: BAPhot: blog 2023

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This blog once tracked the activities and progress of my BA in Photography with OCA. It started in 2018 with Expressing your vision, then Context and narrative, Identity & place, Landscape, Place & Environment in 2021-22 and briefly Digital Image and Culture.
I abandoned the degree in April 2023. Here's why.

BH Calcutta (failed)
BH Calcutta (failed)
image source: mirror.co.uk

4th Apr 2023

Degree course ends

I will now use the site for other projects.

The site logo used to be a detail from the (unstained) window of St Martin in the Fields, photographed in my first degree assignment. It has been replaced with the head of BH Calcutta (failed), an unsuccessful bloodhound from The Perishers cartoon, read with great enjoyment in the Daily Mirror in my 1960s youth.


15 April 2023

RPS to the rescue

I have been feeling a little bereft of subject stimulation, following my withdrawal from the degree course, but the RPS has rallied me. The Landscape Group has announced two projects, Postcards from Home and The Zine Project

Postcards from Home
Outputs from the Project
The principal outputs from Postcards will be:
A printed book featuring all eligible postcards that are submitted by registered participants. A copy of the book will be provided to each registered participant.
A web gallery on the RPS website featuring all eligible postcards.
“Eligible” means postcards that meet the project criteria and rules – see below.
At its discretion, the landscape group may decide to create an exhibition from all or some of the postcards submitted, feature the work in magazines etc. All work will be fully credited to the author.
How to take Part
1. All images must be photographed within a five-mile radius of your home. Your home is deemed to be the address to which your RPS Journal is posted.
2. All images must be photographed during 2023 and must be submitted by midnight on 31st January 2024.
The principal outputs from Postcards will be:
A printed book featuring all eligible postcards that are submitted by registered participants. A copy of the book will be provided to each registered participant.
A web gallery on the RPS website featuring all eligible postcards.
3. A submission must comprise four postcards.
Three postcard fronts each featuring between TWO and FIVE photographs PLUS
One postcard reverse side featuring a project title, a statement of intent (see no 7, below) and your name as you wish it to appear in any accreditation of your work (include any distinctions if you wish).
4. The four postcards will be distributed across two facing pages in the project book.
The left-hand page will include the reverse side with statement of intent and one picture postcard. Both must be in horizontal format.
The right-hand page will include the other two picture postcards. Both must be EITHER in horizontal OR vertical format. For an illustration of how the book will be laid out, see here
Each finished postcard must be submitted as follows:
14 X 9 aspect ratio (either horizontal or vertical)
1654px x 1063px @ 300PPI
Jpeg (at maximum quality)
sRGB colour space
5. Each postcard front must feature between two and five separate photographs.
6. Brief text may be added to the fronts your postcards to locate or explain the subject as in these examples; one, two, three, four, and final example five.
7. In addition, each entrant must write a brief statement of intent (max. 100 words) explaining their project and why they chose the subject(s). This text must feature on the reverse side postcard.
8. Images must feature landscapes that conform to the definition adopted by the RPS Landscape Group i.e.
“Landscape” photography is defined as the photographic portrayal of all elements of the land, sea and sky whether natural or built or influenced by human endeavour. Examples include mountains, hills, farmland, coasts, bodies of water, forests and populated and industrial areas. Images may be created using traditional or other techniques (including but not limited to infrared, multiple exposures, intentional camera movement, abstraction, minimalism and post-processing).
9. Images may be taken with traditional or creative techniques but the location(s) should be, at least to some extent, recognisable.
10. Images may be processed to a particular style if you wish (e.g. retro, contemporary, pop-art etc). If you choose a particular style, there should be a rationale for this that relates to the content or theme of your postcards. Avoid style over substance!
11. All images and postcards from a single photographer should be photographed, processed and presented in a similar style so as to create a cohesive body of work.
Postcards from Home, RPS Landscape Group
The Landscape Zine Project
Introductory briefing 13 April 2023, project finish 31 December 2023
The zine (pronounced zeen) is an exciting and different way to get your photography project seen. Descended from the fanzine with its low-tech look and do-it-yourself feel, today’s zines have risen from the ranks of amateur publishing to a phenomenon enjoyed by photographers of all standings and genres.
Whilst never restricted to a single shape, size or format, photozines generally contain a small project; are printed quickly and cheaply and are the polar opposite of expensive, luxury self-publishing. Great for giveaways, zines are also an ideal vehicle for concluding those photographic projects that seem to linger on desperate for an ending.
In Tim’s introductory briefing, you will get to see a wide range of inspiring photozines and learn how easy it is to put one together using Lightroom, Affinity Publisher or Photoshop. We will look at all the options available to you for home and commercial printing together with different papers, binding and costing it all out.
For those unable to attend the briefing a shorter recorded briefing will be made available afterwards on the website.
A follow up review and Q&A session with Tim will be held in autumn 2023 (date to be confirmed). We will be encouraging you to submit a PDF file of your zine for review by Tim on the evening. Depending on numbers we may need to restrict the reviews to 25 zines.
Information on how to submit your PDF for review in the autumn and your printed zine in January 2024 will be provided in due course.
The only limitation, apart from your imagination, is your zine concept needs to fit with our definition of landscape, which is “Landscape photography is defined as the photographic portrayal of all elements of the land, sea and sky whether natural or built or influenced by human endeavour. Examples include mountains, hills, farmland, coasts, bodies of water, forests and populated and industrial areas”.
Tim is Senior Lecturer in Photography at Chester University. His specialist subjects are photography production and artist's publishing. Tim teaches on all levels of the BA Photography programme with special responsibility for practice based modules, and also contributes to the MA Fine Art programme. Tim has had many photography books published, and has been teaching RPS workshops for a number of years. He is a member of the RPS Photobook Distinction Panel.
The project is being managed by Fiona McCowan FRPS. Fiona was awarded a FRPS in 2021 for her handmade photobook In the Offing. She is also a member of the RPS Photobook Distinction Panel.
In 2024 a selection of the submitted zines will be chosen by a panel and will be displayed in a web gallery after the project closes. Other options may be considered such as a special edition Landscape Group magazine. The Landscape Zine Project, RPS Landscape Group

