Sunday, 30 December 2012

Looking Back

Hello all

Looking Back©David Rothwell All Rights Reserved. Please do not use any of my images/digital data without my written permission. 2012

I have been working on the idea of multiplicty and also landscapes for my current photography assignment; I wanted to combine the two but also have a unique style.
I have looked at the work of others, and they're all very inspirational this idea was to have more figures in the shot, however it looked distracting and so decided on just the two with the backdrop of the lighthouse.

The textures came from two sources one from of the Netherlands, an exceptional artist, and the other from Pye of the slr lounge tutorial.

Both are very inspirational artists, you should seek out their work respectively. The shot itself involves three photographs and two textures, in all seven layers to make this wonderful composition work. My feet did get wet and yes it was very windy, I believe the wind speed yesterday was gusting to ninety five miles an hour!

Although the water was actually warm.

Have a great new year in 2013 everyone, thanks for following my work and blog!


David Rothwell

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Happy Christmas

Hey all well 'tis the season to be jolly as they say, or should that be lolly? Well have had a fab day today thanks to family and friends at the moment am just chilling out, and thought I would share with you a series of images I shot from a surreal perspective; hope you like them I found them fun to do. So am going to do a few more seeing as I have time to do so, please enjoy your holidays!

Falling Down Serious as this may look, the story behind this shot is actually funny. Whilst posing a young boy and his sisters and dad were watching me do the shots, the little boy asked me "Wotcha doing?" I replied with glee ..."Err that's a good question, young man!"

I got to my feet and introduced myself to this man and his family shook hands wished them a Merry Christmas and produced a business card! Ha,ha what an opportunity it was to market yourself than shooting 'live', that said they have not seen the finished result as yet. No doubt they will.

Eat Dirt I enjoyed doing this one I was on such a high after being caught in the act shooting self portraits, I thought to myself how surreal it must have seemed to that man and his children, happening upon myself throwing certain shapes whilst operating a trigger switch.

The idea came to me a while ago to do something like this, I had been high up in a quarry, and shots some funny shots, however I wanted something a bit more interesting.

Interesting it will become, as always when the inception comes to my mind am always listening to music, and have shared a play list on my twitter account aka @stonemonki 

Anyways here is the next shot a bit of me or perhaps more of me Get Out Of My Way Have a Happy Christmas all of you!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

House On The Hill

Hey all here is my latest work, yes it has been a while since I posted anything. I have been busy though with my assignment and my book, doing a photography book is not just doing a photobook; particularly if you are trying to seel your work to high bidders!

I recently made some changes to the paper I am now using so I have gone with photorag, yeah a paper that is also 100% cotton, I heard on the grapevine that many professional photographers swear by its nature and how the whites look white and the blacks are black etc but the distinctive tones come through.

So I have gone with that for now, hope everyone is doing well and looking forward to the Christmas break....until the next post have a great time!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Lights, Camera, Action...

Where am I at? Well so the saying goes am busy in the studio, have been for the last two sessions focusing on portraiture and an impromptu model namely Annie, thanks goes to Drew for making the call.
Am so happy it happened and am still buzzing from the shoot and hopefully the possibilities of some future business...which is why I started shooting people more so now, I have to say after viewing images of nudes from various photographers like Bailey, Ritts, Rankin, Beaton, Meisel and more recently Christian Coigny, I can see the appeal of shooting fashion more than some emotional landscape.
Perhaps I should incorporate myself into these genres; after all I enjoy being on both sides of the camera. Anyways back to my model Annie, I got some inspiration from the nudes but wanted to get some colour and low key lighting to work. How I went about this was firstly use three Arri 1000 Watt tungsten lights and I also had an Calumet 200, with modelling umbrella for some close up work.
The Arri's work great but after a while can leave your model feeling somewhat 'burnt out', they do get quite hot after a while and using an oven glove/mitt was just the trick for those barn doors, after a few shots, and changing camera as well as lenses during the shoot; I finally had some shots I was happy with for my assignment.

