Alvarado on narrativity

While Rod Stewart might have understood that "every picture tells a story" in 1971, it seems to have taken a little longer for the message to be accepted into critical photographic discourse. Manuel Alvarado, writing originally in 1979 (Alvarado 2001) quotes from Barthes, Cartier-Bresson and John Berger to the effect that a single image, particularly... Continue Reading →

Very Miscellaneous

'Very Miscellaneous', a 1996 project by Joachim Schmid is a further example of the juxtaposition of image and text, demonstrating how the one can alter our perception of the other. In what Schmid describes as "A possible history of country life in Sussex", he works with found images - in this case, deadpan portrait photographs... Continue Reading →

Tony Ray-Jones

I visited Bristol to view 'The English Seen' exhibition of Tony Ray-Jones, at and curated by the Martin Parr Foundation. The exhibition was in its last few days, and I arrived shortly before opening time so I serendipitously also got a sneak preview of images for a forthcoming exhibition of Hans Eijkelboom's 'People of the... Continue Reading →


'Spaces' and 'places' are, respectively, general and specific ways of referring to a location. 'Space' is a fairly amorphous term meaning the general area in which something happens, while a 'place' would pin it down more specifically, and usually with intent to be there (invoking the verb 'to place'). We refer to a 'sense of... Continue Reading →

In absentia – three photographers

Sarah Pickering I encountered Sarah Pickering's 'Public Order' series during C&N and wrote a blog posting at that time (Bedford, 2017). On her website, Pickering describes herself as a 'visual artist who works with photography and whose work deals with themes of falsity and deception ... Central to her work is an intense and repeated... Continue Reading →

Perspectives on Place

This book is another of Bloomsbury’s ‘Required Reading’ series, on the I&P reading list. Unlike 'Train Your Gaze', it stays fairly close to the brief of the title and the subhead which is, 'theory and practice in landscape photography'. The cover image (Hong Kong, Back Door 02 by Michael Wolf) suggest that the book is... Continue Reading →

Heidegger and praxical knowledge

Until recently my only 'knowledge' of Martin Heidegger is the scurrilous suggestion from the Philosophy Department of the fictional University of Woolamaloo: Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar Who could think you under the table (Python, M. 1973) Keith, my tutor has suggested that I read Heidegger Reframed by Barbara Bolt (2011), particularly chapter 5,... Continue Reading →

Image and text (without the text)

In an exercise similar to making a portrait without the subject in frame, it is possible to use a textless image to present a message in a similar way to a captioned image. The examples that spring to mind are two cigarette advertising campaigns from the late 1970s and 1980s. The driving force was a... Continue Reading →

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