Tim Daly's briefing was inspirational. I'll post a link to the notes when available.

Note from Fiona -

Thank you for your interest in the Landscape Group zine project, we are delighted over 60 people have registered.
If you were able to attend the introductory briefing on Thursday evening I hope you found it helpful and inspiring. If you missed the briefing or would like to watch again, Tim has kindly provided a shorter recording covering the key points (circa 12 minutes) and his briefing notes. They can be accessed here:

A great resource for zines (and photobooks) is Euan Ross’s digital library on biblioscapes, a warning though hours can fly by! https://biblioscapes.com/the-library

Another Place Press is one of my favourite small publishing presses, they have a focus on contemporary photography projects which explore our relationship with ‘place’: https://anotherplacepress.bigcartel.com/category/zines

For your zine the only limitation, apart from your imagination, is your concept needs to fit (even if only loosely) with our broad definition of landscape, which is “Landscape photography is defined as the photographic portrayal of all elements of the land, sea and sky whether natural or built or influenced by human endeavour. Examples include mountains, hills, farmland, coasts, bodies of water, forests and populated and industrial areas”.

We are looking forward to seeing your zines at the autumn review and Q&A session (date to be confirmed).
Good luck! Kind regards Fiona

[spellchecked to here]

16th April 2023


The OCA refund has arrived, so that chapter of my practice has ended.

18 April 2023

Boris Eldagsen

Guardian Eldagsen Eldagsen Eldagsen
Boris Eldagsen
© the artists, their agents or their estates
image source: 1. tomorrowspapers.co.uk; 2. L’Œil de la Photographie; 3. The Guardian

L’Œil de la Photographie
415,000 photos or supposedly so were received for the Sony World Photo Awards 2023 : among the winners, a creation by artificial intelligence!! Sony tried to cover up the matter and most of the media went silent. However, this is only the beginning: imagine tomorrow! And read the formidable report by our collaborator Thierry Maindrault.

I was informed that the sad theatrical comedy of the boy caught his fingers in the jam jar would end in a tragic burst of laughter. I could have given you this information last Friday, which is far from having gone around the world; but, three days of reflection and the various opinions seemed to me important to remain in a topicality which must make reflect. Bye Bye predigested fake news.

The SWPA, (abbreviation for the close friends) it was for 2023, the reception of 415,000 photographic images, coming from 200 countries. The objective is to bring out the crème de la crème of world photographic production, with prizes, exhibitions and all sorts of media privileges for the lucky ones. Which explains the jostling at the gate.

It is also a Jury that one imagines handpicked by competence for the different categories rewarded. With a super jury for the final choice of the best world photography of the year.

Everything is going perfectly and the Jury for the creation category designates Boris Eldagsen’s “electrician” photograph as the best photograph in its category, set to be the best world photograph 2023.

Boris, photographer for more than thirty years, passionate researcher and very honest man, as soon as he learns of his selection, informs the organizer. He did not put a pixel, nor a speck of personal money in this photograph which was entirely produced by a binary computer, by solicitations.

The organizer does not intend to change his mind and claims that no matter how the image is produced, he maintains his choice and invites the “pseudo-author” to come and collect his reward.

Arriving in London, Boris clearly announces his opinion and waives the prize (see his texts below).

Sony, bad player, takes down the binary image which was enthroned in its exhibition and which was seen by all the journalists of the press visit a few hours before the awards ceremony. The rankings of the creation category have been changed on the spot. Without going into more details, which are quite revealing of our modern world, there are still a few unanswered questions.

Looking at all of the 415,000 award-winning photographs (assumed to be photographic good), it is understandable that this image was chosen. Worrying, for the future and for photography, isn’t it?

Looking, even distractedly, at this digital image, it is obvious that despite Boris’ very advanced work and research, it is not a shot, nor even a coherent laboratory montage.