Stars©David Rothwell All Rights Reserved. Please do not use any of my images/digital data without my written permission. 2012

The first one was using one Arri's light from a right angle perspective; here you can see the style I was emulating in making my shot look like Pre-Raphaelite Woman, posing for a painter. I do agree that in paintings, each of these women's expressions embody enigma and distance; oftentimes, their poses remain static versus active.
I have entitled this one Stars I also used a red sheet and a black sheet for the props; the subtle narrow beam from the light placed just literally from the crown of her head down her back, and thus making it look like the sheet is reflected on the floor, adds a certain drama to the shot.
Annie©David Rothwell All Rights Reserved. Please do not use any of my images/digital data without my written permission. 2012
What I don't like about the shot is; on reflection I could have been a bit more adventurous, perhaps if the model had her left arm down slightly further and the sheet had drooped a little more may make this shot more romantic, provocative perhaps?
Here in another shot the model is more relaxed and has shown a bit more of that interesting body art. Yes, this one doesn't look so much like a painting, but it is a good portrait. It does capture some of the essence of the woman, it shows how care free the person is, and how comfortable she is in her surroundings.
I will be posting more shots up soon, so keep an eye out!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

People are strange...

When you're a stranger Faces look ugly when you're alone Women seem wicked...

You see all types when out shooting the street, I just read, well actually viewed an interesting post on Strobist blogspot 

What I found interesting was the approach the photographer had to shooting people in the street, my photography is not literally a mobile studio and asking people to pose in such a way it takes the 'candid' element out of it and the true nature, of the subject being photographed out of context. 

The work is incredible and I wholly agree it is an exciting challenge, that photographer Philippe Echaroux  has set himself but it is not street photography per se, it is a mobile studio following you around whilst you take photographs of people posing for you.

Whilst out myself I came across some very interesting characters, one gentleman who seems a bit of a contortionist. Now i've witnessed people placing themselves inside boxes small enough to carry a chihuahua! 

I aint never seen a man who can literally invert his hips or bend his knees backwards...I just had to snap him...hence the title of this post. 

Other people I came across were also original in their performance, I can see street photography offering a lot to the street photographer in the future. 

These people give us material to photograph...long may it continue. 

I call this one British Politics quite an apt title I thought as we see the mask of a former Prime Minister shafting George Dubya Bush! 
I love the sense of fun in this shot, it is obviously done tongue in cheek, but it tells a story of a former decade.

The next shot of course is a shot of Lizzie and Charlie, I won't use their titles cos to be fair it isn't really them, but its another fun shot none the less.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Music Is The Answer

Hey y'all

Been a short while since we last met, lately been in the studio so will be posting my work from those sessions, am sure you will be more than impressed. I recently noticed when out togging how some people will multi-task, when doing something so for instance, people who go jogging, they listen to music...people who cycle; they listen to music too, (which I find totally irresponsible), from a road safety perspective.

So do photographers listen to music when they're shooting perhaps in the studio? Or maybe perhaps when they are out shooting street or urban landscapes...or even further afield to get the elusive iconic scene that will always be remembered and saleable for the future.

I know from my own experience I like to listen to certain music, when shooting street to get 'me' in the mood. Not in the mood? Then you need to get yourself in the mood; mood can be a key factor for your creativity. Most of the music I listen to varies, so for many of my landscape shots, I listen to dance music gets me up the 'hill'! For other shots of mine like the street shots am actually listening to classical, I love Beethoven, he is so inspirational or even try it for yourselves The Smiths okay, these maybe a bit dated but people watching is also a pastime, and watching people move chaotically while listening to these two genres, really adds a bit of mood to my creative mindset.

Not all of it is that though, I recently got back into listening to a lot more vocal stuff, bands like Schrimshire, Radiohead, or even these Grizzly Bear.

Looking at these examples we can see that specific lyrics, or even instruments can influence how you feel.

When I shot this latest work entitled Le Téléspectateur I was listening to Sinnerman A free download link is here for you to listen to the four track E.P I just find they're music inspirational and laid back like lounge music, with some great rhythms and nice beats.

