Saturday, February 15, 2014

Double standards from the Gaurdian.

I was browsing old Neg Scans from Canada last year and when I came across this photo of readers on the Toronto Subway. , it reminded me of an article by the Guardian.  Which ironically has an advertisement for their street photography workshop on the same page.  Double standards where you can have a publication that casualy dismisses a photographic genre and promotes and makes money from it at the same time.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Found Photos from Skopje

While traveling through the Balkans or the collection of countries which were once known as Yugoslavia, My self and Billy Reeves ended up in Skopje in the former Yugoslav republic of Macadonia. Why were we in Skopje, well it was a little detour, as we could not cross directly into the unofficial independent state known as Kosovo which was once part of Serbia which was once formerly part of Yugoslavia. 

On the first morning walking into the city centre, Billy noticed a vacant house with all the doors and windows taken off or smashed.  There was an encampment of Gypsies beside it.  There was a trail of photographs on the ground leading inside where all the furniture was cleared, and all that remained was hundreds of photos strewn everywhere. 
I can only speculate on the strangeness of the vacant house, the most plausable theory I can think of is the original owner died without leaving it to anybody.  Other people then move through taking all the furniture or anything of percieved value, then they dump all the photos on the ground as worthless.

So many memories frozen in time,and hidden away, although the worth of these memories is subjective to the individual.  Such as a photo album of family pictures or a wedding, that the owner would risk their own safety to rescue from a flood or fire, while other so called valuables like a TV or computer would be left behind. Yet when the owner of those photos passes on, what is their worth? 
The strangest oddity thrown amongst the ransacked debri was an xray of a skull. 
This room had a calander from 2010 so this gives a clue to when the house was abandoned. 
I love this photo of the men training, it reminds me of a photo by Jason Eskenazi from his wonderland series.  Although it's not even one tenth as well taken but for a photo by an anonymous amateur its still arresting. 
On the back of this photo was written a message in Macedonian, back in the hostel we were staying I showed this photo to the hostel owner.  He translated the writing it read "to my good friend I'm enjoying the training Sofia Bulgaria 1942.  I wonder what the connection is to the owners of the vacant house in Skopje, why so many photos of soldiers from Bulgaria but with messages written in Macedonian. 
These sets of soldier photos were some of the most interesting.   They all look so playful.  My favourite is the three troops with their legs in the air with no hint of military might or harsh training. 

Perhaps this guy is connected to all the soldiers photos.  I don't know what the message on the back of the photo reads. 

These photos of funerals once so important to be photographed and kept with care, with good quality well fixed black and white paper hard to come by I imagine in Tito's communist Yugoslavia.  Did the owners keep them for posterity or were they kept as a way to deal with grief. 

There was a second portrait of this corpse wisen so much with age it's almost hard to determine the gender if it was not for the hat and necktie.  Billy had found a photo of the same body but taken further away with a crowd of people gathered around it posing.   I don't know which picture is more disturbing.  Documenting funerals and bodies were once common but now culturally taboo, but with the current trend of selfies at funerals it seems it could return. 

There were dozens of portraits of this woman taken throughout several decades of time, some professionally made in a studio many more snapshots, I assume she or someone who loved her were the owner of the photos. 

Again for a photo taken by a anonymous author it's a compelling street photo. There is no one to give this photo any context, which gives it an air of mystery. Once these were so precious to an individual, now worthless. Left to gather mold and rot in a house for demolision. It would be crime to let these go to waste. If it was not for Billys curiousity this would have been the case otherwise.
Searching through abondoned buildings is much like searching the internet itself, you must sift through so much virtual debri till you find something worthy of memory.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

New York City.

Well about a year ago I had the pleasure of spending two days in New York city.  The Mecca of people watching.  Despite the fact I fogged a roll of film very stupidly some frames of which I could rescue, I came out with very little content due to my limited time there.  You could spend years exploring NYC and not even scratch the surface of life there.  Oh and I randomly bumped into Bernhard at Ground Zero of all places.   

That's some serious amount of tagging. 
Zebras everywhere.  

Friday, July 06, 2012

10 Months Behind.

It's been ten months since I've developed any rolls of film.  So long in fact that I can't even remember whats on half of them.  A few nights ago I started to make a dent in the 25 plus rolls of 35mm, and more than once looking at those results a strange feeling of nostalgia came over me, the closest emotion to describe it, is that elusive Christmas morning sensation from childhood, comes rushing back.  The waiting the anticipation, the reward for patience.  In less secular times you had to give up chocolate for 40 days before you could feast on easter eggs.  Now in our digital age you don't give up anything and feast on chocolate eggs anyway.  It's because of that feeling, that my personal work is analog over digital, it's an emotional choice not a logical one.

Although I can think of many technical reasons to shoot analog, the heart should always rule over the head.

 Strange spot to have a cigarette break. 

 Bathers in county Clare.