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THE DECISIVE MOMENT

Quarterly journal from the Documentary Group

Nov 2016 Edition 6 Photo: Ian Wright ARPS


Meet the Documentary Group Team

Chairman : Mo Connelly LRPS Retired from the UN refugee agency after a career as a workaholic, frequently living in a tent on remote borders in troubled regions. Have now achieved my work-life balance by getting a life after work. What do I like? Photography, photographers, being at home, travelling and people who respect human rights. What do I dislike? The fact that I am becoming a grumpy old woman and actually enjoying it.

Treasurer : Justin Cliffe LRPS I have been interested in photography since my late teens however family and work commitments took then priority and I’ve really only got back to it over the past 5 years since retiring from a life in the City. I joined the RPS, and the Documentary group, about 4 years ago and was awarded my LRPS in 2013. I am also a member of Woking Photographic Society and the Street Photography London collective. My particular interest is ‘street photography’, something that I’m able to combine with my part time work for a charity in London.

DM Editorial team: Editor:

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Jhy Turley, ARPS

Sub Editor: 

Belinda Bamford

Sub Editor: 

Graham Wilson


Secretary – David Barnes LRPS I have been interested in photography since childhood and have been actively taking and making images for many years with a few lapses caused by work and the onset of family responsibilities. I retired in 2005 after a career in the IT industry. I have since combined sport spectating with photography – I spend most Saturday afternoons in winter kneeling in the mud, camera in hand, at my local rugby club. I feel at home in towns and cities and spend time in London where there is always something happening that seems to me to be worth recording.

Committee Member and Coordinator for DG Sub-Groups: Gordon Bates LRPS I joined the RPS in 2013 and was awarded my LRPS in 2014. My main interest is in documentary and street photography and I have been a member of the Documentary Group since joining the Society. I was instrumental in forming a Documentary Group in the Northern Region in 2015. My other involvement with photography is as a trustee and board member of the arts organisation, Multistory, in the West Midlands.

And the rest of the team: Facebook:  Flickr: Webmaster:

Jonathon Taylor Chris Barbara, ARPS David Barnes, LRPS

Forum Moderator:

Alan Graham

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Contents 5

A Word From Our Chair

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Mostly Left Turns - Graeme Weston

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Interview - Ken Lennox Hon.FRPS

Member Images

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Mark Phillips ARPS - Espada

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Peter Dixon ARPS - The Algarve Portugal

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Regional Update - Our Friends in the North

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Exhibition Review - Magnum First Exhibit

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Member Images - 2016 Round-up


A Word From Our Chair What a feast of an edition this month, with two features, a round up of members’ favourite images from this year, another great review from our resident reviewer, Mark Phillips, a couple of photo essays, and an update from our “Documentary Northern” Group (DG North). How many of you were able to see Graeme Weston’s ‘Mostly Left Turns’ at the Magic Gallery a couple of months ago? A truly thought provoking photo essay, and I’m so pleased that it is now being published in The Decisive Moment (DM). Having spent several fascinating hours interviewing Ken Lennox Hon FRPS, I was inspired not only by his photographic ability but by his wit, self-deprecation, total commitment to his ‘trade’, and his willingness to share. Ken has agreed to be a judge in the 2017 Digital Photographer of the Year (DPotY). Ken’s interview is the first in a series with documentary photographers who are Hon FRPS. Given how many there are, in the widest sense, it is perplexing (to say the least) that the RPS continues to refuse to consider a documentary distinction or to provide a forum for our members to receive advice from competent documentary photographers. We are now doing this ourselves through Portfolio Days – the second of which is in Birmingham on 3 December. These are different from Advisory Days (which we can’t do because we are a group not a region, and because there is no documentary distinction). These are days for Documentary Group (DG) members only, reviewing up to 20 images. These may be ones that you are considering for a distinction, or form part of a photo essay, or project, on which you would like advice. If anyone is looking for a present (whether to buy for themselves or to ask for from someone near and dear), I am in the process of reading Sarah Greenough’s ”Looking In – Robert Frank’s the Americans” (published by Steidl in 2009). Weighing in at well over 2kg (not easy for armchair reading), it includes 12 excellent essays as well as Frank’s images. I am really enjoying it. Lastly, welcome to Jhy’s two sub-editors: Belinda Bamford in Hong Kong and Graham Wilson in Oxford. A little early, but Season’s Greetings, and very best wishes for all your endeavours in 2017. Best wishes, Mo Connelly

