Nov 282010

You may have noticed a quirk of life—initial disappointments invariably turn out to be suppliers of the best possible outcomes…

As part of my research into alternative printing processes using Digital Negatives, it has been on my list for a while to visit Bradford’s National Media Museum and, in particular, to see the work of Frederick H. Evans.

Frederick H. Evans

The press coverage has been widespread but alarm bells rang when the exhibition was nowhere to be seen on the NMM’s website.

A quick phone call confirmed that the tour wouldn’t reach the gallery after all. On the face of it, one of life’s disappointments.

Instead, however, the very helpful Ruth Kitchin at Insight, the Research Centre within the NMM, suggested an appointment to spend a couple of hours viewing the prints in the flesh.

What a treat this turned out to be, a very special afternoon…

Frederick H. Evans, 'Lincoln Cathedral: Stairway in the South West Turret'

Frederick H. Evans, 'Lincoln Cathedral: Stairway in the South West Turret'

Frederick H. Evans, 'Sea of Steps'

Perhaps the most famous image by Frederick H. Evans, 'Sea of Steps'

The beauty of Evans’ Platinum/Palladium and Photogravure prints verges on the indescribable. They command extraordinary depth, space and timelessness.

And then? A trolley brought forward carrying prints by Peter Henry Emerson, famous for his beautiful imagery depiciting working life in and around The Fens.

Peter Henry Emerson, "Setting the Bow Net"

Peter Henry Emerson, 'Setting the Bow Net'

To anyone working within the photographic industry, particularly in the digital era of instant gratification, this is surely an invaluable experience—to be reminded of the roots of our trade. Not only the recognition of a beautiful photographic print but also the understanding and realisation of true craftsmanship.

In appreciating this art-form, very little compares to seeing the fountain pen signature of a famous photographer accompanied by a date in the 1800’s…

Anybody can visit Insight by appointment and view works form their huge collection. Of course, most museums around the country have this facility too and, if you haven’t already, it’s one that you must try some time…

Richard Freestone with a print by Frederick H. Evans

Richard Freestone with a print by Frederick H. Evans

Nov 032010

“Expect the unexpected” is often the best approach when wondering into a new environment.

Travelling to Photokina with Paul Kenny in 2008, on the invitation of HP and Innova, we certainly weren’t ready for the experience awaiting us.

A truly bizarre event on a scale so very hard to describe.  So much hustle and bustle, much of which was composed of men wearing camera-shaped jewellery…

From the maelstrom emerged the calm of a new acquaintance, Jim McHugh.

We had a great couple of days with Jim — stumbling across this video of him on the Polaroid website brings back some happy memories:

Jim McHugh and Jack Lowe, Cologne, 2008

Jim McHugh and Jack Lowe, Cologne, 2008 (Photograph ©Paul Kenny)

Mountain, Jim McHugh 2010

©Jim McHugh 2010

Aug 192010

Everyone else seemed to know about it already but July was the month I discovered ‘Hipstamatic’, the wonder-app for iPhone which emulates the behaviour of the Eighties camera of the same name.

Here is my original post on the subject, covering a bit more detail and some links that may be of interest.  Ever since, I have become a little addicted (shooting over four hundred during July alone).

By clicking here you can view a gallery showing some of my favourites from last month.  If you have a moment, leave a comment and tell me which ones you like or leave a link to your own for us all to enjoy…

By the way, image No. 30 in the gallery is a classic game—Tomy Super Cup Football.  A favourite with clients of Jack Lowe Studio…!

Aug 122010

A visit to Paul Kenny’s studio is a treat, yet never the same treat twice.  The tools, materials and new works on his desks and shelves are always on the move, always changing.  A time-lapse project in this environment alone would be fascinating and that’s before we’ve got as far as the finished pieces.

And where is Paul’s studio?  The building adjoined to his home, a journey to the beach, or the beach itself?  All three, I reckon, as they are all an interdependent magical formula.

A revisited beach changes from one day to the next, revealing potential material for a new piece.  Even the glass slides carrying the beginnings of new works shift and alter according to climatic conditions.  A truly organic, stimulating and ephemeral world…

A small gallery showing more images of Paul Kenny’s surroundings is here.  If you are unfamiliar with his work, click here for a search result within this blog (or type ‘Paul Kenny’ into the Search field in the top right corner).

Of course, you should also visit Paul’s site

Aug 042010

It has been a very busy time at Jack Lowe Studio lately.  I haven’t quite found the time to write posts as frequently as I would like of late. This will be remedied over the coming days, however, with news of comings and goings through my hard drives and printers.

In the meantime, here is a wonderful Polaroid SX-70 promotional film from the 1970’s, brought into my life by PetaPixel (via Twitter).  Polaroid has always been a beautiful medium—immediate (well, almost), organic and idiosyncratic.  This film sums it up sublimely from concept to mechanics…

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