Thursday, December 27, 2012


Yes, I know, it wasn't that long ago that I posted Volume 1 of my favourites. But, you see, I have so many favourites that I just can't help myself. Anyway, I know that at least some of the images in this slideshow are also favourites with some other people.
I've chosen John and Yoko's Give Peace a Chance for the soundtrack because, in essence, that is why I do what I do: to try to spread a little love and promote a little peace. So, please enjoy and as usual, your comments, Likes, feedback, Shares are very welcome.
Peace to you all

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Interview with Street Photographer Umberto Verdoliva (from

An inspired photographer and inspiring too. Do you know what he think is the most important quality for a street photographer to possess? good camera? no. stealth? no. guts? no. zone focusing? no. Here is what he says:
"The main quality you need is love to the people. Be attentive to their actions, have respect them. Commit to capture significant aspects with patience, intelligence, sensitivity"
Love for the people. Exactly


Interview with Street Photographer Umberto Verdoliva

Interview with Street Photographer Umberto Verdoliva -

Friday, December 21, 2012

No Ordinary Moments No Ordinary People

On the streets there are no ordinary moments, and there are no ordinary people. Every moment has the potential to be special or decisive and every person is, well every person is special already. This slideshow in Volume 6 in my Melbourne People series. Now that I have left Australia and no longer have access to the city, I think there will only be a couple more (I still have tons of images to sort through!). Meanwhile, please enjoy this small offering and the soundtrack too which will blow you away: a track by James Taylor and one by Jim Morrison. A double treat!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Composition in Street Photography is Humanist concept: A powerful interview

All street or documentary photographers will have heard of Joel Meyerowitz, and many (including me) admire him and his work. This interview speaks about composition in a way you may not have heard before. It's a very humanistic approach which I share and which goes against the grain of much street photography which seeks, in Joel's words, to "collect objects" or to put it another way, to objectify the world we seek to record with our cameras.
I have one point of disagreement with Joel, which is not a huge deal, well it could be. He says that with a rangefinder the photographer has one eye free to see the rest of what's going on around the scene, but an SLR with its viewfinder in the centre of the camera blinds the photographer to the context. I personally have only ever used SLRs and now a DSLR and I do not feel that I am ever unable to see or be aware of the surrounding context when I am working. It's just a technical thing, but don't let it convince you that you can't follow his marvellous advice with an SLR. It works very well for me.
What he says represents, I believe a landmark statement in the aesthetics of street photography and in my not so humble opinion, should be part of the gospel we follow as we take our cameras on to the street.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

An Ode to Family: A slideshow of some families found on the street

An Ode to Family comes at a good time as I reconnect with my son here in England after not seeing each other for eight years. What a joy it is and will be for a while to come yet. And as Mr Bowie says in the marvellous song I've chosen for the soundtrack, we are all Absolute beginners when it comes to family relationships. And as long as we remember that single fact, we shall always be capable of being family

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Is More Less, or Is Less More? Part II

Welcome back to this split post. Let's get on with Part II

And now, what about the marvellous Eggleston’s approach? His statement reminds me of how you hear people say “Money doesn’t mean much to me”. Whenever you’ve heard that statement from someone, how often has it come from someone who has heaps of the stuff and has no money worries? I rest my case. What I’m getting at is that Eggleston is such a skilled and experienced artist that he can take a one subject, one frame approach and know he will come up with the goods the majority of the time.

In a way it’s the exact opposite to the ‘spray and pray’ brigade isn’t it? I don’t mean in terms of the number of photographs made, but in terms of the numbers of good photographs produced. I think there would not be much argument with my assertion that Eggleston will consistently come up with more ‘good’ images per hour spent with his camera than a member of the photographic paramilitary who machine guns everybody and everything in the hope that something will come out of it. Maybe I should conduct a study. Any adherents of either approach out there want to contact me? We might have an interesting experience finding out the real truth of the matter.

I am very Buddhist in my inclinations, philosophically. One of the Buddha’s main teachings was the Middle Path. The name of this teaching speaks for itself: Life is best lived without extremes, by following a balanced way. For ‘Life’ read “Photography’, which for some us is life! This Middle Way can really only be followed by taking a mindful attitude to all our actions. This would seem to suggest that the ‘spray and pray’ brigade are not adhering to the way wouldn’t it?

But what of Eggleston’s one subject, one photo approach? Nobody would argue that he’s not mindful in his approach; he is actually an extremely thoughtful person when it comes to his work. But, it is extreme isn’t it; one subject, one photograph? Well, it’s not for him; he’s learned from experience what works for him, so he’s come to a balanced position in his practice.

For me, it would be extreme, as it would be I suspect for most of us. The clue for me is what I said in the previous paragraph: ‘he’s learned from experience what works for him, so he’s come to a balanced position in his practice’. And that’s going to be different for each of us and it will be an evolving aspect to our photography too won’t it? I mean as we gain more experience we may find ourselves edging closer to Eggleston. Mind you it’s going to be a few lifetimes before I get there!!

In the end it is for me about mindfulness. And being mindful requires that we are as much in the now of whatever it is we are doing as we can possibly be. In my work on the street as a documentary/street photographer this means being right there and mentally present to all that’s going on around me.
I think I’ve said it before somewhere else that practising being fully present mentally will allow the development of one’s intuition and, over time, increase the connection between the shutter finger and that intuition. And it is this that allows one to be there for that moment that asks to be recorded and preserved. It also allows your subjects to come to you, to invite you to photograph them. Paul Strand, one of the masters, knew this: he said once, ‘I don’t choose the things or people I photograph, they choose me’. Trust me when I say they aren’t going to choose you if you’re machine gunning them!