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Feature

Mostly Left Turns Graeme Weston Graeme Weston is a photojournalist and social documentary photographer living in London, working with both film and photographs to capture local stories. Graeme holds an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from the London College of Communication, University of Arts, London. His work has been featured in international publications and media including the Sunday Times, Financial Times, Independent on Sunday, London Evening Standard, Metro, TimeOut London, BBC Online, and exhibited in the UK and US. “Mostly Left Turns” is a project visually documenting the locations of all cycling fatalities in London during 2015. It consists of a series of photographs depicting the last movements of the eight cyclists killed that year. As the title reflects, all but one of these deaths were caused by left-turning lorries. The one exception being the death of Clifton James who was killed by a car in Harrow. Of the seven cyclist killed by lorries, it’s notable that six of these were women. The eight fatal accidents presented are in chronological order. Each photograph is taken at the site of the accident, and a light trail depicts the last moments of the journey of the cyclist. Where the light trail ends is the spot where the cyclist was struck, and more often than not, killed instantly. The light trails were created by a cyclist riding towards the camera set to a long exposure, their bike fitted with a very bright, but commonly available, bike-light. Graeme acknowledging “It seemed important somehow that a bicycle be used as an integral part of the making of these images”. In every instance Graeme and his friend, Tim May, rode to the scenes at dawn in order to take the photographs without any traffic present. Year on year more cyclists are taking to the Capital’s streets making over 23 million journeys by bike each year. And the rise is expected to continue. There have been five cyclists killed in London so far this year.

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Feature

Stephanie Turner, a 29-year-old physiotherapist, was killed while cycling to a patient appointment by a left-turning lorry at the junction of Seven Sisters Road and Amhurst Park N16 at eight o’clock in the morning on Tuesday 20 January 2015. The lorry driver was arrested at the scene on suspicion of dangerous driving.

Akis Kollaros, a 34-year-old Greek-born music producer, was killed by a left-turning lorry at the junction of Wardle Street and Homerton High Street E9 at twenty past four in the afternoon on Monday 2 February 2015. The lorry driver stopped at the scene but was not arrested.

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Feature

Federica Baldassa, 26, an Italian national working as a fashion buyer in London, was killed by a left-turning lorry at the junction of Bloomsbury Square and Vernon Place WC1 at twenty past nine in the evening on Friday 6 February 2015 as she cycled home.

Claire Hitier-Abadie, a 36-year-old French national and mother of two, was killed by a lorry as it turned left from Bressenden Place into Victoria Street SW1. She was the only victim in 2015 to be killed while riding a hire bike. The accident happened at eight o’clock in the morning on Thursday 19 February 2015. The lorry driver was not arrested.

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Feature

At half past nine in the morning on Monday 9 March 2015 Moira Gemmill, 55, a former director at the Victoria and Albert Museum, was killed by a lorry manoeuvring left on the northern roundabout of Lambeth Bridge on Millbank SW1. The lorry driver was not arrested.

Esther Hartsilver, a 32-year-old physiotherapist, was fatally injured by a lorry turning left from Denmark Hill into Orpheus Street SE5 at eight o’clock in the morning on Thursday 28 May 2015. The lorry driver stopped at the scene but was not arrested.

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Feature

Shortly after midnight on Sunday 21 June 2015 Clifton James, 60, was hit by a car in Forward Drive, Harrow HA3. Clifton, a mechanic, was returning from work and killed just moments from his home. Exactly how the accident occurred remains unclear. The car driver was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

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Feature

Ying Tao, 26, a Chinese national and financial consultant, was killed by a left-turning lorry at Bank EC3 at nine o’clock in the morning on Tuesday 23 June 2015 while travelling to work. The driver stopped at the scene but was not arrested.

In 2015 “Mostly Left Turns” won Graeme the LensCulture “Visual Storytelling Award”. Also that year Graeme won the Financial Times “London and the World” photo-essay competition for his study entitled “The Hill”, drawing attention to the vestiges of the once 12,000 strong Clerkenwell Italian community. Recently Graeme completed a residency at University College London Hospitals (UCLH), documenting staff at work, which culminated in a public exhibition. His photographs will go on permanent display at several of the hospitals. http://www.graemeweston.uk/ https://www.lensculture.com/graeme-weston 11


