Tag Archives: UK

Solargraphs by Al Brydon – A conversation with the Sun

Solargraphs by Al Brydon © JW Editions

A new book, Solargraphs by Al Brydon is available from JW Editions. Brydon’s understated approach to making engaging images is disarming. There is a beautiful serendipity that comes out of his seemingly casual method for making work. He makes it look easy, but make no mistake Brydon has been steadfast for decades in making photographic work of and about his surroundings. He is continually trying techniques old and new to strive for a meaningful conversation with the land. Solargraphs is definitely one of those engaging conversations.

“Solargraphs are pinhole cameras with exposure times measured in months rather than fractions of a second. This slowing down of time produces the arcs of the sun as it traces its way across the sky. The ‘how’ isn’t anywhere near as important as the ‘why’, but it gives you an idea of what’s involved in making the work.

The length of time involved raises certain questions. Is it a different me collecting the solargraph than the person who left it? Maybe a window into what the landscape looks like when I’m not there to experience it?

What’s implied in the image is as important as what you can see. Anything moving quickly isn’t pictured but is in there. Solargraphs see everything (metaphorically) like photographic black holes. Every moment of joy and sadness you have experienced while each exposure was made is in there somewhere. A newborns first breath and another person’s last. The chaos of the universe condensed into photographic form. More than a moment. A tumbling cascade of moments set within the confines of a 5×7 piece of darkroom paper. With Solargraphs we are able to experience time almost in a geological sense and gain a glimpse into a differing reality than our own. A looped reminder how wonderfully fleeting our lives are.”

– Al Brydon

 

Solargraphs by Al Brydon © JW Editions
Solargraphs by Al Brydon © JW Editions


Solargraphs by Al Brydon

210 mm x 295 mm, hardback
96 pages, thread sewn
Introduction by contemporary photographer Rob Hudson

A Limited Edition is also available:
Signed copy of the book
Signed and numbered print – ‘Death of a Wood’
Print is exclusive to this book edition (Digital print on fine art photo paper)
Limited to 50 copies only

Published by JW Editions – an independent publisher of photobooks, producing affordable fine quality short run commercially produced edition-based releases, and handmade artist limited editions.

To order a copy of Solargraphs, visit their website: www.jweditions.co.uk


Al Brydon is a photographer based in the North of the UK. He has been exhibited and published both in the UK and internationally, and has just completed his five-year series ‘Solargraphs’ which have just been exhibited at the ‘Inside the Outside’ collective group show ‘Out of the woods of thought’. He is prone to working on various long-term bodies of work. See more of his work at his website: www.al-brydon.com


All images used with permission. Photographs © Al Brydon, and the printed book © JW Editions.

Featured Photographer – Leticia Batty

Leticia Batty is a UK based photographer originally from Worksop, Nottinghamshire and now resides in London. She has a number of London exhibitions and book publications to her credit.

Leticia is a photographic artist who specializes in medium format color photography, with the Worksop and Sheffield area as the biggest influence on her work. Her practice explores themes of identity, landscape, British politics and the self.

Shown here are samples from her project ‘Milano’, featured on her website along with several other projects and publications.


For more information about Leticia Batty, and to see more of her work, please visit https://leticiabatty.co.uk/ or
blog at:  shelanded.tumblr.com

Land – Sea : New Work by UK Photographer Andrew Mellor

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Andrew Mellor is a photographer based in Lancashire in the North West of England. His photography explores natural and man-made environments; and the interaction between the two with concerns over how we use the landscape and the social and political issues surrounding it. His work explores change and human impact.

Land – Sea : Artist Statement

For centuries Blackpool was just a hamlet by the sea. But by the middle of the 18th century, the practice of sea bathing to cure disease became very fashionable amongst the wealthier classes and people were making the journey to Blackpool solely for that purpose. Our current perceptions of the British seaside were formed during this Victorian period – childish innocence, the fun of the fair and the tranquillity of the sea itself; simple ‘old-fashioned’ fun – are all the stronger for having these Victorian roots.
Between the years 1856 and 1870, a Promenade was built along the sea front to prevent continual erosion and potential flooding and over many years the coastline witnessed significant geological and geographical changes.

