Archive for February, 2009

Pictures of the bulls

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

I realised hardly anybody has seen these pictures, and this feels like a pretty good home for them – for the time being, at any rate. Hope you enjoy.

The pictures were taken in eastern Spain in over the last two summers where, in an echo of ancient festivals, cows and bulls form an integral part of summer celebrations in the towns and villages. Bulls run through streets in the hot afternoon sun – and in the middle of the night – calves chase children around the village square, and young men can live their torero dreams.

This is not the corrida, with it’s formalised structure and celebrity matadors. The aim is not to kill or maim the animals – indeed inflicting any harm on the beasts is condemed. These are fiestas organised and enjoyed by the people.

If you let it play to the end of the bulls gallery, you’ll get some more pictures.

The things you see when you don’t have a camera

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

It’s always the same. I’m out on some errand – in this case getting another piece of official paper from the Spanish state, without which I didn’t really exist (not really) – and I’m presented with such a smorgasbord of photographic opportunities that I could fill a book. If only I had a camera. Which I didn’t.

It was Benidorm this morning – old folks, sent by the state to fill up the gazillions of empty wintertime hotel rooms in “Spain’s Las Vegas”, were out and about in all their wondrous variety. And the bloody light was perfect. And my camera was sitting on a shelf at home.

It’s all because I’ve been getting a little strung-out recently about this residency paperwork. My mind was a long way from taking pictures. A good sign, though, that the first thing that came to mind once the paperwork had been sorted was “why haven’t I got a camera with me?” Maybe I’ll go back tomorrow, or at least soon.

Good black and white printers

Monday, February 16th, 2009

It’s getting increasingly difficult to find good black and white printers – I mean people who stand in darkrooms with their fingers in chemicals, not plastic boxes that sit on your desk. I have used Robin Bell in Fulham, who is of course great, but I could really do with someone more close by. In Valencia for instance.

What happened to all those people who spent their lives producing good B&W prints? Have they all retired?

Softcover version of The Constant Eye now available

Monday, February 9th, 2009

There is now a much cheaper version of the The Constant Eye available on the Blurb site here.
I don’t need to go on about Blurb’s bizarre interpretation of currency exchange rates any more, but rest assured this new version of the book is much more cost effective.
Have a look!

Leica’s new product literature

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Just received the latest Leica marketing publication “The Future of Memories” (or “El Futuro de la Memoria” actually – it’s the Spanish version) through the post this morning. Page 23 concerns the M7 and there’s an annotated picture of the front of the camera.
But what’s this? The annotation entitled “Creative Flash” points straight at… what? The hot shoe? An external flash? None of the above. It points to the ribbed “bright lines” window!
Now I have met people, who know no better, who believe, on fist inspection, that this window probably is a built-in flash, but this is a Leica produced document! With the Solms address on the back!
What the hell’s going on? Can we believe anything we read in these things? I trust the advertising agency have been fired, or at the very least a few heads have rolled.
It’s okay though – I’ve stopped laughing now.

Blurb exchange rates

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

I made the mistake of listing my book The Constant Eye to be sold in GBP, just because it would be easier for my payments. However, Blurb seem to be using an exchange rate set about a year ago, with the result that the USD price is over $100 – which is daft.
I’m trying to get this sorted out, but Blurb inform me that it’s going to take a month to address the issue. I can only apologise for this, and suggest that you wait until March if you want to buy the book in US Dollars. Or, buy it in GB Pounds!