Interview - Ken Lennox Hon.FRPS

Ken Lennox Hon.FRPS

Ken Lennox is semi-retired, feisty and funny with a wealth of experience in all aspects of reportage and photo-editing. Four times winner of the Press Photographer of the Year, he is also a winner of the Royal Photographer of the Year and the Sports Photographer of the Year awards. In 2010, he was awarded an Hon FRPS and, in 2015, a lifetime achievement award by the UK Picture Editors’ Guild. He started his career at a time when, as a photographer, he needed both a great eye and the technical knowledge to produce an image under diverse and difficult circumstances. Talking to Ken, one hears so clearly the voice of a man who has been happily in the right profession throughout his career. Born on the Isle of Barra, some 90 miles from the Scottish mainland, Ken has been a photographer from the age of 13. His family moved to Ayrshire, and then Paisley, when he was 9. It was in nearby Glasgow that his interest in photography developed through a happy accident at the age of 12. He sold his first photograph at the age of 13 and, apart from two years studying Economics at Aberdeen University, the following sixty years have been devoted to photographic reportage of every type.

Election storms 12


Interview - Ken Lennox Hon.FRPS

MC: You sold your first photograph when you were 13. How did your interest start? KL: An uncle found me a summer job as dogsbody in a photography business – the small Glasgow News Agency - which did freelance work for local papers. After a week or so of running errands and sweeping the floor, the owner, Jack Lincoln, offered to show me how it was done. It seemed like some kind of magic. I’d never used a camera and Jack gave me a small folding one - 9 by 12 and completely mechanical. I loved it from the start. I worked with Jack in all my school holidays from the age of 12. I was a member of the local Army Cadets and, while watching an old barracks being demolished, I took a picture of an elderly Colour Sergeant marching and spinning his pace stick, in front of a wall being pulled down. This was sold to a local paper – and that was the start of the next 60 years. MC: Are you trained or self-taught? KL:  In the following couple of years, until the agency closed, I worked freelance for various Glasgow evening papers, but they didn’t know that I was only a schoolboy. I continued to submit to local papers, and was banned from the Express building as I was always there and had to leave my offerings with the doorman.  I gave up my Economics degree course when the Express started the Junior Express and I was invited to join. I don’t think I was a loss to the field of economics. I studied photography at night school – physics, chemistry, optics, technical aspects and studio work and practised for hours till things became automatic. MC: And your career since then? KL: My big break came when I was one of the Express photographers assigned to cover the wedding of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips. I was assigned a spot, up a statue 100m from the Abbey, and got a shot of them as they exited the Abbey smiling at each other. The picture, with no caption, was the full front page of the next day’s Express. I’d even had to borrow the 400mm lens from the London office. Until 2000, I was a staff photographer, variously, for the Mirror, Daily Express, Today, and the Daily Star as well as Picture Editor on the Star, the Sun, and the News of the World. I worked at a time when papers would give you the freedom to go where you needed to in order to cover stories. During my career I’ve covered every type of reportage – war, celebrity, Royalty, and sport.

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As an accredited Royal photographer, over the years I travelled across the world with members of the Royal Family, up to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding and Prince Harry’s charity work. It was hard work. On a visit by the Queen to California, I was on my own and working 24 hours a day. On the 4th day, I fell asleep. Andrew Morton came to find me, as they were worried that I wasn’t answering the phone, and found me snoring over my wire machine. I joined at the heyday of the Express, and had loads of support from older experienced photographers and wonderful printers. As my career progressed, I tried never to forget those coming behind me and to find opportunities for young photographers. There was great camaraderie, as well as great rivalry, between photographers. MC: Given this variety do you have a preferred type of reportage? KL: It has to be war photography. I recently heard my 13 year old daughter telling a friend that her dad used to be a war photographer but he doesn’t do it now. The friend asked how do you become a war photographer. ‘You need to be stupid for a start’, was the response. War photography is exciting, but you need to want to do it. You’re working with a great bunch of people - reporters and cameramen. Everyone becomes friends as you always end up in the same place together. When I started taking war photographs, I had this bright eyed idea that when people saw my images it would change their idea of war and make a difference. MC: Does being a war photographer change you as a person? KL: I’m not sure if you’re already that person before you start and it suits your personality, but it changes as you harden up a bit. I’ve seen dead soldiers, dead people, and dead colleagues all over the world, but dead children affect me most. It sticks in my throat to describe a situation with children in it. I’ve never had flashbacks, I think that’s because I’m seeing everything through a camera. You take pictures of dreadful events; things you wouldn’t normally do. War photography is not about whizz bangs it’s about humanity and taking photographs of that humanity. MC: You were the Queen Mother’s favourite photographer – did she like your pictures, or did she like you, or both? KL: A bit of both. Early in my career, I covered Balmoral and she did a lot of things around Aberdeenshire. She was greatly loved. I was the only national man around. When the Queen Mother said, in front of a group of photographers, that I was her favourite photographer all the others laughed at me. But I wasn’t unhappy to have that accolade. 14