It was built in several sections, which vary in height and profile, with the first completed stretch of sea defence being erected from Talbot Square to the site of where Blackpool tower was to be later built. All sections were subsequently designed by a succession of Borough Surveyors and landscape architects, which were also built in stages. This has resulted in different architectural compositions of varying construction and design. The visual stimulus created by the differing architecture is a fascinating feat of engineering and can be used to improve society, both socially and environmentally.

The marine frontage is approximately 12 miles long, from Blackpool to Fleetwood, and is in constant need of maintenance, as it is estimated that the average life span of a seawall is 50–100 years. Hard-erosion control methods provide a more permanent solution than soft-erosion control methods and because of their relative permanence, it is assumed that these structures can be a final solution to erosion.

There are many fabled stories, which provide a mythical backdrop to the seafront, with tales of bells tolling from lost villages and the revelry of the patrons from the penny o pint, which superstition says is supposed to signify a stormy night. Maps from before the late 1500’s indicate the North West coastline ventured out possibly a mile or two further than it does presently. Supposedly, several villages stood along this peninsula and were said to have been destroyed during a tidal flood, around 1554 or 1555; some archaeological evidence suggesting the existence of these villages has been found.

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To see more of Andrew Mellor’s work, or connect to him via social media, check out his website and links below:

Email: andy@andrewmellorphotography.com

Website: http://www.andrewmellorphotography.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/andymellorphoto/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Andrew_J_Mellor

Also: Read about On the Fringe by Andrew Mellor

Here and Now: Street Portraits of Londoners by Niall McDiarmid

The photo exhibition, Here and Now, is now open at the Museum of London. It runs through till October 15th. The work of London based photographer Niall McDiarmid will be mounted in the Rotunda space outside the museum and is open all day and night. It features 34 large scale prints from across the capital shot over the past 6 years.

Brushfield Street, London — April 2012 © Niall McDiarmid

Two of McDiarmid’s long-term projects, Crossing Paths: A Portrait of Britain, and Via Vauxhall, were published in book format; in addition to publishing the work online in dedicated websites. Both projects are series of portraits made by McDiarmid in his encounters with people throughout the UK over the past six years or so, and specifically for Via Vauxhall in the area surrounding the Vauxhall neighborhood of London. “Individually these photos represent the moment that we crossed paths, but collectively they represent my portrait of London — a confident city, a city of the future, a city I call home.”

From Via Vauxhall © Niall McDiarmid
McDiarmid’s photographic style can be described as ‘straight’, ‘documentary’ or even ‘street photography’. But make no mistake, McDiarmid’s stylistic approach often plays upon subtle use of color or pattern that is never arbitrary; it functions in highly sophisticated ways to connect elements and patterns in his subject’s clothing with their surroundings. In this manner, the people in his portraits are woven into the scene they occupy — an integral part of their surroundings.
Surrey Street, Croydon – January 2016 © Niall McDiarmid
For more info on the exhibit, see the site for Museum of London. To see more of Niall McDiarmid’s work, please visit his website. To read an in-depth interview with McDiarmid, see this article in Vantage, Niall McDiarmid Captures the Faces of our Times

Small Town Inertia photo book project – J A Mortram

Surviving life and austerity on the margins

416d4c7a467bb808c27585fda580742d_originalJim Mortram is a photographer from Dereham, Norfolk, UK. He has been photographing members of his community who are on the fringes of society.  For the last seven years, Jim has been photographing the lives of people in his community who, through physical and mental problems and a failing social security system, face isolation and loneliness in their daily lives. His work covers difficult subjects such as disability, addiction and self-harm, but is always with hope and dignity, focusing upon the strength and resilience of the people he photographs. His long-form documentary photography and accompanying texts journal the lives of “people without a voice”.

Mortram’s work and projects have been featured by many, including the British Journal of Photography, as part of its “ones to watch” lists. And now, Mortram’s project ‘Small Town Inertia’ is being produced as a book via Kickstarter.

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The photographs also depict the scale of welfare cuts … of housing benefit cuts …health service cuts … and the constant failure of systems that should care for the vulnerable in the UK.

These people have a right to dignity, a right to be heard and not ignored. Jim is now publishing his photographs in a limited edition hardback book with highly regarded publisher Bluecoat Press.

