Friday, February 27

Greeting from LA

Having grown up in LA, UK (Littlehampton, cultural capital of England), I'm excited to have a print in a lo-fi show in LA, USA, which apparently is a small town called "Los Angeles".


Details here:
"La Pura Vida presents Can't Pay the Rent"
http://www.lkeggallery.com/
http://www.lkeggallery.com/catalog.html
311 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, California -- just off Sunset Boulevard.

The opening is in about 10 minutes, so don't hang around.

A couple of videos from the show:
From M. Newton and Jared Iorio

Monday, February 23

Print ‘giveaway’ number 2 – Lyme Regis, 2007



EDIT: NOW SOLD OUT...

I have three prints of the above picture available for £12 for UK residents and £14 for those in Europe/USA, including postage. The prints look very nice to me, and are printed on Fujicolor Crystal Archive paper. Paper size is 15 by 10 inches and image size approximately 13.5 by 9 inches. Pictures are despatched in a poster tube, and sent via first-class mail (UK) or air mail (Europe and USA).

If you would like one of the three prints, please email me on paul.russell99@btinternet.com, stating your country location. Payment is via PayPal – so you just need a credit or debit card. Please email first, as this will be first come, first served!

Tuesday, February 17

UK independent and photo bookshops

I'm compiling a list of independent bookshops, photography bookshops and those with a good photography section. Here's what I have so far...

PHOTOGRAPHY SPECIALISTS
Photo Books International
99 Judd Street, London WC1H 9NE
Tel: 020 7813 7363
Website unknown/defunct
Open Wednesday to Saturday (Wednesday to Friday 11.00 to 5:30, Saturday 12.00 to 17:00).
Specialist in photography monographs. I believe their current email address is pbi-books@blueyonder.co.uk.
Photo book stock ****
Ambience: **, piled high, claustrophobic, functional

Claire de Rouen Books
1st Floor, 121–125 Charing Cross Rd, London
http://www.clairederouenbooks.com/
Good selection of new photographic monographs.
Note: it’s upstairs, above Soho Original Books (‘Sex Shop and Bargain Books’)...
Photo book stock ***
Ambience: **

The Photographers’ Gallery Bookshop
16–18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW
Their new home.
Photo book stock ****
Ambience ***

Mike Wells
Unit 11, Spectrum House, 32–34 Gordon House Road, Kentish Town, London, NW5 1LP.
Tel: 0207 284 3306. Fax: 0207 485 6347. No web site.
I haven't visited, but apparently has thousands of photo books in stock.

ART BOOKSHOPS
Koenig Books
80 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0BF
Art bookshop with some photography books. Some great bargains downstairs.
Photo book stock ***
Ambience: **, German

Arnolfini Bookshop
6 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA
Art bookshop attached to the harbourside Arnolfini gallery. Closed Mondays.
Photo book stock **
Ambience: ***, arty

GENERAL BOOKSHOPS

Foyles
113-119 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0EB, UK
http://www.foyles.co.uk/
Huge bookshop with more than 200,000 titles and a colourful history. Foyles is still independently owned by the Foyle family, and has an excellent photography section (plus loads of notices telling you photography is strictly prohibited).
Open Monday to Saturday: 9.30 am to 9.00 pm; Sundays: 11.30 am to 6.00 pm
Photo book stock ****
Ambience: ****

Mr B's Emporium
14–15 John Street, Bath BA1 2JL, UK
http://www.mrbsemporium.com/
Nice independent general bookshop with good photography section upstairs and knowledgeable staff.
Photo book stock **
Ambience: ****, tweedy

Topping & Company
The Paragon, Bath BA1 5LS
9 High Street, Ely CB7 4LJ
http://www.toppingbooks.co.uk/
Lively bookshops in Bath and Ely. Well, I haven’t actually been to the Ely one, but the new-ish Bath bookshop is very convivial, with numerous events, a pleasant shopping area, and a good selection of photo books.
Photo book stock **
Ambience: ****, tweedy again

