A Decisive Moment

A Decisive Moment
Everything I’ve lost
Everyone I’ve hurt
All the times I lied
All the moments wasted
All the things I’ve done
All the people I wronged
All the times I hushed
All the moments wasted
All I never changed
All the dreams I had
All the things I could change
I would change them
I would make right what I’ve done wrong
I’d change how the future becomes
I’d take hold of my enemies, love their obscenities
I’d kiss them, (then leave them like lovers who’ve gone)
And now the moment has come…
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Photographs from Leicester Pride 2017

Leicester Pride is attended by more 10,000 people each year with more than 2,000 taking part in the parade through the city, starting at The Curve and ending at Victoria Park.  Leicester Pride celebrates equality and diversity in our community and is a family event with entertainment and attractions suitable for all ages.

Leicester Pride began in 2001 after being awarded a successful bid of £5000 to involve the lesbian and gay community in the production of a Leicester Pride Carnival, to involve the whole community in the carnival itself and to promote better understanding. It was supported by Arts Council England.

There had been major concerns that Pride 2017 which has grown to celebrate and promote the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in the city and county, would have to be cancelled for due to a lack of funds.

Pride’s troubles were spotted in the media by a DMU student who involved the Student Union Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard.  #DMUlocal stepped in with £10,000 to help make a difference within the Leicester community.

Here’s some photographs of the day, can you pick yourself out?

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Without My Eye

Without The Eye

Without my eye I’m in the gutter
And without my mind I cannot see
Pick up the lens and press the shutter
Shoot what I love, what I perceive

Without the heart there is no story
And without the story I’m horrified
My imagination, my laboratory
Then work it over, ’till I’m satisfied

Before I came, I was nothing
And without production I can’t live
I show the world I amount to something
This is my work, my narrative

I’ve woken up, I’m here forever
And I do these cycles all the time
Explained for you, it’s for my pleasure
That’s why I wrote this dirty rhyme!

Why do you even try to stop me?
From doing things I need to do?
Get out the way of this tsunami
And give me credit when its due

Every one of my creations
They are something to behold
No fears or doubts, nor hesitations
I’m breaking through my threshold.

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Vigil in Leicester for Manchester

Hundreds of people from all Leicester’s faith groups gathered in the city centre for a tearful but determined display of solidarity with Manchester last night.

Two days after the suicide bomb attack on young fans at an Ariana Grande concert, about 300 people stood together outside the Town Hall in Leicester, where the words “Leicester” and “Manchester” were drawn on the ground in chalk, united by a heart.

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Trapped

Trapped in darkness, an artist looks into the light.  Unable to hold a camera, he is left to his other devices

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Photographer’s Interview Part II

November-2012

Describe your approach to photography?

Initially, I tend to take a chaotic approach to photography, often thinking of a story to tell or an idea to share.  They can be from my own experiences or emotions, current events or a different way of looking at content matter.  Quite often, these ideas never materialise as expected.  The ideas may be sound but photographically could be too complex to depict within a single image or set of images.

Once an idea is formulated and acceptable as a photographic set, I capture a few test shots to review the idea then run with it and I’m normally satisfied with the results.  I’m very much a ‘think about the photographs’ person which could be a downfall as it can sometimes take a long time to actualise them.  Sometimes never, however I’m always fond of the work.

What themes or concepts have you explored in your photography this year and why?

As in the previous two years, I have been dark literally and photographically.  In “left to our own devices” I represent the omnipresence of mobile internet, in a world in which we are connected to evermore people, the body seems to act like a phantom limb, requiring just a thumb to interact with ‘digital people’

Other themes considered were the absurdity of confirming to political correctness.  This was difficult to present photographically, as political correctness doesn’t teach people to be mindful of problems in the way they think, it simply attempts to censor speech to avoid offending people.  As such, the project is on hold and may surface again in the future.

Austerity under the Conservative / Liberal Democrat Coalition Government was documented in an attempt to highlight that how people cope, or do not cope with Austerity.  Instead, what was photographed was the forgotten items and areas which have become part of and not enhanced by their presence.  Again this project (Austerity 2015) was shelved as more source material is required to effectively demonstrate the projects intention.

As chaotic as I am, photography as a practice and as a format is in a state of flux.  This is demonstrated with two part project ‘Coming or Going‘ and ‘Road to Nowhere‘.  By re-evaluating past projects they become my focus once more.  By manipulating printed photographs, I add further dimensionality to the same ideas I regress  to within some of my projects.  This practice ensures photographic work can be more than what they were originally intended for.  Sometimes, if feels like I am on a road to nowhere.

What artists and/or photographers have most influenced your work this year and why?

Marc De Groot, Steven Klein and David LaChapelle are inspiration for staged photographs.  In their photographs, you see clearly that the camera lies, scenes are deliberately over-processed or hyper-real to create a sense of fiction.

I enjoy the photographs of David Moore and Richard Billingham due to the content and aesthetic of their photographs, something which I hope to achieve when ‘Austerity 2015’ is complete.

Phillip Toledano was another influencer for his work on the editorial ‘Is Facebook Making Us Lonely’ article from The Atlantic.  Using his images as a source of inspiration, I adapted his visual technique and lit similar scenes using ambient light from the devices only.  I connect well with his images as there are parallels between his life and mine which become apparent in ‘Days with my Father

What is the most important thing that you have learned about photography this year?

Not every project should be and can be a photo project however when ideas are thought though, they should at least be shot.  It’s important to shoot what you love, what you know, to plan ahead and set achievable goals.  However, no image at all is better than a bad one.

If you could do anything to improve your images, what would it be?

To read and digest more information on Art and Documentary Photography and to be able to transfer that knowledge into my own work.  This is already a practice however more reading will always be advantageous provided I can use the knowledge practically.

Typically, I use natural or ambient lighting die to the nature of my photographs.  This is restricting in part because areas may not be correct lit and I’ll need to plan on the fly.  My immediate priority is to become more adept with lights, flashes and studio rigs.

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Photographer’s Interview Part I

…Broken

Unicorn (Behind The Scenes)

Photographs which should have been

and

Left to our own devices

黄色的大背景下

There are people who are scared to become a photograph and there are others who are proud to become one. Those who are scared either don’t appreciate what a photograph can represent or have a sense of vanity they don’t fully understand.  There are others who wish to participate in a photograph with potential implications, such like the Yellow Backdrop campaign.

There’s something to be said about metadata, some view it as about about privacy, security and big brother collecting data which we all share in real time on social media and in private emails. We treat the subject openly, or naively exhorting ourselves from the subjection of photography.

Yet, simply posing for a photograph in this particular demonstration (regardless of political persuasion) can bring an arrest because the police are collecting surreptitious photos for later scrutiny and identity matching. – Analogue metadata?

The act of participating here is a harmless act of support, yet in Hong Kong it’s an act of courage and defiance.