Jim Mortram is one of Britain’s brightest talents. His long-term project about those on the margins of society has resulted in many accolades. The Guardian newspaper describes his work as having ‘a timeless character that invites easy comparison with the classic documentary work of such British photographers as Chris Steel-Perkins, Paul Trevor and Chris Killip.’  He was awarded in the Digital Camera : Photographer of the Year competition 2009 and 2010. He has exhibited internationally including Camden Image Gallery 2014 and Photoville New York 2013. His published work has appeared in The Guardian, British Journal of Photography (Ones to Watch 2013), Black and White Photography, Cafe Royal Books, BBC, Professional Photography, Flakphoto and aCurator.

The Kickstarter project has many levels of support available with various rewards for your kind support. Please consider supporting this project today.

FORMAT17 | HABITAT

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AHEAD STILL LIES OUR FUTURE

QUAD Gallery, Derby, UK
24 March – 11 June 2017

Lida Abdul | Lisa Barnard | Ursula Biemann | Kenta Cobayashi | Hannah Darabi | Sohrab Hura | Zhang Jungang | Wanuri Kahiu | Ester Vonplon | Sadie Wechsler

The 2017 edition of FORMAT, the UK’s largest photography festival will explore the theme of HABITAT. The biennial festival, now in its 8th edition, is a showcase for emerging talent alongside established artists. FORMAT17 will display work by over 200 international artists and photographers across 30 exhibitions, alongside a photobook market, portfolio reviews and a series of innovative events and performances.


Rapid changes in the environment caused by human impact on the Earth has pushed us into a new cultural geographical epoch known as the ‘Anthoropocene’. Ahead Still Lies Our Future brings together 10 international artists whose diverse work encourages speculation on global imagined futures. This is the focal exhibition of FORMAT17, curated by Hester Keijser and Louise Clements, in response to the festival’s theme of HABITAT.

The artworks range from Ester Vonplon’s requiem for the melting glaciers in her native Switzerland, to Lida Adbul’s video installation in which she returns to her homeland of Afghanistan to ask how the individual can deal with memories of a country so marked by war and tragedy. Especially for FORMAT, the Japanese transmedia artist Kenta Cobayashi will recreate his immersive and VR installation Island is Islands and Lisa Barnard’s exploration of gold, its mythology, influence and impact will be shown for the first time.

Ursula Biemann documents a series of landmark legal cases that brought the Amazonian forest to court to plead for the rights of nature in her video Forest Law, while Sohrab Hura captures life in the twilight moments of the extreme summer heat in a small village of Central India, and Zhang Jungang tirelessly photographs the ever-changing view from his tiny balcony of the bridge over the Song Hua River in Northern China. Hannah Darabi compiles photographs of a ‘new town’ under construction near Tehran with excerpts from J.G. Ballard’s short story Waiting Grounds in a series of the same title. Other artists create alternative worlds – Wanuri Kahiu explores a dystopian future in her film Pumzi, and Sadie Wechsler’s images show constructed fantastical landscapes.

Collectively, these 10 artists explore the interconnected nature of the human spirit and the habitat that it encounters or creates.


WORKS ON DISPLAY


What we have overlooked is Lida Adbul’s monumental video installation in which she returned to her homeland of Afghanistan to explore how the individual can deal with the memories of a country so marked by war and tragedy. Filmed by a lake near Kabul, the video shows a man, voiced by subtitles, in the lake holding flag, progressively slipping underwater. The project examines the relationship between the individual and the nation, represented respectively by the man and the flag. Man, voice and flag finally vanish under the surface of the lake, suggesting the high price paid by nationalist feeling – the annulment of the individual.

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The Canary and the Hammer, new work by Lisa Barnard, considers the omnipresent nature of gold – concealed in our technology, a barometer for the economy, a global potent symbol of ultimate value, beauty, purity, greed and political power. In response to the financial crisis of 2008, Barnard’s photographs strive to make connections between very different stories focusing on the United Kingdom, and both North and South America. Exploring mythologies of the discovery of gold and the mania of the gold-rush, the brutal world of mining and sexual politics of the industry,. Barnard investigates how gold has become an indispensable component in engineering and electronic industries and offers solutions to a range of global health and environmental challenges.