Looking carefully at this image, I wondered how a Jury that I imagine of ultra-competent personalities could have missed it. Except fatigue if this image was in the last hundred of the 415,000 conscientiously viewed.

This case, thanks to the prestige of the SWPA, should lead everyone to reflect on the effective role of each other and on what is acceptable on the truth side and unacceptable on the side of false truths.

Boris Eldagsen’s two key interventions in this sad masquerade.

MY STATEMENT 14.3.23 WHEN THE SELECTION OF MY IMAGE WAS ANNOUNCED BY SWPA (without them communicating it was AI-generated or properly answering press inquiries)
I am very happy that I won the creative category of Sony World Photography Awards 2023 / Open Competition / Single Image.
I have been photographing since 1989, been a photomedia artist since 2000. After two decades of photography, my artistic focus has shifted to exploring the creative possibilities of AI generators.
The work SWPA has chosen is the result of a complex interplay of prompt engineering, inpainting and outpainting that draws on my wealth of photographic knowledge. For me, working with AI image generators is a co-creation, in which I am the director. It is not about pressing a button – and done it is. It is about exploring the complexity of this process, starting with refining text prompts, then developing a complex workflow, and mixing various platforms and techniques. The more you create such a workflow and define parameters, the higher your creative part becomes.
I have been the first in Germany to teach this as a craft in open online workshops: www.promptwhispering.ai
I call my images “images”. They are synthetically produced, using “the photographic” as a visual language. They are not “photographs”.
Participating in open calls, I want to speed up the process of the Award organisers to become aware of this difference and create separate competitions for AI-generated images.
Doing public talks and being a consultant for universities, magazines, agencies, festivals, museums, and organisations, I see my role as a practitioner of knowledge transfer. As the ‘Head of Digital’ of Deutsche Fotografische Akademie, I am a member of the AI work group of Deutscher Fotorat, in which the German photo associations discuss the chances and risks of this disruptive technology at large.”
– Boris Eldagsen

REFUSAL OF THE PRIZE of the Sony World Photography Awards, Open Competition / Creative Category at the London Award ceremony:
Thank you for selecting my image and making this a historic moment, as it is the first AI generated image to win in a prestigous international PHOTOGRAPHY competition.
How many of you knew or suspected that it was AI generated? Something about this doesn’t feel right, does it?
AI images and photography should not compete with each other in an award like this. They are different entities. AI is not photography. Therefore I will not accept the award.
I applied as a cheeky monkey, to find out, if the comeptitions are prepared for AI images to enter. They are not.
We, the photo world, need an open discussion. A discussion about what we want to consider photography and what not. Is the umbrella of photography large enough to invite AI images to enter – or would this be a mistake?
With my refusal of the award I hope to speed up this debate.
Having been a photographer for 30 years before I turned to AI, I understand the pros and cons of this debate and will be happy to join the conversation.
If you dont know what to do with the prize, please donate it to the fotofestival in Odesa, Ukraine. I will happily provide you the contacts.
Many thanks”
– Boris Eldagsen

Written by Thierry Maindrault, Monday, April 17, 2023.

This was also covered by The Times, The Guardian, Petapixel, Andy Adams and many others

Sigma dps Quattro
image source: Amazon

22 April 2023


How nice to be photographing again.

With the two RPS projects in mind (book and postcards), I took the dp2 for a trial run to the Stephen Lawrence memorial and to Eltham Palace. (It was the 30th anniversary of Lawrence's death today.) I was using the camera hand-held although the standard intention is to use it on a tripod. The camera's failure to calculate exposures correctly was confirmed and, although it has the pleasing choices of 6x7 and xPan-like aspect ratios, its fixed focal length of 40mm makes it unsuitable for Palace: as noted when photographing urban churches, there is often insufficient room on most sides of the building to take the optimal photograph.

Fun, nevertheless.

The young Bohm
image source: The Times


Dorothy Bohm
b: 1924 Königsberg, East Prussia
d: 2023 London
Site - Wikipedia

Dorothy Bohm

The Times today reported the death of Dorothy Bohm on March 15, aged 98.

The obituary reports her as saying,

The photograph fulfils my deep need to stop things from disappearingDorothy Bohm

Rodolphe Sebbah
b: 1958 nr. Paris
Site - squal-photographie.com

29th April 2023

Rodolphe Sebbah

An admirable post on L'Eye today from Rodolphe Sebbah

Not being a member of the great brotherhood of photographer-philosophers who accompany each of their series with long considerations on the place of Man in the Universe, the passage of time and the existence of God, I will content myself, as a modest contribution, to post these few photos of an object that has now almost disappeared or been used for other purposes… but whose omnipresence in our daily lives for several decades will, I hope, remind everyone of one or several memories related to their own existence.
Rodolphe Sebbah
www.rodolphesebbah.com L'Eye
Rodolphe Sebbah
1. Le repas cabine telephonique 31
2. Vieille dame cabine telephonique 16
3. Vieil homme dans une cabine telephonique 384
© the artists, their agents or their estates
image source: L’Œil de la Photographie

