This is a first look at my latest book project, 6x9 (or 9x6 as it will probably end up).
The book will showcase six of my most recent photographic essays. The six projects have not yet been finalised, but you can see from the six cover images they are likely to include images from Christmas!, Bethlehem, Blackpool and India projects.
This cover is likely to change with the 9x6 font likely to become transparent white or silver and possibly with an outline. The Garry Cook's motif could also be chopped.
And, of course, I reserve the right to move and substitute the images you see here.
So, all in all, this is not what the cover of my new book will look like. Thanks for sticking with me on this one.
Truth can be manipulated be the image. You see it all the time. As easy as it is to document an event, a photograph can also misrepresent reality.
While photoshop post-production – cropping, cloning, cutting out – is the most obvious form of manipulation, there are huge ethical issues in what photographers show or do not show in an image.
These include whether the image maker presents a scene with exaggerated aesthetics (the dreamy beach paradise image which omits the six-storey apartment blocks) or if their desire to present the unusual neglects the mundane reality.
What I’m trying to say is that the photo which holds your gaze is not always a representation of the truth.
For every image you get to see in a newspaper, magazine, book or on the internet, there are hundreds from the same set which will never see the light of day.
I’ve had a couple of weeks off work. But being a photographer means you don’t put the camera down when you go on holiday.
On the Isle of Mull most of my camera clickety-clacking concentrated on my four-year-old son Teddy and his friend Seamus, also four.
And here’s the thing. Persuading them to pose for a photograph or capturing them running around enjoying themselves was satisfying – but these images are not entirely truthful.
The joy of capturing them in happy mode was too often matched by the despair of their whinging, bickering and general stress-inducing behaviour.
A week on the Isle of Mull with Anna and two kids was brilliant. But these images only tell half the story.
This video adds balance to the reality of the family holiday.*
*NOTE: The sound on this video may cause discomfort to your ears.
This year I will begin my experimentation with photography merchandise by publishing a set of Christmas cards.
I’ve tried to produce a set of amusing images documenting what Christmas means to us here in Britain. I hope people will think the cards are unusual enough to buy.
For a long time I’ve had an interest in how people look at photographs.
There have been great changes in this area, most notably in the way family albums have been replaced by on-line collections viewed in solitude through a computer screen but by more people than would have been invited to sit next to the owner as they turned page after page of a hardbook archive.
A great image has the power to captivate and inspire wonder but viewing an image as a photographic work is probably the least popular way we view photography.
Images are consumed in newspapers (used to attract the eye and lead us to the text) or feature within the pages of magazines, primarily in adverts and on food packets and labels. But in these instances the image is not the primary reason it is being viewed.
I’ve been fascinated to watch how my images and videos have attracted attention on the internet through sites like flickr, facebook, vimeo and YouTube. Videos are far more popular than images – they receive more hits and have the potential to register many more views. People will actively sit and watch videos but seeking out images apparently offers less of an attraction – or should that be distraction.
That has lead some artists to experiment with their images and the way they are promoted. This can be by producing short videos of still images, often with sound or music. And it can lead to the merchandising of an image, where the object promotes the image (a photo mug) rather than the image promoting the object (a tin of beans).
I intend to explore this theme through canvas prints, mugs plates and food over the coming months. I’ve been inspired by people like Takashi Murakami, a Japanese artist who has market his works in the form of everyday commercial goods.
Murakmi was also involved in producing this pop music video for the Tate Modern's recent Pop Life exhibition. It features Kirsten Dunst miming to I think I'm Turning Japanese, The Vapors' 1980 hit.