Forest Law by Ursula Biemann is a synchronized video shot in the Amazonian rain forest in 2013. The oil-and-mining frontier in the Ecuadorian Amazon— one of the most biodiverse and mineral-rich regions on Earth – is currently under pressure from the dramatic expansion of large-scale extraction activities. At the heart of Forest Law is a series of landmark legal cases that bring the forest to court and plead for the Rights of Nature. One particularly complex trial has recently been won by the Kichwa Indigenous People of Sarayuku based on their cosmology of the Living Forest.


Japanese artist Kenta Cobayashi will recreate his immersive and VR installation Island is Islands. In 2011, Cobayashi started to post photographs on his blog which were then duplicated, converted, and referred to across the internet. His photographs are the product of the process of transitioning, bred through a repetitive cycle of interaction and transformation. By altering the size or zooming in on the images on the Internet, the image infinitely breeds by a simple finger movement. Each new iteration of Islands is Islands experiments with visual live performance alongside new prints and visual images.


Waiting Grounds by Iranian artist Hannah Darabi is a photographic series about an under construction ‘new town’ near Tehran. Inspired by a J.G. Ballard short story of the same title, the work combines photographs and the cut-ups of text from Waiting Grounds. The main character in Ballard’s story lives on another planet and learns that life on Earth is terminated. All that remains is history written and engraved on gold columns in a code language. The protagonist decides to wait for the future – a future that “whatever it is, it must be worth waiting for”. Darabi’s work aims to represent the state of waiting in a country where history has been rewritten over and over again and where each version of the history has its glorious past which become an example for a possible future.


The Song of Sparrows in a Hundred Days of Summer by Sohrab Hura is a series of photographs taken in Barwani, the central state of Madhya Pradesh, one of the hottest regions in India. Since 2013, Hura has been photographing the summer in Savariyapani, a small village secluded amongst the barren landscape of this region. With little rainfall and extreme temperatures, life in Savariyapani can take on an unexpected reality in the twilight moments of the heat.


Bridge and Nearby Scenery is a series of photographs taken between 2013 and 2016 from artist Zhang Jungang’s tiny balcony in the Northern Chinese city of Harbin. The balcony has a view of the bridge over the Song Hua River, and the vista changes almost every day, with variations in light and air from moment to moment. With long winters and short summers, there is always a new view for Zhang to capture and the resulting series of photographs is his reaction to the infinite richness of the world.


In Pumzi, a film by Wanuri Kahiu, nature is extinct, the outside is dead and the protagonist, Asha, lives and works as a museum curator in one of the indoor communities set up by the Maitu Council. When she receives a box in the mail containing soil, she plants in it an old seed which starts to germinate instantly. Asha appeals to the Council to grant her permission to investigate the possibility of life on the outside but the Council denies her exit visa. Asha breaks out of the inside community to go into the dead and derelict outside to plant the growing seedling and possibly find life on the outside.

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Sadie Wechsler’s constructed images re-imagine landscapes, blurring historical and rational states to create alternative worlds. Some of the fantastical images depict landscapes where something is a bit off-kilter, in another a girl obscured in a shaft of light looks at the camera in an artificially perfect forest, and in another, a group of tourists stands and watches a dramatic forest fire. The images suggest photographic tropes such as stock imagery, sunsets, and holiday landscapes with unsettling, ambiguous undertones.


Ester Vonplon’s large-scale photographs are a requiem for the melting glaciers in her native Switzerland. To protect the glaciers from shrinking further they have been wrapped in giant, white reflective sheets. The photographs, however, do not depict unspoilt natural beauty, but instead the snow is filled with sediment, grit and ash, smoke-stained and grubby. The cloth started as pristine but has ripped and decayed into the melting ice of the glacier. These natural, pure monument, diseased and decaying, are mortal.


 

FORMAT was established in 2004 and organises a year-round programme of international commissions, open calls, residencies, conferences and collaborations in the UK and Internationally. The 2015 festival welcomed over 100,000 visitors from all over the world. The biennale edition incorporates over 30 of Derby’s most beautiful buildings and key landmarks including: QUAD, University of Derby, Derby Museum & Art Gallery, Derwent Valley World Heritage Sites, Market Place and satellite venues in nearby cities.

Further information and full programme on www.formatfestival.com from early 2017.

FORMAT is directed by Louise Clements, organized by QUAD and the University of Derby Supported by Arts Council England, Derby City Council and multiple partners from the UK and international origins.

