banal ball(s)

Writing in today’s Observer newspaper, Laura Cumming’s review followed the headline (at least in the print version) ‘These swings don’t mean a thing’ describing the Superflex installation in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern as ‘by far the worst Turbine Hall commission in the history of the Tate Modern’, and went on to suggest that, if she were Hyundai (who sponsored the commission), she’d ask for her ball back.

I am no art critic, but I wonder if her review missed part of the essential point of the Tate Modern? It is an open expansive space, much of which can be viewed freely. A space where those unfamiliar with art can have their eyes opened, their lives changed. The vast expanse of the Turbine Hall is indeed a challenging space for any artist to fill, no matter how sweeping their ambition or profound their talent.

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the ongoing moment

Everyone was nowhere to be seen
― Geoff Dyer

During all my frequent flying, I’ve finally got round to reading Geoff Dyer’s The Ongoing Moment, which I purchased in The Tate Modern Bookshop well over a year ago.

I’ve been particularly fascinated by the hatted figures in raincoats which feature in the work of Kertész. Blurred, and often awkwardly placed within the frame, strangely compelling, we share a fleeting moment in the life of these strangers.

This morning, as I nursed a cup of strong coffee after an overnight flight from Accra to London, I also lingered over an image of a group of people on a bench, World’s Fair New York 1964, made by Garry Winogrand.

I was about to delete the image above (too blurry and clumsy), but there was something about the group of people, the interplay between them, the connections, the role played by the pictured photographer unaware of her own involvement in another photo, something that made me stop pressing the delete button.

So, this image, blurry and unsatisfactory though it is, is my homage to Geoff Dyer for opening my eyes and encouraging me to learn from the work of some of the greatest photographers.

pedestrian (a modern reflection)

beautiful insane
in the rain
― Jack Kerouac, The Subterraneans


Everything but pedestrian, for WordPress weekly photo challenge.

Today, I finally bought my own copy of The Americans by Robert Frank with a sublime introduction by Jack Kerouac.

The perfect blend of photography, writing and poetry.

Inspired by one of my sporadic visits to the Tate Modern.


*Shot with Fujifilm X100F with fixed 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) lens at ISO 800, f/5.6 and 1/200s with edits applied in Lightroom CC and Analog Efex Pro 2*

pedestrian

…places where, if you die, you may simply die with the knowledge that your killer was in the wrong
― Lucy Wadham, The Secret Life of France

For WordPress weekly photo challenge – pedestrian


*Shot with Fujifim X100F with fixed 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) lens at ISO 200, f/4 and 1/120s with a smidgen of editing in Lightroom CC and (my old favourite – and free – plugin) Analog Efex Pro 2*

windows

Strangely transparent, they seemed like windows to a world beyond, but however long I peered into their depths, there was nothing I could see
― Haruki Murakami

For WordPress weekly photo challenge – Windows

There are a lot more windows here and here.


*Shot with Fujifilm X100F with 23mm (35mm fixed frame equivalent) fixed lens, ISO 200, 1/140s at f/5.6 with some added mystery applied with Affinity Photo which, along with Affinity Designer, I’m exploring as a credible Photoshop CC replacement*

layered

In the stillness of remembering what you had
And what you lost, and what you had, and what you lost
Dreams – Fleetwood Mac


I took this shot during a walk back in Salamanca before returning to Africa.

Even at the time I took the shot, I was captivated by this painting. Had the artist been there I would indeed have taken it there and then.

But, it was not to be.

There were at least three paintings, each with a dreamlike quality, each stacked against each other, seeming to peel back a layer of the beautiful city which formed a backdrop to the canvases.

And, in preparing this image, I couldn’t resist adding another layer of my own.

For WordPress weekly photo challenge – Layered.


*Made with Fujifilm X100F and 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) fixed lens, ISO200, f/4 at 1/1500s with an extra layer of oil applied in Photoshop CC*

structure

Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man
― Henry Adams

My photo captures a sculpture on the South Bank of the Thames in London. It caught my eye because the distorted reflection of grandiose structures that now shape the financial district, the City of London, appeared so much like the Earth as I imagine it from space.

The placing of the fantastical city on the edge of the beautiful blue earth seemed a metaphor for man’s misplaced sense of mastery of the universe.

I wonder how many passing by that day felt the same?

For WP Weekly Photo Challenge – Structure

*shot with Fujifilm X100F with fixed 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent lens) at ISO800, f/9.0 and 1/900s*

stranger

. . .sometimes one feels freer speaking to a stranger than to people one knows. Why is that?
‘Probably because a stranger sees us the way we are, not as he wishes to think we are’
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

stranger, in a strange land

plucked from the earth

roots ripped

torn

stranger, in a strange land

plucked

ripped

torn

stranger, in a strange land

you, smell

so

sweet


stranger

corner (the second)

Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length
― Robert Frost

This is my second interpretation of this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Corner (you can see my first interpretation here).

*Shot with Fujifilm X100F with fixed 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) at ISO800, f/4 and 1/900s from the top of The Shard in London*