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Feather in your cap

feather in your cap

Make a move with what you can
Dead waters rise higher than your mind
Disappointment is a feather in your cap
You want the truth so you can crush it in your hand

There’s no map that can tell you where you are
You’re in between things that only go half way
Your tangled brain, your tired old refrain
You’ll be singing it in your tired old asylum

You want the best, you want contests
My eyes are filled with prizes you’ve been showing
Your disappointment is a card up your sleeve
Place your bets at the door before you leave

– Beck

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Electric Crazyland

Tiff McGinnis Grand Dame Electric Crazyland

Tiff McGinnis opens her Grande Dame show, Electric Crazyland at the St Leonards’s bar tonight. Check the links for her artwork, I’m not going to describe it, go see for yourself, it’s really great.

She speaks in a low Georgia drawl, with a purr like an idling V8, and tells me an abbreviated version of how she arrived in the UK, via New York, San Francisco and doing a gig with Jane Birkin in Europe.

Never, ever leave the house without your camera. How many times have I told myself this? Anyway, got this, shot on iPhone.

I love these iMessage stickers from the show:


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Magnum Photography Awards 2107


A bit last minute, but I entered the Magnum Photography Awards 2017. I’ve literally just pulled some images out of the blog and entered them. There’s two categories, one being a series of up to ten images linked thematically or aesthetically, and the other is for single images. Although I have ongoing motifs, I’m more focussed on individual photographs telling a story at the moment. Single image narrative.

I entered these in the Street category, which is going to be super tough. As usual, some of my images spill over the boundaries of the competition categories. One is shot in the sea and not actually even in a street. I live at the seaside, what the hell it’s pretty streety out there as you bump into people you know 100 metres from the shore.

What’s good about the Lensculture submissions is that, if you submit more than five images, you get a submission review. I entered a portrait competition recently and got a pretty good portfolio review. I was also recommended some photography books, although I’ve already read them 🙂

Magnum Photography Awards entry is here:

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Stop Amber

Stop Amber

Subtle political play at the Hastings seafront on the traffic lights. Amber Rudd is the local MP, current Home Secretary, and former Energy Secretary.

Strange times in British politics, with the local elections yesterday and a snap General Election just a few weeks away, and only two years after the last one–with a country dividing and demoralising referendum in between.

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Feed your head

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall

Go ask Alice
I think she’ll know

Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head

Feed your head

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah-smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Alice
When she was just small

Go ask Alice
I think she’ll know

Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head

Feed your head

– Jefferson Airplane

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The Ballad of Peckham Rye

Phil guitar, Peckham Rye

It’s a cold rainy night in Peckham Rye Lane. The Bussey Building bouncers are wearily attempting reasoned communication with munted people stood in the road. One boy is trying to put his phone in his eye.

Two massive queues of ticket holders one side and walk ups the other. The walk ups queue is not moving. They stand shivering behind the crowd barrier, hands digging deep into their jeans for warmth.

Amidst the chaos, a bluesy strain threads through the faint bass rumble from the club, the rattle of car engines and the clatter of voices. It gets louder and more bluesy still. A fully formed tune meets the ear and I turn to see an electric blue Epiphone attached to man entertaining the walk ups mob. Also attached to the man are a pair of gloves that appear to be on a string through his sleeves.

This is Phil. He plays the blues in the rain on Rye Lane, at 3am. His guitar lead is a bit of 2 core electrical flex, the kind more suited to a desk lamp than a musical instrument. The red light on his amp, clipped to his coat pocket is fading on and off. Possibly rain related.

Phil gets 3 nights out of a 9v battery. Those pound shop ones only last 20 minutes, he says.




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I gave my last chance to you

Last Chance by Nathan Jones Photography

The king of the night lays upon his king-size bed,
Upon which, by day, the busker plays his predictable tune,
A dreary ditty from the 70s,
To which only the young sing enthusiastic.

The man sleeps, as the night creeps
The clatter of heels, tripping,
laughter and falling, and in the morning,
“Where the fuck am I?”, he says

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Canary in Camberwell

Elizabeth Walker and Alan Camberwell Arms London Summer 2016

Elizabeth and Alan.

I love this shot! One of the most satisfying things in photography is when somethings just sings to you. This is one of those moments.

London hit 33C today (it’s only 31C in the Amazon right now!). Everything is in slow motion. Everything is a bit crazy. I got some good shots today and was not even thinking about taking any more.

That changed as I cycled down a drab section of Camberwell Church Street. This beacon, this canary amongst the monochrome and muted shades. I slammed my brakes on and wheeled back.

I am thankful they were so obliging as I interrupted their chat. This is shot from the bus lane, one eye on the viewfinder and the other towards the sometimes maniac 436 drivers coming through*.

Elizabeth got a bit bashful after being name dropped for her work and went inside, but Alan and I had a lovely little conversation about giving children in India cameras so they can document and snapshot their own lives. I’m really into this. Give kids cameras at a wedding and they’ll take better pictures than the grown ups.

Thanks for the photo, you two.

* I’ve nearly been made strawberry jam by bus drivers on more than one occasion right here. I feel perfectly justified in my description of (some) of them! Some are definitely ace and very bike aware – I applaud you.

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Bar staff @ Frank’s Café

Staff at Frank's rooftop bar, Peckham

Frank’s Café and Bar in Peckham. Escaping the heat of the street and up on the roof of a multi-storey car park. Bold Tendencies put on installation art in the dystopian car park spaces. This is ‘proper’ London.

London Skyline from Frank's Café at sunset

Lovely staff. Great food. Amazing views.

Frank’s Café website

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Grafton Place

High rise – done right.

Something to be said for Glasgow and that is that there is generally a sensitivity and respect for the Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian grandiose civic buildings and churches that dominate the city. Much of the more modern architecture is extremely complimentary to the older buildings and have a respect for space and context. In stark contrast to London’s current identity crisis.