“It was hard work. On a visit by the Queen to California, I was on my own and working 24 hours a day. On the 4th day, I fell asleep.�

Family on Britannia

Monarch in the Glen 15


Interview - Ken Lennox Hon.FRPS Lenny Henry for Children in Need

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Interview - Ken Lennox Hon.FRPS

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Interview - Ken Lennox Hon.FRPS

Lenny Henry in Gorom-Gorom, Burkina Faso

MC: There are those who must think you’ve got a glamorous job. Is it? KL: Glamorous? I think so. I thought I was in one of the most glamorous jobs in the world. Even when I was frequently carrying 80 kilos of kit around with me and standing out in all weathers. MC: How important are your awards to you? KL: They are very important as recognition of your work. But no one will let you get a big head – one review of one of my awards said the quality wasn’t good that year and didn’t know why I’d entered. As soon as a paper is out, the editor wants to know what you’ve got for the next day, not what you’ve done in the last year.  My Hon FRPS is really important to me. It puts you in an exclusive club. You can’t buy your way into an Hon FRPS. Every photographer would like to be an FRPS. I’ve now been invited to join the RPS Applied Panel, considering applications for distinctions, and I’m really pleased about this. I was so proud to be given a Lifetime Achievement Award and knew nothing about it until the ceremony. I was too emotional to make a speech, so I just thanked everyone, and said that everything they’d heard about me I’d made up to make me look good. 18


Interview - Ken Lennox Hon.FRPS

“In a war zone, we had to take everything with us and carry it. Sometimes we took portable a dark room.” MC:  How did the coming of digital photography change things for photojournalists? KL: During Gulf War 1, I used an Apple Mac to transmit photographs, and first used digital professionally. The first memory card I ever bought was ½Gb and you could take 20 frames. I didn’t think the images were good enough – poor quality and very expensive cameras. While I had a digital camera with me, I needed to continue with analogue for quality. So, while I took some digital, I shot mainly colour film, developed it, scanned it (in three colours), and transmitted the results from the top of a tank. Together with Kent Gavin, from the Mirror, I teamed up with Agfa in London and developed a one process colour kit which made processing easy. You get used to not being able to cool things in a desert. I could only process at night because of the heat. Even in a war zone, we had to take everything with us and carry it. Sometimes we took portable a dark room, which increased the weight even further. Not that much different from Fenton and his horse wagon - except I didn’t have the horse. In the years since then, as digital imagery has improved, it has taken over from analogue. But I’m still a Leica man – for the quality (and they are great male jewellery). MC: What are the high points of your career? KL: Non-photographically, it must be the Lifetime Achievement Award and my Hon FRPS. Photographically, you look very hard at what you’ve done and your favourite photograph changes. The picture of Princess Anne and her new husband must be a high point, as it took me into the world of mainstream photojournalism. Others must include Margaret Thatcher leaving Downing Street with a tear in her eye. Time Magazine described it as one of the best pictures of the 20th century. There have been a number of Princess Diana that have had wide circulation. The picture of Bob Geldof with Mother Teresa – I’m the only person who took a picture of two living saints together. 19


Interview - Ken Lennox Hon.FRPS Savile Row

“Don’t take a photograph without a person in it – for scale and humanity.” 20


Interview - Ken Lennox Hon.FRPS

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Interview - Ken Lennox Hon.FRPS

Taken into custody

Prince Charles sitting his driving test in Aberdeen

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Interview - Ken Lennox Hon.FRPS

