Page 1

THE DECISIVE MOMENT

Quarterly journal from the Documentary Group

September 2017 Edition 9 Photo: David Taylor LRPS


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.

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.

Sub Group Organisers: Northern: Gordon Bates LRPS docne@rps.org

South East: Janey Devine FRPS docse@rps.org

Southern: Mo Connelly LRPS doc@rps.org

Thames Valley: Philip Joyce philip_joyce@btinternet.com

2


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.

Committee Member and Decisive Moment Editor: Jhy Turley ARPS Photography has been part of my life ever since I was at art college. After a trip to Nepal in 2006 my passion was ignited and I’ve been developing my photographic abilities ever since. Having experimented in a variety of photographic genres I now focus on longer term documentary projects. I’ve worked closely with commercial photography throughout my career in advertising but enjoy all forms of documentary and travel for my personal work. I joined the DG to be part of a like minded community of peers and by happy chance have ended up editing our groups digital magazine. Committee Member and Group Webmaster: Steven Powell I have enjoyed a turbulent relationship with photography over most of my adult life with my technical ability often letting down my vision! Nevertheless I’m always ready for that one-ina-million shot which makes every thing worthwhile. I joined the Documentary Group in 2016 to see more examples of the style I love so much. As well as looking after our website and bimonthly competition, I’m occasionally called on to document interesting events at work to help promote the efforts of other teams. I’m aiming to achieve the LRPS accreditation (and catch up with the rest of the team). DM Editorial team:

DPoTY 2017 team:

And the rest of the team: Bi-monthly competition manager:  Steven Powell

Sub Editor: 

Belinda Bamford

Organiser: 

Sub Editor: 

Dr Graham Wilson

PR: 

Mo Connelly LRPS Dee Robinson ARPS

Entry Manager: Chris Barbara ARPS Technical: 

Jhy Turley ARPS

Social Media:  Flickr:

Steven Powell Chris Barbara ARPS 3


Contents 5

A Word From Our Chair

6

The Documentary Group is looking for a volunteer Chair

10

Documentary Photographer of the Year 2017

12

Documentary Sub Group Update

22

Doc Southern

14 30

Doc Northern

Doc South East

Distinction Success

46

Winner of the 3rd Bi Monthly Competition

Member Images

58

Colin Howard ARPS - A Changing China

38

48

50 66 74 82 86 94

Dr Charles Ashton ARPS

Winner of the 3rd Bi Monthly Competition

Barra Bromley Water - The blue spaces and beyond Gary Jones - Hong Kong Micro Brewery

Joan Ransley - The ethics of shell fishing, the isle of mull

Maureen Connelly LRPS - Holy dusters and tomb cleaners Philip Joyce ARPS - I Serve

Tim Foster - All roads lead to Wigan pier

100 Unseen Photo Fair Amsterdam 2017 Review

4


A Word From Our Chair Things have been a bit hectic recently, partly from personal stuff and partly with lots of things on the boil with the Documentary Group. This is another great issue, full of members images and projects. We also have a review of our progress with the setting up of Documentary sub groups around the country. DPoTY has closed – and now the difficult process of judging has been completed. Thanks to our judges Ken, Ali and Steve – who I hope you’ll meet at our prize-giving and drinks on 26th October at theprintspace. We had a good number of entries this year with over 100 Documentary and other RPS members entering. Thanks to all the team – Jhy, Dee and Chrissy who made this possible. Chrissy Barbara has also negotiated an exhibition of the winning images after the closure of theprintspace Exhibition at the Horsham Art Gallery. If anyone else knows of a space near them, that would like to put on this exhibition, then do let me know. We have a new webmaster, Steven Powell, who’s replacing David to give him more time to concentrate on his other three roles – Committee Secretary, Membership Secretary and co-ordinator of our joint project with Exeter University. Thanks David for all your work on the web – only you know how technically dyslexic I am. I’d like to draw your attention to a really important voluntary job vacancy advertised in this issue – Chair of the Documentary Group – vacant from the next AGM. Time for me to hand over to someone who’ll look at what we do with new eyes as well as inherit a wonderful team to work with. Looking forward to seeing many of you at theprintspace. Mo Mo Connelly, Chair, RPS Documentary Group

5


6


Group Volunteering

The Documentary Group is looking for a volunteer Chair to take over from Mo Connelly at the next AGM. We have a strong team of volunteers covering most of the areas we involve ourselves in. Our membership is throughout the country, with a healthy overseas membership, and increases year on year. Sometime in the new year we will be holding a volunteer’s consultation day to look at how we’re managing the group and it’s activities, what we should promote or drop, and to draw up an action plan for 2018. Ideally, our potential new Chair will be attend this meeting.

7


Group Volunteering

Who we are looking for: Someone with good organisational as well as good communication and teamwork skills. Someone who is interested in the work of the RPS and is willing to give their time to help run the Group. Location Group Chairs can be based anywhere in the UK, but are expected to travel as needed (for example, across the UK and to Society headquarters in Bath) in order to attend Group and wider Society meetings, events, and training. (Not a frequent task). Reporting to The RPS Chief Executive, with ultimate responsibility to the RPS Council/Trustees and RPS Group membership. Time needed for this role can depend on what is happening at any point in time, and there is no typical week. What we do at present and who does it: DPoTY:

Team, managed by the Chair

Decisive Moment: *Jhy Turley, Editor Belinda Bamford, Sub Editor Graham Wilson, Sub Editor Setting up Regional sub-groups:

*Gordon Bates and Chair

Workshops/Events: Chair Bi-monthly comp:

**Steven Powell

Web and Social Media

Steven Powell

Membership *David Barnes Finance *Justin Cliffe Northern Sub Group:

Gordon Bates

Southern Sub Group:

Mo Connelly

South East Sub Group:

Janey Devine

Central Sub Group:

Paul Reynolds

East Anglia Sub Group:

Mark Stimpson

Thames Valley Sub Group :

