Nov 012012
 

It has been a great pleasure to make three huge prints for Chris Harrison’s latest show, I Belong Jarrow, which opens this evening in Norway.

Chris grew up in Jarrow (very near to my studio here in Newcastle upon Tyne) and now, as he writes on his About page, lives in a little yellow house on the edge of a wood near Oslo.

Chris Harrison, I Belong Jarrow

Although he’s settled abroad, Chris is obviously still very attached to the town he recognises as home:

“I was born and brought up in Jarrow, a tough industrial town on the south bank of the river Tyne. It’s where I call home.

“I have lived abroad for more years than I care to admit. My Mother and Father are getting old and moving out of Jarrow, cutting me adrift with no way back. Finally, I have been forced to think about who I am and where I belong.

“I never wanted to leave Jarrow. I always imagined that one day I would make it my home. I realise now that I can never return. Somehow I traded knowledge of the outside world for some vital piece of me.

“With this realisation, I have returned home in order to try to establish how much of where I am from determines who I am, and to begin to understand why I can’t seem to let go.”

Chris Harrison, I Belong Jarrow

Chris Harrison, I Belong Jarrow

Chris’ book, ‘I Belong Jarrow’, can be purchased directly from Schilt Publishing or, of course, from Amazon.

Jul 262012
 

Muhammad Ali by Thomas HoepkerRather than working solely in the digital arena, I consider myself a fan of all things photographic.

Over the past twelve years or so, I have dedicated my life to the highest quality inkjet printing (sometimes know as Giclée).  However, keen followers will know that I have also been working intensively on the analogue side for the last two years or so with Richard Freestone of 139 Printroom.

Together, we have been bridging Centuries to produce sumptuous analogue Platinum/Palladium prints from modern Digital Negatives.

This side of our working lives has been steadily taking shape as increasing numbers of photographers, collectors and galleries begin to understand the beautiful nature of the service we are now able to offer.

Every now and then, the most wonderful convergence of events can happen in photographic printing — Richard and I have been privileged to enjoy such a convergence over the last fortnight or so…

Picture this: A commission from a world-famous photographic collective to make a Platinum/Palladium print edition of one of the most iconic humans ever to grace the planet.

Well, last week that commission came through for us from Magnum in the form of a spontaneous moment grabbed by Thomas Hoepker in 1966 of Muhammad Ali.

Platinum/Palladium edition print made by Jack Lowe Studio and 139 Printroom of Muhammad Ali by Thomas Hoepker

Platinum/Palladium Edition Print of Muhammad Ali by Thomas Hoepker for Magnum

Thomas Hoepker (b.1936) joined Magnum in 1964, becoming a full member in 1989.  He has many incredible photographs, exhibitions and publications to his name.

Richard asked Thomas how this image came about and he gave a candid reply:

“I got this shot when I worked on a reportage on Ali in Chicago in 1966. I watched him during training in the gym and during a short break he saw me sitting there in a corner.

“He danced up to me, stopped briefly in front of my seat and threw three quick pushes in my direction. Then Ali turned around and was gone.

“Only one shot is sharp, the other two underexposed. There was very little light.”


Thomas has also just published a book on Ali called CHAMP carrying the same image on the cover.

The Platinum/Palladium process suits the photograph perfectly — with each print carrying a stone-like quality, it really feels as though the viewer is about to be hit by a fist of rock!

If you would like to learn how we can make Platinum/Palladium prints for you from your digital files, remember to take a look at this page.

May 232012
 

After a bit of a blip, there’s a summery feel to the year once more, neatly coinciding with the opening of Paul Kenny’s new show O Hanami at Chris Beetles Fine Photographs.

Paul has been building this body of work since the harsh winter of 2010, as he explains in the show’s catalogue:

I was forced to stick close to home — trips to the beach were out of the question for about a month. This resulted in my field of vision being restricted; I was forced to work with the world around my feet. Teasing some scraps of natural material from under the snow or from the ice in the frozen garden pond, I began making a new body of work.