Based on a False Story by Al Brydon

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What was old is new again – A conversation with the past

A drawer with rolls of exposed film sat quietly for years. Every once in awhile, Al Brydon would nose about in that drawer, then shut it and forget about them again. But one day he didn’t shut the drawer. “I couldn’t tell you why”, Brydon recalls. “When it’s time it’s time, I guess. The rolls of film suddenly became a way of having a conversation with my past self. I just needed fifteen or so years to realise it. Who wouldn’t want to get into a time machine?”

Brydon took on the chance of obliterating the images taken years before. The fruitful happenstance results of re-exposing those rolls of film were well worth the risk.  While the number of chances for good double exposures was very high, taken amongst roughly between 500 and 600 frames, Brydon states, “The hit rate for usable images was low. There’s only so much serendipity one person can muster it seems.”

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The images in Based on a False Story are a wonderful mix of beautiful double-exposed portraits of old friends and new, juxtaposed landscapes, and tactile images of balanced geometric shapes and forms that construct dreamlike scenes with silhouetted human forms in the distance, or trees forming a horizon line within the portrait of a young man. The images draw in the viewer and evoke a sense of recalling past places and people affected by the passage of time. ‘False Story’ is Brydon’s second book published through Another Place Press this year, and rounds out a full year of marvelous publications from this small-but-mighty publisher.

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Brydon has worked with double exposed film in other projects, including a project with California based photographer J.M Golding. Brydon and Golding swapped rolls of film each other had shot in their respective haunts, and the resulting project, “Tales from a non-existent land”, have a strong influence for this new project. Both projects may be born from a specific type of photographic technique, but both also transcend and speak of something more than the photographic process itself. Brydon has taken it even further by addressing the landscape of the physical and metaphysical worlds.

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Brydon has described his process of working on his landscape work through the analogy of listening; “The dead sing songs, and I am trying to learn how to hear them.” With consideration to all the occurrences man has taken to alter the physical landscape surrounding him, Brydon listens and tries to interpret the history of the land, both past and present. In this way, ‘False Story’ is also a process of connecting one’s past and present. This applies to the personal as well as the physical. Brydon says, “Some of the last photographs I had of one of my best friends were hidden in the rolls somewhere and I was worried about losing them. As it turned out, one of these particular photographs became the most successful in terms of delivering exactly what I was trying to convey. But I had no idea what was on the films really. It was more about a feeling than any compositional considerations. I tried to imagine the younger Al and I walking together while I was making the photographs. What would we have talked about? Would we have even liked each other? We are two extremely different people after all. I just walked and went to places that felt right. There were no rules and no deadlines. I was in the enviable position of freedom within the confines of a two dimensional medium and a limited number of rolls of film.”

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When I asked if ‘False Story’ feels like departure from the majority of the landscape work he has been creating, Brydon said, “Maybe a slight departure… I’d like to say everything I do is well thought out and totally intentional, but this is a falsehood. I make the work, then work out why as I go along. In this instance the process did inform the end result. I was aware there would be some photographs on there I would have liked to see without the addition of another frame over the top. There’s a sadness to the work, but it’s necessary, and as it should be. But the world happens to be immensely beautiful, and I hope I’ve at least conveyed some of that beauty in the photographs.”

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From all the various types of films stored in that drawer, Brydon had to impose some order for the purpose of the project. “Because I was working with different films and due to the chaotic nature of the work I wanted a uniform aesthetic. They were scanned and converted to mono with slight adjustments here and there. I also added the scratches but this was done by literally kicking the negatives around in my cellar. The act of re-exposing the negs was a destructive one and I wanted to continue that destructive process after I’d got the processed films back from the lab. I knew once the films had been processed and the work finished that effectively it would be the end of the conversation. I’m not sure about the long term effects of the work yet. I’m interested to see how I feel about the photographs in a year or so.  I did however keep one film back. This will be re-exposed in another fifteen years so I can have one more stern chat with myself.  I will be 55 years old.”

This psychological evaluation of one’s current self against one’s past self reveals what we know to be true – we are not who we once were. By examining our past self, we change not only who we were, but who we are now. Through the process of creating ‘False Story’, Brydon’s conversation with his past self and destruction of his original images has actually revealed glimpses of his present self. We can only assume that his current work will foretell the work to be created in 15 more years – when he will re-discover who he is, and was, anew.

