Women’s March & Trump Protest, London

There’s lots I could attempt to say about the reasons why I went on this rally. But writing isn’t really my forte, and this is, after all, just a personal webpage with a few inconsequential personal photos on it. Besides, polite, honest and well-informed debate is just so 2015. Nevertheless there are a couple of brief comments I’d like to make.

1) Currently in both the UK and US there’s a misunderstanding about what exactly constitutes a Democracy. Just because someone is voted in to power doesn’t mean he or she can then do anything they want. That person must still be bound by the law and the constitution, and for very good reasons. Being critical of the leader or their policies makes you neither undemocratic nor unpatriotic. On the contrary, it’s being able to challenge, either vocally or through the legal system, that signifies you are indeed living in healthy democracy. Many people who voted for Trump may well be happy with him undermining the constitution and the judiciary whilst he is implementing policies they agree with. But there will come a time when either he or one of his predecessors will attempt to do something they profoundly disagree with, and when that happens they’ll be extremely grateful to those people who ensured the President should be bound by the law. Whether it’s the US or UK, this is a principle I strongly defend, irrespective of whether or not I’m a supporter of that Government.

2) Like the travel ban, I believe there will come a time when Trump will try to do something that the judiciary rules is either illegal or unconstitutional, but he will nevertheless attempt to go ahead anyway. It will then be down to the agency tasked with implementing that policy, whether it’s the TSA, Homeland Security, the FBI or whoever, that will then need to make a choice between either obeying the law or the President. That’s the moment when the US will have not just a constitutional crisis, but in terms of its status as a Republic, an existential crisis as well. The American People will then have to make a profoundly serious choice about what type of country they want for themselves.

21 January 2017
Nikon F90X / Kodak Tmax 400 / Developed in D76 1+1

World Zombie Day 2016

It’s that time of year again when Londoners dress up as the undead and maraud through the streets raising money for homeless charity St Mungo’s.

This year, one zombie remarked to me, the chance to practice wandering through a post-apocalyptic wasteland was particularly important. With his decaying brain and rotten stench, Donald Trump still hasn’t completely obliterated his chances of becoming US President.

London, 08 October 2016
Nikon F90X / Kodak Tmax 400 / Developed in D76 1+1

40-2016-102-033

A Day at the Races

Four things I’m not that fond of:

  • Horse Racing
  • Gambling
  • Tribute bands
  • Taking photos once I’ve had a couple of drinks

So joining my work friends for a night out at the races that ended with a guy who thought he was Freddie Mercury may not have been one of my best plans. Should have thought that one through, really.

Windsor Races
Nikon F90X / Nikkor 35mmf/2.0 / Kodak Tmax 400 / D76 1+1
Yashica Mat 124G / Ilford FP4 & Kodak Tri-X / Rodinal 1+99 60 minutes

Margate

Margate has been a seaside resort for over 200 years, but like so many coastal towns these days, it’s pretty run down. Nevertheless I love the tackiness and nostalgia of the seaside, and when I was asked to go down for the soul festival last weekend on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year, I jumped at the chance.

The Margate Soul Festival consists of a deck full of DJs setting up in various locations in the old town and harbour. Chuck in an equal measure of dancing and drinking and things start to hot up. I know from previous experience that it all gets a bit hectic, and camera-wise I wanted to travel light. The Nikon F90x is always my first choice when things get a up bit close and personal, so that went in the back of the car.

As it turned out, what didn’t go in the back of the car was any 35mm film. Despite being a laid-back guy, this is the sort of thing that can almost annoy me. What I did find however was my Mamiya 645, left there from a trip out the day before. Now this really did annoy me, because I’m never normally so careless as to leave one of my precious cameras in the car overnight. The good news was that there was film with it. The bad news – just two rolls of medium format FP4. That’s a mere 30 frames at 645, not a great deal for a full day and night.

The only thing the F90 and the Mamiya have in common is the ability to kill someone with a single whack round the head. Other than that they are the complete antithesis of each other. Where the Nikon is fast and easy to handle, the Mamiya is heavy, ponderous, and the last camera you’d ever consider for in-your-face fast moving candid shots. So I thought about what I should do. Ration the film and take a few shots every hour? Take a load of stationary seascape shots? In the end I just decided to photograph the first 30 things that caught my eye, sling the camera back in the car and enjoy the rest of the day and evening. And that turned out to be the right thing to do. Although I try my best not to let my need to document get in the way of fun, sometimes it’s good to just not have the choice.

Mamiya 645 Pro TL / Ilford FP4 / Rodinal 1+99 60 minutes

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