The Geldof visit to the camps in Ethiopia stands out too. Geldof was reluctant to go to the camps, and I talked him into it on the understanding that I wouldn’t take any images of him with dead, or dying, children. The most famous picture was of him walking through the camp followed by loads of kids and was a double page spread. In Gulf War 1, I took a series of pictures of four Patriot missiles roaring into the sky to take out Iraqi Scuds. This was described as one of the greatest pictures too, showing the change in direction of a war. MC: W  hat advice would you give to someone starting out on a photographic career today? KL: Learn your craft, and be prepared to work your backside off. If you’re not, don’t bother. Go out and practise. Take a bus stop from different angles, at different distances and with different lenses. Give yourself 10 seconds to focus. If anyone challenges you say that you are a trainee photographer, and don’t worry about it. Practise in a studio, with lighting – take and retake. That’s easier to do now, as you don’t have to wait until film is processed to see the result. Don’t take a photograph without a person in it – for scale and humanity. I don’t believe a photograph is a photograph if it doesn’t have people in it. MC: As an aside how do you hand hold a 400mm lens still enough to take a picture? Your feet need to be shoulder width apart, hold the lens, and push it into your face, with forehead forward. In effect, you become a tripod or you find a ‘brace’. You work at it until you can easily shoot at 1/5 or even a ½ second. I took a photo in Mogadishu on a 21mm lens, in complete darkness, of an injured Somali in a hospital bed. I leant on the edge of the bed and took about 10 frames at around ½ second each. MC: Do you take personal photographs? KL: I never go out without a camera, but my personal photographs are crap, though I like them. I tend to take family photographs, often with an iPhone.

Interview by Mo Connelly

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Members Images - Peter Dixon ARPS

Peter Dixon ARPS The Algarve Portugal

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Members Images - Peter Dixon ARPS

Having made several trips to visit my brother in the Algarve region of Portugal, the last 5 years have provided many photographic opportunities, particularly in the back streets and markets. Boliqueime, Faro, Almancil and Loule have provided many diverse opportunities. Contrasting light can be a bit of a problem and visiting in October or November offers softer light and lower temperatures, with the slight risk of rain. The indoor fish and vegetable market I found fascinating and a good place to be on a rainy day. If I find a potentially interesting background I’ll wait for someone or something to happen, such as looking through the archway and capturing the elderly gentlemen and the lady with the brolly. The dilapidated doorway 129, I managed to squeeze between 2 cars to get the composition. I wanted and waited and then waited for the golden opportunity to present itself, in the form of an interesting character. Wandering around the back streets often produces bonus shots like the BBQ and the washing on the line. The rainwater on the cobblestones gave an interesting foreground on several occasions. Is being in the right place, at the right time, what creates the decisive moment, or is it luck, or possibly a bit of both?

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Members Images - Peter Dixon ARPS Elderly Gentleman

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Members Images - Peter Dixon ARPS

Indoor Market

Portuguese fish Market, Slicing Tuna 27


Members Images - Peter Dixon ARPS

Portuguese Market

Rainy Day in Loule 28


Members Images - Peter Dixon ARPS

Shoppers

Washing Line 29


Members Images - Mark Phillips ARPS

Mark Phillips ARPS Espada Described by locals as “la espada de Rusia,” meaning “the Russian sword”, the Soviet-era Russian Embassy, located on Qunita Avenida (5th Avenue) in the Miramar district of Havana, has been described as resembling a sword plunging into Havana’s Embassy Row. Designed by the architect Aleksandr Rochegov, and completed in 1985, it dominates the skyline. The striking constructivist, somewhat brutal, structure stands as a reminder of Cuba’s friendship with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. You cannot miss the building and it’s hard not to form an impression – like Marmite, you either love it or hate it.

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Members Images - Mark Phillips ARPS

In the thirty or so years that have passed since its completion many things have changed. Gone are the thousands of Soviet soldiers who were stationed in Cuba; gone are the legions of Soviet technical advisors. Gone is the bust of Lenin in the entrance. However, the Lada cars remain, rattling, repaired, and still working the streets along with countless 50-year old Buicks, Pontiacs, Chevrolets, and a few old Peugeots. Miramar is a relatively new suburb; it sits in contrast to La Habana Vieja, at the Western end of Malecón. Miramar contains local and international hotels, embassies, and neat little residential areas, that would not look out of place in many Mediterranean and tropical countries. It is also home to several convention centres, and the National Aquarium. The images here, are part of a wider project of over 30 pictures depicting the Embassy from a number of vantage points. They were taken from an area encompassing Avenues 1 to 7, and Calle’s 30 to 70, and made over a number of days. In this project, my intention was to focus on the everyday, almost banal, scenes in Miramar, but to try and include an element of the ‘espada’, progressively revealing it, and increasing its prominence. Creating an interpretation of its impact and, perhaps, a metaphor of the past super-power influence. The era of Soviet predominance may have passed, but the influence of Russia in Cuba, and elsewhere in the world, is not gone. It remains, as witnessed by current events in the Middle East. At times it may be subtle, but often not. In a way, I see this project as a caricature of political influence by a superpower; it’s always there somewhere and, while you try to get on with your everyday life, you can’t quite ignore it; and if you do confront it, it’s likely to be brutal.