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4th May 2023

Geof Kern
b: ?
Site - partfaliaz.com

Geof Kern : Midtown Exit

In today's L'Eye. Comment

The Fahey/Klein Gallery presents Geof Kern “Midtown Exit”, a selection of photographs taken throughout Kern’s career which beautifully demonstrate his ability to illustrate whimsical scenes with a cinematic aesthetic.
Kern’s multifaceted style combines photography and illustration and redefines the traditional photographic genres of fashion and still life. He uses fabricated sets and pseudo-suburban scenes to mock the mundane. Steering away from high profile models, Kern prefers neighbors, acquaintances, and locals to take stage in his fanciful constructed realities. His approach to the “everyday” and domestic subject matter is riddled with irony, imagination, and subtle humor.
In 1994 Kern was commissioned by Creative Director Georgia Christiansen, for the 30 page Neiman- Marcus Fall fashion spread, The Art of Fashion. This prestigious annual campaign was first shot by Richard Avedon, followed by Helmut Newton and Annie Leibovitz. Kern’s story depicts a girl who longs to become a famous fashion model, and scene by scene, slowly evolves into a stiff and lifeless mannequin. The controversial spread was later declared by Time Magazine as the “Best print campaign of 1995.”
Praised by some of the most prominent fashion magazines and creative ad agencies today, Kern approaches photography with a distinct vision. “I began my career in the early 80’s when art and commercial photography were two different worlds entirely. Maybe because I didn’t know any better, I just started photographing what I wanted and people got excited about it. Word spread… I became known as a ‘surrealist’ because there was no other word to describe what I was doing,” says Kern.
One of the most sought after commercial photographers working today, Kern has an impressive resume decorated with prestigious clients, as well as numerous campaigns and awards. Shooting for Neiman- Marcus, Vanity Fair, New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, GQ, and Bloomingdales, Kern has become known for his stylized, surrealist narratives.
Geof Kern received The Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography from Columbia University (2000), as well as the prestigious Infinity Award in Applied Photography from The International Center Of Photography, New York (1993). In 2000 a selection of his work became part of the permanent collection of The Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Louvre, Paris.

Geof Kern : Midtown Exit
May 4, 2023 through June 10, 2023
Exhibition Reception: Thursday, May 4th
Fahey/Klein Gallery
148 N La Brea Ave Los Angeles, CA 90036


Geof Kern Geof Kern

Geof Kern
1. Casual, 2000
2. Looking But Not Finding, 1999
3. Fashion (little village), Devon, 1995
4-22. not known
© the artists, their agents or their estates
image sources: 1-3. L’Œil de la Photographie ; 4-22. The Fahey/Klein Gallery.

6th May 2023

from fupduckphoto

I heard it said (I’m sorry, I can’t remember where) that amateurs are interested in cameras, enthusiasts in lenses and photographers in light. It makes a nice pithy aphorism but does nobody any favours. fupduckphoto

To which, one might add, “vernacular snappers are most interested in their subjects” (and that can be an overlooked consideration in the ‘higher” echelons).

11th May 2023

Benjamin Rullier
b: ? Charcé-Saint-Ellier-sur-Aubance

Benjamin Rullier : Scabiosa

A nicely-judged piece in L'Eye today .

Giving a form, making a photographic project tangible: the work of designing a personal exhibition requires a time of reflection and preparation that is both necessary and engaging. From the selection of images to their printing, through their organisation and framing, photographer Benjamin Rullier tells us about the process of putting together his Scabieuse series.
The pincushion flower is a flower that is also called the “widow’s flower” and which became the title of a series I have been working on for some time. It focuses on women living in rural communities who have been living alone since their husbands died. The series shows their faces, their bodies in their daily environment and also gives short quotes from our encounters. As with each of my projects, I wish to make images and texts resonate.
To give this series an exhibited form, I first thought about its distribution. The idea is to make an exhibition that can be presented in small spaces: small galleries, bookshops, etc. and that can be looked at as if one was looking at a wall on which a few family portraits are gathered. These objectives conditioned the number of images and texts to be printed, as well as their size.
Sketching a shape
I like small formats, works that you have to get close to in order to see and understand, so I chose two modest sizes for the images: 13x18cm and 18x24cm, and a square format for the texts: 15x15cm. In working out a sketch of the exhibition layout, I concluded that seven to eight photos and as many texts could make up a series that was both representative and of a format that suited me. The choice of photos and images was dictated by these constraints and by the desire to tell a story, to bring in a theme, a vision of the subject. I chose to gather these impressions in a rather narrow way, at different heights.
What I want to show is not a story that progresses: it is a collection of testimonies and faces around a central theme, that of disappearance. I have thus chosen to have all the widows’ faces forming the outline of the exhibition an in the center, an image representing an empty armchair that illustrates the starting point of this project. I also chose the texts, drawn from a fairly large number of quotations, by selecting evocations of the lives of these women since the death of their spouses. They evoke absence, mourning and reconstruction. They gravitate, in a light-hearted way, around these photos.
Experimenting the setting
I wanted to frame these images in cases that reminded me of those I have seen in the homes of these ladies: old frames, sometimes coloured, colourful. With this in mind, I chose to print the images on Hahnemühle Photo Rag, a very matt 300g paper that will be slightly raised by the glass. A paper that can have an almost rough appearance but whose precision and depth I liked. The texts, which I wanted to display in a simple and unframed way, were printed on a softouch matte paper with a very soft appearance. All these prints were made by the online printer Saal, which offers high quality fine art prints in a very interesting range of formats.
When I received the images, I was able to test my device, test the framing and the layout of the exhibition, which in the end did not change much from the planned sketches. The two formats, almost homothetic, fit together easily and in my opinion the multiplication of different frames does not make reading more difficult, which I had feared at the beginning.
Of course, this arrangement will be put to the test of the potential places that will accept to show this exhibition, but it allows to project oneself more concretely in this series and to give it a real, arranged, thoughtful form, which offers a personal reading, different from the one that can exist on the Internet or in a book. Benjamin Rullier
Benjamin Rullier
Benjamin Rullier : Scabiosa
© the artists, their agents or their estates
image source: L’Œil de la Photographie

