I’ve recently launched a new UK based print magazine – I’m looking to promote photography, photojournalism, street photography, poetry and short stories. Issue 1 is exclusively my own work: I’ve wanted, for many years, to self publish a coffee table book with my own photography and poetry but as some of you may know, it can be very expensive. A hardback photobook, with decent paper for displaying photographs, would cost in the region of £80 so to make it more accessible I’ve launched a bimonthly print magazine and am looking for contributors.
Whether your preferred art is photography, in a street, journalistic, landscape, portrait or fashion ilk I’d be interested in seeing it. If you prefer to write poetry, I’d love to read it or if you prefer to write short stories, I’d love to read those too.
You can see the magazine online here or you can buy it by clicking on the Issue 1 cover image below.
If you would like to have something in print, like the look of the magazine and would like to submit, please do so by sending your work to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you ! I have contributors sending poetry and short stories through and am looking for content for issues 2, 3, 4 and on and on …
I was interviewed on BBC Three Counties Radio on Thursday which you can listen to by going to 02:16 of the show here.
I’d really love to hear from photographers, poets and short story writers – so if you, or your friends would like to submit please share and send work through.
Thank you and look forward to discussing work with you !
I’ve got one brother, his name is Paul, and he’s 2 years 10 months and 6 days older than me – and I guess I was that annoying little brother, “Moi ?! C’est ne possible pas !” – well, OK, maybe it is. He was born in London in 1966, at St Bartholomews’ Hospital (“Barts” – WikiPedia tells me it’s the oldest hospital in Europe being founded in 1123) and it’s debatable if you can hear the sound of the Bow Bells from Barts so it’s not confirmed if we can call him a true cockerney, and I’m saying NO (maybe that’s the little brother thing – just there).
He visited this Easter weekend just gone and it was a great opportunity to catch up, and of course take some pictures for #Project14. Dad popped over with Joyce on Good Friday for lunch, bringing with him a leg of lamb to add to the silverside joint of beef we cooked and as you can imagine, we all ate far too much and drank far too much beer and wine. Dad does know how to cook a leg of lamb – I must take my hat off to him !
Alex is Paul’s son and always comes down to see us when Paul comes. The last time he came was to go to the Emirates Stadium to watch Arsenal play Naples in the Emirates Cup – a two day pre season friendly tournament used to sharpen skills before the football season proper starts. Alex was a Manchester United supporter before last summer’s Emirates Cup but Paul bought him an Arsenal shirt and once he’d been in the Emirates Stadium he was hooked and now talks nothing of Man Utd but all about the Arsenal – a job well done I say.
So there we have it – another chapter in the life of #Project14 – I used the Mamiya C33 and black and white film to capture some pictures in the full ethos of #Project14 but thought it’d be rude not to capture the Welsh Contingent (another reason I’m sticking to the non-Cockerney status – he moved to Wales around the turn of the century) for blogging purposes – I do like the way these portraits have turned out. I think I’ll use this technique again !
Get in touch if you’d like some family photos done – email me direct – email@example.com.
… came over to see me this morning to pose for and be part of my Project 14. I hadn’t seen him for a few weeks so I went over to see him yesterday morning for a coffee and took my camera with me to photograph him doing what he normally does on a Saturday morning. I got there too late to go with him to the paper shop but he was back and doing the crossword when I got there, always The Times crossword, he used to do the crossword in the Telegraph but that got a bit too easy so he moved on to The Times.
Project 14 is the project I set myself to photograph people and places that have influenced me or had a bearing on my life from day one in 1968 to the present day. I’m doing all this with the Mamiya C33 medium format film camera, using black and white film, developing that film and printing the negatives in the darkroom. So, obviously, Dad comes top of that list. I took a few shots with the digital camera which are on here today and I also took 6 rolls of Ilford Delta 400 over the two mornings so I’ve got them to develop and add to Project 14.
I always remember Dad watching Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy on telly back in the late 70s – he worked shifts and was never able to get to see the scheduled 9pm on Tuesday night but along the way he always managed to catch a repeat or rerun so he could get to see the whole series (this was before the days of VHS and Sky+ wasn’t even on the horizon).
So I finally got out with the Mamiya C33 and have developed the first few films. Something I never did many years ago when I had a darkroom was develop my own films but now I am developing and printing them all. These few pictures were scanned onto CD by Jane at True Colour Imaging in Luton for me.
After much testing of the darkroom and not getting great results I figured out there was quite a bit of light leakage and after plugging holes and removing bulbs from some rogue lights I am now getting prints that are showing some good contrast.
As old school family businesses go, “Lakes for Volvos” in Wyboston, Bedfordshire is a true gem. I have recently become the proud owner of a rather old 2.3l Volvo 850 T5 (T5 being the fast one, the one used by the police in years gone by) .
More often than I’d hoped in the last couple of weeks I’ve visited Wyboston in the hope to find the fix to my ongoing breakdowns and too frequent calls to the fourth emergency service.
Whilst there yesterday and talking to the owners I thought they deserved a piece being written about them so I returned this morning with my camera.
All day long the phone rings, it was never off the hook while I was there this morning and the stream of visitors through the door kept part-owner Barry at the office.
The place is run by Barry and Bernard who have run their business at Wyboston for nearly 30 years. Bernard’s Grandson Ethan (18) was busy breaking an 850, he works weekends in the workshop while he’s at college studying Economics and Politics “A” Level, he’s got his exams this summer and is expected to pass with As all round.
Barry is very proud of the fact they work in an “old school” fashion doing honest and fair business with customers who return time and time again.
Hundreds of protesters turned out in Trafalgar Square in London last Saturday (01/03) to demonstrate against alleged corruption within the government. Marches took place around the world for the same purpose – to raise awareness and spread the word about the belief that world governments are corrupt.
