Photography Blog

Simone Sbaraglia at the City of London and Cripplegate Photographic Society

Wildlife photographer Simone Sbaraglia gave a fascinating talk illustrated with many of his memorable, intimate, photos to a joint meeting of City of London and Cripplegate Photographic Society and RPS London.

Moving on from long distance photography using telephoto lenses, Simone has learnt to get close to the animals and, through patience, become accepted as part of their groups. This technique has yielded a succession of award-winning photographs in an intimate style akin to human portraiture where he has brought back in the image his emotional connection with the animals. The animals are letting him make the photograph. His training as a mathematician has informed another string of stylish animal photos which reveal much beauty, symmetry and tenderness, from which a human viewer implies emotion. His photos of Japanese cranes (tsuru) displaying on the ice are particularly memorable.

Read more: Simone Sbaraglia - Images from Planet Earth

Arcangel Soul exhibition at the Bhavan Art Gallery, London

“The Strength of Art” is a solo exhibition of work by Arcangel Soul from Barcelona. A dozen paintings displayed horizontally at the Bhavan Centre, West Kensington, London. Each piece is 2m x 2m acrylic on solid wood. No particular titles offered but talking with the artist after his presentation suggested that the inspiration of each piece derived from a close experience with the natural world. The volcano on the Canary Island of Lazarote inspired the piece dominated by reds and oranges whilst the Atlantic inspired the piece in turquoise and deep blue. Arcangel Soul is also a biker, having customised several choppers; he tells me he currently rides a BMW retro motorcycle.

Barbican Arts Centre, London

Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age
Barbican Art Gallery

A comprehensive survey of photographs of buildings starting with a selection of Berenice Abbott’s dramatic photographs of a dynamic New York City and moving through to near-contemporary photographs of construction in China and destruction in Iraq; finally, celebratory, hopeful pictures of humans living despite architecture in Caracas, Venezuela.

These are largely the photographs the architects want us to see, photographs which communicate the vision. So we see Le Corbusier's work through the lens of his preferred photographer, Lucien Hervé. Viewed as a group from afar, these high contrast prints are reduced to records of the implementation of the design concept rather than dwelling places for real people.

Read more: Constructing Worlds - Barbican - November 2014

Hysterical (Double Projection Film Still) Douglas Gordon, 1995, Image courtesy Southampton City Art Gallery
Hysterical (Double Projection Film Still) Douglas Gordon, 1995, Image courtesy Southampton City Art Gallery

Twixt Two Worlds showed items from Eastbourne, Brighton and other south coast museum collections in the context of the emerging topic of the History of Photography. The images presented were from when the science of photography had already been around for at least a generation, the technology was sufficiently stable to attempt to present moving pictures.

Read more: Twixt Two Worlds - Towner, Eastbourne, November 2014

My photo postcard from the Rencontres d'Arles 2013

The twin surprise of the Rencontres d’Arles was both how much photography is on show and how each photographer strives for visibility but also how crowded the shop fronts and display spaces are with other events. Competing publicity ranged from bull fights to poetry festivals, and show fights in the town's Roman remains by re-enactment gladiators...

There are the expected formal displays of framed photographs in carefully curated gallery spaces, the visitors walking round respectfully. There’s a book or catalogue with nicely printed reproductions. And of course an app with taster photos from each exhibition but which - on my Android at least - failed to do the most useful thing of using the GPS and map to guide me from the app to the real gallery through the labyrinth of the delightful medieval street plan of the city of Arles.

Read more: Rencontres d'Arles 2013