I took out a subscription to L'Eye today.€50 is decent value for several articles, six days per week, many of which are worth a look. The benefits in being able to see all the images and access the archive are already becoming clear.

Catherine Balet
b: ?
Site - lensculture.com

17th May 2023

Catherine Balet

A great feature in L'Eye,

Bigaignon – Outside the walls : Catherine Balet : Looking for the Masters in Ricardo’s Golden Shoes


In her “Looking for the Masters in Ricardo’s Golden Shoes” series, presented from May 13 to July 15 at La Maison du Regard in Le Havre, artist Catherine Balet pays tribute to the great Masters of photography by revisiting 176 years of its history. With her charismatic interpreter in golden shoes, Ricardo Martinez Paz, Catherine Balet revisited 130 iconic images in order to better understand the photography trends of today and tomorrow.

This tribute is rooted in a more fundamental reflection on the meaning of self-representation and the desire to transcribe a contemporary reality by creating correspondences with the works of the past, always with respect for the author, and thus questioning the notion of memory as a whole. What is the place of memory when the lightning evolution of digital technology and the supremacy of smartphone photography upset the notion of time? This feeling of profusion and frustration invites us to reflect on the lifespan of contemporary image and on the nature of the strength of photographs that have stood the test of time.

The “Looking for the Masters in Ricardo’s Golden Shoes” series begins with a tribute to the first self-portrait, made by Robert Cornélius in 1839 and ends with the latest contemporary photographic trends. Catherine Balet’s anthropological approach, the rigor and precision she demonstrates, as well as the tenderness and humor that emerge from this work, make this set an absolute must for any photography lover.

“In 2009, on a beautiful summer day, I was inspired by a scene: my friend Ricardo was seated in front of a bun and was wearing a striped t-shirt that day. The reference to a famous portrait of Picasso by Robert Doisneau was essential. By Ricardo’s resemblance to Picasso and by his composition, the scene was disturbing. This vision struck my mind.

Later, in July 2013, during the Rencontres d’Arles festival, I met Ricardo for breakfast. He was wearing his famous t-shirt. I staged it, two croissants in front of him and captured the moment using my iPad. The search for the Masters was a game at first. Our journey during this festival then became the subject of photographic reconstructions, paying homage to the authors of the exhibitions visited. Their publication on Ricardo’s Facebook page aroused such enthusiasm that for me this first initiative took the form of a fundamental questioning of the meaning of self-representation, drawn from the reality of others, and on the large-scale appropriation of images via the Internet.

What had started as a game very quickly became a larger-scale project falling within the logical continuation of my artistic approach: that of transcribing a contemporary reality by creating correspondences with the works of the past and thus questioning the memory concept. What is its place when the lightning evolution of digital technology and the supremacy of smartphone photography disrupt time? At a time when the circulation of the image has accelerated, it is nothing more than an illusion of an image, infinitely reproducible until all trace of its source is lost. This feeling of profusion and frustration invited reflection on the lifespan of the image somewhere between the fleeting and the timeless, between immoderate viewing and random archiving. This awoke in me the desire to reflect on what makes a photograph iconic and to question its essence.

Because in an overflow of pixels, it’s time for fascination with “vintage” prints. Perhaps it simply reflects the questioning of a moment in the face of the digital revolution and translates the uncertainty about the future of photography. This question led me to expand my project to the contemporary evolution of the medium. It is clear that the feeling of nostalgia is at the center of the concerns today and generates a tendency to re-appropriate old images – we embroider, we cut and scratch the paper until the identity disappears.

To make this series, I myself took on the challenge of using the vast and fascinating repertoire offered by advanced image processing technologies. I stubbornly sought to translate the nature of the grain, the complexion of the skin and the substance of the original prints in order to recreate the accuracy of the film’s emulsion, a vector of emotion.