Printing this show has been a particular treat for me — we’ve worked together for four years now and each time the results of our collaboration simply seem to get better and better.

As with many of my posts these days, the images that follow are photographs I made of the prints themselves.  Hard to believe, perhaps, but true!

All made with the trusty combination of HP Vivera Pigment Ink and Hahnemühle Paper, the three-dimensional quality to Paul’s finished pieces really does need to be seen to be believed.

Paul Kenny, O Hanami edition prints for Chris Beetles Fine Photographs

Print Detail | ‘Iris Print’

Paul Kenny, O Hanami edition prints for Chris Beetles Fine Photographs

Print Detail | ‘Foxglove No.3’

Paul Kenny, O Hanami edition prints for Chris Beetles Fine Photographs

Print Detail | ‘Silver Leaf No.2’

So, why O Hanami? Paul describes:

In the spring of 1999 I travelled to Japan with a grant from the Sasakawa Foundation. While there I witnessed the phenomena of ‘O Hanami’, the festival honouring the brief, fleeting few days that cherry blossom covers the tree before being blown away by the wind.

I saw groups of businessmen sitting under the trees at lunchtime, applauding when the wind showered them with gossamer pink petal ‘snow’. I saw the TV special reports with ‘weather’ maps of the whole country with lines like isobars predicting the bursting out of blossom. The literal translation of O Hanami from the Japanese is ‘flower watching’, the more poetic translation is ‘the celebration of transient beauty’.

Paul Kenny, O Hanami edition prints for Chris Beetles Fine Photographs

Print Detail | ‘Seeing The Landscape With Honesty No.1’

Paul Kenny, O Hanami edition prints for Chris Beetles Fine Photographs

Print Detail | ‘Pink Square’

Paul Kenny, O Hanami edition prints for Chris Beetles Fine Photographs

Print Detail | ‘Forgot-Me-Not Summer’

Paul Kenny signs one of his O Hanami edition prints for Chris Beetles Fine Photographs

Paul signs ‘Seeing The Landscape With Honesty No.1’

O Hanami is at Chris Beetles Fine Photographs in London’s Swallow Street from 29th May to 30th June.

 

 Further Reading:

 

Since publishing this post, two leading industry figures have also written about Paul’s show…

David Anthony Hall was so struck by O Hanami that he has generously dedicated a page of his site to it, which you can read by clicking here.

Wayne Ford has also written a second post about Paul on his unrivalled photography blog.  Here’s an extract:

Throughout this breathtaking series, Kenny demonstrates a powerful connection with the landscape, a relationship through which he creates work of not only outstanding beauty but also emotional richness, that places him at the very forefront of land artists, with works of art that are so distinct they can only be categorised as like that of no other artist.

Read the full post by clicking here.

Apr 172012
 

Julian Calverley shooting his North Northwest Beginnings series on Skye using his Alpa camera fitted with a Phase One IQ180 digital backI’ve written many words on these pages and elsewhere about the work of Julian Calverley — it’s a true pleasure to now be introducing you to his imminent show at Gallery 1066.

We first worked together in October 2010, which I wrote about at the time.

Since then, Julian and I have made many more prints together as his success in the world of edition printing gathers momentum.

Working with Julian is a real opportunity for us both to revel in the current capabilities of digital photographic practice. You may remember that he works with one of the finest cameras around, made by Alpa of Switzerland, which he currently uses in conjunction with the very latest in single capture technology — the Phase One IQ180.

This is an 80 megapixel digital back, which produces a 16bit single capture of around 450MB — when making many of the large prints for Julian, I often have to reduce the files produced from this camera!

Print Detail from Julian Calverley's North Northwest Beginnings edition prints

Detail from Archival Pigment Print | HP Vivera Ink, Hahnemühle Bamboo 290gsm

Print Detail from Julian Calverley's North Northwest Beginnings edition prints
Detail from Archival Pigment Print | HP Vivera Ink, Hahnemühle Bamboo 290gsm
Print Detail from Julian Calverley's North Northwest Beginnings edition prints

Detail from Archival Pigment Print | HP Vivera Ink, Hahnemühle Bamboo 290gsm

Print Detail from Julian Calverley's North Northwest Beginnings edition prints

Detail from Archival Pigment Print | HP Vivera Ink, Hahnemühle Bamboo 290gsm

Julian’s background is described at Edition Prints:

“Julian Calverley has been creating imagery in one form or another since he was old enough to hold a paint brush.