Philip Joyce

Everything else: Chair Group Chairs meetings: *committee members ** co-opted member

8

Justin Cliffe


Group Volunteering

The Chair’s tasks include • Managing activities across the Group in line with an overall plan. • Acting as the point of contact for all Group members (particularly new members), including member queries and issuing regular communications. (with support from the Membership Secretary) • Organising and/or facilitating the organisation of Group events, including arranging appropriate publicity and following the Society’s anti-clash policy. • Representing the Group and the wider Society to both members and non-members at a variety of Group events and meetings. • Maintaining a current knowledge of and implementing Society policies and guidelines (in particular, document MP004 – Regulations and Guidelines for Special Interest Groups). • Chairing Group committee meetings and the Annual General Meeting, ensuring that accurate records are taken and action points are followed up. • Ensuring Group representation on the Advisory Board and at Group Chairs’ meetings. (The Group’s volunteer Treasurer represents us at Group Chairs’ meetings) • Collaborating and communicating with the Society’s Regions and other Special Interest Groups. • Ensuring that the Group microsite is kept up to date and that all Group publications conform to the Society’s brand guidelines. (The webmaster does this) • Preparing and submitting an Annual Report to Headquarters.

Everything changes over time and the new Chair will have the opportunity to make their own mark on the Group. This is a great role – you get to meet lots of people with similar interests, you get around the country with our various groups and events, meet some great photographers, and you are involved with the RPS. Expenses are paid (according to RPS rules) If you’re interested and would like to discuss it then email Mo (doc@rps.org) and we can arrange to meet or speak on the phone.

9


DPoTY 2017

Documentary Photographer of the Year 2017 Exhibition and Awards

10


DPoTY 2017

The entries have been judged and the winners informed. The winning images will be printed and exhibited by theprintspace. All other entries will be screened during the evening. The Committee of the Documentary Group would like to invite all DG members to join us and the judges at theprintspace for the prize giving and the opening of the exhibition on Thursday, 26 October at 18.30pm. We are delighted to announce that one of our DPoTY judges and renowned documentary photographer Alison Baskerville ARPS will be presenting the winner their awards. This is a great opportunity to meet with other members of the RPS, enjoy the exceptional work of our winners and enjoy a social evening of documentary photography. As numbers are limited could you please visit our event page and register on the guest list here: h t t p s : / / w w w. e v e n t b r i t e . c o . u k / e / r p s - d o c u m e n t a r y photographer-of-the-year-2017-exhibition-private-viewtickets-37875540762 We are also hoping that a few of those attending will bring their cameras and help us capture the evening. The Documentary Group look forward to seeing you there.

Exhibition Opening & Private View: 26 October at 19.30pm Exhibition Dates: 26 October – 8 November Venue: theprintspace, 74 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8DL

DPoTY is proudly supported by theprintspace. Their online platform: thehub allows artists and photographers to easily promote & sell fine art limited edition prints of their work and order award-winning prints, mounts and frames for exhibitions. 11


Sub Group Update

The documentary sub-groups have been created to bring together people of the RPS who have an interest in documentary photography and wish to pursue that interest locally. It works wherever possible with RPS Regional organisers and their Committee. The Camera Clubs that many of us belong to, do not often cater for documentary photography and the RPS Documentary Group cannot cater to the interests of our members throughout the country from a single point. Each sub-group sets its own agenda based on the wishes of the members, so there is no fixed format, with meetings usually taking place every two months. Groups tend to be small with between 1020 regular members participating. 12

Stephen Marsh - Sleazy Soho,London (South East Sub Group)


Documentary Sub Group Update

Each sub-group must work in-line with the overall RPS guidelines and the Constitution of the Documentary Group. In addition to this, you are required to be a member of the RPS. Whilst we would like everyone who participates regularly to join the Documentary Group this is not (yet) mandatory. If non RPS members wish to come along as guests they can do so for two meetings and if they wish to continue they will have to join the RPS. The sub-groups are coordinated by Gordon Bates and Mo Connelly, both Documentary Group Committee Members, and are the central contacts for supporting the set up and running of the sub-groups. In order to set up a new group there needs to be a member in an area willing to coordinate the activities of the group. Either Gordon or Mo usually attend the first meeting to introduce documentary photography and the work of the RPS Documentary Group. Documentary Group funding is centralised with the DG Hon Treasurer who authorises all expenditure. The Documentary Group covers the (reasonable) cost of room hire for 12 months and the sub-group covers their costs thereafter. The Documentary Group will always be willing to look at any request for funding for a specific need of any group. Nationally, the formation of regional groups is gathering momentum. Groups are already established in the Northern, South East, Central and Southern Regions and an initial meeting in the East Anglia Region took place in Norwich on 9th September. A meeting in the Thames Valley Region is planned for October and interested members should contact Philip Joyce at philip_joyce@btinternet.com. Anyone in the Western Region interested in becoming a coordinator please contact Gordon or Mo. There are a good number of people interested in joining, however, a volunteer coordinator is required. Interest has also been shown in the Central Region. Nothing has yet to be formalised. If you are interested in organising or finding out more, please contact Gordon or Mo. Sub Group contacts Northern: Gordon Bates LRPS - docne@rps.org Southern: Mo Connelly LRPS - doc@rps.org South East: Janey Devine FRPS - docse@rps.org Thames Valley: Philip Joyce - philip_joyce@btinternet.com Upcoming Meetings 19 November 2017 – South East meeting 27 November 2017 – Southern Meeting Please see the RPS Documentary Group website for more details: http://rps.org/special-interest-groups/documentary 13


Documentary Sub Group Update

Doc Northern

The last few months has seen a steady increase in members of the Northern Region Documentary Group. Our last two meetings have seen attendances of twenty out of an active membership of twenty-six. Three projects have been undertaken over the summer months; “Café Culture”, “The General Election” and “A Day in the Life”. Everyone took part in one or more of these projects, in addition to showing their own work. Of interest, is how each person interpreted the subject matter and to see their personal styles develop. For example, “A Day in the Life” gave us the village of Shotley Bridge, by George Ledger; a rainy day at home, by Sue Hingley; a day on the City Link bus around Newcastle, by Peter Dixon, and a day on a farm in Northern Ireland, by Bob McAvoy, all taken on 21st June. A very personal set was show by Lyn Newton, who documented a day in the life of her ninety-six-year-old father in a care home, sensitively capturing how his world had shrunk to just a few life essentials. The “General Election” project saw a set of images by Tony Griffiths showing Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to Tyneside addressing a huge crowd outside The Sage, and Gordon Bates showing the Labour leader’s visit to Middlesbrough and a UKIP rally in Hartlepool, the highlight of which was a scuffle in the crowd!

