On the 25th of February, we went to Malolos, the capital of Bulacan, to see a ladyboy parade; but it never appeared. Ladyboy levels of disorganisation are, of course, legendary, in addition to which, they were probably working on Filipino time, which makes ‘manana’ sound urgent. Still, a couple of nice cold Red Horses and some good pictures. Continue reading Malolos: Street photography and ladyboys
The unique mechanism by which photography distinguishes itself from every other visual art is something I call reflex-reflection.
Photography, although shunned by the establishment in its infancy, became the quintessential, defining art of the twentieth century.
This was not simply because photography’s roots were in the five decades immediately preceding the year 1900, nor that it blossomed, came to maturity and ultimately transformed with the ageing of the century itself. Continue reading Reflex-Reflection: Photography’s Genius
I grew up in a world where photography, especially monochrome photography, was synonymous with ‘truth’. That was never strictly accurate, of course, and as a photographer I knew the extent to which the truth can be manipulated. Nevertheless, as evidenced by the incredible work we saw every day in the newspapers of the 60s, which I consumed with passion while still at school, a photograph was regarded as an equivalent to reality; it was not just a representation of truth, but an affirmation of it.
“Look,’ it said, ‘This is a true thing; I stand witness to that.’ Even today, when PhotoShop has put tricks of the trade that I spent years learning at the click of an amateur’s mouse, photographs brook no argument. The leaves really were that green, the sunset that orange, the woman so perfect. Yet perfect beauty was never in the sorcery of the darkroom or the airbrush artist’s hand, nor is it in the magic of digital manipulation; real beauty is actually real. It needs no PhotoShopping or dastardly manipulation, only to be seen and known, and recorded.
The other part of my life, however, is very different from the ascetic artist whose delight is in the expression of pure form or idea. As a musician, I am by definition an entertainer. And my professional photographic career has been mainly in Photojournalism. Indeed, long before I immersed myself in Weston and Brandt I was mainlining Cartier-Bresson and Don McCullin. Continue reading The Naked Truth
I visited the Philippines to see my then girlfriend Crissy José in March 2013, and we went to Thailand for my birthday. This is a small selection of pictures from the trip. Most of the pictures were taken either with a Nikon D90 or a Canon Powershot G12.
We met at the airport, as before, but this time it was close to midnight. At least that meant it was cool. In late February the Phils has not really warmed up, though their idea of ‘winter’ is ‘tops off and down the beach’ for a Scot like me.
I had booked a few nights at the Oasis Paco Park Hotel, which I can highly recommend. It is reasonably priced, very clean, nice staff and very central. It’s under ten minutes’ tricycle ride to Luneta (Rizal) Park, for example, Manila bay is about 15 minutes in a taxi and Mall of Asia only a little further. Although Malate has lost the colourful gay night-life that gained it a reputation, it is still lively and nearby.
Gallery Philippines and Thailand 2013