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Members Images - Mark Phillips ARPS

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Members Images - Mark Phillips ARPS

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Regional Update

Carol Hudson LRPS

Our Friends in the North October 1st was an important date for documentary photography in the region, with the much awaited reopening of the Side Gallery in Newcastle, and four of the group were at the event. The gallery shows the best in humanist documentary photography: rich, powerful and challenging work engaged with people’s lives and landscapes, telling stories that are often marginalised, whether from the North East of England or anywhere else in the world.

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Regional Update

The reopening follows a major refurbishment, which has hugely increased gallery space, provided much improved accessibility, incorporated a library, digital access to the collection, and a free study centre. All of this is accompanied by an education programme and lecture series. The Amber collective came together in 1968, and opened Side Gallery in 1977, because there wasn’t a venue in Newcastle, at the time, that showed the documentary work it was producing. In 1978, Henri Cartier-Bresson even celebrated his 70th birthday with a retrospective at Side. A long time supporter of the Side Gallery, Northern Group member, John Clarke ARPS, who was among the invited audience, gives his view of the venue: ‘Until I took to a power chair, I used to attend regularly, but for four years or so I have been unable to access it. Even before that I, and many others besides, used to wonder when climbing the lethal stairs, whether we would arrive in the exhibition or at A&E. Now all is state of the art, with safe stairs, and (Oh Joy!) a lift. Downstairs there are computers to access the archive, and a reference library. The gallery is now on the first and second floors, and is showing a very fine exhibition by twelve photographers on the theme of childhood. There are a number of memorable photographs, I was particularly struck by the work of James Mollison, which effectively compares and contrasts the very different lives of children throughout the world. There is much to enjoy and admire throughout the exhibition, including the work of Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen, a founder member of the Amber Film & Photography Collective. The staff at the Side Gallery have worked incredibly hard to secure funding and planning for this new gallery, and it has really been worth it. I even had the honour, as a long time supporter (and whinger), of inaugurating the lift. My association with the Side Gallery goes back many years, to when they generously supported the work I was doing in Crook. In happier and wealthier times, they could afford to stump up a considerable sum to pay for film and paper, so I naturally feel very well disposed towards them. It’s worth a special journey to see the new gallery and the exhibition. You’ll be greatly rewarded, especially if you knew the old gallery. Remember, this is the only gallery in the UK devoted exclusively to Documentary Photography, so we need to support it. In fact, a journey to Newcastle on Tyne would be well worthwhile even for those poor souls residing in the crowded South.’

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Regional Update Carol Hudson LRPS

Marj Baillie LRPS 40


Regional Update

Gordon Bates LRPS 41


Edward Forster ARPS 42


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Regional Update

Gordon Bates LRPS

Harry Hall FRPS 44

Lynda Golightly


Regional Update

Peter Dixon ARPS

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Regional Update

Edward Forster ARPS 46


Regional Update

Lynda Golightly

Harry Hall FRPS 47


Marj Baillie LRPS

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Regional Update

Sandra Taylor LRPS

Harry Hall FRPS 50


Regional Update

Peter Dixon ARPS

In other news, the Northern Documentary Group continues to flourish, and the summer has seen the group working on a North Country Shows project. Country Shows are an integral part of rural life, and gave us the opportunity to work across the whole of the region, from North Yorkshire in the south, to Northumberland in the north, and Cumbria in the west. Some of the group were more used to making work in an urban environment, but relished the prospect of something different. A decision has yet to be taken as to what we do with the work, and an exhibition and/or a book have been discussed. Some of our members work on this project is included in this issue.

Anyone interested in joining the group, or hearing about our work, and future projects, should contact Gordon Bates at docne@rps.org. Gordon Bates LRPS 51


Exhibition Review - Magnum First Exhibit

Magnum First Exhibit By Mark A Phillips ARPS A recent post on Facebook caught my attention. The first ever exhibited works of Magnum’s first photographers to be is re-staged in Monschau, Germany. A quick inspection of Google Maps indicated it was in the far north west, very close to the Belgian border. It is rare that an exhibition is re-stage several decades after its original showing, and given the content and photographic works to be on display, it was too good an opportunity not to miss. I was scheduled to attend an academic conference in Berlin and a small detour looked like a very real option. Until fairly recently, it was thought that the earliest Magnum group exhibition was curated by L. Fritz Gruber, for Photokina in Cologne, in the autumn of 1956. However, Magnum’s first exhibition, originally named, Gesicht der Zeit (Face of Time) was presented in five Austrian cities between June 1955 and February 1956. The exhibition prints were rediscovered in an Innsbruck cellar in 2006 and after months of restoration work, the original 83 prints being re-shown. The main theme was ‘Photographic Humanism: people and their living spaces’. Photographed without sensationalism and true to the ethos of Magnum photojournalists, th educate and better the world through authentic documentation.