So next time your out togging and your looking for inspiration, why not don your head candy, and let the tunes roll...this is entitled "The Reader", if you look closer at the image and look at the golden mean, the people within the frame follow a simple but chronological rule; in the distance, a young mother pushing a baby in a pram, then we have the singular adult then the elder lady reading and having a walker aid.

Simple but very effective, sometimes to do street photography, you have to really look at the subject, was this a decisive moment? Well yes to a certain degree, I waited for the mother to come into shot. You look at the leading line, the lady adds interest to the fore then in my typical linear composition, all people lead to the back of the frame nicely. Could I done much more with this shot, yes certainly I could of done without the storm clouds over what was a bright cold afternoon, although the clouds to add to the vignette for the framing.

The picture then has a sense of drama, though everything in the frame is relatively calm. One point about this shot, is how the people relate to each other, they come to this public place, for a bit of peace and quiet, to interact with society, to seek inspiration or to clear their thoughts or to stimulate ones mind. I've noticed that when am out shooting people in similar scenes, how they are totally absorbed in what it is they are actually doing. This is what really attracts me to street photography, people going about their lives.

It fascinates me. Here is some more music from STAC as recommended by Schrimshire.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Kevin Carter, Frank Fournier, Onwards And Upwards

How y'all been, I been a busy bee, well you may remember from a previous post regarding the actions of another photojournalist.

Well I hope you enjoyed my last two posts granted they were short and admittedly, they were two landscape shots. Hope you liked them both?

So one photojournalist I want to talk about is Kevin Carter, arguably the most controversial photographer the past century has known.

Kevin Carter was born in apartheid South Africa and grew up in a middle-class, whites-only neighborhood. As a child, he occasionally saw police raids to arrest blacks who were illegally living in the area. He said later that he questioned how his parents, a Catholic, "liberal" family, could be what he described as 'lackadaisical' about fighting against apartheid.

In 1994, South African photojournalist Kevin Carter won the Pulitzer Prize for his disturbing photograph of a Sudanese child being stalked by a vulture. That same year, Kevin Carter committed suicide.

Without the facts surrounding his death, this behaviour may seem surprising. But Carter received heaps of criticism for his actions. While in Sudan, near the village of Ayod, Carter found a small, emaciated toddler struggling to make her way to the food station. When she stopped to rest, a vulture landed nearby with his eyes on the little girl. Carter took twenty minutes to take the photo, wanting the best shot possible, before chasing the bird away.

The photo was published in The New York Times in March of 1993, and sparked a wide reaction. People wanted to know what happened to the child, and if Carter had assisted her. The Times issued a statement stating that the girl was able to make it to the food station, but beyond that no one knows what happened to her. Because of this, Carter was bombarded with questions about why he did not help the girl, and only used her to take a photograph.
The St. Petersburg Times in Florida said this of Carter: "The man adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of her suffering, might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene." Filmmaker Dan Krauss said, "In his famous picture of the vulture stalking the Sudanese girl, I began to see the embodiment of his troubled psyche. I believe Kevin did, too. In the starving child, he saw Africa's suffering; in the preying vulture, he saw his own face." Carter's daughter Megan responded to such comparisons with, "I see my dad as the suffering child. And the rest of the world is the vulture." Is this what led him to his death?

However, Carter was working in a time when photojournalists were told not to touch famine victims for fear of spreading disease. Carter estimated that there were twenty people per hour dying at the food centre. The child was not unique. Regardless, Carter often expressed regret that he had not done anything to help the girl, even though there was not much that he could have done, in all actuality.

Carter is the tragic example of the toll photographing such suffering can take on a person. Along with his famous photograph, Carter has captured such things as a public necklacing execution in 1980s South Africa, along with the violence of the time, including shootouts and other executions. Carter spoke of his thoughts when he took these photographs: "I had to think visually. I am zooming in on a tight shot of the dead guy and a splash of red. Going into his khaki uniform, in a pool of blood in the sand. The dead man's face is slightly grey. You are making a visual here. But inside something is screaming, 'My God.' But it is time to work. Deal with the rest later. If you can't do it, get out of the game."

