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Category : exhibitions

The Festival of the Unexceptional

5 years, 4 months ago cars, exhibitions, photography, Travel 0

It’s a while since I photographed a car show, but the 2014 Festival of the Unexcpetional appealed to my sense of humour.  Described as a Concours de l’Ordinaire with ‘cars from the era that quality control forgot’…..Allegro’s, Maxi’s and Marina’s to name a few. Plus their owners. So, a small gallery as a flavour.

For info about 2015, see: Festival-of-The-Unexceptional

 

Left: Furry dice in Austin Allegro 1100 Deluxe. Right: 1975 Austin Allegro Special

Left: Furry dice in Austin Allegro 1100 Deluxe. Right: 1975 Austin Allegro Special

Ford Cortina GT, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Ford Cortina GT, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Pink platform shoes - Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Pink platform shoes – Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Ford Anglia Estate Deluxe, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Ford Anglia Estate Deluxe, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Ford Anglia Estate Deluxe, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Ford Anglia Estate Deluxe, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Left: Ford Anglia Estate Deluxe. Right: Hillman Imp Super

Left: Ford Anglia Estate Deluxe. Right: Hillman Imp Super

Vauxhall Chevette, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Vauxhall Chevette, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Ford Cortina GT, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Ford Cortina GT, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Peel P50 1964, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Peel P50 1964, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

 

Peel P50 1964, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Peel P50 1964, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Austin Maxi 1750, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Austin Maxi 1750, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Austin Princess 1300, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Austin Princess 1300, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Renault 6TL, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Renault 6TL, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Left: Triumph 1500. Right: VW 412 LS

Left: Triumph 1500. Right: VW 412 LS

Renault 6TL, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Renault 6TL, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

VW 412 LS, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

VW 412 LS, Festival of the Unexceptional 2014, Whittlebury Park

Left: Ford Cortina owner. Right: Lollipops in Morris Marina

Left: Ford Cortina owner. Right: Lollipops in Morris Marina

 

 

Pinhole Impressions

Pinhole Impressions 3 - Lime tree or Tilia Tomentosa

Pinhole Impressions 3 – Lime tree or Tilia Tomentosa

 

I have been asked to write about my favourite photograph in conjunction with a talk in early September. This must be one of the most difficult editing processes for a photographer. The decision will change on a daily basis, depending on current projects, work and new ideas that have found space in a notebook. I think the closest I can ever get is one of my favourites. So a few thoughts.

Pinhole Impressions 3 was taken in the winter of 2007. It was part of a series included in the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition in 2008, which was awarded second place in the portfolio category. As this was the inaugural IGPOTY competition, I still have fond memories of taking the photographs and the process leading to the awards.

I always get asked two questions when this image is on display. The first is, “how long did it take in Photoshop to blur the clouds?”. The second is, “how long did it take to sweep the leaves into a perfect circle?”. The answer to both questions is no time at all. With any location photography there is always a certain element of luck. And with experience, you create your own luck. You can’t always predict what will happen, but you know something special will. So you wait.

Gale force winds hit RHS Wisley on this particular day. I was experimenting with Zero 2000 pinhole camera and was about to give up, as the wind was buffeting the camera and tripod. With exposure times of 10 to 15 seconds, this was a problem. But the movement of the clouds grabbed my attention, and I knew there was a chance of capturing something interesting.

When I set the camera up, the tree was covered in leaves, but with the severity of the wind, it was stripped in 20 minutes. Instant ‘Land Art’ in the style of Andy Goldsworthy, but completely natural. As I was shooting film, I had no idea how good (or bad) the image might be, but I had a gut feeling something had happened. In the space of around 90 minutes, I took 5 rolls of film at other locations around Wisley, and this formed a large part the ‘Pinhole Impressions’ series. It’s rare that you have this kind of luck.

Polymer gravure printing

The full set of polymer gravure prints or photo etchings I have been making at East London Printmakers over the last few months. They will be included in the Wildlings exhibition at Oxford House, Bethnal Green.

Polymer gravure or photo etching

Polymer gravure or photo etching

IGPOTY at The Photography Show, 2014

I received a copy of the International Garden Photographer of the Year ‘Collection Seven’ book yesterday. With the judges final choices for 2014, it is a beautiful presentation of work, especially for those whose images are represented.

IGPOTY 2014, Collection Seven

IGPOTY 2014, Collection Seven

 

A list of all the judges.

List of Judges, IGPOTY 2014

List of Judges, IGPOTY 2014

I really enjoyed meeting so many people over the two days I spent at The Photography Show as part of the IGPOTY programme of events. I lost count how many portfolio critiques I gave, but I saw many lovely images.

For anyone thinking of entering next year, I’ll repeat the main point of the talks I gave.

