the last post

This blog was created as an online sketchbook for the Tower of London Photographer in Residence Project, so now that my time in this role is over and the exhibition has come down it really is time to finish the blog.

(If you have just discovered this blog you can go to the first page by clicking here and then navigate through the posts in order via the link at the bottom of each page)

I’d like to thank all those involved, from the organizers in the Towers excellent education department who showed so much faith in my work, to the people at the Tower who gave me access and information that made my time so interesting and enjoyable, to the professionals who helped me create the final photographs and of course to all the people that followed the project through the varied elements of its creation.

I think that through this residency (and its blog) I have learned more about my own photography than any other time since I left university. I have had to examine my process and the way that I communicate through my imagery, I have also become aware of what interests me and why I am drawn to photograph it in the way that I do. Thanks to the excellent feedback I have received through the blog and from talking about the work I have also regained a stronger confidence and belief in my own work.

I hope that the blog has been of interest and given an insight to the creative process involved in such a project.

If this blog has aroused some interest in the broad church that is contemporary photography I thought I would leave you with some other blogs to keep you informed:

If you want to keep up with my future work please have an occasional look at my website : Im planning to overhaul it over the next month or so to include news and more information. Also, please feel free to contact me via email.

(update Feb 2010: I will be running a new blog on tumblr – )

Thanks for your time.

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A much younger me photographed by my earliest influence: Nigel Hall

‘ venture to seek what is underneath but the surface is inexhaustible’

– Italo Calvino


Online Book Printing

Over the next day or two I shall be winding up the blog, as the project is pretty much complete.

Before I slip off into the non-digital night I thought I would write a follow up to the post I wrote about making an online published book of the ‘Other Histories’ project.

The reason I wanted to make a book of the work was mainly due to the amount of pictures I made during the residency that I simply couldn’t put into the exhibition. Also I am of the mind that, like Parr and Badger, the best way to deliver photographs to an audience is via a book. It changes the way we read the work and gives the artist another way of assembling the images so they can create new relationships between the photographs.

Online publishing via sites like have made it very easy to create and publish low cost books of your own photography, in an age where most people view their photographs on the home computer I think some of the popularity of these books harks back to the enjoyment of ‘snaps’ that can be handed around and shared.

I did create a small dummy copy of the book on Blurb but when I got the book back from the printer the images were darker than I wanted and also had lost a great deal of the shadow detail. I know that the main reason for this is that fact that the images are black and white. Digital printers do not like black and white, even high end printers struggle. Usually the image will have a colour cast, blue or magenta when printed from an inkjet ordye jet printer. More expensive inkjet printers now come with a range of black/grey inks specifically to create proper B&W images (Ive seen some pretty good stuff through epsons) but Im afraid that when it comes to low cost online printing it looks like trying to get decent results with black and white may be a frustrating experience.

I decided that the quality was not good enough and that the time needed to get a passable version made did not make the book a possible project in time for the exhibition, but I still think that Blurb, and the way you can sell affordable books online, does hold some interesting areas for exploration for future projects.

Beth Dow’s book ‘In the Garden‘ seems to be the exception that proves the rule, but I wonder if they gave her some assistance as she is a well known photographic artist.

There is a online pdf document here which explains correct colour management for sites such as Blurb which may be of use.

I will eventually try again to see if I can get a passable book and I will post any new findings/tricks as a comment on this post in the future

Talking Photographs

Im sure I have mentioned this before but I’m a very big fan of the online photography magazine and blog Lens Culture. One of the great resources they have is audio interviews with lots of photographers from all sorts of backgrounds, they have just launched their video interviews with a great short film with the photographer Klavdij Sluban.

The intro from the website says:

Since 1995, French photographer Klavdij Sluban has been conducting photography workshops for juveniles who are imprisoned in jails around the world.

In this 8-minute video, Sluban talks with Jim Casper of Lens Culture about this work, and shares some of the photographs he has made in jails in countries from the former Soviet Union, France, Ireland, Guatemala and Salvador.


For me it is very refreshing to see projects like this getting attention, beyond his education work in prisons I also really like Sluban’s sensitive, personal approach – this sort of work is very unfashionable in the big galleries and collections at the moment so I’m very pleased to see his book Transsibériades win a major award.


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At the Private View

Last Thursday was the private view for the work made during my time at the Tower. I’d like to thank all those that came again for their support, it was a great night with 70 or 80 people turning up and packing the space and keeping me busy with questions about the work. Im very glad that such an interesting mix of people were able to come and make it such a great night (even though I was coming down with a cold).

I’d especially like to thank All Hallows Church for being so helpful and allowing us to take over the place with the exhibition and giving us so much help in making the whole thing possible. Thank You!

My friend Andrew Ford from Spectrum took a few pictures (mainly to show examples of the wonderful frames they made for me, but caught some of the guests) a few are shown below.







how the camera saw a piece of time and space


by Garry Winogrand

‘Winogrand told us that anything was photographable. He said that we only make the pictures we know; it is hard to break from our preconceptions about how something should look photographed. He told us to let what we see determine where the edges of the photograph go. He challenged us to forget our preconceptions about how to photograph something. “A photograph,” he said, “is the illusion of a literal description of how the camera saw a piece of time and space.” I wanted to know what technique Winogrand used to get his best shots, and all he’d talk about was a strange, esoteric theory!’

– From an interesting article about being a part of a photography workshop with the great street photographer Garry Winogrand.

read the rest of the article here

Setting Up


Thanks to all those involved in the setting up of the exhibition at All Hallows last week, especially Emilie and Alex. The private view was very busy and the work seemed well received, so thanks also to all of you that came to see it. I’m hoping to have some photographs of the actual night soon and I will post them on here once I get them. Meanwhile below are a few pictures of the process of setting up the exhibition.





Start Your Private Collection

Tomorrow night a selection of the work from my residency at the Tower will go on display, 15 large silver gelatin prints by master printer Robin Bell. These will be available to buy, there is a limited edition of 3 of each print as well as a special boxed portfolio available.

One of my main interests during the residency was to make my working process open to all via this blog, and therefore, in the same spirit, I also wanted to make the final work ‘open to all’. With this in mind I have made an edition of 30 Archival Digital C-type 10″x8″ Prints of the photograph below available for £25 (a share of this price goes to the Historic Royal Palaces).

If interested please contact us via:

I also hope to make this particular print available to buy from the Other Histories website using paypal.


'Remains' - Special Edition of 30

UPDATE: The 8″x10″ print is now available to buy online using PayPal via the Other Histories Website online shop.

Why Photograph?

When working on an extended body of work such as other histories one begins to not only question the subject matter but the medium one is using to interpret it. Eventually the question ‘why photograph anything?’ arises.

Here on the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Blog Lisa Sutcliffe talks to several contemporary photographer’s and asks them that seemingly simple question.

I think this quote from Sutcliffe captures some of the key elements of photgraphy as art:

‘I was surprised by the poetic nature of the answers, and I would like to highlight a few common themes I noticed in the texts. Many of the artists express a desire to simultaneously depict the outer world and the inner self – to transcend reality. They discuss the existence of multiple realities and how different ways of seeing and multiple points of view can be compressed into two dimensions. And there was a strong desire to record the changing environment – either as a means of saving a piece of history, or as a commentary on rapid development. It is heartening to see that even with the digital revolution photography is still ideally suited for this type of cultural examination.’

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