Despite these many questions, I was above all driven by a desire to explore the strength and beauty of iconic photographs and to pay tribute to their authors. Embody them through the artistic complicity of my friend Ricardo, a generous being with luminous skin, who wears golden shoes. These golden shoes cover 176 years of photography history. They embody, symbolically, the mysterious photographic alchemy that has frozen light and emotions on paper in order to make them forever unalterable.

By Catherine Ballet

La Maison du Regard
Résidence le Blason
9 rue Dumé d’Aplemont
76600 Le Havre
Accès rue Bougainville


Catherine Balet Catherine Balet Catherine Balet
Catherine Balet
1. Hommage à Man RAY, Noire et blanche, 1926, 2014
2. Hommage à Helmut NEWTON, YSL, French Vogue, Rue Aubriot, Paris 1975, 2014
3. Hommage à Horst P. HORST, Mainbocher Corset, 1939, 2013
4. Hommage à Edward STEICHEN, Gloria Swanson, 1924, 2014
5. Hommage à Marc RIBOUD, Le peintre de la Tour Eiffel, 1953, 2014
6. Hommage à Irving PENN, Picasso, Cannes, 1957, 2013
7. Hommage à William KLEIN, Moscou, 1964, 2014
8. Hommage à Andreas FEININGER, Photographer Dennis Stock,1951, 2015
9. Hommage à Robert DOISNEAU, Picasso aux petits pains, 1952, 2013
10. Hommage à Willy RONIS, Le petit Parisien, 1952, 2014
11. Hommage à Diane ARBUS, A Young Man in Curlers at Home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C., 1966, 2013
12. Hommage à Lisette MODEL, Woman with Veil, San Francisco, 1949, 2015
13. Hommage à Gordon PARKS, American Gothic, 1942, 2013
14. Hommage à Alexander RODCHENKO, Portrait of Mother, 1924, 2014
15. Hommage à Edward Sheriff CURTIS, North American Indian, 1907-1930, 2013
16. Hommage à Richard AVEDON, Ronald Fisher, Beekeeper, Davis, California, May 9, 1981, 2014
17. Hommage à Robert MAPPLETHORPE, Ken Moody and Robert Sherman, 1984, 2014
18. Hommage à Andy WARHOL, Self Portrait in Drag, Polaroid, 1981, 2013
19. Hommage à Annie LEIBOVITZ, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, New York, 1980, 2014
20. A homage to Eadweard Muybridge, Man ascending stairs.
21. A homage to August Sander, Young Farmers.
22. A homage to Robert Capa, Death of a republican soldier
23. A homage to Weegee, Drunken man.
24. A homage to Robert Doisneau, Kiss by the hotel de ville.
25. A homage to Nan Goldin, Nan and Brian in bed. NYC.
© the artists, their agents or their estates
image sources: 1-19. L’Œil de la Photographie; 20-25 catherinebalet.com;

BH Calcutta (failed)
BH Calcutta (failed)
image source: mirror.co.uk

26th May 2023

Creative outlet and creative stimulus

I had a thought today about my abandoned degree course. The long reason for giving up is given here. The short reason is that everyone inclined to creativity needs stimulus and an outlet. I started the course because my photography was moribund. Half a degree regenerated my enthusiasm. The degree, with its demands for responses, also provided an outlet and this, for now, is provided by the RPS book and postcard projects. So OCA has served its purpose for me.

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4th August 2023

Frank Stewart
b: 1949 Nashville
Cooper Gallery - Wikipedia

Frank Stewart

In L’Œil de la Photographie today.

I have included my preferred images from the L'Eye piece. There are more images at Culture Type and a long article at Harvard's Cooper Gallery. The first two are the most pleasing images I have encountered for a long time.

logo Stewart kit

Frank Stewart
1. Stomping the Blues, 1996
2. Ahmad Jamal, 2013
3. Self-portrait, Dominican Republic, 1986
4. Neon Pool Cue, Harlem, 1975
5. Phineas Newborn Junior, 197s
6. Marcus Roberts, 1994/95
7. Catherine Russell, c. 2000
8. Before the Gig, 2018, Camille Thurman warming up.

9. Frank Stewart's Instruments: Installation view, Cooper Gallery, Harvard University, Photo by Melissa Blackall
© the artists, their agents or their estates
image sources: L’Œil de la Photographie, Cooper Gallery and Culture Type

30th August 2023

Multiple intelligences

In a piece about trans women in chess, John Mac Ghlionn wrote,

Exactly 40 years ago, in Frames of Mind: the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, the psychologist Howard Gardner proposed eight different types of intelligence: musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalistic. Skilled chess players, as Gardner noted, score high in both logical-mathematical and spatial intelligences.
Logical-mathematical intelligence involves the ability to identify logical or numerical patterns and manipulate abstract information. On average, and I stress the word average, men tend to score higher in this type of intelligence. Men aiso tend to score higher on visuospatial abilities. In chess, like any other sport, the ability to interpret visual information and respond with an appropriate motor response is crucial. Top chess players have high levels of visual-spatial intelligence. This ability to hold the world visually in the mind is what separates a truly great chess player from a good one. A 2019 study carried out by Chinese academics showed that males tended to outperform females 'in both large-scale and small-scale spatial abjlity'. John Mac Ghlionn, 2023

My interest in this is not regarding gender issues, but more generally the existance of these intelligences and their relevance to making photographs, interpreting them and appreciating them.

