FIELD’S XXth Century Dictionary

0 Commentsby   |  07.07.11  |  Weblog, adventures, news, Weblog

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0 Commentsby   |  07.07.11  |  Weblog, adventures, news, Weblog

Creative thinking in action. When you see the cards, they compel you to pick them up and move the wee blighters fore and aft to test your own focus whilst simulaneously and subliminally causing you to ingest some important scraps of wisdom whether you like it or not. Cunning, I know but it really is for your own good. More »

advertising life itself

0 Commentsby   |  03.11.11  |  news, Weblog

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Boxed and Labelled

2 Commentsby   |  02.15.11  |  Weblog, adventures, news, Uncategorized

We are Merchant & Mills. Of the two, I’m most likely Merchant. Our packaging reflects the company ethos of sound design with a nod to the past. By using strong images and  announcing the product titles in bold, capital letters, it reaches both sides of the brain at once: the visual right and the pragmatic, linguistic left. It is futile to resist. It works on me. It makes me want the things inside the package. I am reminding you to covet. More »

shoot the kids

1 Commentby   |  01.16.11  |  Weblog, adventures, news, Uncategorized, Weblog

The winter, now in full swing, puts a bit of a damper on outside jobs. The days are shorter, the weather unpredictable and the general tempo of things seems to slow down, grinding occasionally to an unwanted halt. Not being one to sit on my laurels waiting for the phone to ring or the email to ping, I took some time out this month to re‐examine the offspring – photographically speaking. I like children. I made four and, if memory serves me correctly, I was once a child myself. I feel for mine though, as the progeny of a photographer they have between them endured some trials. When Edwyn, now 24, was eight or nine we took him one January afternoon to a freezing pond on Hampstead Heath where he had to stand shirtless, looking deathly and frozen for the jacket of a book; a grim tale of a depressed lad who one day turned and walked into a lake to be seen no more. In between shots Edwyn had to be cloaked in a towel and rubbed down. But at least he survived – and the book looked great.

I’m guessing that children are the most popular subject for pictures Gawd love ‘em. Yet still it’s rare that I see portraits or action shots that get to the heart of the wee beasties. There Is an awful lot of vibrant yet anodyne shots that look like Persil ads and the high street photographers, on the whole, perpetuate this shiny lifestyle look. The advent of mobile phones as cameras has done little to improve quality control and while I’m all for spontaneity, my tip is to slow down and be prepared for the spontaneous to occur. As Cartier Bresson said, ‘the more I practice the luckier I seem to get.’ On top of all this we all want our kids to look happy in pictures (so that they can’t later sue us for their therapy bills?) There must be piles to the moon of fake smiles and awkward grimaces attempting fake smiles. Anyone who likes a good movie will know that cheeriness and smiling is less poignant, somehow less deep, than the pensive and more emotional. Capturing those moments of struggle, reflection or simply day to day being is more likely to result in timeless, classic shots that the kids will want to keep and show. More »

post cards home

0 Commentsby   |  12.01.10  |  news, Uncategorized, Weblog

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the dead harvest

2 Commentsby   |  03.20.10  |  news, Weblog

When I see these dismembered animals, from Albania, Spain, Sicily and France, not the developing ‘uncivilized’ world, I am pleased. Not because they are dead but because the communities that kill and eat them are being honest about where meat comes from. It is an unsentimental industry with lambs and goats, cows and pigs slaughtered and butchered with little more consideration than apples being picked. Yet if we did not harvest them, there would be no sweet farm animals to prick our consciences.
I eat meat, including hearts and testicles, it is in the nature of the work and to refuse would be almost coy. From choice I go for recognisable, unprocessed meat. I can taste the difference in organic and humanely killed animals. They tend not to have suffered a terrified, tissue‐hardening adreniline rush just before their ineviatble demise. I ask myself if I would kill to eat meat, and I hope I would. Burgers, sausages, pies and ready meals take the pressure off. Eating the ear of a pig makes you think, it is somehow more barbaric than a rib or chop.
These pictures, I consider quite beautiful in their own way. If they at least make you conscious, aware that meat does not grow in packets, washed and ready wrapped, then I am satisfied. More »

teach a man a dish … and you feed him for life

0 Commentsby   |  01.31.10  |  news, Weblog

Food has become a national preoccupation, fed by the constant presence of Jamie, Gordon and other celebrity chefs on our screens. But for some of us, cooking is in danger of becoming a spectator sport as we sit back and watch rather than rolling up our sleeves to join in. Basic skills such as jointing meat, filleting fish and baking bread, which were once taken for granted, have gone by the wayside. I decided to enrol on three very different food courses in my quest to learn some fundamentals of food preparation. Not just cooking, but the whole process from choosing ingredients to preparing them. To understand meat I joined a course at The Ginger Pig in London’s Marylebone, a traditional butcher that specialises in free‐range rare breeds with four stores in the capital and one in Yorkshire. For fish I headed to the Billingsgate Seafood Training School at the UK’s biggest inland fish market, and for bread making I went to learn more from the award‐winning breadmakers Degustibus.

The Meat Class More »

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the parachutist — an interview

1 Commentby   |  12.21.09  |  news, Weblog

Black + White Photography magazine publish this lovely interview in the 2009 Christmas issue. To view or download a PDF click the link: | The Parachutist | More »