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Based on a False Story by Al Brydon
© 2016 – published by Another Place Press
http://anotherplacepress.bigcartel.com/
52 pp / 210 x 150mm
Perfect Bound
Fedrigoni & GF Smith papers:
350gsm Colorplan cover, 170gsm Uncoated text
ISBN 978-0-9935688-8-6


Al Brydon is a photographer based in the North of the UK. He is less tall than he seems on the internet. To see more work and projects, visit his website: http://www.al-brydon.com/

Another Place Press is a small independent publisher interested in contemporary photography that explores landscape in the widest sense, covering themes which include land, place, journey, city and environment – from the remotest corners of the globe to the centre of the largest cities. Iain Sarjeant is the founder and editor of Another Place, and Another Place Press.

Book Review: MTWTFSS by Sophie Harris-Taylor

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Capturing luminous moments between the momentous

‘MTWTFSS: Chapter 1. 2010-2015’ is a vulnerable, honest and intimate photo book by the emerging photographer Sophie Harris-Taylor whose autobiographical body of work is made of images taken from her photographic diary of the past five years.

The book is laid out in a traditional journal form, much like a decent sized Moleskin notebook, complete with a strip of fabric to mark your place. The front and back cover are stamped/faux-embossed with the book title and short statement. I appreciated its understated presentation, especially in a time when larger photobook publishers are really trying to vie for the attention of their customers. The handcrafted design esthetic of MTWTFSS is definitely in the ‘Win’ column.

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© Sophie Harris-Taylor

Harris-Taylor has compiled a collection of images spanning a five year period, in a diary-style fashion. Her images are presented almost exclusively as single image pages, with the occasional blank or two-page spread for visual pacing. The limited first edition of 500 copies are hand numbered and signed.

In describing the book, Harris-Taylor says, “MTWTFSS is an autobiographical, fragmented, sporadic photo diary. It is a reflection of myself and those I know and love. In familiar, often mundane surroundings I seek to capture some element of truth of our lives. For me these ‘everyday, forgotten nothings’ are more important and truthful than any other. These are the moments between the momentous.”

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© Sophie Harris-Taylor
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© Sophie Harris-Taylor
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© Sophie Harris-Taylor
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© Sophie Harris-Taylor

Harris-Taylor relates the personal aspect of the book by saying, “MTWTFSS is the most personal to me. It’s only become apparent recently that although I’m representing aspects of other people, I’m seeking the aspects I’m familiar with and which I can relate to the most. So I’m really using them to express myself.”

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© Sophie Harris-Taylor
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© Sophie Harris-Taylor
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© Sophie Harris-Taylor

I truly did get the feeling I was privy to a photo diary, where the author had chosen certain places, people and images that evoked a sense of vulnerable moments captured between her and the people in her life. The book’s presentation didn’t feel forced, and while the promotion for the book describes the images as “spontaneous”, I would be more apt to describe the style as “informal” despite the acute attention Harris-Taylor gives to light, composition, and the connection to the people sitting before her lens.

“At the same time as seeking their vulnerability I was in awe of their confidence and ability to be comfortable in their own skin. In truth, I was in awe of my friends. One girlfriend in particular; she let me in, she gave me what to capture and I became almost obsessed with the act of photographing her. There were moments of sadness, moments of vulnerability, she never put up a front or undermined what I was doing, she let her guard down and this is what I became interested in.”

The understated moments that make up much of what we construct in our minds as the memories of what has taken place, where we have gone, and who we have encountered, are the memories we recall when reminiscing. Harris-Taylor has taken the reader/viewer into her own memories and revealed the mostly hidden, simple moments by being our (sometimes literally) bare and vulnerable self, our true moments without facade.


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Limited 1st edition of 500 (hand numbered)
Leather-effect binding and blind embossed cover.
16x20cm, 176 pages
Offset lithograph printed on 140gsm uncoated paper.
Designed by Joseph Carter.


Sophie Harris-Taylor is a British fine art photographer and lecturer in photography. Born in 1988 in London, where she still resides, she received both her MA and BA (Hons) in Photography from Kingston University.

Harris-Taylor’s work has been nominated for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize and The Renaissance Photography Prize. Her work has also been exhibited in a range of shows, including The Young Masters.


