It took me a while to get going in 2018 although I did have a line of investigation I wanted to pursue, I rediscovered and re-evaluated a abandoned series, continued The State Of Britain series and might have made my most significant capture ever ?
I wanted to investigate the multi-exposure technique of stacking exposures on top of each other in camera , as I thought the technique had real possibilities and would bring a welcome slice of serendipity and freshness to my work . Knowing I was going off piste with this approach and risking the wrath of the Street Photography Police made the idea even more compelling !
I enjoyed shooting these multi layered Suburban Views in flat light during the winter months but as the year progressed this project was subconsciously demoted to the back burner despite its early promise. I will pick this project up again in the months ahead , hopefully .
In April I was fortunate enough to attend the Martin Parr foundation 1970’s British photography seminar, this day was memorable for many reasons although the discovery of work by Marketa Luskacova shot on the beaches of North East England really resonated with me, as I was not aware of her North Tyneside work. I’m not really a photo-seminar fan but this day was different as it assembled many of the photographers who shaped my early ideas of good photography including Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen who kindly agreed to me making this portrait below. . I look forward to attending other events at the Bristol based Parr Foundation in the new year.
The month of May saw a Royal wedding , this event fitted well with my the State Of Britain project and it did not disappoint , I shot this event in my local town in a Street style and have included a few frames below to give you a flavor of my coverage. Some of my favorite images of 2018 were taken on this Royal Wedding day especially these masked royal figures, that I found decorating a charity shop window. I also enjoyed a trip to the beautiful island of Sardinia in May for the Alghero Street Photography awards where I met some nice folk , managed a few shots and won the Street Photography Single capture award with “that head image” from my State Of Britain project. . .
As England was caught up in World Cup fever in June, I started to notice a increase in the iconography of English nationalism which was fueled by the uncertainty of the Brexit situation and the football . The month delivered some great weather and some unusual captures as I watched all the football and ploughed on with my State Of Britain project.
July delivered one of my most memorable candid captures ever as the UK political climate and a serendipitous reality collided before me, to create a surreal symbolic image that reflects both the atmosphere of our country and the confusion of our times perfectly , sometimes the world really does align for the lens and blind optimism & perception is rewarded !
The deep symbolism of this candid capture really is very topical, it might be my favorite “Street” picture, ever ?
Following the Theresa May mask capture in July I had a quiet August , I wasn’t complaining as I knew I had used up a large slice of my annual Street Photography good fortune with that capture , I would have to build up my “luck” again and take my photographic failures on the chin for a while, philosophically speaking, the Well of good fortune was dry ! I knew another decent capture would arrive sooner or later if I kept on working and looking ?
September brought the opportunity to photograph a English Civil war event that I could not pass up !
I knew that with the right approach one or two captures could be made that had relevance to my British project , the parallels between the English Civil War and Tory Brexit conflicts were clear to me , symbolically at least !
The event delivered what I wanted , it also delivered a abstract view that has no clear narrative but seems to thrive on its anonymity and ambiguity ? This picture is definitely more jazz than classical and is richer for it , I embraced this opportunity to exploit the Tony Ray Jones half a horse trick here, which is never a bad thing ! The symbolism of a horses ass always puts a smile on my face.
I also managed to attend the Elvis Convention in Porthcawl this year , strangely another cardboard mask worn back to front featured in my work ?
October saw me re-engage with my Tomorrow Was Created Yesterday series which I thought was behind me , until I passed the location that inspired this project . This project explores how urban regeneration relates to the past and how the evolution of our towns and cities is a continuous process that links us to those who lived before and those who will follow .
I photographed the 100 year commemoration of the World War 1 Armistice in November , I was proud and privileged to shoot the Ghost sculptures created by Jackie Lantelli at the village of Slimbridge , Gloucestershire, on Armistice Sunday before participating in the Pages Of The Sea event at Weston Super Mare , both tributes were deeply moving. I was delighted to see how a younger generation engaged with these informal remembrance events , they really appeared to capture the imagination and respect of the young.
As I write this the year is not quite complete , however, I will remember 2018 fondly photographically , my personal projects progressed and I smiled most of the time, what more can you ask for during these troubled times ?
I must thank all the folk who have visited this site and my Twitter feed this year , your support and interest is appreciated , I would also like to thank all the anonymous people who unwittingly feature in my work , although Street Photography is legal in the UK I still rely on a level of tolerance and goodwill from people in public places where I shoot , thank you for your trust.
The world and my country appear to be going to hell in a hand cart as the common sense reliability of democracy is breaking down , the rise of homelessness , food banks and division continues unabated in the UK as political incompetence becomes a global contagion !
Self centered capitalism has become a busted flush in 2018 and highlights the need for a new kind of socially driven politics, that should, at the very least combat rough sleeping and hunger in a established twenty first century “civilised” economy , lets hope for a basic level of competence and decency in 2019 from our governments . .
Wishing you a peaceful Christmas and New Year .