Tell a story. You have to do this without using words. Whether a single image or a portfolio, the idea is paramount.  And don’t be too concerned with special techniques. These can distract and actually hide what you are trying to say. Keep it simple. Look for less obvious subjects too. People and environmental topics are all relevant.

 

Some of my favourite images from IGPOTY 2014

The winning entry for 2014 by Rosanna Castrini, entitled ‘My Prairie Garden’.

©Rosanna Castrini My Prairie Garden

©Rosanna Castrini My Prairie Garden

 

A group winner Jason Liske with ‘Native Coast’.

©Jason Liske 'Native Coast'

©Jason Liske ‘Native Coast’

 

One of my favourite portfolios was by Sibylle Pietrek in the Greening the City category.

©Sibylle Pietrek   'Growing Home' community garden

©Sibylle Pietrek ‘Growing Home’ community garden

 

Another good story was from Matteo Carassale.

©Matteo Carassale - 'Mr. DB against the Sky'

©Matteo Carassale – ‘Mr. DB against the Sky’

The Chelsea Fringe Festival, 2012

The Chelsea Fringe Festival, 2012

A gallery of photographs from my tour of Chelsea Fringe Gardens. The Fringe, in its inaugural year, is a new garden festival, directed journalist and author, Tim Richardson.

From their website :

“The Chelsea Fringe festival is a brand new initiative, entirely volunteer-run in its first year. It’s all about harnessing and spreading some of the excitement and energy that fizzes around gardens and gardening. The idea is to give people the freedom and opportunity to express themselves through the medium of plants and gardens, to open up possibilities and to allow full participation.  Entirely independent of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (though acting with its support), the Fringe will explode out of the showground geographically, demographically and conceptually. It will range from grassroots community garden projects to avant-garde art installations. Our open-access principle means that just about anything goes – as long as it’s interesting and on the subject of gardens, flowers, veg-growing or landscape”.

19.5.12, Chelsea Fringe Festival: The Edible High Road, Chiswick. Left: Devonshire Road, Right: Turnham Green Terrace

19.5.12, Chelsea Fringe Festival: The Edible High Road, Chiswick. Left: Devonshire Road, Right: Turnham Green Terrace

The Bicycle Beer Garden team - taking a break at The Edible Bus Stop.

The Bicycle Beer Garden team - taking a break at The Edible Bus Stop.

20.5.12, First Chelsea Fringe Festival, Floating Forest on Grand Union Canal at Portobello Dock.

20.5.12, First Chelsea Fringe Festival, Floating Forest on Grand Union Canal at Portobello Dock.

21.5.12, Chelsea Fringe Festival - Pop-up Flower Shop at COS in Brompton Road, London - A collaboration between Clifton Nurseries and COS

21.5.12, Chelsea Fringe Festival - Pop-up Flower Shop at COS in Brompton Road, London - A collaboration between Clifton Nurseries and COS

Chelsea Fringe 2012: Left: Deborah Nagan, designer of The Garden of Disorientation. Right: Julia Barton, artist, maker of the Heavy Plant Crossing or mechanical plant.

Chelsea Fringe 2012: Left: Deborah Nagan, designer of The Garden of Disorientation. Right: Julia Barton, artist, maker of the Heavy Plant Crossing or mechanical plant.

20.5.12, First Chelsea Fringe Festival - Idler'€™s Grove - A medieval herber with odoriferous herbs

20.5.12, First Chelsea Fringe Festival - Idler'€™s Grove - A medieval herber with odoriferous herbs

Left: The Edible Bus Stop team. Right: Julia Barton, artist, maker of the Heavy Plant Crossing or mechanical plant, outside The Serpentine Gallery

Left: The Edible Bus Stop team. Right: Julia Barton, artist, maker of the Heavy Plant Crossing or mechanical plant, outside The Serpentine Gallery

20.5.12, First Chelsea Fringe Festival - Garden of Disorientation - Unlikely scented garden in a former slaughterhouse. Wall mural detail.

20.5.12, First Chelsea Fringe Festival - Garden of Disorientation - Unlikely scented garden in a former slaughterhouse. Wall mural detail.

Chelsea Fringe, 26.5.12 - 'Reliable Utopias' artist Elisabetta Buffa, with her installation at Exchange Square near Liverpool Street

Chelsea Fringe, 26.5.12 - 'Reliable Utopias' artist Elisabetta Buffa, with her installation at Exchange Square near Liverpool Street

21.5.12, First Chelsea Fringe Festival - Wish Trees of Chelsea, Dovehouse Green, Dovehouse Street, London

21.5.12, First Chelsea Fringe Festival - Wish Trees of Chelsea, Dovehouse Green, Dovehouse Street, London

21.5.12, Chelsea Fringe Festival - Pop-up Flower Shop at COS in Brompton Road, London - A collaboration between Clifton Nurseries and COS

21.5.12, Chelsea Fringe Festival - Pop-up Flower Shop at COS in Brompton Road, London - A collaboration between Clifton Nurseries and COS

Julia Barton with her Heavy Plant Crossing or mechanical plant. Outside The Serpentine Gallery on her journey to the Chelsea Flower Show.

