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New project pages

I’ve been rationalising these pages recently. I’ve included a section on the site called “Projects and Series” . You can see it top right in the heading navigation.

This leads to a page providing links to the different projects and series I’ve been working on (and continue to do so). Some of the pictures in these sections date back to the late 1960’s – early 1970’s.  I hope you enjoy them all.

peter signature

PDBarton
Lincoln 2018

 

Meridian landfall, Holderness. A Line Runs Through It, PDBarton

A Line Runs Through It

For the purpose of navigation, the earth is notionally divided into Eastern and Western Hemispheres. The line which divides those hemispheres is the Prime Meridian

Leaving the North Pole the line travels towards the South Pole. The first land it reaches is on the East coast of England, just above the Humber estuary in the ancient coastal area of Holderness, an area of chronic coastal erosion.

The  Meridian project, entitled “A line runs through it “ involved travelling along this line from landfall in Holderness in the North, south across the Humber to the seaside towns in North East Lincolnshire and onwards into Lincolnshire, passing through the Lincolnshire Wolds and the fenlands around Boston and Holbeach, and finally to the Lincolnshire/ Cambridgeshire border.

The whole distance travelled from Landfall in the North to the Cambridgeshire border in the South is 121.4Km ( 75.43 miles). The Images were captured along the line and to either side over the space of 6 months.

These images are bound together by nothing other than their geographic proximity to a notional line as it passes through part of England. The line and the latitude attributable to the pictures, along and to the sides of that line, define each of the images in the set.

You can see the full set of images on the Arts Glass Eye Gallery site here…

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 12.06.00

Go to the Art Brown’s Gallery.

BTW. Art Brown’s gallery is eager to see photographic projects. There is no cost to exhibit in this gallery for 2018. Go to the gallery to make contact.

For those interested:-
The Greenwich Prime Meridian (which passes through Greenwich in London) and the Prime Meridian used by your GPS machine are not identical. The GPS Meridian ( catchily entitled ITRF/WGS 84 ) sits just over 100 metres to the east of the Greenwich Meridian as it passes through this part of England. Should you be desperate to know why you can find the answer here –

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_meridian_(Greenwich)

 

 

Protesting in the torrential rain over low pension increases. Jerez de la Frontera

Going backward​.

I have been taking pictures since I was around 10 years old when I had a Brownie 127 for a birthday. That’s over 60 years ago.

Even back then, with this basic camera, I had to have the clip on close up lens adapter. None of those pictures still exist, my mother had a penchant for slinging stuff out you see. All of my clockwork Hornby trains, track, signal boxes etc went the same way. But that’s another story.

After a pretty long hiatus, I took up photography again in my early 20’s when I bought a German single lens reflex camera. And so it went on until the present day. One camera after another, foolishly thinking the camera was what produced the picture. Yes, it made the image but the picture is made in the head.

Many years, many cameras and many thousands of £’s later I had full Nikon digital professional cameras – yes 2, a range of lenses, flashguns etc. You name it I had it. And then I woke up. I started to whittle down my camera gear. I sold all my working gear*.  (rationalising, going backwards).

*I have many old film cameras which I collect because I like the feel of them. These remain but are unused.

I bought a German range-finder, well 2 actually, and a few lenses. And then again a couple of years back I sold one of those and a lens. The one that remains I hardly use and, despite having 2 lenses, I never swap them (rationalising, going backwards).

I was further reduced to a German autofocus mirrorless. One camera, one lens being the guiding principle (rationalising, going backwards).

IMG_3387

My current daily use camera. Taken with my phone, which isn’t bad either.

These days to shoot on a regular basis I use a very small pocket sized ‘point and shoot’ tourist type camera. btw. This camera costs less than a handgrip accessory for my German mirrorless, consequently,  I don’t insure it. Another saving (rationalising, going backwards).

So What? I hear you say. As consumers, we are induced to buy, buy, buy and I fell for it in a big way. During my awakening, I realised carrying a big SLR and assorted lenses is a real bind. It’s awkward, clumsy and heavy.

Yes, this is fine if you are professional with a defined job to shoot. But for me, just an ordinary chap,  walking the streets of say, Cambodia, why would I need that?