Date of next meeting: 2nd November at 10:30 Venue: Kibblesworth Village Millennium Centre, NE11 0XN Any new members interested in attending should contact Gordon Bates at docne@rps.org.uk

14

Members also showed their own work and Celine Alexander-Brown gave us images of her visit to India as part of a medical mission, organised by the charity Interplast UK, to provide free reconstructive surgery to needy patients in developing countries who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to receive it. The work of Interplast UK is to relieve the pain, disability and disfigurement caused by a range of conditions such as cleft lip/cleft palate and injuries caused by burns, including deliberate acid burns. The images highlighted the skill of the specialist staff involved and the bravery of the patients, some of whom had gone through very traumatic experiences. A wonderful testimony to the strength of the human spirit. Large attendances at our meetings inevitably means mean that it is not possible to do justice to all the work shown by our members in such a short article. Finally, Harry Hall FRPS led a stimulating discussion on the nature of documentary photography. Harry lectures on the BA and MA Photography courses at the University of Sunderland and his knowledge of the history and development of documentary photography was greatly appreciated. The discussion certainly made us all reflect on our own practice. A very brief summary of Harry’s presentation is repeated overleaf.


Documentary Sub Group Update

Both images Lyn Newton LRPS A Day in the Life 15


Documentary Sub Group Update

Ways of Thinking about Documentary Photography. Harry Hall FRPS

When we compare different bodies of photography that are termed ‘documentary’ there can be a confusing range of different styles and content, which can leave us in a state of bewilderment about what ‘documentary’ means. Many hours have been spent in pubs debating this issue to find an answer.

Harry Hall FRPS - Big Issue Seller 16


Documentary Sub Group Update

Documentary can be explored from a number of perspectives; a commonly held view is that the genre is concerned with the representation of the real. This would be in the spirit of John Gierson’s broad definition of documentary (The Principles of Documentary 1932-4). Within this broad church there are many interpretations; some are driven by the photographer’s approach to the subject, while others are driven by the nature of the subject itself. Along with this, there are a myriad of extenuating influences such as location, cultural tropes and access to the subject. With what seems to be infinite variables, are there are areas of common ground that define work as documentary? It is possible to consider the term representation of the real as an umbrella term, under which, three perspectives shelter; · Events · Issue Led Narratives · Observations of Life Events, might include photojournalism, sports, and depictions of village fair or military tattoos or any similar occasions. These often have tightly defined time scales and locations. Issue Led, would include the visual investigation of social, cultural and political issues such as the role of food banks or the closure of libraries. This work has narrative and is sometimes chronological and may be undertaken over a long period of time. Observations of life, capture the ebb and flow of life as it is lived around us, as Gary Winogrand said, “I photograph the world to see what it looks like through a camera”. This might include street photography, candid images of the clientele of a coffee shop or our children at play. Each image is valued as it captures a unique moment in time and place. It should also be recognized that these perspectives are not mutually exclusive, the edges of these perceptions are fuzzy and photographs can be used in more than one context. For example, an image of a Big Issue vendor may have been taken as part of a ‘street photography’ exercise, but later used as part of an issue drive project about lowincome workers. Similarly, a photographer recording an event, such as a country show, might choose to shoot all the images candidly to provide a particular portrayal of the event. This model of relating to documentary work is not doctrinal or set in stone; rather, it is a way of recognising that within the documentary cannon there can be broadly recognisable perspectives on the way we work. Nor can this model be seen as limiting documentary practice, as some work may be made in response to an event or an issue. For example, Paul Seawright photographed the locations where paramilitary executions took place in Belfast (Sectarian Murder). In this work Seawright draws attention to the mundane locations rather than the events that had occurred there. In this way he created a retrospective portrayal of the event that can also be regarded as a representation of the real. 17


Documentary Sub Group Update

All images Celine Alexander-Brown LRPS from of her visit to India as part of a medical mission, organised by the charity Interplast UK, 18


Documentary Sub Group Update

19


Documentary Sub Group Update

Gordon Bates LRPS - UKIP Scuffle

20


Documentary Sub Group Update

Gordon Bates LRPS - Press awaiting Jeremy Corbyn’s Arrival

Gordon Bates LRPS - Jeremy Corbyn Arriving 21


Documentary Sub Group Update

Doc Southern

Now in its second year Documentary South meets every two months and has a membership of about 15 people. It’s coordinated, in the loosest possible way by Mo Connelly, with support from Andrew Mills and a lot of participant involvement. The Group decided it was interested in sharing and discussing projects and images on a regular basis. This enables the group to share ideas at conception and benefit from the input of other documentary photographers as they develope the projects. The Group had an evening with an expert on how to critique our own and others images in a positive way. In early 2017 the Group decided to have a joint project ‘Coast’. Capturing any aspect, anywhere along the coast of the RPS Southern Region. We all work individually on the same subject and came up with totally different themes, which is nearing finalisation. Together we discuss our images and go away with a better knowledge of how we’re going to proceed. So, it’s only the subject that is joint. We have some cracking images and Southampton Art Gallery have offered us space for an exhibition for six weeks from mid-June 2018. We’ll be working on finalising our themes and organising their presentation ready for exhibition. The two best things about this Group is that it takes its time, so there is no pressure to submit work to a deadline or for a competition, and no one is in competition with anyone else. The second thing is that it brings together a group of photographers who have similar interests who enjoy discussing and looking at documentary photography.