“Born in Hertfordshire in 1964, he very quickly demonstrated a love and natural talent for drawing and painting, in particular watercolour landscape work.

“After a brief and uninspiring spell at art college, Julian realised it was the mix of photography and traditional darkroom skills that would allow him to express himself most effectively.

“The next few years saw experience gained with various studios and in 1988, at 24 years old, Julian set up his first studio and darkroom.

“He now divides his time between personal and assigned work, his attentions mainly focussed on capturing landscapes in their various atmospheric conditions.”

Julian Calverley signs and embosses his North Northwest Beginnings edition prints

Each print is signed and embossed by Julian...

Julian Calverley signs and embosses his North Northwest Beginnings edition prints

I really enjoy how the exemplary workflow from start to finish sings through the final prints. As written on the Edition Prints Process page:

“The finished pieces command a theatrical air; so wonderfully crafted, as if each facet to the image has been summoned into place at the click of a finger.”

Wayne Ford has also written a wonderful blog post on Julian’s work entitled, The Theatrical Sonnets of the British Landscape Photographer Julian Calverley.

If you haven’t seen Wayne’s blog yet, do pay it a visit — he has nurtured it into the ultimate photography archive.

I don’t often get to see the prints I make in their final destination, so I can’t wait to make the journey south next week to Baldock and see the framed pieces on the wall.

The show runs from 20th April to 3rd May, full details are listed here.

Print Detail from Julian Calverley's North Northwest Beginnings edition prints

Detail from Archival Pigment Print | HP Vivera Ink, Hahnemühle Bamboo 290gsm

Print Detail from Julian Calverley's North Northwest Beginnings edition prints

Detail from Archival Pigment Print | HP Vivera Ink, Hahnemühle Bamboo 290gsm

Julian Calverley shooting his North Northwest Beginnings series on Skye using his Alpa camera fitted with a Phase One IQ180 digital back

Julian at work, complete with his famous storm umbrella!

Apr 132012
 

In the (organised and structured) maelstrom of 2012, my studio has seen some beautiful happenings.  Now I’m enjoying a moment or two’s respite in which to begin sharing some of them with you.

Back in November 2011 (I can’t believe it was that long ago!) I wrote about my involvement with the second edition of Julian Germain’s book, ‘For Every Minute You Are Angry You Lose Sixty Seconds of Happiness’.

Well, a week or two ago, Julian kindly gave me a copy to thank me for my efforts.  A well-received thank you, too, as I simply love his work.

Anyway, I thought I’d share these photographs with you — perhaps to whet your appetite and encourage you to buy one for yourself while you still can…

Julian Germain, For Every Minute You Are Angry You Lose Sixty Seconds of Happiness, Second Edition, Jack Lowe

The beautiful linen designed by Julian Germain and Why Not Associates

Julian Germain, For Every Minute You Are Angry You Lose Sixty Seconds of Happiness, Second Edition, Jack Lowe

In the production of the second edition, a hitherto unseen portrait was added on the final page.

I have to confess, I was so pleased with this as it enabled me to post-produce one of the photographs from start to finish — something I wasn’t able to do in the first edition, which was in production before we first met.

I feel extremely proud to have had my first major involvement in one of Julian’s fine publications.  It really is the cherry on the cake to see my name credited in the back alongside the likes of David Ellis and Michael Mack…

Julian Germain, For Every Minute You Are Angry You Lose Sixty Seconds of Happiness, Second Edition, Jack Lowe

I'm proud to have made the first scan of this image, which only appears in the 2nd Edition

Julian Germain, For Every Minute You Are Angry You Lose Sixty Seconds of Happiness, Second Edition, Jack Lowe Credit

 

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