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Exhibition Review - Magnum First Exhibit

The exhibition was housed in a small regional gallery, Kunst - und Kulturzentrum der StädteRegion Aachen (KuK) in Monschau, and ran from the 3rd July until the 3rd October 2016. Showing works by Ken Heyman, Will McBride, Berenice Abbott and Magnum’s First. ‘Magnum’s First’ was the restaging of that first ever exhibition in 1955 by the collective of Werner Bischof, Robert Capa, Henri CartierBresson, Ernst Haas, Erich Lessing, Jean Marquis, Inge Morath and Marc Riboud.

Erich Lessing

Robert Capa

The images were shown newly framed, on their original mounts. Simple surface mounting onto colour coded card and roughly cut with the images not often straight or centered. In comparison with today’s standards or expectations, they were very simple, almost crude and unlikely to pass an RPS assessment day. Having said that, I really liked the mounting with the original pencil marks, the photographers names and signatures, and the occasional odd mounting. Which added to the interest. Maybe today we pay too much attention to mounting perfection. It is the combination of the image and make that we see. The mount can play a simple nondescript supporting role. Most of the photographers presented images in a coherent theme or project. Marc Riboud, who sadly passed away in August, had a set of images from ‘Dalmatia’, depicting rural and urban life, mainly in and around Dubrovnik. Robert Capa had a small collection of images of the Basque culture in France taken in 1951. Bearing in mind this exhibition originally opened only a short while after Robert Capa’s untimely death in 1954, so the limited selection was not surprising. Henri Cartier-Bresson’s display contained the famous images of Gandhi and many images of his funeral in 1948. The work of Ernst Haas was probably the most ‘quirky’ covering the film set and making of the film the ‘Land of the Pharaohs’. Jean Marquis with works from Hungary, Erich Lessing exhibited urban images from his native Austria, and Inge Morath showed street images from London in the early 1950s. The exception was Werner Bischof, with a diverse collection of images from his travels to Japan, India, Peru, and Cambodia. I thought that seeing the images of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and Marc Riboud would be my highlight, but I was pleasantly surprised. Good as they were the stand out images, for me, were by Erich Lessing. Still alive, he is probably less well known than the other Magnum greats. His images were classic street and documentary. Showing life in the post-war years, following Austria’s independence. Another personal discovery. Many of the images, apart from the clothing and fashion, in terms of their composition and visual aesthetics, would not look out of place today, sixty years on.

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Members Images

2016 Round-up As the year draws to an end, it is a great time to reflect on what you have achieved photographically in 2016. I asked you all to submit your best shot of the year and, as you will see from the following pages, we have a really diverse selection of images from a broad and widespread group of people. There are several reasons I wanted to compile this collection of images. Foremost, it’s a great way to see what other members have been up to. We have members all over the world, so getting together rarely happens. There is also the fact that ‘documentary photography’ encompasses so many different genres of photography, with an eternal debate over what the term really means. I hope that this collection will let us take a glimpse at how we each interpret the term, and how we express ourselves within it. Finally, the process of choosing a single shot forces us to take a hard look at what we have done. I always find editing my images down to a few select shots the hardest part of photography. Anyone who has undertaken a Distinction will know how difficult it can be to choose the right shots. What determines the ‘best’ photo will be different for each of us. Thank you to everyone that shared the images on the follwing pages. Please enjoy each other’s work, and if it stimulates you to share images, or projects of your own, please submit them to Decisive Moment, decisive@rps.org. Jhy Turley ARPS Editor

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Members Images

Becky Mursell: Abuela Maria (Grandmother Abuela) at her home in a remote rural community in Nicaragua. An inspirational woman she was one of the original residents of San Juan. A strong advocate for womens’ rights she tried to ensure that girls growing up in the village had access to opportunities and an education. 55


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Alan Thompson LRPS: During a typical tourist trip we visited the small fishing village of Anse Le Raye in St Lucia. I wandered down a side street to find these two ladies chatting in the street. It tickled me the way that the lady got double the value from her umbrella great for the tropical rain shower that had abated a few minutes before but just as useful in shading her from the heat of the midday sun.

