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PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORIES
Chris Beetles Fine Photographs, located near Piccadilly, is a fantastic gallery that specialises in photography. Last night it held a private view to launch its Michael Kenna exhibition. The photographer was present and he was questioned in front of an audience to give a small glimpse into the way he works. He takes magnificent landscapes that are simple, graphic and sometimes abstract but they are breathtaking. The fourth and fifth photos here are of the man himself. I even bumped into Rian Hughes, who I normally see at comic events, down there. The exhibition runs into January 2013 and if you’re interested in photography, you should get yourself down there…
http://www.chrisbeetlesfinephotographs.com

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FROM FAMINE TO FEAST

The life of a freelancer is a strange one. You can go from scrabbling around for the odd crumb of work to having to really plan your time within a week. January was a terrible month for me: there was little work around and I was without my car for its entirety. Now into the second week of February, I have just landed a few days a week regular subbing/ production work that will see me into late May/ early June. On top of that, it looks like a TRIPWIRE 20th anniversary book looks like a real possibility for sometime around August. I also need to finish my spooky London photo book plus my comic creator portraits book, which ties in with the Gosh exhibition that kicks off on March 10th. I have also landed some more Judge Dredd Megazine and Big Issue in The North work and I am doing more for Comic Heroes, which means that I am off to Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle at the end of March. We have also booked tables at Bristol (as ever) but also at Kapow! in May. There’s also some other things bubbling under but if they happen, they would be amazing. So I am insanely busy from now until the beginning of the summer. But a week ago, I was still wondering how I was going to get by the next few months. I’ll be including ordering information on the two books (Faces and Spooked) as it gets closer but here’s a few images including covers to whet your appetite. I’ll be posting a blog entry on the Gosh exhibition nearer the time…

A PICTURE OF MODERN PHOTOGRAPHY
2011 sees the World Photography Organisation hosting their photography festival in London for the first time. Located at Somerset House on The Strand, this week-long celebration of the best in world photography runs from 26th April to 1st May and features many of the world’s finest photographic practitioners. Thanks to the generosity of the organisers, who have kindly donated a promotional code that gives visitors here 15% off entry.
This special offer ends on April 4th – don’t miss out: buy your Festival pass today before it’s too late!
To benefit from the 15% discount, enter now the following promotional code PROMO15 in the gift voucher box using this link: http://bit.ly/h7IHC4
I’ll be visiting the festival myself and it’s a stunning venue located right on the river Thames.
To see the festival’s schedule, just visit this link: http://bit.ly/eFsd45

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MAGNUM OPUS
The Chris Beetles Gallery has been a fantastic oasis of illustration in St James’s for years now and, with them also dealing in photography, it was inevitable that they would one day open a gallery just devoted to that. Last Tuesday, I went to the launch of the Chris Beetles Fine Photographs. Located on Swallow Street near Piccadilly, the space kicks off with an exhibition from the wonderful Eve Arnold, female Magnum photographer and the woman who shot Marilyn Monroe when she was making The Misfits. It’s well worth a visit as it’s a lovely space and it’s nice to see Arnold’s work on display. It’s also obvious that the owners will be taking as much care with this as they have done with the Illustration gallery and it’s a worthy addition to the photo galleries in the West End of London.
http://www.chrisbeetlesfinephotographs.com/

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FAMINE TO FEAST
I realise that I haven’t posted here in a few weeks. I’ve been lucky enough to be working back at Guinness World Records after the lovely people at Which? terminated my contract early. Although, after what happened, I feel I may have had a lucky escape. I’ve always said that freelancing is famine or feast and it’s currently in its feast phase. Apart from working at GWR, I have been doing more features for Sci Fi Now (Hellblazer 25th anniversary and Futurama), more for the Judge Dredd Megazine (Predators) and diving into a new TRIPWIRE. This new issue will hopefully be the best one we’ve pulished. I’ve also been doing lots more photography with Stone Gardens, my London Cemeteries book now up at Blurb, which looks fantastic and I’ve also put together a photo portfolio book of my best shots to show to potential clients and employers. So the blog has taken a back seat. I’ll be posting a Robin Hood review later this week but here’s the cover to my photo portfolio book and three interior spreads…

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PICTURE OF THE PAST
I’ve written about the Chris Beetles Gallery here before as they’ve shown some fantastic illustration work from the likes of Edmund DuLac, Mervyn Peake, Quentin Blake and many others. But they are becoming almost as well known for their photography so I thought I’d put a small plug up for them. Running until November 7th is their Duffy exhibition and Duffy was a fantastic London photographer and a contemporary of David Bailey and Norman Parkinson, shooting people like Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Sammy Davis Jr and many more. It was thought that the negatives to much of his work were destroyed thirty years ago but they have been unearthed and you can see a selection of his magnificent work at the Chris Beetles Gallery on Ryder Street, just off St James’s Street in London. So if you’re passing, you should check it out…
www.chrisbeetles.com

A PICTURE OF HEALTH

I went to an interesting talk tonight or two talks in fact. The London Photographic Association held an evening where two photographers spoke: Sukey Parnell and John Ferguson. Parnell specialises in portraiture whereas Ferguson comes from a news and sports newspaper background. Both had something interesting to say and both made me realise that I am someone who takes photos rather than someone who is a professional photographer, which since I don’t earn money from photography is a pretty obvious point. But I can still enjoy taking photos. Ferguson talked about photographing Michael Jackson while at the same time pursuing his own personal projects. It was worth the £5 I spent on the evening and I’ll definitely be checking out future LPA evenings.

http://www.johnferguson.co.uk/

http://www.sukeyparnell.com/