Thursday, 25 February 2010

Stone the Crows.

Dear William,

Have you been to the Penn at the NPG? No loss of quality there. Gorgeous.

Remember the only time CH was apprehended by the thin blue line? It was a gig shooting Richard Reynolds, a Guerrilla Gardener (good headline: Hopkinson shoots guerrilla). It's worth keeping one's eyes open for the guerrilla's efforts, as many a dull traffic island has been transformed by their green fingers. Ah, the sweet irony of the peelers feeling the collars of photographers as the guerrillas go free.

Talking of brightening places up; have you been for a walk around Sheffield recently? Nigel Dunnett has also done sterling work with some simply superb planting on the site where once stood horrible 1960s tower blocks. Perfect for a spot of wildflower meadow planting. There are a few old 60s tower blocks around here, but the developers pounce before floor 22 has even been reduced to sea level. Just like greased lightning, whatever that is.
Just look at the power of plants, especially wild flowers. Cannot fail to lift the spirits sky high.
Rock on Sheffield and Dunnett.

I've also just come accross "Out of My Head' on Blurb,com.
Very nice, and my copy is on its way. Keep it up Jackson.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Less Is More.

Dear Bill,

Here's the Hemmingway guide to photography. Don't you think less is more? Germaine Greer was on the box last night, explaining that when men are given free time, they tend to do nothing, except maybe angling or golf, which amounts to the same thing. Women on the other hand like to fill the time. Some truth in that. Sarah B used to do a quick hoover before the char arrived, and I've seen copious amounts of cleaning of plates before they're loaded into the dishwasher.
Remember that Picture Ed who as soon as you arrived with the contacts would ask: How did it go?
Fine one would reply. How many rolls did you shoot, she'd ask. Oh just the one I'd say, got it on the first roll. Look of horror spreads over face of Pic ed.
Bill, you should see what the fashion crowd would demand, rolls and rolls and rolls of film, endless shots of the most photogenic people on the planet. Work that one out.

Still, one cuts ones cloth.... Now it's digi time, we have a list along the lines of what ADs expect from shoots. Some want an edit of no more than 10 frames, others no less than 50. When did you first hear: "
My name is nuff. I am a fairy. Fair enough". Willie Fullerton ?

Years ago, on my first advertising shoot, I told my assistant to wrap it up after half an hour.
Can I have a word, she said, as she dragged me out of earshot of the AD. You simply can't call it a day now, she explained. But I've got it I told her. Maybe, said the assistant, but they expect a long process, tons of Polaroids, sucking of teeth, things moved about a bit and so on. So back we went, shot loads more, and they used a frame from the first roll. Maybe it's about what ones expectations are, for the money shelled out. It should be that the more you fork out, the less nonsense ensues, and the product is delivered as asked for pdq without palaver and so on.

I've got a print from my parent's wedding upstairs, and came accross the whole shoot the other day. A total of 20 frames. No mucking about then, eh?

Enough rambling. Here's a print of the great Germaine Greer. She was Fun with a capital 'F' to photograph. She's with a chicken and her dog. I think the poor hen's name was Anne Robinson. May be wrong.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Dear Bill

Well, a happy belated New Year to you, and V good to see you the other evening in such great company. Heard a story the other day about a friend of mine who took a client to Saint John's for a power lunch (whatever that is)only to discover she was a veggie. Salads and blushes all round I suppose. Some of my best friends are vegetarians.

As you know, I also love Americans. Strange, we seem to be in the middle of a bash the US thing here at the moment, but when it comes to photography, I just can't get enough of them. I love that brassy attitude of "come on, make me look a million dollars" as opposed to the Blighty "Oh heavens, I hate being photographed nonsense..." GET OVER YOURSELF" as they say across the pond.
Of course, you'll know that Kim Cattrall was born in Liverpool, though apparently, not a lot of people know that.

Quite a few of our number are complaining bitterly about the work front, all the normal stuff about clients being tight and even going bust etc. Strange thing is, this has been coming for yonks, as I was warned back in 1990: don't for God's sake consider a carreer (odd word to use for a vocation, still) in photography, because there are far too many photographers here already. Oh drat, I'll try my hand at something that few others are doing. Still, we've been lucky I suppose, and I'm not stopping whislst I can still turn out the odd masterpiece or two.
Print sales are another story altogether, I know, but it's all cyclical, and no doubt it will pick up soon, say in the next ten years or so.

Blom/Hopkinson publication number two is in the pipeline, here's a tiny tester to whet your appetite.