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Belinda Bamford: Taxi Driver

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Bob Train LRPS: Good Buddies in Cork

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Chris Hilton LRPS: Say Cheese

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David Pollard ARPS: Wedding Group Newcastle upon Tyne

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Andrew Lim: In memoriam’ from July 2016, this memorial in Cardiff, UK, remembers the fallen seamen who left the port, never to return. 64


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Simon Maddison LRPS: Kurds and Caravaggio. The demonstrators’ faces and flags merge with the faces of the National Gallery hoardings, September 2016.

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Rebecca Fung Chi Lam 68


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Chris Jennings ARPS: From a sub project, outdoor noodle cooks in Kuala Lumpur. Most cooks now use gas, but I have been searching out those who still use charcoal. I spend hours trying to get the nature of the fire and its glow in the face of the cook.

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John Walker: Home at Last

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Colin Trim LRPS: Brett D’Oliveira hooking

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John Walker: Hemsby, Norfolk, out of season 74


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Dawn Clifford LRPS: Taking Photos 76


Jhy Turley ARPS: Part of my ongoing project to document designer makers and their work, this is a portrait of Cecilie Telle, a knitter and felter that designers and makes fashion peices and accessories. 77


Members Images

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Members Images

James Valls: From my ongoing project called Pasos, this image shows women in traditional costume, getting ready for the 12 hour annual Easter procession in Cadiz, Spain, by the Brotherhood of Nazareno de Sta. Maria.

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Mike Chopra-Gant ARPS: This image is from my Treasure Island project. It explores Port Talbot in South Wales, as it awaits the final decision on the fate of the steelworks. It was nicknamed Treasure Island by steel workers in the 1980s.

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Graham Wilson: Stone Sculpture at Asthall Manor - Fragment by Mark Stonestreet.

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Gavin McGuire: End-of-day check of excavation Bronze Age artifacts adjacent to the Grand Hall at the Minoan settlement - The Kephali (The Head), Sissi, Crete. Part of a 12 year photographic study (2009-2020) of human interaction at the archaeological site. Both Sides of the Story.

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John Eaton ARPS: Artisans of Hakart #3 87


David Barnes LRPS: Young couple in Trafalgar Square, aware only of each other.

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Members Images

Lynda Golightly: Stickmakers bringing out the details

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Mark Phillips ARPS: Protest

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Ron Foulkes ARPS: Cowdray Park Polo Club 94


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Sandra Taylor LRPS: Ist Place 96


Justin Cliffe LRPS: Street Gossip Spanish Style 97


The Documentary Group focuses on photography which chronicles everyday life in the broadest possible way, as well as topical events and photography which preserves the present for the future, through both individual images and documentary ‘stories’. It is typically found in professional photojournalism, real life reportage, but importantly for us it is an amateur, artistic, or academic pursuit. The photographer attempts to produce truthful, objective, and usually candid photography of a particular subject, often of people.

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Members form a dynamic and diverse group of photographers globally who share a common interest in documentary and street photography. We welcome photographers of all skill levels and offer members a diverse programme of workshops, photoshoots, longerterm projects, a prestigious annual Documentary Photographer of the Year (DPoTY) competition, exhibitions, and a quarterly online journal “Decisive Moment’. In addition to our AGM and members get-together we have an autumn prize-giving for the DPoTY incorporating a members social day. Some longer-term collaborative projects are in the pipeline for the future. Additionally, we have an active Flickr group and Facebook page. Members are offered in 2016 a single-use discount of £25 on any paid DG event. Overseas members pay £5 per annum for Group membership rather than the £15 paid by UK based members. The Documentary Group is always keen to expand its activities and relies on ideas and volunteer input from its members. If you’re not a member come and join us see: http://www.rps.org/special-interest-groups/ documentary/about/dvj-membership Find us on the RPS website at: http://www.rps.org/special-interest-groups/documentary Join our Forum at: http://www.rps.org/rpsforum?g=topics&f=50 On Flickr at: https://www.flickr.com/groups/2764974@N25/ On Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RPSDVJ/

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Photo by Harry Hall FRPS

www.rps.org/special-interest-groups/documentary Designed, Edited & Published by Jhy Turley ARPS www.jhyturley.com


RPS The Decisive Moment Issue 6 November 2016