Julia Barton with her Heavy Plant Crossing or mechanical plant. Outside The Serpentine Gallery on her journey to the Chelsea Flower Show.

Chelsea Fringe 2012. Left: Oranges and Lemons Garden at St Leonard's, Shoreditch. Right: Pop-up Flower Shop at COS in Brompton Road, London - A collaboration between Clifton Nurseries and COS

Chelsea Fringe 2012. Left: Oranges and Lemons Garden at St Leonard's, Shoreditch. Right: Pop-up Flower Shop at COS in Brompton Road, London - A collaboration between Clifton Nurseries and COS

20.5.12, Chelsea Fringe Festival: The Mojito bar at The Garden of Disorientation - an unlikely scented garden in a former slaughterhouse.

20.5.12, Chelsea Fringe Festival: The Mojito bar at The Garden of Disorientation - an unlikely scented garden in a former slaughterhouse.

19.5.12, Chelsea Fringe Festival, Dalston Eastern Curve Garden,

19.5.12, Chelsea Fringe Festival, Dalston Eastern Curve Garden.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall at the Geffrye Museum, 30.5.12 - planting up a herb container.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall at the Geffrye Museum, 30.5.12 - planting up a herb container.

21.5.12, First Chelsea Fringe Festival - Left: Pimp Your Pavement - London, near Elephant and Castle. Right: Pimp Your Pavement - Globe Street near Elephant and Castle

21.5.12, First Chelsea Fringe Festival - Left: Pimp Your Pavement - London, near Elephant and Castle. Right: Pimp Your Pavement - Globe Street near Elephant and Castle

Tony Heywood & Alison Condie's underground landscape installation for Cityscapes Garden Festival, at the Old Vic Theatre tunnels, London. Not part of The Chelsea Fringe, but acknowledged in the same spirit on the Fringe website. http://www.chelseafringe.com/underground-performance-at-the-old-vic-tunnels/

Tony Heywood & Alison Condie's underground landscape installation for Cityscapes Garden Festival, at the Old Vic Theatre tunnels, London. Not part of The Chelsea Fringe, but acknowledged in the same spirit on the Fringe website.

Tony Heywood & Alison Condie’s underground landscape installation 

 

 

 

Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Milano

In February I recieved an email inviting me to submit a photograph to an exhibition. Photographers get these all the time, and as many are from commercial operations, I very nearly didn’t give it the time of day. But as one of my images, 43 Gardeners’ Hands, had already been selected, it caught my eye. I read the small print and after a couple of emails with the organizers from Orticola di Lombardia, it turned out to be a genuine and very well planned show entitled ‘Small Garden’ in the Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Milano. It is part of an annual show called ‘Orticola’, which is staged every May in Milan in the public gardens in the Via Palestro.

The curator was Iaia Gagliani, who  selected botanical work from 20 photographers worldwide. Nikki de Gruchy was the only other British photographer involved, so it was a great priviledge to take part.

In the end two different images of mine were actually exhibited in the show itself, though others appear in the presentation slide show (see below).

The show runs from 9th to 20th May 2012 at: Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Milano – Via Palestro 16 – Milano

 

Tulips
Tulips

 

The full list of participants:

Rita ANTONIOLI (Italia)
Cristina ARCHINTO (Italia)
Andrea BOYER (Italia)
Paul DEBOIS (Gran Bretagna)
Nikki de GRUCHY (Gran Bretagna)
Beth DOW (USA)
Gianluca GIANNONE (Italia)
Juan Marin GOMEZ (Spagna)
Patrick GONZALES (Francia)
Gavino IDILI (Italia)
Hengki KOENTJORO (Indonesia)
Alexei KRASNIKOV (Russia)
Uwe LANGMANN (Germania)
Laura MAJOLINO (Italia)
Malena MAZZA (Italia)
Beth MOON (USA)
Stefano ORAZZINI (Italia)
Jeroen OOSTERHOF (Olanda)
OSSIANE (Francia)
Jib PETER (Francia)
Federica RONCALDIER (Italia)
Marcin SACHA (Polonia)

Milan

7 years, 7 months ago exhibitions, Garden Photography, photography 0

Earlier in the week I had the opportunity to spend a day wondering around Milan after attending the ‘Small Garden’ exhibition at Galleria D’arte Moderna di Milano.