P S Brighton (formerly Sandpiper Books)
34 Kensington Gardens, North Laine,
Brighton BN1 4AL, UK
Cheap art, architecture and academic books. This shop has been here since the beginning of time.
Photo book stock **
Ambience: **

The Kemp Town Bookshop
91 St George's Road, Kemp Town, Brighton BN2 1EE, UK
http://www.kemptownbookshop.co.uk/
Pleasant independent general bookshop in a quiet-ish, interesting part of Brighton.
Photo book stock *
Ambience: ****, tweedy

Words, etc.
2 Cornhill, Dorchester DT1 1BA, UK
http://www.wordsetcetera.co.uk/
CLOSED JULY 2011

Judd Books
82 Marchmont Street, London WC1N 1AG
http://www.juddbooks.com/
Open 11am to 7pm Monday to Saturday, 12 to 6pm Sundays
Used and bargain academic books on two floors in Bloomsbury. Well worth a browse.
Photo book stock *
Ambience ***

Housmans
5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, London N1 9DX, UK
http://www.housmans.com/
Smallish bookshop specialising in books, zines and periodicals concerning progressive and radical politics, green issues and psychogeography (Iain Sinclair, Situationism, etc). One of Britain's last radical bookshops. Hosts events.
Open: Monday to Friday: 10 am to 6.30 pm; Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm; check website for Sunday opening.
Photo book stock: not much
Ambience: The Young Ones 1980s student house

Friday, February 13

Random dislikes pertaining to critiques of street photography, no. 33, and a call for restraint in the use of certain well-worn phrases

Random dislikes pertaining to critiques of street photography, no. 33:

The phrase, and variants of

"could do with a tighter edit"

Problem: safely lazy as a general comment; but when followed by the explicit "I would drop photos 4, 6, and 22" as unsolicited advice, a bit irritating.

I'm always reluctant to use this "tighter edit" phrase and I see remixed versions all the time.

OK, of course, very very often it is painfully true! But quite often it seems to mean "I didn't like a few of the photos". Oh dear...


Get used to it – that's completely natural – I look through Cartier-Bresson’s books and famous photographic monographs and secretly think "erm, I don't get this one", "I love Cartier-Bresson, but what was he thinking here? Rubbish", "Yeah, The Americans, greatest photo book of all time, but that one is crap", "The Last Resort, second photo in, no way". Come on, admit it, it's not just me...

Of course, in reality our particular tastes are just overlapping normal distribution curves. Naturally, I have great taste, and if you have great taste too, our curves will overlap quite a bit, but never completely superimpose. And it would be boring if they did – vive la diffĂ©rence!

Also, if you like the piece overall, and it’s only a few photos that you don't “get” – just give the photographer the benefit of the doubt regarding their intentions and taste... It may be there for a personal reason – part of the photographer's personal vision of the project.

If I was editing Zoe Strauss's excellent, "America", for example, I would remove a load of the text-based pictures. But I am not her – and I am a simpleton who would ruin her book.

So, before using

"could do with a tighter edit"

or

"I would drop nos 4, 5, and 22", Mr Frank

just think twice, kids, and give the photographer the benefit of the doubt for now...

Wednesday, February 11

Print ‘giveaway’


How much?

EDIT: BOTH PRINTS HAVE NOW BEEN TAKEN. In just a few hours - that was quick...

As Britain’s leading cartographer of the psychogeographic landscape, I sometimes hear people say that they would like to own one of my photos but can’t justify spending “that sort of money” on a print. I know how they feel...

Anyway, for the fiscally challenged, I have two prints of the above picture available for the ‘giveaway’ price of £12 for UK residents and £14 for those in Europe/USA inclusive of postage. Paper size is 14 by 11 inches and image size ~12.5 by 9.5 inches. Pictures are inserted into a clear-fronted bag, popped into a poster tube, and cast into the loving arms of the postal service.

If you would like one of the two prints, please email me on paul.russell99@btinternet.com. Payment is via PayPal – so you just need a credit or debit card. Please email first as this will be first come, first served.

Wednesday, February 4

What Was I Thinking?

I have been featured on Blake Andrews' blog as part of his "What Was He Thinking" series...

Please leave any comments over there, not over here!