Almost two years ago I wrote a blog post about publishing my first Zine – Capturing Preston in 2019.
In the last few days, I have completed my fourth Capturing Preston Zine, covering 2021. That was the last full year I spent living in Preston before moving to West Yorkshire. The other Zines I have produced cover the years 2018 and 2020.
I decided to create the Zines with 52 pages, one photo per page using good quality paper and with Matt laminate covers. This wasn’t a commercial venture so each Zine had a small print run, just enough for me and a few to give away.
It’s really nice to see photos in print rather than on a screen. Here are a few pics from my 2021 Zine. It was a year impacted by Covid which was fascinating in its own way for photography but I can’t help thinking that many of the photos have a sombre mood which reflected the way people were feeling.
This is my first blog post in quite a while. The thing is, I’ve neglected my website and haven’t updated it in a very long time.
So, today I decided on a refresh. I randomly picked a new ‘theme’ from the WordPress site and applied it to my existing site. It soon became clear that I didn’t really know what I was doing and any skills I’d picked up when I originally set up the site were long gone.
The first step was to delete the old pages and come up with something new, though I have kept my old blog posts for the time being at least. To get me started I’ve created two ‘Portfolio’ galleries featuring Street Photography from Haworth and another with a few black and white portraits.
I suspect things will continue to change as I work out what to do but for now the bare bones of a revamped website are live – I think!
Like many photographers, I’m guilty of taking thousands of photos that never really see the light of day. The majority languish on a computer hard drive and a library in Adobe Lightroom.
With this in mind I decided to have a go at publishing a ‘zine’ or booklet as they used to be called! I chose photos taken in Preston, Lancashire during 2019 and I plan to follow this first zine up with other years.
The format is square and it’s printed on good quality paper – see photos below. Created entirely in Photoshop, the actual compilation was relatively easy and I’m really pleased with the result. This wasn’t done as a commercial venture, so It was only a small print run but it has generated quite a bit of interest.
During this latest Covid Lockdown, my street photography has all but dried up. Part of the reason is that the streets are empty, shops are shut and also, my enthusiasm has taken a hit.
During the first Lockdown and the months that followed I managed to maintain the desire to get out and capture the streets, albeit taking a more distanced approach., often with the Fujinon 50-140mm zoom. With this in mind I will be trying out the Fujinon 90mm, equivalent to approximately 135mm full frame when I do get back out there. Socially distanced street photography has arrived.
I’m looking forward to getting my mojo back and to things getting back to something a bit more like normal. The photos below are all from last year.
This post is all about the people and the streets of Preston. All the photographs here were taken in the space of a week around the city centre. The City is under additional ‘lock-down’ measures at the moment which prevents people visiting other households and meeting in pubs, restaurants etc. You wouldn’t necessarily expect to see this evidenced in the City Centre but I did think more people might have chosen to wear masks around town too. In Paris mask wearing in the city is mandatory now and after all ‘Preston is my Paris’ as one TV advert once proclaimed.
I took a walk through Preston city centre yesterday on the first day that ‘non-essential’ shops were allowed to open. Judging by the queues and the increased number of people about, it would appear that what is labelled as non-essential to one person is another person’s must have.
No doubt the businesses are mightily relieved to be open again but I can’t see how the relaxation of lockdown restrictions can have anything other than a negative impact on containing the virus. I wore a face-mask while walking through town but I would estimate that less than 10 percent of people were bothering to cover their faces. I guess time will tell if the laissez-faire approach to virus control in the UK will result in another infections spike.
One positive of the lockdown and there hasn’t been many, is the opportunity to spend time seeking photographic inspiration from other photographers.
Today, I discovered the story of a secretive american photographer who’s talent was only appreciated after she died. She may not have sought fame and fortune, and it’s impossible to know what she would have thought about her subsequent elevation to photographic icon status but what I do know is her street photography is truly inspirational.
The photographer I am in awe of is like many artists after their deaths, now world renowned. She is Vivian Maier. Take a look at this trailer for ‘Finding Vivian Maier’ and you will hopefully see what I mean:
It was the opening night when we visited Blenheim Palace, not really knowing what to expect, but it’s fair to say that the Illuminated Trail exceeded our expectations.
Treetops glow in the dark and the colours are amazing. There are light sculptures and a constantly changing vista to keep things interesting. As you begin the trail you walk through a light tunnel glistening with 100,000 small lights – a magical experience.
The trail itself is around one mile long and as you return towards the Palace you are greeted with seasonal projections onto the house itself and search-lights dancing across the sky.
It was great to photograph, though to be honest it was also a bit of a challenge. The exposure levels varied so much between the various set pieces and it was quite busy on the opening night too.
The fantastic light experience is available to book at Blenheim Palace until the 1st January.
A little bit of everything last weekend in Southport both in terms of the weather, which was cold and also photographically with a bit of street photography, a few sunset photos, a visit to an art gallery and a firework display.
I guess it’s the variety that makes Southport a good destination for a short break at this time of year. The AtkinsonWhitworth gallery was a great spot to shelter from the rain and enjoy the latest exhibitions. The costumes of Vivienne Westwood pictured below formed part of an interesting display. I enjoyed the portraits of various celebrities wearing the same t-shirt against a plain grey background. It was interesting to see how they each posed and managed to make the t-shirt their own.
There was also a fabulous art exhibition featuring painting by Nahen Shoa called ‘Black Presence’ which is also worth a visit.