Left: Hotel Brasil Right: Parco Sempione
Left: Hotel Brasil    Right: Parco Sempione

 

Milan, Creperia Vecchiabrera
Milan, Creperia Vecchiabrera

 

Left: Bed, Parco Sempione   Right: Louis Vuitton shop, Montenapoleone
Left: Bed, Parco Sempione      Right: Louis Vuitton shop, Montenapoleone

 

Fuel station, Via Marina
Fuel station, Via Marina

 

Left: Montenapoleone, Milan  Right: Disused restaurant
Left: Montenapoleone, Milan    Right: Disused restaurant

 

Hotel Brasil
Hotel Brasil

 

Traffic lights, Via Bellotti
Traffic lights, Via Bellotti

Garden Photographer of the Year competition 2011

8 years, 9 months ago exhibitions, Garden Photography, Gardens, news 0

This year I have been lucky enough to have a single image selected in the final of the IGPOTY competition and have a portfolio commended. The exhibition will be on show at Kew Gardens from May 14th.

The single image is a portrait of a gardening team in the WW1 cemetery at Le Trou Aide Poste, near Lille, Northern France. This photograph is based on an image, taken around 1920, of a team of War Graves Commission gardeners. It is part of a story on the Fromelles Cemetery near Lille, opened in 2010 for the reburial of British and Australian WW1 soldiers, whose bodies were discovered in a mass grave in 2008. The gardeners still work in teams, and move around various cemeteries in a particular region. Many are second or third generation, and are related to the original gardeners, many of whom fought in WW1. Kneeling on the right is Jean-Pierre (Jimmy) Macdonald whose British grandfather fought in the war and who settled in France in the employ of the War Graves Commission. For more information and images see www.pauldebois.com and look at the Fromelles gallery.

Team of War Graves Commission Gardeners at Le Trou Aide Poste Cemetery, near Lille, Northern France

Team of War Graves Commission Gardeners at Le Trou Aide Poste Cemetery, near Lille, Northern France

The Polaroid SX-70 portfolio was based on a photograph I took at Kew Gardens in 1982 as a photography student. Using the same camera, along with newly-released film I returned with the aim of capturing the atmosphere of this building, creating a ‘retro’ feel, with soft, almost monochromatic images. Polaroid SX-70 film was discontinued many years ago, but new film has been released, made by a company who bought what was left of the original Polaroid factory. This film has its own peculiar characteristics, but like the original Polaroid, produces very soft images – optically and tonally. The Palm House has lots of shade and I had to think in terms of black & white as the film could not render colour very well in these conditions. The photographs are not intended as literal portraits in the conventional sense.

The Palm House, Kew

The Palm House, Kew taken with Polaroid SX-70 film

The full size images can be seen in the previous posting ‘Shake it like a Polaroid picture‘.

Exhibition at Fulham Palace, from 26th February

8 years, 9 months ago exhibitions, photography 0

On Friday I hung 10 photographs in one of the galleries at Fulham Palace as part of a small exhibition which will run until early summer. The colour images are from a series which was inspired by fabric designs on a garment called a Mantón de Manila, or Manila shawl, which is worn by Spanish women. For more information see www.pauldebois.com. The black and white images are abstract flower studies from a series called Light and Line.

Manton de Manila series 5

Manton de Manila series 5

Manton de Manila series 1

Manton de Manila series 1

Manton de Manila series 2

Manton de Manila series 2

Manton de Manila series 3

Manton de Manila series 3

Manton de Manila series 7

Manton de Manila series 7

Manton de Manila series 9

Manton de Manila series 9

Tulip petals

Tulip petals

Echinops ritro

Echinops ritro

Tulip petals

Tulip petals

Miscanthus sinensis

Miscanthus sinensis

How easy was it to ‘Photoshop in’ the trees?

8 years, 10 months ago exhibitions, photography 0

It’s strange. In picture terms, people’s perception of reality is often hampered by a literal interpretation. A camera never lies. I suppose this is debatable – the choices a photographer makes when creating an image  can distort  perspective in a particular scene. But this is usually intended to create interest rather than to misinform. Most of the time.

In 2009 I had a print exhibited in the Association of Photographers Open exhibition. A moody shot of St Paul’s Cathedral – unusual, but not controversial. Or so I thought.

View towards St Paul's Cathedral from Tate Modern

View towards St Paul's Cathedral from Tate Modern - Canon 5D MKII

“It must have taken ages to ‘Photoshop in’ the trees,” is the usual comment. It happened again yesterday.

“No, it’s one shot”.

“But there aren’t any trees next to St Paul’s Cathedral”.

“Look from The Tate Modern,” I reply. It sometimes takes a bit of explaining, and it isn’t always believed. Computer trickery is always assumed.

So this is how I did it.

St Paul's Cathedral taken from Tate Modern

view towards St Paul's Cathedral taken from Tate Modern, a few metres to the right of the original camera position. Camera - iPhone.

Technique – 50mm lens, Canon 5D MKII. I stood with my back to the coffee cart at the Millennium Bridge entrance of the Tate. Click. Simple!

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