Carter's suicide is not a direct result of the Sudanese child, nor the accusations that he staged the scene, or criticisms that he did not assist her. Carter had spiralled into a depression, to which many things were a factor, his vocation as a photojournalist in 1980s Africa definitely a large part of it. Carter and his friends Ken Oosterbroek, Greg Marinovich, and Joao Silva longed to expose the brutality of Apartheid to the world. They captured the violence of South Africa so vividly that a Johannesburg magazine Living dubbed them "The Bang-Bang Club." The title stuck.

On April 18, 1994, only 6 days after Carter won the Pulitzer, the Bang-Bang Club made their way to Tokowa to photograph an outbreak of violence there. At around noon, Carter returned to the city, and heard later on the radio that Oosterbroek had been killed in the conflict, and that Marinovich had been seriously wounded. It was obvious to his friends that Carter blamed himself for Oosterbroek's death, and he even confided in his friends that he felt as though he "should have taken the bullet."

Oosterbroek's death hit Carter hard, and little things in his life began to fall apart. He was constantly haunted by the atrocities that he had witnessed through the years, and finally, on July 27, 1994, Carter backed his red Nissan truck against a blue gum tree, attached a garden hose to the exhaust pipe, and rolled up the window to his car. He turned on his Walkman™ and rested his head against his backpack until he died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carter has become a symbol in the arts. In music, Manic Street Preachers recorded a song about him, with his name as its title. In literature, Mark Z. Danielewski based his character Will Navidson off of Carter, and even described a photograph identical to Carter's Sudanese child in his novel. In theatre, the Junction Avenue Theatre Company uses the character of Saul to portray the difficulties of being a photographer in Apartheid South Africa in their play Tooth and Nail.

Excerpts from Carter's suicide note read: "I'm really, really sorry. The pain of life overrides the joy to the point that joy does not exist...depressed ... without phone ... money for rent ... money for child support ... money for debts ... money! ... I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings & corpses & anger & pain ... of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners... I have gone to join Ken if I am that lucky."
Now if you think to yourself, how a photojournalist works and how can they do that, STOP and ask yourself this if it wasn't for photojournalism we would not have the facts of a society we live in!
I have not touched upon him, but Frank Fournier was another photojournalist who had pretty much the same treatment for his work in documenting the death of a girl named Omayra Sánchez.
Omayra Sánchez was a 13-year-old victim of the 1985 eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, which erupted on November 13, 1985, in Armero, Colombia causing massive lahars which killed nearly 25,000.
Trapped for three days in water, concrete, and other debris before she died, Omayra captured the attention of the media as volunteer workers told of a girl they were unable to save. Videos of her communicating with workers, smiling and making gestures to video cameras circulated around the media. Her "courage and dignity" touched Frank Fournier and many other relief workers who gathered around her to pray and be with her.
After 60 hours of struggling, she died. Her death highlighted the failure of officials to respond promptly to the threat of the volcano and also the struggle for volunteer rescue workers to save trapped victims who would otherwise be quickly saved and treated.
Sánchez became famous for a photograph of her taken shortly before she died by photojournalist Frank Fournier. When published worldwide after the young girl's death, the image caused controversy because of the photographer's decision to take it and the Colombian government's inaction in not working to prevent the Armero tragedy despite the forewarning that had been available.

I look at these shots by both photographers and I have to say how incredible and privileged we really are to view this work.

Anyways I digress from these two most notable photographers, and share something with you of my own work. My book is halfway through, yes, yes partly the reason for being away for so long. Anyways I think my book will be inspirational for other photographers; I hope you will like the work, when completed so onwards and upwards as the saying goes.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Ray of Light

Taken in the picturesque village of Capel Curig, the view was nothing short of amazing. This Welsh idyll always brings me back.

It is a recogniseable spot for those who go walking in the area. I loved the the burst of sunlight breaking through that dramatic sky.