Date of next meeting: 27 September 2017 at 19:30 Venue: Nursling Village Hall, Nursling Street, Nursling, Southampton, SO16 0XH Any new members interested in attending should contact Mo Connelly at doc@rps.org

22


Documentary Sub Group Update

Jeff Owen LRPS - Coast Project

23


Documentary Sub Group Update

All images on this page Andrew Mills ARPS - Coast Project

24


Documentary Sub Group Update

Both images this page Louise Brown - Coast Project

25


Documentary Sub Group Update

26


Documentary Sub Group Update Keith Bamber - Queen Mary 2

27


Documentary Sub Group Update

Jeff Owen LRPS - Coast Project

Keith Bamber - Southampton-Cruising 28


Documentary Sub Group Update

Jeff Owen - Coast Project

29


Documentary Sub Group Update

Doc South East

When Mo Connelly first announced the initiative of forming Documentary Sub Groups across the country, I was instantly enthusiastic. I became very aware, when first interested in Documentary Photography, that whilst Camera Clubs do a brilliant job, there is little opportunity in the majority of clubs for people who are primarily interested in documentary photography to share ideas, enter competitions etc. Even many of the country’s top photojournalists might struggle in the typical “one image” competition! Eagerly attending the meetings of the Southern Sub Group, I was very conscious that for people in the South East, this was a long journey for an evening meeting. So, when Mo suggested setting up a group in South East Region, I readily agreed to help get it up and running. I’m keen that the meetings have some “structure” to them, and hope that everyone leaves meetings inspired, with a feeling that they have learnt something new. Group meetings are a fantastic way to generating new ideas, focus on how we can take our own personal projects a stage further, or branch out in a new direction. We had our first meeting in February this year, and with an attendance of nearly 30 we pretty much filled the small hall at Tangmere, near Chichester. It was decided that this year we meet roughly every two months on a Sunday and the funding by the RPS Documentary Group to cover our first year’s costs, allowed the group to get established, before the members decide how they would like the group to evolve next year. So far, we have discussed “What is Documentary Photography”, “Using Photo Essays to tell a story”, “Street Photography”, and “Showing our work to a wider audience”, and members have brought along some fantastically inspiring and varied work.

Date of next meeting: 27 September 2017 at 19:30 Venue: Nursling Village Hall, Nursling Street, Nursling, Southampton, SO16 0XH Any new members interested in attending should contact Mo Connelly at doc@rps.org

30


Documentary Sub Group Update

John Howes - The Pride of Brighton

31


Documentary Sub Group Update

Alan Frost ARPS - Lost Glove

Dick Saunders - Swept off his Feet

32


Documentary Sub Group Update

Chris Jennings ARPS - At Portsmouth Tattoo Convention

Jeff Owen - The McDougalls

33


Documentary Sub Group Update

Ronnie Hall - Wishes

34


Documentary Sub Group Update

35


Documentary Sub Group Update

Janey Devine FRPS - Busker

Graham Sergeant FRPS - Nearing the End

36

Mike Davison ARPS - Closed for the Summ


mer

Documentary Sub Group Update

Lynne Owen - Selfie maybe

Tony Cortazzi LRPS - London

37


Dr Charles Ashton ARPS

38


Distinction Success

I have always taken a keen interest in my surroundings when out and about on the streets, and particularly in people. Stimulated by Brassai’s “Secret Paris of the 30s”, I began in the late 1970s with film. However, the pressures of my medical career, and family life, pushed photography on to the back burner. Now my children are at university, so I have joined the camera club world and become a keen photographer. As a physician, my observational skills have developed over 30 years in practice, and I can build rapport very quickly with people I approach in the street. In my mind, I build a mental picture of the lives of the people I see from small details. Capturing those fleeting moments, to look at later, tells us even more. Combined with empathy for my subjects, these skills have been invaluable in developing my street photography. I try to make my images of the ordinary, extraordinary. My journey to obtaining the ARPS was initiated by Leigh Preston FRPS who gave me the encouragement and inspiration I needed. Creating a successful ARPS panel has greatly improved my photography and, in particular, recognising the attention to detail required in all aspects of the photographic process.

Statement of Intent I enjoy photographing people in an outdoor urban environment. I am fascinated by the diversity of life to be seen on our streets. Sometimes I capture a moment of decision or reaction to circumstance. At other times I engage my subjects before photographing them. I look for interactions between key subjects in the image and their environment. I capture fleeting human emotions and I aim to give the viewer a glimpse into the lives of the people that surround us but so often we pass by unnoticed. My objective is to produce a panel that transports the viewer in into the world of my subjects and gives an impression of the diversity of life and emotion that surrounds us on the streets.

39


Distinction Success

40


Distinction Success

41


Distinction Success

42


Distinction Success

43


44


45


Bi Monthly Competition Winner

Winner of the 3rd Bi Monthly Competition

46


Bi Monthly Competition Winner

There were over 30 entries for the third bi-monthly competition. It’s wonderful to see the diverse array of work from across the group, so please keep entering your images. Congratulations to Rupert Hitchcox LRPS for his winning image ‘Grenfell Tower Fire’ and his prize, the book “The Documentary Impulse” by Stuart Franklin HonFRPS, has been sent to him.