  • What am I going to do with the pictures?
  • Do I need gigga – megga pixels?
  • Am I going to blow up my images to fit on the side of a London Bus?

Gear chasing is a marketing ploy, one which is the lure for the camera envy amateurs. “Mines bigger than yours” type of thing.

Sensor technology today is such that even relatively cheap and cheerful cameras deliver images easily capable of printing up to a large size, even for exhibition prints.

The whole point of this ramble is to show in many ways I’m walking backwards. I have a mechanical watch,  I use a fountain pen, and I use a snapshot camera. I’m constantly de-spec-ing back to what I use as opposed to what somebody wants to sell me. I’m going backwards in photography hopefully to a point where I was more concerned with the pictures, not the gear.

Maybe I can get back to where my picture spoke more about content…

  • To a point where being razor sharp is not essential.
  • To a point where I can produce the sort of pictures I did 40 years ago.
  • To a point where any talk about gear is irrelevant.

Or maybe I’ll just die trying.

By way of a demonstration; pictures from the ‘Point and Shoot’ I use regularly which have been reduced in quality for use on a computer screen. Both hand-held. Nothing fancy. Both would print well up to A4, maybe even A3 sort of sizes.

dome

Looking up into the dome of Cadiz Cathedral.

 

peter copy

Me, taken in a coffee shop by my wife Sue.

Lastly…
A quick comment on the film versus digital debate…

If you want to write a novel with a quill pen as opposed to a word processor then do so. It doesn’t make it any better just because you did.
As the Vietnamese say “Same, Same, but different.”

Reduced Landscapes:

I’ve admired the work of the abstract expressionist artist, Mark Rothko for many years.
His reduction of images to blocks of colour, mainly in the horizontal plane, appeals to me.
The images are not complex; perhaps that’s the attraction.

Though not specifically a landscape photographer I’ve produced many images in that genre. Most early pieces of my work are picturesque, over-sentimental, touristy pieces, but over the past 20 years, I’ve been attracted to stripping down the image, Rothko like, to bands or blocks of colour.

Book Review: Small Town Inertia

Title: Small Town Inertia.
Photographer: J A Mortram.
Essays: Lewis Bush. Paul Mason.
Poem:  Jamie Thrashivoulou
Reference: ISBN 9781908457363
First published:  Hard back 2017 by Blue Coat Press, Liverpool
Website: smalltowninertia.co.uk
Size:310mm x 215mm x 20mm

Jim Mortram, the master of the Long form of photo story, has released his first book. I’ve known Jim Mortram for a few years and all the while he’s been building up to producing this book; closely working with his community in and around his hometown in Norfolk.

Jim’s output is reminiscent of others who have chosen to highlight this sector of our community. The disadvantaged and the disabled.

He is following on* from others like:

Bill Brandt, who in the 1930’s produced hauntingly beautiful images in the East End of London, the North East of England, and Yorkshire. Much of his work was published in the excellent Picture Post in the 1940’s.
Nick Hedges photographs of the poor taken for ‘Shelter’ in areas of deprivation around the UK in the 1960’s and 70’s. About his work Hedges said…

‘Although these photographs have become historical documents, they serve to remind us that secure and adequate housing is the basis of a civilised urban society. The failure of successive governments to provide for it is a sad mark of society’s inaction. The photographs should allow us to celebrate progress, yet all they can do is haunt us with a sense of failure.’

Sir Don McCullinwho’s work in Bradford, shown in his book ‘In England’ highlights the condition of the disenfranchised.

And yet Jim’s work is different. Those excellent photographers were able to walk away. No matter what pain the images they took inflicted on each of them, they went home at night, away from the abject misery they pictured. Away from the districts the impoverished lived in. Away from the conditions they had experienced that day.

This excellent photographer, Jim Mortram does not. He lives in the community he photographs. Being a full time carer for his mother, he experiences first hand the grinding oppression of the careless state on those less able to care for themselves.

His view is long term. His view is personal. His view is compassionate.
And it shows.

Buy it and read it.

Peter Barton
October 2017

*it’s a sad reflection that we need people to ‘follow-on’ to highlight the plight of the disadvantages in this country. Governments should be ashamed.

(my apologies to any photographers I have not included in my short list)