[ Journal 2016 – October ]
Meanwhile, in London …
12th – Was late getting to theprintspace where a talk by Stephen Leslie and Nicolas Turpin was being held. Got the wrong tube. Had to wait 30 minutes for a cab. I’m such a dick. Headed in as someone was heading out. Lady at the door, who I surmised as working there, gave me the dead-eye for interrupting, so I sat on the floor next to the door unable to see shit. Fell asleep for ten minutes during Turpin’s talk. Was tired. Wanted to sleep when Stephen started up. Didn’t. But wanted to. Met them in the pub after. Chatted with a very attentive and extremely inquiring lady. Turned out to be Turpin’s missus. Some lady complimented my moustache. Told me it’s great it doesn’t curl up like all the hipster one’s. I’d actually spent half an hour with the wax trying to curl it up before I left the house. Got a cab back to Victoria. Lady driver was very talkative. I think she took the long way round. I’m not from London but I’ve been here long enough to know when a cab driver is not going the right way or heading in the right direction. That pisses me off. Got a bus. Finally home. I can’t remember most of what was said during the talks. Something about off camera lighting and pirates. Fuck it.
14th – My big plans to come off social media lasted about a week and have since gone back on Facebook and signed up with Instagram and Twitter. What the fuck!? I have no control or determination in anything, whatsoever. Fuck it. Might as well roll with it and embrace it. I just hate all the shit that comes with it. Instagram – hate already the fact that quite a lot of people seem to follow and then unfollow soon after. I think this is some random spam and ploy to get followers and they simply unfollow those that don’t follow back. Wankers. Are people really that fucking desperate? Are people really so self-fucking-absorbed that they feel the need to do it? It bugs me already and I’ve only been on it a fucking day. Seriously, photographers – leave the ego at the fucking door please. I hate it. And I don’t like to hate things.
Photobook I wanted and got from ebay is a week late. No word from the seller to my email. It cost me 33p. Maybe they will cancel the order. It’s a book that a photographer took of the World Cup from 1990 to 2010. Whilst there are a number of shots that seem to be taken for newsprint only, there’s a great number of amazing images in it. It’s called Dreams & Goals by Alistair Berg.
Another book that I have purchased is called, ‘Look At This People‘ by ERIC – using a Mamiya7, a camera I wish I still had. The photographs are rich in colour and detail and his other works are pretty fine too. Here’s a video of him in action.
29th – ComicCon – There’s a new coffee kiosk at the local overground station. The barista nervously asks me the same question three times during my coffee being made. Having worked in hotels all my life, I recognised the nervousness and so I put her at ease with some small-talk about the shitty weather, and although I could see she had relaxed a little, it was obvious to me that she was trying to hide her nerves, and nothing I could say was likely to help her.
On the train into Victoria I find my usual seat at the back of the carriage, and as usual, the air between trains as one speedily passes another, snaps violently at the windows and I jump and tense up – something that I hope no-one has noticed. I make notes on my phone, put my music volume to high, tip my cap so no-one can see me and so that I cannot see anyone in my pathetic attempts to calm and relax myself. I know nothing is likely to help me.
I am on my way to ComicCon. I am going to try out some flash photography for the first time. I have no idea what the fuck I am doing. The first shot I take comes out completely blown – a frame of pure white. I feel ridiculous. I head for the coffee shop and tell myself to calm the fuck down. I switch the camera to manual, put the shutter speed at 500th/sec and try again. This time I can actually see an image. However, this isn’t quite what I wanted. You see, flash photography has never really been my thing, and when I think of flash photography in my head, I think of Lars Tunbjörk – flash that compliments an image and lifts it – not overwhelm it. Having said this, I still had fun with it and may head back tomorrow to get the close-up detailing of clothes that I set out to get at the start. Close, vibrant and detailed. The worst thing about photographing close at a ComicCon is that everyone wants to pose for you, to take on their characters form and posture to the extreme, and that’s great, but it’s not what I want. Trying to get the Cosplayers not to pose for you is pretty difficult. Sometimes I managed it, sometimes not.
When I first went to ComicCon here in London in 2013, there were probably about three or four photographers milling around outside, getting their portrait shots. I was one of them. Since then, it seems that every “photographer” has descended and all manner of gear and lighting rigs can be seen in use – there’s a good hundred or so people taking shots. One in particular told me I needed permission to photograph. Insisted I get permission. I told him not to be a fucking idiot and went home.
I fucking hate idiots. I hate ego. I hate anyone thinking that they have some authority over me. I react badly to it. The best thing for me is to turn around and leave, so I did. Am I happy with what I shot today? Kinda – a bit so-so about it. I’m not sure if I will apply the technique to other things in the future – I’ll have a think about it and see if I can make the flash compliment, instead of slap you about in the face.
Manic Street Preachers set to full volume accompanies me on the train home. Looking at the mass of development out the window, construction cranes of many colours and volume reach and salute to the grey skies over London and all I can think about is what to photograph next year, what project to complete and hoping, that on the way home at least, I never see Spiderman again.
(Because we all know Superman is the bestest.)
The series so far can be seen here – SUPERFAN