The fifth bi-monthly competition, for images taken from the 1st September 2017 until the 31st October 2017, is now open. So get shooting... Please send your submissions to dgcompetitions@rps.org and visit the competition page on the RPS website for details. http://www.rps.org/specialinterest-groups/documentary/ blogs/2017/january/ documentary-group-bi-monthlycompetition 47


Bi Monthly Competition Winner

Winner of the 4th Bi Monthly Competition

48


Bi Monthly Competition Winner

There were 45 entries for the forth bi-monthly competition. It’s wonderful to see the diverse array of work from across the group, so please keep entering your images. Congratulations to John Kay for his winning image ‘Exhusted’ and his prize, the book “The Documentary Impulse” by Stuart Franklin HonFRPS, has been sent to him.

The fifth bi-monthly competition, for images taken from the 1st September 2017 until the 31st October 2017, is now open. So get shooting... Please send your submissions to dgcompetitions@rps.org and visit the competition page on the RPS website for details. http://www.rps.org/specialinterest-groups/documentary/ blogs/2017/january/ documentary-group-bi-monthlycompetition 49


Members Images - Barra Bromley

Barra Bromley Water: The blue spaces and beyond

50


Members Images - Barra Bromley

Despite many of us taking it for granted, water is a substance that can provoke strong responses. Oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau, once stated “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” And scientist, Masaru Emoto, argued that “to understand water is to understand the cosmos.” Strong statements indeed. Even novelist Nicholas Sparks, added “It is life, I think, to watch the water. A man can learn so many things.”

But which ever way you look at it, water – or what scientists now refer to as Blue Space – is a topic that remains largely overlooked, especially outside the esoteric community, though studies by the University of Exeter have begun to consolidate a link between water and mental health. Jenny Roe, an expert on psychology and the built environment, even talks about blue health, the state of well being when living near water. I’m sure most people can relate to an uptake in well being when they spend a day at the seaside. And who hasn’t found themselves gazing at the antics of fish in a fish tank, or felt the magnetic pull toward a city’s water feature that allows them to take time out from the surrounding hustle? My own catalyst for Water: The Blue Spaces and Beyond came about when I realised that each of my favourite books was set near a body of water – Surfacing by Margaret Attwood is set next to a lake, and likewise The House on Moon Lake by Francesca Duranti. The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch is set near the coast and Moonfleet, a tale about Dorset smugglers, happened to be my favourite book when I was a child. Even my early paintings repeated images of rough seas crashing onto rocks. It’s no surprise, then, that I recently turned my camera to subjects interacting with water in one way or another. Perhaps I find calm in viewing others relaxing in this way. According to HH Mitchell in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, so we are literally filled with blue space. Could this explain why so many of us commune with the element on a subconscious level? You only have to look at the many works of art inspired by water, and how the artists responded to it. The Saatchi Gallery’s Making Waves exhibition featured paintings with titles such as Contemplation, Closer to Other, and Solitary. So for me this has become a project in progress, though I’m not so much interested in people engaging in water sports as I am in catching the individual enjoying a moment of solitude or calm reflection, perhaps finding clarity amongst the chaos. Humans have assigned healing and transformational properties to water since ancient times and maybe, unconsciously, this is what I’m also doing. Perhaps this even proves that photography is as much about getting to know ourselves as it is about attempting to understand those around us, and what could be better than this? twitter: @BarraBromley 51


Members Images - Barra Bromley

52


Members Images - Barra Bromley

53


Members Images - Barra Bromley

54


Members Images - Barra Bromley

55


Members Images - Barra Bromley

56


Members Images - Barra Bromley

57


Members Images - Colin Howard ARPS

Colin Howard ARPS A Changing China One cold January evening I arrived in Shanghai on my first trip to Asia. It was a bumpy ride into the city from the airport – the roads had yet to be tarmacked and the streets seemed to be enveloped in total darkness as soon as daylight faded. Unlit cyclists emerged eerily from every conceivable direction. The vast hotel lobby was lit by a single light bulb. But as I settled in I had little idea I would be drawn back to China on numerous occasions over the next 30 years. Over more than 50 trips to the ‘Middle Kingdom’, I witnessed first-hand the incredible economic and social miracle that is present-day China. During the course of my many days and weeks in China, I have been privileged to meet numerous people, both young and old. If I have one single message it is that the traditional Confucian-Taoist faith in the family, one’s teachers and elders is still very much alive, albeit underneath the veneer of all the signs of modern economic development. The importance of financial stability, care for the family and education remain very much the cornerstones of Chinese society. The economic progress we see through Western eyes is because these ancient cultural mores have continued; not through them having been swept away. Even the poorest worker values their heritage and faith in traditional family values. Many folk in the street can cite Tang dynasty poems and a great number of taxi drivers are obsessed with listening to xiangsheng, cross talk between comedians involving many pun and linguistic allusions, as they wheedle their way through the traffic. A restaurant menu is less a list of dishes, more a work of literature! During my time in China I have mainly photographed in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou, Wuhan, Hangzhou and Shenzhen. Shanghai has always been my spiritual base in China, and it was there that I first noticed the adoption of Western dress and a thirst for knowledge about other countries, the availability of modern electrical goods, and an eagerness for a more foreign-inspired lifestyle among the young. The fulcrum for such changes occurred around the millennium. Viewing afresh the photographs that I have taken in China over the past 35 years, I now realise I have been documenting daily life during a unique period of change. Many of my photographs have, perhaps, now acquired a social history value and so are worthy of reinterpretation. However, through these images I want mainly to convey the homogeneity of spirit among the Chinese people, their energy, and the value placed on a culture developed over many millennia. www.colinhoward.co.uk View the book on blurb HERE 58


Members Images - Colin Howard ARPS

Admiring the view over the Forbidden City from ‘Coal Hill’, Beijing, 1994. For these visitors the trip most likely represented a once in a lifetime journey to the nation’s capital.

Diagnostic laboratory, JinShan Quarantine Hospital, 2008. The SARS epidemic of 2003 resulted in a huge investment in medical science and isolation hospitals. 59


Members Images - Colin Howard ARPS

The Oriental Pearl Tower, PuDong District, Shanghai, 2007. The icon of modern Shanghai: newlyweds adorned in Western dress to be photographed along The Bund with the tower in the background. This photograph was taken in roughly the same place as figure 9 in 1986.

