west bay, originally uploaded by manuptheroad.


I’m a BIG fan of the photography of Mark Ponsford.
They’re the sort of photographs that I never really see through my camera. Mark often details the cameras and film used and it’s a facinating read (for those nerdy enough to enjoy that sort of thing): often out-of-date film; polaroid cameras; damaged cameras. But over and above all this is the fact that he just sees things in a certain way.
Have a look.


NEW EXHIBITION at the Phoenix Bakery

There’s a new set of prints just up in the café at the Phoenix Bakery in Weymouth.

If you’re anywhere even near Weymouth, you owe it to yourself to try some of the good food that Aidan Chapman makes there. And, no, I’m not on commission.

If you’re too far away (or just too lazy), you can have a look at some of the photographs as ‘electronic versions’ here.

My favourite songwriters? Well, let’s see: Paul McCartney; Paddy McAloon; Roddy Frame; Neil Finn… you know. I was brought up on Radio 2.

E & H

At the suggestion of Tara Wickham, head of photography at Beaminster senior school, I am developing my negatives for much longer. It has taken me the best part of 20 years to work this out. This is the great thing about photography: there’s always something you can improve and there are always things to learn.

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Elijah and Ava Wolf revisited

Did the shoot of Elijah and Ava today. They’re just putting the finishing touches to their new single and I’m here to get the ball rolling on some artwork.

The edit is ‘in-progress’ but this one popped out of the pile immediately.

I shall post a selection in due course.

I also shot some black & white in a ‘greasy spoon’ café in Bridport. I shot them after we’d finished our fry-up though. Priorities.

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Unknown Street Photography

By which I mean I can’t remember which street; or even which town.

Spent a whole day printing contact sheets and the odd few prints in the darkroom today: my idea of fun. I found this frame at the end of a roll. I remember taking it as I remember going after a tangle of limbs but it was obviously a short lived (but successful I think) project as the film ran out and the next roll shows another subject entirely.

If any of you are in or near Bridport, west Dorset tomorrow (Saturday 10 October), there is an Apple Day at the community orchard off South Street. See you there.

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Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais

I photographed Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais in 2002.

Like others, I’d first spotted Ricky Gervais on the ’11 o’clock show’. I remember seeing him on there and feeling like I’d seen someone from my family. That isn’t supposed to sound weird (although it does). I don’t quite know what I mean it’s just that I was very much aware that I was watching someone who made me feel giddy with the accuracy of his comments. It turned out he was from Reading, where I was born and grew up and so I thought that might be the explanation to the feeling of familiarity I was getting.

In the Office and in Extras I was seeing people from my childhood so accurately described that I swear they’ve (Ricky and Stephen Merchant) had access to the inside of my head.

Now, in 2009, I’m firmly of the opinion that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are the Picasso-like, important artists of our time and all from just having observed people in their world and what they do so closely as to leave you speechless. Aside from bringing up my boys, watching people (and photographing what I see) is what drives me on too: it’s so important to describe what you see and what you’ve learnt.

I think that feeling of familiarity I had was that here were two people doing what I feel I have to do with my time here: and doing it so well. It sort of goes without saying that Ricky and Steve’s work makes me laugh; what does need to be said though is that their work is so important that the world depends on it: that is if you fancy a world where people living together and understanding each other is important.

The point of describing others, with empathy and affection and in whatever medium, is to say clearly: ‘someone has been a witness to the eternally beautiful phenomenon that is your life’.

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