned to film: in the 1970s he produced several noted documentaries and in the 1980s eighteen comedy films for Home Box Office. Erwitt became known for benevolent irony, and for a humanistic sensibility traditional to the spirit of Magnum.

A couple of students had a dog in the studio yesterday. They had a pet cam and were intending to put it on the collar of said dog and do some recording. I asked today how it went and apparently there are some amazing pictures, I told them about one of my favourite photographers, Elliot Erwitt (see above) and how I loved his dog photos, although it was the other perspective I thought it would be a good idea for how he documented things. I also said how I had met him at the media museum many years ago. His work is just amazing. I think I need to sit down and go through his book ‘Snaps’ again. The students came back to me and said it was just what they needed. and felt rather chuffed that I had parted some knowledge and it was useful.
so my job is Senior Learning Officer of Photography (I think) cool title! and I have been there four weeks and have done photograms processed films, contact sheets, used the copystand and all sorts. My biggest regret is that there is simply not enough time to do everything and there is so much I want to get my teeth into. But I’m doing my best to absorb as much as I can and I love it. Its so amazing. I still think I’m dreaming.
I’ve also made my mark in the office by plastering the wall with a4 inkjet prints of my work and I am very interested in printing on acetate so I can make a stain glass effect on my walls of my office as two walls are glass. Its going to look so cool.
It’s like I keep hearing lately. Be grateful for what you have, strive for more but don’t forget to live in the moment.
I feel like the luckiest person in the world at the moment, I hope it continues.
Thank you for reading
xxx

I simply must be dreaming

Hello, so sorry for the quietness, but I’ve been through a bit of a rough time lately along with changing jobs and other things. However everything has turned out better than I could have hoped for or even dreamed it could be.

I have landed myself a temporary job at my old university. I am a Senior Learning Officer in Photography. It’s amazing. When I was at uni they (the technicians as they were called back then I think) were amazing, and now I get to work alongside them. I was 21 when I started at Leeds and now over 10 years later, I’m back and to me nothing much has changed apart from I’m seeing from the other side and giving a little back.

It’s so much fun. I get to use the darkroom and develop film and photographs and get paid!!!! I get to do workshops teaching students, which is even more exciting after I went on the train the trainer course with VAL a few months back. I have the skills and knowledge to get students learning traditional film processing, I’m like a kid in a sweet shop about this. You can ask my sister. I haven’t shut up about it once!

So far I have taken 3 films and developed them learned a bit about studio lighting, I did it as part of one of my jobs a few years back, but we didn’t get to experiment much so now’s my chance. I have borrowed some books from work/uni and I’m doing homework outside of uni while also keeping up to date with book club. I seem to have more time on my hands which is a bonus. Another bonus is  a lunch break and unlimited coffee as long as I remember to take in the milk 😀 x

As they say, if things aren’t going to plan or seem to be going downhill, just remember there’s always something better around the corner. 😀 I didn’t believe it until now.

keep_moving_forward_4059969_lrg

Thank you for reading

xxxx