If you would like to purchase any of my prints please get in touch.


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Point of Ayr

Point of Ayr (Welsh: Y Parlwr Du) is the northernmost point of mainland Wales. It is situated immediately to the north of Talacre in Flintshire, at the mouth of the Dee estuary. It is to the southwest of the Liverpool Bay area of the Irish Sea. It is the site of a RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) nature reserve RSPB Dee Estuary Point of Ayr,[1] and is part of Gronant and Talacre Dunes Site of Special Scientific Interest.

It has been a long time since I shot a landscape, I enjoy the freedom it brings. Point of Ayr is a great place to walk along the coast; and take in the sea air. You also have great opportunities to photograph this landscape and its lighthouse from varying angles.

Not too deep a tide unless in Winter or a storm comes in or the remnants of a hurricane diminish off the coast of Ireland.

The shot I have posted up is to give you the reader or viewer an idea of how diverse photography can be, as you progress you can become quite vacuous taking shots of landscapes; your thoughts become clearer and your mind empties of the mass jumbling effect of living in a bustling city.

It is here that I come to write my thoughts down, my ideas always spring up when am walking around like an intermittent factory of inception; my mind jostles these ideas; and wrestles them until one will come to the fore.

This is when I decide to make my next move and going forward, I know that when my mind clears my decision is waiting.

I watched a Robin Williams film entitled "What Dreams May Come", in this fantasy film of the afterlife the actorRobin Williams plays a Doctor named Chris Nielsen.

Soul mates Chris and Annie couldn't be happier, having married each other and had two wonderful children. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes when they lose them both in a car accident, and then again for Annie many years later when Chris is killed in another accident.

What Chris finds is a Paradise unlike anything he ever imagined, where he is guided by Albert, the first doctor he interned under and is helped to see his children once again. Unfortunately, when Annie takes her life in despair, she does not venture to the same plane of existence.

Taking it upon himself to rescue her, Chris ventures into the pit of Hell with Albert and a Tracker to save his wife from the damnation she doesn't even know she is forcing on herself. Written by Curly Q. Link 

The thing with this is I always imagined that when the tide recedes it would reveal the heads of those who have gone before us, I know quite surreal but none the less, the thought always crosses my mind when ever I visit Point of Ayr.

I do find it inspirational, here is a shot I took a couple of months ago; entitled The Birds 

Well until my next post, farewell and enjoy your photography.


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Faith Through A Lense

Donald McCullin


Born 9 October 1935, Finsbury Park, London, England. Donald or Don as he is also known is a world recognised British photojournalist, his work covered war documentary and urban strife, often showing the dark underbelly of society.

He took images of people who were unemployed, downtrodden and impoverished (a style am currently using). The images showed how we as people can be portrayed with a lot of emotional content, be it the eyes of a child who is hungry or the eyes of a shell shocked soldier in Vietnam, to the troubles in Northern Ireland.

McCullin’s style came to the fore during his time in Vietnam, his coverage from the frontline troops showed how diverse a photographer could be in reportage style. Himself coming under direct fire in which his Nikon F3 visibly saved his life, he recalls “I was taller than the others…” McCullin had been in the forces himself; he carried out his National Service in the RAF, which brought him to the Canal Zone; during the Suez Crisis in 1956.

He worked as a photographer’s assistant, he failed to pass a photography written theory paper, which was necessary to become a photographer in the RAF, and so it was he spent his service in the darkroom.

Besides having his work published for The Observer in 1959, a photograph of a local London gang. Between 1966 and 1984 he worked overseas as a correspondent for the Sunday Times Magazine, documenting ecological and man-made catastrophes such as war zones like Biafra, in 1968 and coverage of the victims in the African AIDS epidemic.


