So what have i been up too

I’m off to Sicily this time next week. I’m pretty nervous for me (see i do admit it). Having major issues with my bag so i can get my cameras laptop and peco projector.  Add to fact that going away makes me feel sick. I’m doing well. _MG_8635This is an image I’m working on as part of Focus in Sale Manchester at the Riverside Arts Gallery. Which will end in exhibition later this year. I’m not saying on what though.


Inside Abbey Rd

Father Christmas sent me to London to go around Abbey Rd studios. The never opened space where so many beautiful things have happened from Shirley Bassey The Hollies to Pink Floyd. its kind of weird to describe the space. You have to go in it to get it. if i said when they played the various songs in the talk for instance the Beatles Hey Jude. If you listened closely the notes in the song had the same hushed resonance that the people talking in Studio 2 had. It was a room with people all pulling that bring that minute back expression to over listening e.p’s l.p’s and bootlegs. These images aren’t the best photographs I’ve ever taken as you will see it was a bit packed but like the albums recorded here use your imagination 🙂

Above is a sound partition that said The Hollies were keen on using. This was the first of many things i stared at longingly trying to extract the memories of magic that had been created in its presence. Tony hicks Graham Nash and Allan Clarke for me nailed the harmonies better than George Harrison John Lennon and Paul McCartney


The Mono and Stereo recorders Custom made for EMI and the Abbey Rd Engineers. Abbey Rd made its first recording in 1934 but as with most things the cost was to high and demand was not there. We watched the footage of the 1934 Recording of Stereo panning from left to right on the screen to show movement.


This little beauty changed the way of the musical world with Stereo albums with Help! It was used till the end of the 70s so its got a bit of history.



The two above images are the 8 track desks the Dark Side of The Moon was Recorded on. This could be the finest sets of nobs I’ve ever seen!


One of the amps from 1962 onwards…


The sound is dampened by these fabric blankets originally filled with dry seaweed but now something less flammable.


If you look closely you can read the Writing for the Altec Rs124 Compressor. I love the fact that all this stuff is still used today


Strawberry Fields Forever is all i thought about while looking at this. I can say no more…

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Priceless! used on Yer blues!

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Nowhere Man was recorded on this little beauty which fits in with the above image around 1965 1966. Maybe that is what he was playing?

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The Above Piano was used for Hey Jude. I’m probably doing the artists a miss service as for what they have been used to record with but it was heavy on The Beatles in the talk. All there pianos were used for the end note on A Day In The Life which they got three people from the crowd to perform. They just let the note resonate after it had struck on the keys. it was like listening to album 🙂

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The Celeste was used on Dark Side oF The Moon Track Time for its haunting intro which they also played. Richard Wright so sadly missed


As you can see it was pretty full. this was the only room you could go in as Hall 1 used for Classical music and film scores. Which in the 1980s saved the building which was going to get turned into small recording studios until the scores for Empires strikes back, return of the Jedi and Indiana Jones were recorded in Abbey rd. Also Dave Gilmour recorded Shine On You Crazy Diamond solo in the vast hall 1


They shown footage of Cilla Black over singing a song on this mic that she had Burt Bacharach flown in to compose. The guys doing the talk also made fun of this. I think  Bob Carolgees was doing backing vocals


These are the semi original chairs brought in 1958 for Cliff Richard and The Shadows with metal frames to reduce any creaking so basically any one you see sat in Abbey Rd recording sits on these. I just know I sat on John Lennon’s that he recorded across the universe on 😉


Heres me actually silent for once


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I though rather than naffly reacting crossing the zebra crossing outside photo (which sadly they had shown ‘friend of the people’ Margret Thatcher doing) in a video. I worked out which line Lennon had his foot on the album cover. Sad but original 🙂


Larry Burrows, Photo Essay, Vietnam

Yankee Pappa Gunner

Yankee Pappa Gunner (Photo credit: floralcide)

Larry burrows! Well what can be said

The English born Mavrick of the photo essay documenting style for me was the greatest. Im not sure if its the color that adds to work even more. Photographers like Tim Page also shot in color but not to the standard of Larry Burrows. He went to Vietnam as a pro war hawk and soon started documenting the unfolding disaster. The shots of Yankee papa 13 and its helicopter machine gunman i am sure is an influcance on the scene in Full metal Jacket that shows the wired jock gunman shooting inocent people in the fields. I can only try to understand how it must have felt to be out there from the images. However the jounrney from bravado to adrenaline to death that burrows shows makes the viwer feel close to the action. 

