Wednesday, December 31

Happy New Year

I’m quite behind in updating my website, with November and December photo diary pages to be updated, and I desperately need to upload some more themed collections, once I have sorted them out. A few people probably wonder why I add the photo diary pages for every month, but I see it as a useful discipline that FORCES me to whittle down the hundreds of shots I’ve taken every month to anything from half a dozen to 30 pictures. These photo diary pictures are shots that I feel might come in handy for future themed collections – they are shots that, believe it or not, have passed some sort of basic quality control test. Behind the scenes are usually about a hundred or so shots for each month that I can’t quite bring myself to bin though... I think that without the discipline of updating and culling a sizable proportion every month that I would end up with a truly terrifying backlog.

Anyway, as it’s the end of the year, I’ve picked out 10 of my photos from 2008 that I liked...

Thursday, December 18

Last-minute presents

I’ve been following Slinkachu’s ‘Little People’ blog for a few years now. The London-based artist leaves his tiny characters and props around the city to "fend for themselves". A good idea plus a free blog and – hey presto – he (?) has a book out in time for Christmas. Probably at a Waterstones or Borders near you for a tenner. He also has a new website.

Sunday, December 14

Tony Ray-Jones and the white (-ish) cliffs of Bournemouth, part 2

A brief note concerning my previous post! It’s been pointed out to me by several people during the course of my scanty and slapdash ‘research’ that Alum Chine Tropical Gardens in Bournemouth is the likely location for this photo. And that certainly ties in with the original caption.

Geologist Dr Ian West has suggested these Tropical Gardens as the location, noting that “the cross-bedding shows that the cliff is not Chalk, but is probably Branksome Sands. The stone walling is typical Bournemouth Purbeck Stone walling.”

I have visited the gardens within the past year, and they were an obvious candidate due to the plant life. The reason that I ruled the location out was my probably mistaken belief that the cliffs to the top right of the picture were massive and distant, which doesn’t fit in with any view that can be seen from the Alum Chine Gardens today.

Instead, it seems likely that the cliffs in the background are quite close, and now covered in vegetation, so the view is different. What appears as pure white cliffs in the black and white photo is probably orange-tinged sandstone, now hidden. I think these cliffs are either to the north at the ‘back’ of the gardens and have degraded slightly over the years or, more likely, are beyond the gardens and are the ends of the main cliffs that run down to the beach. In other words, Ray-Jones was facing eastwards in the direction of Bournemouth Pier when he took the photo.

Maybe the diagonally running wall that stretches across the photo still exists... The next time I’m in the area I’ll try to find it and get a ‘present day’ shot.

Tuesday, December 2

Groeten van Engeland!

Hello to all my readers in Holland and Belgium – and looking at my Google Analytics report for this blog, there seems to be quite literally ‘several’ of you. I’m delighted to be featured in the current issue of Digifotopro in an article on straatfotografie by Erik Borst, so please rush out and buy it.

The article includes the photo above, which coincidentally has also just won a prize in The First Post/Photobox competition, so my Photobox account is currently £200 in credit.