turning my attention and the HDR skills I've picked up in my black and
white work to some colour work.
As part of that, I've decided to produce a photo essay
in answer to "Urban Ugliness" — it's working title is "Urban Pretty".
been operating my Zazzle
Store (US customers can use
for just over two years now. It's been a journey but one where I've
managed to sell a reasonable number of items per week and the number is
I'm really, really pleased to say that a
hundred more people around the world (600 and counting!) are now the
proud owners of my
big "thank you" to them all. Maybe you are one? If so, really, thank
If you're not yet one of my happy customers, you
can get my work on cards, and other great gear. The posters and canvases can be framed
and there's a huge selection to choose from.
Many folks find something for their wall from among my range of Desiderata posters -
maybe you will too?
The BBC wrote a feature on
my first photo essay here on their Devon website.
As a result, they commissioned me for a 12-photo essay titled "Plymouth
- Intimate glimpses of a hidden and changing character", to feature in
the relaunch of the BBC Devon website in September. This in turn
resulted in a two-slot radio interview, again for BBC Devon.
See the first essay as an on-site video
The second can be seen either on the BBC Devon site or, set to
theremin music by Gordon
Charlton aka Beat Frequency, as a high
definition video on YouTube.
In the first, the photos
explore, as the title suggests, those urban areas (all taken in
Plymouth) that are suffering from neglect, decay or dereliction or
where industrial ugliness holds sway. As the
project has progressed, I've come to admire the beauty in that ugliness
and hope to have captured some of that in my work.
A little background
is a city with centuries of naval
tradition (see the MayflowerSteps
site), and so a lot of the images come from around the docksides
and cargo storage / processing areas there, some from the presently
derelict areas of Millbay Docks and some from a disgusting creek
sandwiched between Billacombe Rd and Breakwater Road.
primary cargos brought to Plymouth are
china clay, fuel oil and fertiliser, with ores and aggregates,
too. Plymouth is also a
fishing and leisure sailing port, so the industries around these are
covered as well (boat yards, quays, moorings, abandoned and rotting
Yachting and leisure
Of course, Plymouth is also one of the
yachting and leisure boating
capitals of the world. Many international races either set sail from or
finish here. The upcoming waterfornt redevelopments planned or in
progress are seeing a shift from commercial to leisure use - watch for
an increase in berths, new marinas and waterfront villages.
of the things that I've noticed while working on this photo essay is
that many fine old buildings are featured, now derelict, that
will be razed and rebuilt. At the rate it's happening, it won't be long
before there's none left...
And with today's approach to architecture and building design, I'm sure
we will lose a lot of the character that makes and has made Plymouth
what it is today. So this portfolio will also unintentionally form a
historical record of those last buildings and lost spaces for
At some time in the not too distant future,
where my serendipitous approach to themes and subjects runs out of
steam, I intend to do some monochrome studio work on flowers
and other inanimates.
long been drawn to images of, for example, orchids partially lit with
the the curves and tones in black and white mimicking
...and once that's done, I think I want to
explore the more traditional landscape photography.
also keen to do some further work with
both in the great outdoors and in urban
interests you then get in touch
- but only locals
need apply. As payment
I'd provide a portfolio of the final prints, mounted and signed.