The recent pleasure i gained from viewing the Tim Hetherington book inferdel spark a massive resemblance to Burrows work. Both lost tragically early in career but that sence of empathy and honesty that they show the Batallinons is unique. The Frontline is were wars are fought. sadly we still cover this up with spin and public guilt and there unataineable sacrifice of the soliders greatest asset life…

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f1 @ Autosport International in Birmingham NEC

At the weekend I went to the international Autosports show at Birmingham NEC. it was great. I really think it was one of the best days out I have ever had (simple person, simple things ) 🙂 I had a ride in the Caterham 7. This was great but kind of killed my back

The winner of the best livery for me was the torro rosso Ferrari. I love their red bull


The car of Jenson button and Lewis Hamilton in last season Before going to the silver arrow of Mercedes


The Red Bull crossed the lines more than most in 2012 to become the formula 1 champion


More Horse


Lotus E20 Renault home of my favorite driver Kimi Räikkönen


2013, Caterham, Renault RS27


Micheal Schumacher 1994 B194 Benetton, Ford


Ayrton Senna john player special, Louts that he drove from 1985 to 1987


My dad and The Stig


I Love the colours on the Lamborghini, great paint jobs


Sir Jackie Stewart’s, Matra MS10


Not sure if this was the Sebastien Vettel or Mark Webber‘s car


Fernando Alonso, Ferrari. Seeing the Prancing Horse was great. I’m a secret Tifosi



Im trying a new approch to my blog


Having blogged for sometime i’m still not sure I really get it.

What is it?

What is your aim from blogging. Read, contribute, inspiration or just display.

Well enough of all that yesterday I went to the quarry above llanfairfechan in Conwy north Wales. I didn’t rock my world but it got my head and eyes working. Over christmas  went to a forestry commission log cabin. This is where I can pin point the old cogs
Working productively.

I thought of some words of how I was feeling while there. So yesterday I did some filming on the top of the hill. I also took some pictures with a real camera (well digital) so these are in production to make a little video with some words…


Loving Diane Arbus

Reproduction of Diane Arbus' "A young man...
Reproduction of Diane Arbus’ “A young man with curlers at home on west 20th street”picture, shot on 35 mm film developped the old fashion way (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Diane Arbus' contact sheet from the photo shoot
Diane Arbus’ contact sheet from the photo shoot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


So today was the day…
I got my hands on the book I’ve dreamt about for a long time. No more will I have to look it images on-line. I got hold of the legend that is An Aperture Monograph by Diane Arbus, my first lady of photography. The minute I bought the book I thought I want to write about it. I want to understand it. So I started reading through the Severn or so pages put together from various Arbus interviews before her untimely death.



The front cover of the two twins is the story of the next 50 or so images. Life is the same thing but everything is different. We judge on the discrepancy rather than happiness. They transpose sadness into our own grief and our lack of understanding of the situation we structure around our opinions.


I don’t think you can say the book is to show anything specific as it was never put together by the artist. However you get a feel of image impact, isolation, turmoil and confrontation. Arbus captures eyes so well they haunt in every image. The much talked about boy in the park image taken in central park in 1970



Is one of my favourite images of all time. What i love more is this image captures the essence of the decisive moment invented by Henri Cartier-Bresson and the fine line of Stadium and Punctum devised by Roland Barthes


what he terms, the stadium and the punctum. The Studium refers to the range of meanings available and obvious to everyone; it is unary and coded, the former term implying that the image is a unified and self-contained whole whose meaning can be taken in at a glance (without effort, or ‘thinking’)


The Punctum is a detail or “partial object” that attracts and holds the viewer’s (the Spectator’s) gaze; it pricks or wounds the observer.


(Exerts from Roland Barthes Camera Lucida)


We see the stadium in the image of the alleged psychopath child, the posed image. The image without information has a second world war germanic feel to it again you are caught by the eyes. What really pull’s you in creating the Punctum of image is the grenade which sends a cold shudder down your spine.


