EXCESS BAGGAGE 02

4×5 Arca Swiss, Schneider 120mm Super Symar

I thought, it maybe about time I talked about photobooks.

First, I need to get something off my chest re the naming of photobooks. People seem to be racking their brains for anything that might be obtuse, opaque and altogether only relating to the images in a post-rational way. I collect photobooks, not in the way, say, someone who is wealthy but I do have a library of about 100 or so books and as time goes by the titles have become so much more abstract and as such could relate to any images that are between the covers. I find this practice to be very off putting although; it hasn’t stopped me from buying them.

Actually I will talk about the books I have bought in the last six months, not in an in-depth way, just in terms of would I bother buying them had I known what was between the covers. I usually buy on the Internet based on recommendations.

The following list is the last 6-8 months, which turns out to be a bit scary, as I have bought way more than I thought. I think I should now keep my hands in my pockets. The list is in alphabetical order.

Recent book list:

You will notice I have gone a bit overboard with Luigi Ghirri. I did this based on first reading his writings which were published by Mack. I haven’t regretted it once and continue to source as many as I can afford. Unfortunately most are out of print and those that are available can get quite pricey, case in point was the Luigi Ghirri, ‘It’s beautiful here, isn’t it…’, an Aperture publication and you will see from my links above it is very pricey at least for me. If you haven’t seen his work I would recommend getting his book titled Kodachrome, it’s a really good primer and covers a lot of his early work.

In the mean time a few words about my Nikon F3 + Tri-x + Rodinal project. I have 3 more rolls to develop and I will post scans from them as soon as I can. A few words on the Nikon F3, did I say it was a Tank? Well it really is a tank, heavy clunky and for me a bit inhibiting. So I’m now looking for an FM2n, smaller and less brick like. Actually missed out on one on eBay last night, got beaten by a late bid it was £5 more than my bid?!@?”.

Will start next time with either the F3 project or review of some of the books listed above. Also please forgive the amazon links above, if you do buy from my link I’ll get a few pennies towards more books which is very helpful.

EXCESS BAGGAGE 01

Canon 5D, Covent Garden, London

So… the title above will in future denote a post about everything that is swirling around in my head. Sometimes it just gets overwhelming and you just have to have a BIG DUMP, switch that pinball machine off and drain the life out of it, just so you can start again with a clean slate.

This world seems to be in a fucking terrible state at the moment. Mother nature is trying to tell us to smarten the fuck up, if you know what I mean. Really, we have natural disasters happening everywhere in the world, it’s a bit terrifying if you really think about it.

Then there are the prevailing governments of the US and UK. I realize compared to the US we are small fry here in the UK, but dam we make up for it in stupidity! Where are all the visionaries and why aren’t they leading us into the future, are there none around at all. Here’s an example of the type of politicians we have, our PM and Mayor for London are all about banning diesel cars and replacing them with electric cars. So if that isn’t short sighted, it’s the same as when they touted diesel as the future fuel. None have looked to the future and thought about what it might lead to.

An example would be the battery pollution. The disposal of batteries is the elephant in the room, even if they developed a battery that lasted years and years, because at some point the car owner will trade it in and then it becomes worthless junk and goes to the scrap heap plus its battery. Also where the hell are all the electrical points to plug them in on the streets? London house design does not really allow for cables from each house stretching across the pavement and if it did just think of all the fun teenagers could have with a cable cutter! The power points won’t sprout like mushrooms overnight and who pays for it (there’s an entrepreneurial opportunity!) and where does all that additional electricity come from? Do we build more nuclear plants with their inherent waste fuel problem?

If they were visionary they would have the answers already but the don’t because they are only reactive politicians not proactive. All I ever hear is we have heard the voice of the people and we are going to do something… what? They will say and do whatever keeps them in power and while in power they tell you why you cant have what you voted for!

Thinking out of the box I would say, that they should legislate that all new homes that are built starting from now must be electrically self-sufficient. The builders would be obliged by law to provide, install and sell solar panels along with the house just as they pay for the shingles on the roof. It would just be another building material. I’m sure that would eventually go a long way to lessening the strain on our existing energy grid. They would also be required to install an outside electric car power point on every new house. This will lead to a future not reliant on dwindling fossil fuels. All this can be done starting today and for those who have existing houses like myself, the cost of installing would be deductable on my personal taxes and the materials would come out of the government. I think that there would be a very tidy profit for the government when you consider the financial costs and waste disposal issues of nuclear power plants.

While we are on the subject of dwindling fossil fuels, when was it in the best interest of the population to put all our energy needs in the hands of a few profit generating private interests, even more so when those private companies are foreign owned! I would have thought, that from a simple-minded security perspective, it would have been in our interests to keep our electric generation and drinking water under one umbrella to protect us from any disaster, war etc. .

I want my leaders to be dynamic, thinkers who know history and can think for them selves, within the sphere of making a better place to live for everyone! By everyone I mean all black, white and yellow and every shade in between and surrounding, ALL the people on this planet.

I don’t want leaders who I’m either ‘embarrassed for’ or ‘find embarrassing to me’. I want them to be motivated by a genuine goodness for the people and not what they can suck out of the people.

Now to my photographic dump.

First I must state that I shoot digital about 97% of the time and analogue the other 3%. So I have come to realize and accept that when I’m gone there will be no remains of my life’s work, or my family growing up. Perhaps there will be the occasional print that I had made but that’s about it! No one will be able to go to a car boot sale, in the hopes of picking up some ones photo album. All there will be are used and abused and deleted hard drives, nothing you can look at, nothing you can touch or smell, nothing, nothing at all.

However, I do love the air and colour of optical analogue prints from analogue negatives. All you have to do is look at some of Luigi Ghirri’s prints. This does NOT include digital printing on analogue paper.

So does that mean I think analogue is the way to go. Not sure either way, it’s a hugely wasteful medium, water in particular and silver polluting of the ground water. It’s not too cool for the environment. I used to work as a lab manager for a commercial custom photolab in Canada and the amount of water that went down the drain each and every day was obscene.

I just came back to this post a few days later. I’m going to have to finish it later. I’m too fucked off with the world today.

To be continued…