24 Nov 2017

Top 10 best ever

Last night I was sat in the pub with a former mentor of mine, after a Photographer talk at the Arnolfini in Bristol, and the discussion turned to What even is a fucking photographer anymore?. We have all had to adapt to a multi-faceted practice, becoming: editors, designers, curators, writers, salespeople e.t.c. No longer is the role of the photographer just to walk around making images, and hand them over to someone and be done with it. It got me wondering about photography’s purest form. 

For me, Photography with a capital P’s purists are the amateur photographer's of this world. The kind of photographer that crowds around a sexist stall at the Photography show in Birmingham, showing off their latest Canon L lens. Mainstream photography media relies on selling consumers the upgrade - The faster camera processor, or higher megapixels or creamiest Bokeh (whatever that is anyway). Gear has become sex, and sex sells. 
    Top 10’s this and 'must have’ that, are consuming online photographic content. On YouTube for example, for every 1 interesting video there is on Eggleston, there are probably 15 amateur videos telling you why this camera body is better than that one. This is a wild world of Internet forums and YouTube stars with the fetishisation on photography at it’s core. 

I don’t have a problem with the businessmen’s toy’s side of photography, but when it starts merging itself into a more content driven platform, I get worried about the future of photographic art. Without wanting to get myself blacklisted from being featured on the BJP in the future, I’d like to reference a fairly recent article showing this. On the surface it's an article on a respectable British portrait photographer; however that is masking the fact that it’s a Frankenstein hybrid article/interview/advert for the latest Fuji flagship camera. It’s as though Fuji have a gun to the Photographer’s head telling them to say how great their new £10,000 camera is. I understand marketing like this funds contemporary photography content, and in a dying print-based world, this is crucial in staying afloat - I just wish it wasn't so sneaky in doing so

*Article linked below so you can make your own mind up on this.*

Photography’s purest form is undoubtedly the amateur. I will still call myself a photographer, as I that’s how I tell stories; not to mention ‘Lens based artist’ sounds a bit wanky - but I don’t consider myself a purist of the medium. Photography & storytelling are two ends of a very clashing but interconnected spectrum. Perhaps I need to stop looking at the internet as much, as a means of social analysis - but boy is the online Photography industry a bizarre one.


23 Nov 2017

In praise of the iPhone camera

This is not a review of the latest iPhone 7 camera specs, nor the phenomenon of the selfie. Instead, a musing on the best camera I own, the humble iPhone 5s. 

There’s no doubt that photography is a tech company’s wet dream; with 40+ megapixels is becoming more commonplace & in-camera stabilisation allowing photographers to shoot handheld at 1 second, the industry has turned into a dirty game of ‘mine’s bigger than yours’. But what I care about the most is the accessibility that the iPhone has given me, and other photographers in daily life. I know If I carry around my oversized Fuji 6x7 camera, I will not make any frames on a whim. The camera is glorious with outstanding optics, but I just won’t consider using it for simple photographic studies of banal life - nor am I able to quickly set the aperture and focus in 5 seconds, capturing a bizarre scene on the street. 
          With the iPhone It is everywhere in my pocket, allowing me to keep my eye on the ball when I’m not making project work or making images with purpose. It is a great way to process life photographically without feeling guilty of wasting film. Not only is it always in my pocket, but it is also in everyone else pockets too. The taboo of having a DSLR with a giant phallic lens has been eradicated, instead, I’m left with an everyday object that can make photographs unnoticed - I look like the general public with my iPhone. With a camera, I don’t.
 We all know that real photographers shoot 8x10, but my humble 5s can go in situations that the large format can’t. And that’s why it’s the favourite camera I own.