Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Staring back #4



The photographer records the moment that took his interest, captured his imagination, or thought worthy of recording because it had some value to him. In doing that he also says as much in what he did not record; what went before and what is to follow. At this moment, all is as it is and has never been the same before, nor will ever be repeated yet in our consideration of the image we might well consider what led to this point and what is to follow. Some things are predicable, as with the ticking of the clock and the movement of the sun across the window. Others are not, as with the settling of the dust. Its the mix of the random and predicable that brought us here and generated in the photographer, the necessity to record it. The photograph can focus our attention and expand our view at the same time. All photographs do this. For better or worse, allow yourself the pleasure.

Staring back #3



There's no art here. Photography isn't art. There is no construct or composing. There are no rules nor does it have a language; a vocabulary that enables us to place things where we want them. We photograph what interests us. We consider that moment in time worthy of recording. Our camera records that diligently, without prejudice or or consideration for the photographer or viewer. And unless we montage we are stuck with the constrains of the frame and its graphical contents. Sure, we can shift around, play with colour and tones, and arm ourselves with sophisticated toys but we are still stuck with a tree, two benches and a rather large shrub staring back at us.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Staring back #2



Move along christians. This place has been re-allocated to a different group of believers.Don't feel too uncomfortable about it. They probably feel the same way. Its all the wrong shape, and there's no mats on the floor. Even the plumbing is in need of a revamp. Anyway, its your own fault. You let the place run down. I didn't see you attending the fairs and fundraisers. Christmas Christians. At least these blokes are serious about it; fervent even. Besides, the building will probably see them out. Next thing you know a Gen Y couple will move in and convert it to apartments for their Audi driving friends.
So, while you stare in amazement and shock at the New World, the stone and slate stares right back. Its been here longer than all of us and will still be here when we are gone.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Staring back #1



So it's come to this, has it. Christian, tucked away in an alley between the hair dresser and a car park. It's inevitable really and I'm not that surprised. After all you can't go around telling people to believe in one fairy and not another. And the guilt. It's like when you told your mother you washed you hands before dinner - and didn't. You were never sure if she knew you were lying.
They mean no harm, those Christians. They just need a place, like a smoker in a government building. Happy in there lot doing what they do among friends.
The buildings have nice windows, though.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

York.



They come so close and cross each others paths so briefly and so closely they can smell each others boot polish. They come and go to and from and always return. Anonymity, transported daily. Isolation in social interaction, an insular approach at a busy intersection. Separate lives.

Monumental strength.



There is always something we can put our faith in. Something with such strength that it could last for centuries, keep me comforted in moments of need, provide me with good advise and security when the world seems confusing, care for me when I'm low and give me spirit when the going gets tough. A place of peace and tranquility, rest and restitution, love and sharing, quiet and introspective, giving without taking, knowing what is best and right. I have all that right here.

The other thing in the picture is just a church.

Staring into space #22



Even when the world seems a bit claustrophobic, there is always room to move. Take a deep breathe. The air goes up quite a way. Chances are you'll get a good lungful, catch your breath and the walls won't feel like they are closing in on you.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Staring into space # 21



All things are not innately interesting. We wander the planet in search of interesting places, people and things. Meanwhile, we stare into space. Waiting. "It's boring" I hear again and again.
Be interested.
When you are interested in all things you can stare into space all day and be fascinated. Exclucivity in your interests denies you of an opportunity to be in constant wonder.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Staring into space #20



It's been a while since I last passed this way. The view has changed. I've changed. I'm tall enough to see over the hedge. The house on the hill seems closer than I remember. They have planted wheat again. I loved playing in the wheat, feeling the crunch of stalks under my shoes. And the smell. Like the cow sheds. Or the mattress I slept on.
I know my way from here as if I walked it yesterday. A steep climb to the gates, then a push through the brambles and nettles to the fence where I could follow to the house. Someone's dog would bark. In summer I could pick berries and watch bees suck nectar.
No point in going that way now. The house is gone and the memories are fading. I can still hear a dog barking. A reminder, maybe, that somethings never change.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Staring into space #19



The centre of my attention is my preference. It lasts for a second, then shifts, taking in what occupies the space I stare into. One moment it it the red of the post, the next it's the cyclist, then a moment later it is the book she is holding. Right now a story is underway. It had no beginning and will have no end. It's the gray between black and white, the sand between the tides, the sky between the storms, the quiet before the band plays. There is an intersection brought about by geography, time, purpose, movement, light and sound. Right now, the story continues to unfold. I am part of it, with my camera in hand. I can hold this story forever while it passes under the feet of those who are part of it.

Staring into space #18



It's all of our own making, you know. We came here in a flurry and a rush and most will leave quietly. We make an arbitrary count of how long we are here and expect more or less as if there is a finish line we expect to reach. We try to make a mark but usually its left to those who remain to do that for us. We didn't come from nor will we go to. What remains is the memory in those who still remain. If you hold any value to your time here, make the memories others hold good ones. Or at least interesting ones.

Staring into space #17



It may not be a matter of glass half full or half empty but a matter of how much we let in.
We can consider life as peripheral; fighting at the edge to get in and fill the space. As we age, we let more and more filter through and the conglomeration of accumulated experiences slowly rises until there is no more space to fill.
What then? We can fight off the intruders or we can build the barriers even higher, establish our defenses, and deny entry to all that dares to enter.
Or we can clear a little space for the new. Sweep out some of the old, useless and confusing. Welcome in something unusual, see the discomforts of the past in a new light, listen with new ears and see with new vision.
If you don't like it the way it is, then clear some space, revisit the old, make amends with the past and present. Out of the corner of your eye you may see something you missed.

Staring into space #16



Did I miss something here? There is value in staring blindly at what we didn't notice on first glance. The dull, mundane, ordinary places that hold no interest to the passer by. Then, after a while, the picture illuminates itself. Challenged by the nothingness of it all, the figures appear and the frame becomes the storybook once more. There is nothing else but to look in amazement and, if you have some way of recording it, do so.
"That picture does nothing for me" I hear the critic say.
"You had to be there" I answer. "You truly had to see it for yourself".

Staring into space #23



Just when I think I have this 'staring into space' gig all sorted along comes something to fill it. Mind you, I don't mind. On investigation, you'll find little difference between the wall and what is covering it, and I don't mean the sign. He's aging, balding, has a sense of humo
On the other hand he is an absolutely dedicated father, as smart as a whip, is troubled and puzzled by the world just like the rest of us and he is my Li'l Bother.
He's not really related at all. I found him attached to my sister in law when I married his sister in law. He came with the package, so to speak. He fills the space I stare at when I come to visit the UK.
I think it's OK these days to say I love this bloke. He's my shadow, the other end of the conversation, the next question, the last answer, the silence when I need it, the play when I have the energy, the right and left arm, the kitchen hand, the driver, the walking companion, the sharer of good and bad news, the comfort in the face of adversity, the joy in sharing.
He is my Li'l Brother. May he always fill the space I stare into.
r that has driven men to the wall, finds standing still a complete waste of time and dresses like he throw himself at the wardrobe.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Plaza



We all need a bit of tender loving care. A coat of paint, wash the windows, an new sign to point the way. Trouble is its never permanent. The winds of time wear away the new surface and the wrinkles once again show through. Still, a bit of shopping or a step back into a time zone long gone is always an option.