Perils from the Sea


Iron Men Crosby

For as long as I can remember I have tried to figure out happiness in my photography and life. While I still don’t know what happiness is, I now know what makes me unhappy. Often we don’t know what makes us happy, but we know what makes us unhappy. Therefore happiness must mean simply avoiding the things which make us unhappy.


Lily of the Shore


The place I feel most at ease, happy and free to experiment is on the shore. I love the Sea, I feel her power and her forever changing moods. On first glance nothing much happens, but look deeper and try to throw all your emotional baggage over board and just follow instinct.


Ocean in Motion North Yorkshire

Oh how you will be rewarded with images that defy explanations. I love making images on the shore,  especially Pinhole images. And because in a certain sense in order to get to unexpected places you have to do things wrong, whether this is intentional or not matters little.



As I become more and more experienced in Life and at Photography the harder I find it to just let things happen. One of the risks of growing up as a photographer is thinking you know how you are supposed to do things. The more you learn, the more you learn the right way of things, the more you can be stuck in an invisible prison. Knowing how things are supposed to be done can be anathema to creativity.



All of our imaginations, our visions, our experience and knowledge have limits. There are amazing things waiting over the horizons of our minds.


Talacre Lighthouse Point of Ayr

We will never be able to see or experience them all. We cannot find everything. Or think of everything.



But what we can try is to be aware of our own patterns, our own deeply worn paths, our own habits that lead us down the same trails again and again. We can try to remember that the right way of doing things can just as easily be the wrong way, and vice versa.



The more you know the less you know. Be wise to remember that.



…..and don’t fear failure.

Value and Values

What is the value of fear – What is the value of a photograph?



Some of my favourite photographs were also the scariest to shoot. That to me is what makes photographing people so exciting— the joy I get from it, and also from the fact that it is hard. Extremely hard. I think 90% of photographing strangers is just having the courage to click the shutter.



I am not talking about long distance candid shots with a long lens, but being there and engaging with your subject, becoming part of his or her day, however brief. I either use my 35mm on my Nikon and Leica or my Rolleiflex with its standard 80mm lens. I am always close, visible and not hidden.



 So what is the value of such a photograph? Is it in the selling price? Is it in how many people crowd into a museum to see it? Is it found in the many times you look at in a quiet, private moment and smile?  I guess everyone will have their own answer. I have mine and I also believe that placing a value is a slippery thing.



It is not something that has to be defined to exist and it is one of those things that the more you try to pin it down the more elusive it becomes. Answering this question is the will-o-the-wisp that just leads you deeper and deeper into the swamp. The more certain you are of your answer the deeper in the quagmire you really are. Just tread carefully but fearless.



It does not matter how experienced we are becoming in photographing strangers, we will always feel a bit of fear. Rather than seeing fear as the enemy, we should see fear as our friend. Fear is our guide. When we do what we are afraid of; it is one of the best ways to grow.


Jesper and Ken

And should we be fortunate enough to make a half decent photograph and/or to be able to give a resulting print as a gift and it is received with joy and surprise we have achieved something special and valuable.







It may not have any great monetary value, but it can bring joy and could be the only evidence that that person exists.


And yes, it teaches you a bit about a value that photography can have.It always strikes me to see how much a simple portrait can matter to someone whilst just around the bend people are drowning in photos of themselves


Going Back Pt.2 or Majorcean Memories

In a previous post I talked about how I like to go back to familiar places and try to see and discover new things. Well this falls into that category albeit it could cover travel and getting older and maybe a little wiser as well.


20 years old and care free. Pit stop at a deserted farmhouse mainland Spain on the way to Majorca.

During my childhood I spent many sun-soaked and long summer holidays on the beautiful Island of Majorca. In the early 80s I managed to work and live there.


Holiday Club Pontinental Cala Mesquida Pirate Club 1982


21st birthday in Porto Cristo

I always promised myself to go back. But that it would take almost 30 years I did not envisage.


My hotel for the trip. Highly recommended.

So as my 50th birthday approached I decided to take a trip down memory lane and try to visit as many places as I could remember and hopefully see one or two new ones.


Watching the sun rise in the mountains on my 50th birthday.


Cala Mesquida now.


Only the Beach Hut remains at Cala Mesquida of what once was a large Holiday Club. Happy Memories.



Many things have changed and the Island is not as unspoiled and rural as it once was. It has however retained its magical charm if one cares to look and seek.






Playa Romantica and the famous Gran Meson. Sadly no more. Haunt of many crazy times.


Celler Sa Premsa. Superb beyond words.


Birthday Dinner at the Hotel



The Start of the 4 Coves Walk


The most beautiful of the 4 Coves


At the end of the walk. Blisters popped. Ouch.

I thoroughly enjoyed my memory trip and still would like to retire there one day, as to me it is the most beautiful place I know.

But if you want to give God a laugh tell her your plans…………



I have been thinking about adding a second pinhole camera to my arsenal, but could not decide which way to go when the new Reality So Subtle 6×6 was introduced. The shipping date was going to be June 24th six whole days before my Birthday and as this camera was a gift to myself I hoped it would arrive in time. And it did. Film loaded and destination agreed on – we were on our way. Some years back we ate in a fine Italian Restaurant and we decided to make this our destination and sample the fine cuisine.  Well – bummer the casa is no more.

So here are the images of what once was………


Empty Spaces


A Rose in the breeze.


Dessert anyone?


Let’s go home.


The last image is my Pixie felt hat wearing, brilliant crafter and fellow tilted traveller Susan. This was the first frame on the first film through the new pinhole camera, but as we are a  little tilted…….

Reality So Subtle 6×6, Fuji Across 100 developed in Rodinal 1+100 at 20C

Stand developed for an hour with 10 sec agitations at the beginning and at 30 min.