60


Members Images - Colin Howard ARPS

Bicycles everywhere, Shanghai, 1986. Children were often perched precariously on the handlebars of parent’s bikes.

Street enterprise, Shanghai, 1986. Life was lived very much on the streets until wholesale redevelopment started towards the end of the century. 61


Members Images - Colin Howard ARPS

Tian Tian Park, Beijing, 1994. All over China people can be found early in the morning exercising and ballroom dancing in parks and public spaces.

The HuangPo River and godowns (wharehouses) in what is now the PuDong District, 1986. 62


Members Images - Colin Howard ARPS

A family from Fujian Province visiting Suzhou, 1991. The Chinese have always been great tourists and the city of Suzhou one of the country’s great tourist destinations. 63


Members Images - Colin Howard ARPS

64


Members Images - Colin Howard ARPS

Taking a break from looking into the future.

The train to Hangzhou, Shanghai Railway Station, 1991. A journey of over 5 hours now takes less than two by modern high-speed train. 65


Members Images - Gary Jones

Luke Yardley (right) and ‘official beer lackey’, Joseph, prepare for a hard day’s brewing.

Gary Jones Hong Kong Micro Brewery UK expatriots, Luke and Duncan Yardley, began brewing craft beer in their kitchen on Lam-ma Island, one of the many of Hong Kong’s outlying islands, back in 2012. Their distinctive brews, such as: Hong Kong Bastard Imperial IPA, Lamma Island IPA, and Quit Your Job Saison, became so sought after that they knew they’d have to go legitimate.

66


Members Images - Gary Jones

In 2016 they set up Yardley Brothers Brewery on the 5th Floor of an industrial building in Kwai Hing, in the heart of darkest Kowloon. Duncan has since returned to the UK, but Luke makes the 1.5 hours journey from his home on Lamma Island every day, to brew some of the finest craft beers to be found in South-East Asia. As a life-long lover of beer, craft or otherwise, I jumped at the chance when I was contacted by Luke with a view to making some images for their website (http://www.yardleybrothers.hk) and other promotional material. I chose to shoot in black and white, as I felt it would best capture the mood and gritty realism I thought were necessary to portray the craft of brewing beer. Armed with my Fuji X100F, Fuji GF670 and Yashica 635 I spent the whole day, from 8:30am until 7:00pm, following the transformation of malt, grain, water, hops and yeast to its divine conclusion. I find the discipline of documentary photography very challenging because you have little control over the situation, the scene, or the subject, especially in a busy working environment. Patience is needed to capture for that defining moment, or for something interesting to happen. www.gazjonesphoto.com

Luke checks the progress of the wort, made of malted barley and other grains, in the Mash Tun. 67


Members Images - Gary Jones Everything needs to be spick and span.

68


Members Images - Gary Jones

69


Members Images - Gary Jones

Market Research - Luke and Joseph sample a few competitors’ beers over a quick lunch at the brewery bar.

70


Members Images - Gary Jones

Transferring the wort from the Mash Tun into the Brew Kettle, where it will be boiled along with added hops and other ingredients.

71


Members Images - Gary Jones Luke giving the wort a final taste test to see if it’s ready to transfer to the Brew Kettle.

72


Members Images - Gary Jones

73


Members Images - Joan Ransley

Joan Ransley The ethics of shell fishing, the isle of mull In January, this year I headed north to the Isle of Mull to meet Guy Grieve, founder of the Ethical Shellfish Company, on his boat ‘Helenda’, to spend a day photographing his story for Delicious. magazine. Guy had won a prestigious Delicious. Food Produce Award for his hand dived scallops which are supplied to some of the UK’s top restaurants and supermarkets.

Ethical Shellfish Company Head Quarters, Salen Pier, Isle of Mull, Argyll, Scotland 74


Members Images - Joan Ransley

75


Members Images - Joan Ransley

Guy pushes the boundaries in all areas of his life. He has lived on three continents, sailed around the Caribbean with his wife and two young sons in tow, survived a winter living alone in the wilds of Alaska and written up his experience in a book entitled ‘Call of the Wild’. To support his growing family on their return to the UK, Guy tried diving for scallops. While diving, he rediscovered the ‘pure wilderness’ he had grown to love in Alaska and, in 2010, he set up the Ethical Shellfish Company. Only a tiny proportion of the annual UK King Scallop haul is handdived, the rest are dredged using heavy steel dredgers, which have a devastating impact on the seabed structure and biodiversity. Hand diving reduces the environmental cost of harvesting scallops because there is no bycatch, the seabed remains intact and minimal fuel is consumed by the small boats used to ferry the divers around. On the days leading up to the shoot, I checked the weather forecast assiduously as I knew it could snow, the temperature could plummet, and high winds could rage. Fortunately, when I arrived to meet Guy at Salen Pier early in the morning, it was cold, with a light breeze but the sky was clear. The main problem was the dazzling sun which cast deep shadows everywhere. Low flying helicopters were busy winching huge boxes of boxes of fish from supersized fishing boats docked on the pier. They were a reminder of how important the fishing industry is to the Isle of Mull. I climbed on board Helenda and was immediately aware of the movement of the boat - pitching, rolling and yawing. Once I’d got used to the movement, I began taking the photos I needed as Guy and his crew worked. Diving is a potentially hazardous occupation and my photographic story included documenting Guy getting into his dry suit, pulling on his fins, fitting his weight belt and air tank, and dropping backwards into the sea as well as landing and grading the scallops. On a good day, a diver can collect about 450 scallops during a 40 minute dive. I even checked out how delicious the scallops were as Guy prepared and cooked a few in a little butter and chopped garlic on a small stove in the wheelhouse for me to try. Sometimes we are not aware of the lengths that are taken to bring such delicacies from small remote communities such as Mull to tables across the country, so it was great to help tell this story. www.ethicalshellfishcompany.co.uk www.joanransley.co.uk

Thanks to Delicious. magazine for permission to use these photographs.