To view more work by Sophie Harris-Taylor, visit her website athttp://www.sophieharristaylor.com/

To order a copy of MTWTFSS, click here

(This review was originally published in F-Stop Magazine)

Book Review: Out of the Ordinary: A Journey Through Everyday Scotland | Vol. 1 by Iain Sarjeant

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Inverness – 25/10/2011

Book Introduction by Iain Sarjeant:

Much of my photography is spontaneous in nature – I enjoy wandering, exploring, discovering, observing – often in everyday places. It’s a way of working that I find very fulfilling – just drifting and seeing what is round the next corner.

Out Of The Ordinary has developed from this approach, and reflects my interest in people’s relationship and interaction with their environment. The series explores the kind of places that most of us walk or drive past every day, without really noticing – places where the infrastructure of human habitation interacts with the natural environment. These are dynamic landscapes, constantly being altered, and part of the fascination for me is the element of chance involved in the photographs – coming across scenes that may look very different the following week or month.

I try not to have any plan or pre-conceived ideas when exploring. Sometimes I am simply drawn to the play of light and shadow, or colour and form, but often I am looking to create images that have an element of ambiguity, hopefully leaving the viewer with questions. By playing with composition and balancing visual elements, I hope to transform the ordinary and common-place into something interesting and unusual.

The project is ongoing and for me has become a journey through everyday Scotland.

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Macduff, Aberdeenshire – 04/05/2016

Sarjeant’s images of “everyday” Scotland are not ones you might find gracing the pages of glossy travel magazines trying to attract visitors to his country. Rather, these images would be more likely to be found in the galleries of Edinburgh or Glasgow, attracting many people nonetheless. His book, Out of the Ordinary: A Journey Through Everyday Scotland | Vol. 1 was published in the summer of 2016, and quickly sold out. A second printing of 100 copies was done, and a limited number of copies are available hereAn anticipated Volume 2 is in the works for 2017.

His views of his everyday surroundings are largely devoid of people. In the few images that include people, Sarjeant has carefully chosen to include them as elements in the scene to give us either a sense of scale, or mystery and inform the viewer that the spaces are not without use. The collection of images in this project are landscapes where the structures and infrastructures of the people of Scotland are revealed – often with blocks or lines of saturated color that punctuate the scene.

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Hawick, Borders – 03/04/2015
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Balerno, Edinburgh – 17/07/2015
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Dunbeath, Caithness – 21/05/2015

His visual lexicography includes vehicles in all manner of use and function (or disfunction), buildings both commercial and residential, markings on pavement, graffiti, shadows and shipping containers. Sarjeant’s wanderings take him through areas of Scotland that, in his words, “often look very different the following month, day, or even hour.” The decisive moments he choses are ones worth taking in and really looking at.

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Cowdenbeath, Fife – 14/04/2016
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Selkirk, Borders – 19/03/2013
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Lossiemouth, Moray – 01/11/2013

“Ultimately all photography is about light and I am fascinated by how it interacts with the lie of the land, whether in wild places or, as in this project, in man-made places. Light can create interest from the most ordinary of subjects.” Iain Sarjeant

These landscapes, communities, structures, and the geography created by them, reveal what exists beyond the ordinary. The way Sarjeant frames the images to draw our eyes through the scene, the way he juxtaposes forms, shadows, blocks of colors, and even tire tracks in snow covered lots, reveal a Scotland of beautiful repose; places for us to stop, and become drawn into the scenes.


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Iain Sarjeant is the founder and editor of Another Place, and Another Place Press which showcases contemporary landscape photography. He is a member of Documenting Britain, and works as a stock photographer.

For more information, or to view his personal work; please visit:

http://iainsarjeant.tumblr.com/

http://www.iainsarjeant.co.uk/

http://www.iainsarjeant.com/

Niall McDiarmid – British Portraits Exhibition – Oriel Colwyn, North Wales

A big congratulations to British photographer Niall McDiarmid on his gallery exhibition from now through Oct. 14th. The show contains images from his long-term and ongoing project of making portraits of people throughout the UK.

For more info, or if you are in Wales in the coming month:  http://orielcolwyn.org/british-portraits/

To read the in-depth interview Niall had with Wobneb Magazine in January 2016, click here: Faces of Our Times