Mac Ghlionn, John (2023) The Queen's Gambit. The Spectator. 23 August 2023, p. 24.

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Acrobat, printer settings

1st September 2023

Booklet pages upside-down

I have been struggling with the Eltham Palace booklet. The first draft was fine, but since then the reverse pages on this and and other booklet are upside-down. I think the answer lies in the need for a "short edge flip" and this is not set in Acrobat directly but in printer settings > media & quality > layout.

I'll persevere.

Acrobat #2

[later] still struggling, one writer suggested pofo before making the settings. I have turned to my first self-printed booklet in C&N, and Printing booklets in Acrobat. I have started with the basic suggestions from the latter, including auto rotate - that seems to have worked without having to venture into the printer driver settings.

It's working - was that the Adobe settings of the pofo?

zine drive
zine drive

16th September 2023

Eltham Palace Zine

I uploaded my zine to the recipient drive this morning. The others are accessible and, having done so, I'm quite content with mine.

The next stage in the project is a Zoom meeting at 7:30 on 6th November.

I am looking for a pageflip PDF displayer either free or inexpensive (and a one-off charge rather than monthly). There are plenty in Wordpress, but I would rather write in HTML.

I might add a paragraph to the zine explaining the BAPhot Press stealth distribution strategy.

RPS is alo organising a zine swap - I think I'll sign up.

Leica CL
Leica CL with 18mm
img: The Verge

27th September 2023

What camera

An exploration of my taste in cameras with particular attention to Leica.

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15th October 2023


And an outcome of Leica considerations has led to a clearing out of a lot of unused equipment and the plan to upgrade the Canon SX70 bridge to a Sony RX10 bridge. I had been hoping for an upgrade of the RX10 to Mk5, but it looks unlikely to ever happen. (Even if it happens the day after I swap, it will still be a sound upgrade.) I stated on the Leica etc. page,

My day-to-day camera is a pocket-friendly Canon G5X Mk1. If I am going out to take photographs for pleasure or purpose I take the CL. If I need a particularly wide angle zoom I take the Canon 6D and the 17-40; if I need a long zoom I'll take the Canon SX70. If I am going for fun I might take the Digilux 2. And I have recently started taking a film camera — Olympus Mju II by default sometimes a Nikon F75.
I see no reason to change this until one of them malfunctions, although only the Leica CL offers Eberlin satisfaction.

Ad Haring
Ad Haring, Station I,
Jesus is condemned to death

20 October 2023


A recent trip to Bruges (our first venture abroad for 5 years) allowed development of the Stations of the Cross series with one outstandingly good example (Ad Haring) and one not.


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Sony RX10
image source: John Lewis

4 November 2023

Kit swap

Cameras by Olympus, Sigma, Sony and Canon plus a few lenses have been traded in for a Sony RX10 iv plus a cash reserve.


18th November 2023


My normal interest in fashion photography is close to zero, nevertheless there is an article in today's Guardian by Jess Cartner-Morley and captions by Chloe Mac Donnellthat merits a look, 40 outrageous photos that changed fashion, from teenage Kate Moss to Twiggy in a mini and Lady Gaga’s meat dress. There are extensive explanatory notes in the piece.

fashion fashion fashion fashion fashion
40 outrageous photos that changed fashion
© the artists, their agents or their estates
image source: The Guardian

