Wednesday, September 29

You're history: Weymouth's fast food kiosks bite the dust

It's just been announced that Weymouth beach's red, white and blue fast food kiosks are to be replaced by contemporary new designs... Some people found the kiosks tacky, but they certainly were a distinctive part of the beachscape, making any photo they appeared in very definitely "Weymouth".

Littlehampton is a good example of a small seaside town that has generated publicity via new innovative buildings; it will be interesting to see if Weymouth will do the same.

Friday, September 24

Street Photography Now

[Front cover image by Matt Stuart]

Yes, it's true – Thames & Hudson have just published a major round-up of contemporary street photography.

The weighty Street Photography Now tome stretches to 240 pages and features portfolios from 46 street photographers. The book is an impressive and beautiful summary of the state of play in this genre.

Street Photography Now is authored by Sophie Howarth, Director of the School of Life, and street photographer Stephen McLaren. Johanna Neurath of Thames & Hudson has been instrumental in bringing this exciting new publication to fruition.

I am very pleased to be one of the 46 photographers profiled, alongside well-known practitioners such as Joel Meyerowitz, Martin Parr, Trent Parke, Alex Webb and Bruce Gilden. Other names featured include up-and-coming photographers that I have long admired, such as Mark Alor Powell and Maciej Dakowicz.

Four essays draw on the work from the photographers profiled, as well as other excellent examples of street photography.

The book is available from Amazon, and will be the shops shortly. A French edition is also available.

A bookshop, yesterday.

Thursday, September 2

About the weather: it never rains on Melplash day

Photo: Paul Russell, 2010

Well, almost never.

Last Thursday, I went to photograph the Melplash Show as part of my country show series, despite the Met Office forecast showing light rain in the morning, followed by a confident prediction of heavy rain at around 4 pm.

The Melplash Show is a one-day show held on the last Thursday before the August Bank holiday. Although being the main gig of the Melplash Agricultural Society, the show does not take place in Melplash – several miles to the north – but fetches up half way between Bridport and West Bay. This is probably due to pesky historical reasons that I can’t be bothered to research...

As an admirer of the Met Office’s short-range forecasts, I was expecting to get wet but, in the event, it stayed completely dry. In 2006 I took this photo of Jack Smith, of Knapp Farm, Broadwindsor, who seems to know a thing or two about Melplash weather:

Photo: Paul Russell, 2006

“I’ve been here 67 years stewarding and I’ve only known two really wet days. Even if its been flooded out the day before, the Melplash Show always has a good, dry field.”

Source of quote: Dorset Echo