The crowd moved off to reconvene at the Ecuadorian Embassy where Julian Assange is holed up in asylum limbo – the Ecuadorians offered the founder of WikiLeaks sanction while Sweden try to extradite him there on rape charges.
Members of the “ANONYMOUS” Movement wore masks showing their support for the movement that is planning a lot more demonstrations and action throughout 2014 culminating in Project V planned for early 2015 – “We are Anonymous, we are Legion, We do not FORGET, We do not FORGIVE, EXPECT US” is their strapline.
… Luton in Harmony. The Mall in Luton was alive with some of Luton’s hottest talents today. Coming together to support the Luton in Harmony movement – their website describes the movement – “Its aim is to celebrate the diversity and unity of our communities, and to build a positive reputation for our town.” Lots of the town’s positives were on show belting out tunes and flinging themselves through somersaults and spinning on their heads.
This time last year I was working in Brixton and chatting with people from the area. When they found out I was from Luton they gave me funny looks and asked how things were up there. I didn’t really understand what they meant – I knew there had been some trouble in Luton over the previous months but didn’t realise it was far reaching. The news of gang rivalry between the Marsh Farm and Lewsey Farm Estates (where I grew up) of Luton had travelled to, and shocked the people of, Brixton. I was amazed that the people of Brixton (somewhere I had always associated with trouble, the riots of ’81 and “Bloody Saturday” considered Luton to be an unsafe place to be, whether living there or visiting – “I’ve got friends up there and I won’t go there !” was just one comment) would be interested or shocked at little old Luton.
The idea of Luton being a rough, but more to the point, unsafe, place to visit surprised me. I gave it some more thought and started a photodocumentary on the area where I grew up. Lewsey Farm never seemed unsafe to me but maybe that’s because it’s where I grew up, it’s where I played knock down ginger as a kid, I knew the area and I knew the escape routes should I need them, so maybe my familiarity with the area was giving me a false sense of security. I decided to get around and meet a few shop owners in Dominic Square – you know the type of place, local shops, small supermarket, a betting shop and a bakery, where Grandad gets his paper in the morning and where kids in hoodies on BMXs sit around and talk when it gets dark.
I spoke to 3 or 4 of the shop owners and they all confirmed what I thought – that Luton and more to the point Lewsey Farm was not full of racketeers and gangsters terrorising the local people. So had the press blown things out of proportion ? This was very possible but there was evidence to back up the bad stories the people of Brixton had heard. On 5th September 2012 Delaney Brown, a 19 year old man from Lewsey Farm was mown down by a car mounting the pavement and knocked off his bike, he later died in hospital. This sparked a number of tit for tat attacks and fatalities between youths from Lewsey Farm and youths from Marsh Farm. The trouble and tensions went on for about 6 months, there was a lot of news coverage and sitting down to watch the 6 o’clock news I would be wondering what the next Lewsey/Marsh Farm story was going to be.
Over the first few months of 2013 there was a huge police operation and it combined with community leaders in and around Luton to combat crime on the two estates. Armed fire arms officers were patrolling the streets during the day and at night, community leaders were out and about on the streets talking to kids, the local radio got involved and ran programs dedicated to the subject and a rally was held in Luton Town Centre to bring awareness of the troubles and the ongoing fight to bring law and order to the streets of the town. All in all a huge effort was being made to calm things down.
A year on and I think things have calmed down, Luton is very rarely on the 6 o’clock news so I no longer have that dreaded sinking feeling when it starts. I had a cup of tea and sat and talked to Kath who works in the bakery while I was at Dominic Square yesterday. She’s been working at the bakery for a year, she’ll be 60 next month and would have been looking forward to retirement if the retirement age hadn’t been extended to 67 by the government. She gets up at 6 every morning to be at the bakery for 7 to arrange the loaves and cakes for the days trade, she lost her husband after a long illness 4 years ago after nursing him for 10 years and has been forced back to work but as most people around here she would rather get up at 6 and trudge through the rain and snow than sit at home and claim benefits. And I think Kath is the type of person that sums up Lewsey Farm, hard working, honest, tough but all the time doing it all with a smile on her face. I take my hat off to Kath and all like her in and around Lewsey Farm.
I bought this beauty a few weeks ago off ebay – I’ve been out with it a couple of times and so far I think it all works as it should. The C33 is a late 60s Twin Lens Reflex (TLR – view through the top lens and take the picture through the bottom lens) medium format professional camera manufactured in Japan – it uses 120 roll film and produces square negatives 6x6cm in size. It doesn’t have any metering and is fully manually operated, so to take a picture you either fly by the seat of your pants and use your best guestimate to choose aperture and shutter speed or you have some kind of light meter. The thing to the left of the camera in the picture is a 1950s Weston Master Universal Exposure Meter (another ebay acquisition), I’ve had it checked out and it works fine.
The plan, oh yes, there’s a plan, is to produce a body of work (15 to 20 black and white pictures) that I shoot, develop and print myself. The project will be loosely based on who I am and where I came from. We moved around quite a bit before the family settled in Luton in December 1976 – remember that hot hot summer of ’76? We lived in Milton Keynes for 9 months in 1976 before moving to Luton, before that we lived in a high rise block of flats (almost) overlooking Arsenal’s Highbury Stadium (and now even closer to the Emirates Stadium), before that we lived in Army Married Quarters in Bushey after moving back to England from Germany where Dad was stationed and I was born.
So that’s the plan – I’d like to think that by the end of 2014 I’ll have that set of prints that I’m happy with. It’ll take me to places I’m guessing will look quite different from what I remember. I’ll try and keep the blog updated with a few pictures along the way but the main aim of the project is to produce those pictures through film, negative, wet print and probably a few headaches from the darkroom chemicals – can’t wait !!