1. Christian Dior’s New Look By Willy Maywald, 1947
2. Twiggy wearing Mary Quant By Popperfoto, 1966
3. A Leigh Bowery look By Fergus Greer, 1989
4. Guy Bourdin’s surrealism By Guy Bourdin, 1979
5. Teenage Kate Moss By Corinne Day, 1993
6. Marilyn Monroe’s JFK dress By Bettmann Archive, 1962
7. Sophie Dahl on the runway By Richard Chambury, 1997
8. André Leon Talley’s Uggs By Ugg, 2021
9. Billy Porter’s Met Gala entrance By Matt Winkelmeyer, 2019
10. Nick Kamen in a skirt By Jamie Morgan, 1986
11. Lady Gaga’s meat dress By Matt Sayles, 2010
12. Vogue Italia’s Makeover Madness By Steven Meisel, 2005
13. Donyale Luna’s British Vogue cover By David Bailey, 1966
14. Doe Eye By Erwin Blumenfeld, 1950
15. Virgil Abloh takes a trip to Oz By Frédérique Dumoulin, 2018
16. The 1950s woman By Louise Dahl-Wolfe, 1953
17. Victoria Beckham in a bag By Juergen Teller, 2008
18. Jerry Hall in the USSR By Norman Parkinson, 1975
19. Andy Warhol and members of The Factory By Richard Avedon, 1969
20. Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking By Helmut Newton, 1975
21. Jennifer Lopez’s Versace dress By Vittorio Zunino Celotto, 2019
22. Jean Shrimpton’s 60s street style By David Bailey, 1962
23. Katharine Hamnett’s slogan tee By PA, 1984
24. Devon Aoki and digital deception By Nick Knight, 1997
25. Fendi’s China show By Fendi, 2007
26. Schiaparelli’s shoe hat By Ullstein Bild, 1937
27. Alexander McQueen’s robots By Ken Towner, 1998
28. David Bowie wearing Yamamoto By Masayoshi Sukita, 1973
29. Vivienne Westwood’s Sex shop By David Dagley, 1976
30. Run-DMC’s Adidas tracksuits By Ricky Powell, 1987
31. Miu Miu’s micro mini By Estrop, 2021
32. Destiny’s Child’s Y2K style By Kevin Mazur, 2001
33. Tom Ford’s Gucci collection By Guy Marineau, 1995
34. Steve Jobs’s uniform By Albert Watson, 2006
35a. Diana’s athleisure By Johnny Eggitt, 1995
35b. and Hailey Bieber By Greg Harris, 2019
36. Supermodels in white shirts By Peter Lindbergh, 1988
37. Madonna’s conical bra By Jean-Baptiste Mondino, 1990
38. Pat Cleveland descends at Thierry Mugler By Paul van Riel, 1984
39. Naomi Campbell in leather By Herb Ritts, 1990
40. Marc Jacobs’s grunge era By Kyle Ericksen, 1992

From left: Paul Morrissey, director; Joe Dallesandro, actor; Candy Darling, actor; Eric Emerson, actor; Jay Johnson, actor; Tom Hompertz, actor; Gerard Malanga, poet; Viva, actor; Paul Morrissey; Taylor Mead, actor; Brigid Polk, actor; Joe Dallesandro; Andy Warhol, artist. New York, 30 October 1969. Photograph: © The Richard Avedon Foundation

From left: Estelle Lefébure, Karen Alexander, Rachel Williams, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz and Christy Turlington

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25th December 2023

End of 23

As the year closes, I note that I have no regrets regarding the abandonment of my degree.

Both my energy levels and my mobility have diminished significantly compared to a few years ago and I only have enough of both to supply my personal practice rather than increasingly irrelevant and unhelpful studies.

image source: text

nn December 2023




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author (year) title [online]. website. Available from url [Accessed nn March 2022].

author (year) Title. Location: Publisher.

author (year) Title. Journal. Vol, pages.

quote cite


[28Dec19] I have been collecting apposite quotes since starting the web site, but rather apathetically because I did not have a convenient means of storing and referencing them. Here's the original page. This is a new plan - stash them in the blog (which I often have) and list the sources here. I'll add navigation arrows through the entries. As currently conceived, the quotes gathered during each course will remain discrete in that blog - I might organise a way around that.

Richard Avedon - surface
Lewis Baltz - style and objectivity
Dawoud Bey - shooting
Nick Blackburn (me) - photography comprises poses and gazes.
Nick Blackburn - a version of a moment
Erwin Blumenfeld - photography is easy (or is it?).
Dorothy Bohm - stop things from disappearing.
David Bowie - fulfilling other people’s expectations
David Campany ambiguity
A.D. Coleman - All photographs are fictions
A.D. Coleman - the gaze
A.D. Coleman - art theory
John Coplans - meaninglessness
Joan Didion - the implacable "I"
Paul Dirac - poetry vs. science
Marcel Duchamp - photography vs. painting
William Fox Talbot - chance and charm
Sigmund Freud - fleeting visual impressions
Peter Galassi - Photography is a bastard
Paul Graham - orthodoxy
Robert Graham subject → object
Andy Grundberg - photographic meaning is contingent
Clive James - cargo cult
Bill Jay - photography's destination
Stanley Kubrick - affection
Kim Lim - make a clear, unfussy statement of form
Rene Magritte - what has never been seen
Matisse - objects and surroundings
Duane Michals - large prints
Richard Misrach - large format cameras
Richard Misrach - interpretation
me - why photograph?
Steven Pippin - inverse sophistication
Raghu Rai - faithfully and honestly
Harold Rosenberg - an artist …
John Ruskin - contemptible design
Sontag - intention, loosely bound
Sontag - mortality, vulnerability, mutability
Sontag - never entirely wrong
Alec Soth - still photography is incompatible with the narrative sequence.
Tom Stoppard - recognising quality
Rory Sutherland - we see what we understand
Paul Vanderbilt - new consciousness
EJ Walsingham - magicians
Evelyn Waugh - first or a fourth
Edward Weston - the thing itself
Oscar Wilde - on masks



From source

quote cite


Page created 05-Oct-2022 | Page updated 10-Jan-2024