This is also the decisive moment as described by Bresson


“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression”.


Henry Cartier-Bresson


This is shown by the selection of contact images from the central park image



Depicting the sweet child at play. I’m not sure what Arbus said to her subjects but her befriending of subjects resulting in lasting looks. I think in a time when it may have been frowned upon to capture transvestite, dwarfs and people with disability. Arbus skill to control the image and get the subject to pull the face we least expect. The down syndrome children laughing and joking. The cross dressing entertainer looking sad and troubled something people would never have seen and been challenged by.


The images that have had the most influence on my work are the empty spaces. loveless and striking


The Swan lake image I see as Arbus on her travels to new unvisited places that she would venture to photographing the people who inhabit them.


Maybe I see Arbus in the wrong way to me she is strength and reason to take on and photograph the mundane.


What do you think?



Apart from musical youth….

The first thing I can ever remember hearing is the Beatles. Now maybe as a small child I thought this was a small bunch of creatures who for fear of being stud on went round to people saying love me do. As time went by this was not the case and a beauty developed to which I feel is almost weight training for the ears. Know im not really sure where I’m going with this but I feel I most evoke my love the feelings for the band. I shall try to chronograph my thought process… weight

The first song I can remember is Love me do. Which would not be the first song I’d play to someone if I was trying to convert them. However it’s simple and as 3-year-old I was not in search of the perfect middle eight. That didn’t come along till I was 4 1/2. Know with the Beatles and Beatles for sale have some tunes on but I would struggle to reveille all the song on them. I guess down to the quick output of the first 3 albums in just under 2 1/2 years. We had a tape box set of the all the albums. No remaster here just c90’s

There is a bit of a void till my teen years with the album been stuck in the generic crest of a wave of listening. However the covers really caught my eyes. The flats/office on the Please Please Me cover was possibly the first iconic thought-provoking album cover. I have always loved the brown of suits or rubber soul. This come to me today when I saw loads of lp’s in hmv. They are trying to re-promote. You just don’t understand what an album cover means from a cd. Also the standard of most album artwork is power know. As a kid I would try to almost stir the cover out I spent so long looking at them. That abbey rd one is not a bad effort either.

In the late 90’s my second to the core love Oasis came along banging the Beatles drum louder than ever. I think what this prompted me to do more than anything was listen to the concept of a full album. So the like of Sgt. peppers took on a new level. However  this would push me to scrutinise the sounds of Abbey Rd and Revolver which I would say are my favourite albums.

Paul Weller sang you do something to me this the Beatles can do at times cutting me half and leave me a quivering mess on the floor. John Lennon forget what he did for me in later years his vocal on snags like you really got a hold on me, in my life, money, boy and across the universe just tear me apart every time. And once become channeled well we know what happens. I have a love hate relationship with Paul. His cash cow songs really bug me he hit on a music by numbers and for me induced the decline of the band at the peak of their creativity. Mr Moonlight is Paul at his best the open howl runs the mystical chord of hard days night for opening. Paul was one of the first people I admit to seeing live after the shadows and the bloody spinners. I got dragged to that and I was not well. Anyway back to the chase. I don’t remember much from the many gigs I have been to I do remember Paul playing fool on the hill and been hydro locally raised into the air while singing then spinning round. A biographical song maybe? Having just wrote all this I have realised Its John not Paul that nails mr moonlight. Paul’s bass playing makes up for any aspersions I cast his way. More of that in a bit

Know that other bloke that played guitar George Harrison I missed the boat completely. Until moving to Wales in my mid 20’s did I have my George eureka moment. I can tell you when it was December 2006. A low point I took a driving job it was grim. This tune made decide there was more to life than shovelling some else’s muck. I was driving out of Nevin in North Wales and here comes the sun came on the Steve Wright show. It brought a tear to my eye as a sun beam ripped thought the Gary late afternoon sky. I don’t think I have heard anyone play as gentle as George does on some songs. So sweet I think it took people time to cotton on with the 70’s been his time to prosper.

I don’t like Ringo always been a Peter Best man myself. I will give him with a little help from my friends though only because of the fade from the opening song.

To be continued…