No Constructive Conclusions

To whom it may concern,
I am writing in the hope that you may be interested in hosting an exhibition of photography sometime later in the year. It’s a show that has already been in a couple of galleries in Poland earlier in 2017 and is currently showing in the Czech Republic. It’s the work of three photographers, Wojtek from Katowice in Poland, Pavel from the Czech city of Ostrava and me, from Leicester.

Wojtek invited a number of photographers whose work he admired on Flickr, to visit his city and to photograph it with him. The common link between the invited photographers, who travelled from all across Europe, was their representation of the urban landscape and its inhabitants, things that are ordinary and extraordinary, things that are beautiful and ugly, remarkable places and the totally ordinary.

Wojtek’s home town of Katowice, and the wider Silesian metropolis, is a fascinating place for the visiting photographer. In the Communist era, a plan for the largest urban area in Europe was created, centred around heavy coal, steel, chemical and automotive industry. These industries declined as Communism ended and both the cities and the huge population, were suddenly redundant and needed to re-invent themselves; an ongoing process that one can see at every turn. As the influx of new money continues, brought in from the European Union, new service industries and the workers who have headed west to to find better paid employment in the UK and elsewhere, Poland papers over the cracks.

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For Wojtek it’s home, Pavel and I discovered the area, seeing it from a visitor’s perspective. The three responses are presented in a series of photographs, each showing Upper Silesia from our own viewpoint through our individual style. Pavel chose to present a series of snapshots of the people from the social periphery, for me the topography of the post-Soviet block urban environment captured my imagination; Wojtek focused on the changes in his daily surroundings that had been so very intense over the past years. Together we didn’t attempt a comprehensive approach, choosing instead to embrace our three ways of seeing the same things. With no constructive conclusions.

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Pavel and I didn’t visit Wojtek at the same time and didn’t meet until the first exhibition started, and though each of us brought our own approach and arrived from different environments, the things that the three of us have in common were what led Polish curator Piotr Kaczmarek to offer the initial joint exhibition to us in January.

After it’s successful appearances at various venues in Poland and the Czech Republic we’re now looking to show the work in the UK. Please help me spread the word and find a venue.

35 or 120? You Decide…

Last week sometime, I saw the following tweet from Ade of the Sunny16 Podcast.

While I often try to work out what kit has been used for an image, I hadn’t tried a blind test. What I had done though, is shot the same scene on two formats and using the same film stock, camera settings and development, so I posted up the three pairs of pictures below and invited Ade and the Twitter community to work out which was which. Continue reading

Lemon

A couple of weeks ago, an old friend called in to drop off a box of old Russian rangefinders that had been languishing in his loft. As I already own a rangefinder or two, I decided to offer these cameras to the @EMULSIVEfilm community in exchange for ‘some film’. I put no limit on what was to be sent so long as the postage costs were covered.

After my post on Facebook, the cameras were snapped up in a few minutes. Next day, I posted them out to Canada, the US, the south of England and one was saved for my friend Iain. Continue reading

Travelogue Wrap-Up

This is a final post in the series documenting my travels in April. I hope that you’ve enjoyed them, or at least they’ve helped kill a little time before you can leave off work.

If you’ve been keeping up, you’ll have read that one week away became two quite different week long trips. The first with my family in Eastern Europe, and the second, a roadtrip-cum-pilgrimage with a mate to see a Scottish bridge.

The thing in common was that I recorded both trips using black and white film. Continue reading