The photography of Andy Greaves and other things. My images are not necessarily concerned with the individuals contained within them but in treating them as metaphors for society as a whole. That is the society that I see with my own eyes. In that sense my images are as much about me and how I feel about the world around me
My new found confidence in approaching people is beginning to pay dividends. I’ve had to go to Derby these last couple of weeks. It’s a long and personal story I won’t bore you with the details but I’ve made the opportunity to have some short walks with the camera. Frankly I’d rather be on the coast walking on the beach with the wife and dog. Summers are too short in England but as they say, life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.
This gentleman ( above) allowed me to make an image of him. I was attracted to the t-shirt. I find that approaching them with a compliment usually works well. If you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all as my old Grandma used to say. I think it was her anyway.
I found myself at a small Royal Wedding garden party yesterday which is a bit ironic because I’m not a Royalist. I quite like Harry, he seems ok but then he ought to be really what with his privileged background. He shouldn’t want for much these days but then you can’t always buy happiness. His father should never have allowed him and his brother to be made to walk behind their mother’s coffin after that awful car accident at their age. Apparently all those people who line the streets waving little Union Jack flags the police call them ‘cat stranglers’ i.e. people mad enough to strangle their cats !
I took my camera along to this garden party. I thought it might give me something to do as well as simultaneously hiding behind it. Also a tentative documentation of the event even though where I was is a bit of a sensitive area. As it was I got these two images which I quite like and that was it, all I got.
My new approach is paying off I feel. As I said to a mate of mine, there’s only so many shots of people sat on benches or hanging around street corners doing very little you can make. Not that I won’t continue with those. As I’ve said before I think, nothing stays the same, everything changes. Speaking of which this year 2018 is shaping up to be a memorable one and not in a particularly nice way for personal reasons with which I’ve got no intention of boring you with. The saving grace for me is that I have my wife, my dog and my photography to keep my feet on the ground and some stability in my life. As long as I have those I should be ok. Keep the company of the wife, keep walking the dog and documenting the flux of life around me. A loving embrace is often needed. Keep making images friends.
I’ve got into Pink Floyd a bit late. I don’t think I heard Dark Side of The Moon until I was well into my fifties. Yes I’m that old ! There’s a line in one of the tracks that goes “Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way” and I’ve got it on a black long sleeve t-shirt. I bought it especially because of that line. I think it’s very true but don’t ask me to explain. I think many of us English are actually hanging on in quiet desperation and I include myself in that scenario.
This bloke shouted at me as I continued down the street, he called me a ‘weirdo’. It happens sometimes. I walked past him later on. I was on my own and he was on his own. He looked at me but then put his head down. All mouth and trousers.
I enjoy my trips into Chesterfield on a Thursday for the Flea Market. It’s the last chance saloon for Nik Naks for the Bric a Brac rack. House Clearance stuff, old magazines, books, records, clothes, jewellery, you name it and within reason of course you can pretty much find it. There’s a bloke on there sells a certain high quality outdoor label clothing at ridiculously low prices. I’ve pretty much re-stocked my wardrobe with the stuff, I’ve had to stop myself getting more. One time I got a Paul Smith shirt off him which I wore for a funeral. Sometimes he’ll have a North Face or Patagonia item. It’s Chesterfield’s busiest day. There’s some interesting characters get down there too. I got talking to this gentleman. I think his name was Richard but I don’t ask. I’m not particularly interested in knowing it, I like my images to speak for themselves. He’d come over from Rotherham and we pretty much agreed that most places were just as run down as the other. He’d taken his pension out early and now he supplements his money by a little bit of buying and selling. It gets him out meeting folk. Interesting bloke. He kindly let me make some images of him.
I’m starting to try and engage with my subjects a lot more and It’s paying off.
Rhubarb is getting a bad press at the moment here in Chesterfield. Traditionally they say here in England that the only thing of a pig you can’t eat is its squeak or grunt if you prefer. Rhubarb being a faggot seems a contradiction in terms but hey that’s Chesterfield for ya !
Here for your education is the Wikipedia explanation of the word Faggot.
Faggots are a traditional dish in the UK, especially South and Mid Wales and the Midlands of England. It is made from meat off-cuts and offal, especially pork. A faggot is traditionally made from pig’s heart, liver and fatty belly meat or bacon minced together, with herbs added for flavouring and sometimes bread crumbs.
There was a time when I was going to rename this Blog ‘From Where I’m Standing’ and incorporate my political opinions and musings of the world from my position of from where I’m standing, do you get what I mean ? I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve wanted to come on here, get on my soapbox and blather wildly about what’s going on in the world. That idiot Donald Trump, the futility of self perpetuating capitalism, the political situation here in the UK and our inept and politicians, the corrupt and manipulative who spoon feed crap to a willing population.
I’m sure you don’t want to hear my rantings but I can’t tell you how tempting it is to use this platform. What I will tell you is that my approach to street photography is fuelled by my belief that a knowledge of what’s going on in the world is essential to making the images I do.
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