76


Members Images - Joan Ransley Guy Grieve, founder of the Ethical Shellfish Company.

77


Members Images - Joan Ransley

Guy Grieve, preparing for a dive.

A net of scallops. 78

Preparing a scallop, opening.


Members Images - Joan Ransley

Grading scallops. Immature, undersized scallops are returned to the seabed.

Preparing a scallop, open. 79


Members Images - Joan Ransley

Guy Grieve, founder of the Ethical Shellfish Company. 80


Members Images - Joan Ransley

Scallop with starfish in the background.

81


Members Images - Maureen Connelly LRPS

Maureen Connelly LRPS Holy dusters and tomb cleaners

82


Members Images - Maureen Connelly LRPS

Anyone who has visited Salisbury Cathedral may have wondered why looks as good as it does and why it feels so good to be there? Part of the reason is because of almost 700 volunteers, working in over 25 different teams, helping to maintain the wonder that is Salisbury Cathedral. One of those teams is the Holy Dusters and Tomb Cleaners. A group of some 45 volunteers, nearly all women, each working one shift every two weeks, to maintain the woodwork in the Choir, and the side Chapels, and keeping the tombs free of dust. No products are used, just dusters and brushes buffing centuries old wood and tombs. These images are in praise of their work.

83


Members Images - Maureen Connelly

84


Members Images - Maureen Connelly

85


Members Images - Philip Joyce ARPS

Philip Joyce ARPS I Serve

Ich Dien (I Serve) is the motto of the Prince of Wales and has been since 1346; along with the three feathers, it forms the widely recognised Welsh emblem used extensively by the armed forces and national sports teams. When my father joined the Royal Navy, in 1947, it was the obvious choice for his almost obligatory tattoo. As a small boy, I was fascinated by this picture that could not be scrubbed off and would be there for all time. My mother hated it, and claimed all sorts of calamity would ensue if I ever got a tattoo. I therefore do not have one…but the seed of a photographic exploration had been unconsciously planted. The explorer James Cook noted, in 1779, that ‘The universality of tattooing is a curious subject for speculation’ and his observation tells us that body adornment, in a variety of forms, has been around for many centuries. Tattoos have long been associated with the UK armed forces and certain sections of the working class. This surely led to the attitudes captured in part by Truman Capote when he said “There’s something really the matter with most people who wear tattoos…it’s the sign of some feeling of inferiority, they’re trying to establish some macho identification for themselves.” People with tattoos, especially men, have long been treated with suspicion, as much as curiosity, by mainstream society. It is over 50 years since my father got his tattoo, and attitudes have changed; many still view tattoos with distaste, and disdain the public display of evermore elaborate tattoos. Tattoo artist parlours are an increasingly common feature on the High Street, and in a world where celebrity culture dictates social mores we have seen footballers and musicians influence the desirability of tattoos and other forms of body art. Styles vary from the Traditional formats (ships, anchors etc.) that developed from the Tribal designs seen (and adopted) by Captain Cook’s crews to include Realism (from the 1950s), Watercolour (a new vogue), New School (a comic book style most popular in the 1980s and early 1990s), Neo Traditional (a development of Traditional aesthetics with blended colours and various line weights to create a more sophisticated piece), Japanese (or Irezumi) covering the period 1603-1868 and illustrating traditional myths and legends, and Blackwork (using only black ink and covering a diversity of styles with geometrical designs being the most popular). American journalist and writer Michelle Delio published ‘Tattoo: The Exotic Art of Skin Decoration’ in 1994 and said “Tattooing is about personalizing the body, making it a true home and temple fit for the spirit that dwells inside it.” Whether people wear tattoos to shock or simply share their lives through body art, I have sought to illustrate the various styles and tried to convey something of the personalities of my subjects. In some cases, in the spirit of creating body art, I have processed the image to emphasise the features that caught my attention. www.philipjoycephotography.co.uk

86


Members Images - Philip Joyce ARPS

87


Members Images - Philip Joyce

88


Members Images - Philip Joyce

89


Members Images - Philip Joyce ARPS

90


Members Images - Philip Joyce ARPS

91


Members Images - Philip Joyce

92


Members Images - Philip Joyce

93


Members Images - Tim Foster

Tim Foster All roads lead to Wigan pier All Roads Lead to Wigan Pier is a photographic journey born of the UK’s vote to leave the EU in 2016. The project coincides with the 80th anniversary of the publication of George Orwell’s book, The Road To Wigan Pier, and has become an exploration and challenge of difference, identity and civic pride. Inspired by the disparity of the Brexit results between Wigan and London, I decided to make a regular monthly journey back from my London home to Wigan in an attempt to unravel the issues and attitudes underpinning this apparent national divide. By exploring again, the place where I was born and brought up, through encounters and dialogues, I have created a large body of work that is a document of its people, industry and customs. I mainly used a Canon 5D mk3 with a fixed 35mm lens, and a Hasselblad 500CM with rolls of Provia 100F, and with a GoPro mounted on my shoulder to record the encounters and time. It was a rough old time getting people involved and gaining their trust. Sometimes, I had to work instantly on a first encounter, and on other occasions it took several sittings where the opening conversation was always about Brexit and then Orwell. I worked through community centers, churches and art groups who were not all up for resurrecting