His work has seen him rewarded for his efforts too; in 1964 he received the World Press Photo Award for his work during the war in Cyprus. In that same year too; he received the Warsaw Gold Medal. In 1977, McCullin was made a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, placing the letters FRPS after his name, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from University of Bradford in 1993 and an honorary degree by the Open University in 1994.
On 4 December 2008, McCullin was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Gloucestershire in recognition of his lifetime's achievement in photojournalism.
McCullin mainly shoots landscape shots nowadays, as if to escape the torment of his earlier creative and sometimes controversial work, this seems to be synonymous with many early photojournalists, they strive for peace in later years. He is currently one of the judges on a photographic competition, in fact the leading judge on the panel.
 If that is certainly so then my next photojournalist may have you awestruck as to the actions of the photographer and indeed to the reaction of the readers of the known publication LIFE magazine.

The Coffee Drinkers Senate

A series of shots depicting life on the streets of Manchester, Liverpool and Chester.

The shots are for a thematic covering people at Work, Rest and Play. The images are for sale, so if you wish to purchase my work you can do so via my email.
I gave this the title of the coffee drinkers senate, the cups in the shot shouted at me. Not just that though it is the mans circumstances that speaks volumes, it tells a story and will spark an emotional response.

My work has shifted somewhat from Landscapes to Portraiture but mainly people portraits depicting people going about their things and daily lives.

I find the subject matter very appealing. Some will find it disturbing, but that is life.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Work, Rest and Play

An artist
This is the working title for my assignment; I have been photographing people in the cities of Chester, Liverpool and Manchester. Whether these people were homeless or working or at play; some of the people I have shot have welcomed me as in the case of the street artist who had asked me to pose for him, I gladly and willingly did. Achiem Olajudal (I think that is his name) was an artist using charcoals as his tools; his subject was too like mine, people.

People are the focus of many a photographers assignments; I wanted to portray how we are today, how far have come since those days of the first images being taken by Talbot Fox. The answer of course in photography terms is very far, the principles are still the same however the subjects have changed very little. We still have people wandering the streets begging for money, we still have people performing as in at play, whether they’re mimes or musicians or even the latest sand sculptors and their sculptures.

We still have people working too, today when you’re walking down the street, you will still see flower sellers, groceries stalls, or the odd balloon seller.

I have tried to document these people as best I can from a compositional point of view, I hope you will see my interpretation of what my photographs are saying, whether it be metaphor or a shot that shows drama or invites the viewer to relate to the image because it has that spark of emotion.
My inspiration comes from the master photographers of the past century, Henri Cartier-Bresson; Tony Ray-Jones and Aleksander Rodchenko. Okay yes they’re lot more besides and I have to admit too, that one such photographer who is Lee Miller has captured my imagination from a journalistic perspective, how heroic she really was, such an inspirational woman! I will come back to Lee Miller in another post, she is worthy of much more than a few paragraphs.
Although I have tried to take some of the shots in reportage style, I have been mainly concerned with the photographs result ensuring that they are saleable to a market.
This particular shot was a young man who was so in his element a musician using ‘alternative’ objects to bang on this makeshift drum kit. He played out a good rhythm, and a few people watched, but mostly walked by not even considering this man’s exceptional talent. (Are we really, so unsociable?)
This one image, of course depicting a man at ‘play’ he is so instrumental (pardon the pun) in my thematic. I have captured a series of photographs that I will post onto my on-line portfolio. So keep watching.
What I love about this shot is how candid it looks, however the 'drummer' was certainly aware of my presence.
Next week I have a got another photo assignment this one, is purely for the sporting fraternity in particular the 'running aficionados', I will be covering the Snowdon Marathon probably one of the most demanding marathons in the UK, with an elevation gain of just over 1200 feet (365m) it is sure to prove a hard one to the relative 'newcomer'.
Am sure though I will get some exciting shots off. So until then enjoy half term, its great to have a break from Uni.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

A Piece Of History

Yes, yes I have been busy again, I now know too from feed back that people enjoy reading and viewing the images, that I or the photographers I have researched have taken be it on the streets of New York City or the South Coast of Britain. 

I will be posting a colour shot too, that doesn't mean to say I have stopped shooting Blanco Y Negro though, no, no certainly not!

Bill Brandt

Bill Brandt (born Hermann Wilhelm Brandt, 2 May 1904 – 20 December 1983), was a German-British photographer and photojournalist. Although born in Germany, Brandt moved to England, where he became known for his high-contrast images of British society, his distorted nudes and landscapes, and is widely considered to be one of the most important British photographers of the 20th century.
He is widely known as the Photographers photographer, born in Hamburg, Germany, son of a British father and German mother, Brandt grew up during World War I, during which his father, who had lived in Germany since the age of five, was interned for six months by the Germans as a British citizen.  Brandt later disowned his German heritage and would claim he was born in South London.  Shortly after the war, he contracted tuberculosis and spent much of his youth in a sanatorium in Davos, Switzerland. He travelled to Vienna to undertake a course of treatment for tuberculosis by psychoanalysis. He was in any case pronounced cured and was taken under the wing of socialite Eugenie Schwarzwald. When Ezra Pound visited the Schwarzwald residence, Brandt made his portrait. In appreciation, Pound allegedly offered Brandt an introduction to Man Ray, in whose Paris studio Brandt would assist in 1930.
In 1933 Brandt moved to London and began documenting all levels of British society. This kind of documentary was uncommon at that time. Brandt published two books showcasing this work, The English at Home (1936) (a collectors item)  and A Night in London (1938). He was a regular contributor to magazines such as Lilliput, Picture Post, and Harper's Bazaar. He documented the Underground bomb shelters of London during The Blitz in 1940, commissioned by the Ministry of Information.
Brandt would later in life photograph a lot of the English coast, he loved Britain, and he is also loved to feature various parts of human anatomy against the south coast back drop to highlight the contrast in textures and form. This is what he is best known for in his work. One image I found very striking was the nude pictured along the coast at the bottom of the cliff face in an unusual perspective, he used the same model for most of his work.
This use of the female form was so very striking at the time, it is very enticing and yet it is also like a lot of us, the rough texture of the shingle beach and the female nude form soft and angelic against this stark contrast texture.
Brandt was also famously quoted as saying; “Photography is not a sport. It has no rules. Everything must be dared and tried.”

Tony Ray – Jones

Mention photography and the 1960s and you immediately think of fashion photographers, ultra slim models - a world in black and white. That is not the full story. Today his name is virtually unknown outside photographic circles, but Tony Ray-Jones was arguably the person who shaped a generation of British photographers.

Between 1966 and 1969 he worked tirelessly to capture his vision of the English, their rituals and customs and to promote photography as an art form. 

The photo on the left was taken in New York in 1965 by Bill Jay, then Editor of Creative Camera, who built up a splendid collection of photos of photographers of that period. I think Tony must have been asked to strike a distinct pose - it maybe shows something of his character, which was certainly not conformist.
Many of the images are based around seaside resorts as in the later work of Martin Parr, but his work focused on the rituals of the British public, such as this image of a couple picnicking in the British countryside. This image has captured the imagination of thousands of people; they’re many a photographer who admires the work of Tony Ray-Jones. 

Born in 1941, the youngest son of British painter Raymond Ray-Jones, he studied graphics and photography in London before moving to the US on a scholarship to study at Yale in 1961.

It was here whilst working alongside legendary art directory Alexey Brodovitch and street photographer Joel Meyerowitz that Ray-Jones began to develop his own way of seeing the world through the lens of his camera. Despite being only in his twenties he was totally focused on his work. His notebooks show that his plans to document the English way of life were well under way when he made the journey back to the UK from America in 1965.

A few years into the project in 1968 he wrote, "For me there is something very special and rather humorous about the English way of life and I wish to record it from my particular point of view before it becomes more Americanised."
Certainly today when I’m out photographing, the streets of Manchester, Liverpool or London, you need only to look up and see how the architecture has dramatically changed, then you look closer at the surface and see too, we have become as Tony Ray-Jones puts it “Americanised”. Although this is not necessarily a negative, far from it. I think from my perspective it is going to give my photography more depth. 
You look at the styles of fashion in men and women, men in particular have opted for that clean cut college look, well groomed and presentable and why not. I don't want to photograph anything remotely resembling the 70s; 80s or even the 90s for that matter. However the style has similarities to the 1950s. 