94


Members Images - Tim Foster

the perceived bad name that Orwell had given Wigan. At one point, I was astounded that even the Orwell Society asked me not to include in a presentation any pictures of poor housing and people, for fear of upsetting the council. Things were going to be tough! In Wigan, 64% had voted to leave the EU, and most people that I spoke to simply didn’t know people who voted otherwise; but then, neither did I living in London. The project therefore developed into two conversations existing together, and I decided to include this in the gallery exhibition by presenting Orwell’s text alongside the conversations from my own journey. A lot of the time, I was literally scared, walking into places I’d never been, wandering around council estates, approaching and chatting much more than I was photographing. One day I met a man who looked like he was going to kill me for raising my camera and I was reminded I couldn’t hide in the mass of the city like London, here I stuck out like a sore thumb. He shouted, “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” When I explained that ‘I wasn’t too sure’, he laughed, and we ended up sitting on the tarmac of a car park chatting for an hour before I took his picture. My Polish girlfriend said to me one day, “You know you love someone when you love them and hate them in equal measure” and this is how I felt documenting this changing time in Wigan. The exhibition will take place at Wigan’s Turnpike gallery with 50 1mx1m prints mounted on aluminium from 23rd September -11th November (https://www.theturnpike.org.uk/tim-foster) www.timothyfoster.co.uk

95


Members Images - Tim Foster

96


Members Images - Tim Foster

97


Members Images - Tim Foster

98


Members Images - Tim Foster

99


Photo Fair Review

Unseen Photo Fair Amsterdam 2017 Dr Graham Wilson

Apparently, “Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips raised $19,297,765 in photography auction sales in New York and London in the first 6 months of 2017.” The market for photographs has shifted dramatically in the last 40yrs or so. It used to be that most money for investment in art overall was ‘old’ money – largely inherited wealth from one generation to another. Collectors of art invested in known artists with substantial price tickets. Collectors with less cash would invest in lesser known artists, but still focus on media such as paintings rather than photography. The few that saw photographs as an investment opportunity would buy them through book dealers and the antique book departments of auction houses. There were only a handful of serious investors; they each knew one another and most had conservative tastes. This market has transformed in recent years, spurred on by a global increase in the availability of ‘new’ money. As a result, buyers range from the naive novice to the sophisticated ‘name’. Their tastes are far more liberal and there is a genuine market for new talent. It is into this milieu, that Unseen Amsterdam was launched eight years ago. It sees itself as one of the foremost exhibitions of young photographic talent from around the world. Alongside the main show floor with 50+ galleries and agencies represented there is a large, photobook fair attended by 60 independent publishers. There’s a separate hall with a dozen or so collaborative projects, and a small array of exhibits outside the main show ground. There’s an annual award programme, supported by ING bank, which is based around the pre-selection of five emerging talents who are mentored by a famous name, and finally judged by a panel; and there’s several ancillary prizes supported by other sponsors. Throughout the three days, there were a variety of talks in a large dimly-lit auditorium with a variety of formal and sofa-style seating. The relationship between photography and art is hard to define. Anyone keen to improve their pure photo-taking, may well be disappointed by Unseen. This exhibition leans heavily towards the artistic – not simply beautiful fine art renditions, but major installations where it was necessary to look closely to see the photograph at all. Some work was totally abstract. Sitting in a recycled freight container, three Chinese artists, wearing spotted pyjamas, used a photocopier to produce black and white pages, which they tore up, pasted into recycled assemblages, and fixed to the walls of the container. And they did this for three days. In a large wooden pyramid with a connecting Perspex chamber, were three large photographs of stacks of pennies, and a collection of framed pieces of partly completed embroidery. An associated, and heavily promoted, ‘Photo Pleasure Palace’, access to which was charged separately, featured five fairground inspired attractions loosely related to photography.

100


Photo Fair Review

The photobook market is a crucial one for emerging photographers. It is a way to be seen and acknowledged. By having their work on display, albeit in small hardbacks, they hope that they will be discovered by the collecting community. It is also a low-cost entry point for collectors too. Someone who invests successfully in a very limited-edition photobook, may spend more next time, and so on. Unfortunately, no-one seems to have explained this to the vast majority of the publishers present. The only way someone could ‘discover’ a talent was by trawling through a thousand books, most of which were not even displayed, but merely lying face down on a trestle table, overseen by bored vendors! No online catalogue; no listing based on genre (or any other criteria); only one or two display panels to attract attention. There were a lot of visitors – as well as serious investors, there was an interesting mix of glammed up followers, several parties of students from academic institutions, and many amateurs (both photographers and other artists). Speaking to some of the photography students, who might be expected to both engage with, and have an informed critical voice about, the exhibition as a whole, opinions were generally reserved. Most hinted that there was a lot of work that depended on context to be able to understand it, and without that context, it would be easy to dismiss the images. Perhaps a good example, was an array of A5-sized photographs of Iranian postage stamps, printed on a textured material, and displayed in thick matching white frames. Frankly, an A-level media studies student could produce a more imaginative work. However, they took on more significance when it was explained that they had been steamed off the envelopes of letters sent by a freelance photographer to his parents before he was killed. I suppose that the challenge to collectors, is to discern whether context (rather than the artist’s future reputation) will determine the value of their investment when it is seen in galleries in years to come. A beacon of light in this otherwise abstract, art-led space, was a talk by Edmund Clark (War on Terror). His voice barely amplified by the inadequate PA system, could nevertheless be heard clearly and calmly from the back of the room. Here is a photographer with immense presence, driven by his sense of duty, prepared to put his life on the line (I suspect that Clark’s life is more at risk than any photographer of armed conflict), who has managed to infiltrate, cajole, persuade, and step just inches on the right side of the law, to document some of the most atrocious breaches of human rights inflicted by Western forces in living memory. That his work has been displayed by the Imperial War Museum is almost incredible. Undoubtedly, he is an outstanding documentary photographer, and one who has found the delicate balancing point where art enhances your message without obscuring it.

Abstract art

Bored

Hands and gloves

Pyjamas

101


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.

Facebook

102

Flickr

Instagram

Twitter


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 2017 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

103


Dr. Charles Ashton ARPS

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

RPS The Decisive Moment Sept 2017  
RPS The Decisive Moment Sept 2017  

The Decisive Moment, published by the Royal Photographic Society's Documentary Group, is a quarterly journal that showcases the work of it's...