Anyway I digress let's get back on track. 

Though not alone in documenting everyday life in Britain; his approach was heavily influenced by his stay in the USA and the work of photographers such as Robert Frank and Garry Winogrand.
Ray-Jones’ candid approach allowed his subjects and the real world to some extent do the work for him. He was a "film director" snatching selected moments from reality, capturing stills or moments in life as he saw it through the lens of a camera.

Perhaps Ray-Jones' own words capture this best:
"Photography can be a mirror and reflect life as it is, but I also think that perhaps it is possible to walk like Alice, through a looking-glass, and find another kind of world with the camera."

Tony Ray-Jones broke new ground helping to establish photography as an accepted art from. In 1969, alongside Enzo Ragazzini, Dorothy Bohm and Don McCullin; his pictures were shown at the ICA, it was the first time the institute had exhibited photography.

The following decade saw an increase in photographic support in the UK with the opening of the Photographers' Gallery in London and Arts Council grants helping to fund new work.
Working with Bill Jay, editor of the highly influential Creative Camera magazine, Ray-Jones travelled to the US in an attempt to secure a publisher for his book on the English. It was not to be.
In 1970 Ray-Jones returned to the US, teaching at the San Francisco Institute of Art alongside his commissioned work for both the American and British press.

Tragically in January 1972 he was diagnosed as suffering from leukaemia and returned to England where he died a few days later. His legacy can be seen in the work of photographers such as Martin Parr and Chris Steele-Perkins amongst others.

Paul Strand

Paul Strand (October 16, 1890 – March 31, 1976) was an American photographer and filmmaker who, along with fellow modernist photographers like Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Weston, helped establish photography as an art form in the 20th century. His diverse body of work, spanning six decades, covers numerous genres and subjects throughout the Americas, Europe and Africa.
Paul Strand was born in New York City to Bohemian parents. In his late teens Strand was a student of renowned documentary photographer Lewis Hine at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School

It was while on a fieldtrip in this class that Strand first visited the 291 art gallery – operated by Stieglitz and Edward Steichen – where exhibitions of work by forward-thinking modernist photographers and painters would move Strand to take his photographic hobby more seriously. Stieglitz would later promote Strand's work in the 291 gallery itself, in his photography publication Camera Work, and in his artwork in the Hieninglatzing studio.
Some of this early work, like the well-known "Wall Street," experimented with formal abstractions (influencing, among others, Edward Hopper and his idiosyncratic urban vision). Other of Strand's works reflect his interest in using the camera as a tool for social reform. He was one of the founders of the Photo League, an association of photographers who advocated using their art to promote social and political causes.

In early 1915, his mentor Stieglitz criticised the graphic softness of Strand's photographs and over the next two years he dramatically changed his technique and made extraordinary photographs on three principal themes: movement in the city, abstractions, and street portraits. During the 1910s, New York thronged with pedestrians, carriages, and automobiles; and the streets became the unavoidable symbol of flux, change, and modernity. 

Photographers such as Alvin Langdon Coburn; and Karl Struss; and many painters, including John Marin, pursued the "great hastening metropolis" as a vital subject. Being a very deliberate artist, however, Strand was not initially taken with the "rush and go" but instead structured his images on relatively slow movements, usually of a single person, as is seen in From the El.
Soon he increased the complexity and upped the tempo of his compositions with the multiple rhythms of midtown and downtown crowds.

Many of the people Strand photographed were classic New York types of the period: unshaven toughs, red-nosed Irish washerwomen, Jewish patriarchs, ageing Europeans, blind peddlers, and sandwich men. Like Lewis Hine, Strand was collecting the poignant evidence of poverty among the cultures that crowded the metropolis. Treating the human condition in the modern urban context, Strand's photographs are a subversive alternative to the studio portrait of glamour and power. A new kind of portrait akin to a social terrain, they are, as Sanford Schwartz put it, "cityscape's that have faces for subjects."