‘Ancient darkness rushes in.’

From ’Newgrange’ by Thomas R. Smith, an account of a visit to a burial chamber in Ireland. ‘We know that cremated remains were brought here. possibly the flint-hewn basins were for birthing. On sunrise at Winter Solstice light plays down the passage all the way to the inner chamber for about seventeen minutes, assuming clear […]

‘The lights of home are somewhere behind me..’

‘But what I remember is standing on the back seat of a Galaxie 500, looking out the rear window as my mother drives along unlit country roads. I stare, with a deep thrill I can’t name, at the black sky above and then at the rushing road below, so briefly illuminated by the car’s taillights […]

‘Controlled recklessness…the bite of chemicals’

In 1999, Marc Atkins and Iain Sinclair published a book together, ‘Liquid City’ – writing by Sinclair, black and white photography by Atkins. It’s a portrait of an already vanished London: Bankside power station before it became Tate Modern, Canary Wharf with just the one tall tower. Atkins’ photos are grainy, dark, imperfect, in the […]

Resin coated v Fibre based

See the rather broken, jagged lines between the horizontal sections of this collage? That’s what happens when you tear across a fibre-based print. You can only make the tear once: fiddle about any more and you risk a mess. It’s because fibre-based paper is heavier, thicker and more brittle than the resin-coated variety. As the […]

The cost of photographic paper

I made this image a good few years ago, when I couldn’t afford to spend much money on photographic paper. And this is a large image, 16 inch by 12, when most of my photos are more like 8 x 8. It’s in the nature of photograms that you can’t know the end result till […]

‘What do these nothings mean?’

A harsher, more stark black and white contrast than for many of my photos; for this image I treated the photogram like a monoprint. If the photographic surface has developer on it before exposure to light, the developer shows up as a white area. So for this photo I scattered developer on pieces of the […]

Dark, brooding skylines

One of the reasons for starting this blog was that Instagram limits images to squares, or at least works best in that format. The blog gives me a chance to show larger images, and photograms with different dimensions. I’ve shown this one on Instagram, placing it horizontally, but originally I had it in a vertical […]

‘For light of its very nature diffuses itself…’

‘For light of its very nature diffuses itself in every direction in such a way that a point of light will produce instantaneously a sphere of light of any size whatsoever, unless some opaque object stands in the way’ It sounds like a description of a photogram. In fact, it’s the second sentence of De […]

‘Fiery capillaries of copper, cobalt, gold’

It’s made from long shreds of dark tissue paper, this image, but to my eye it looks geological, like veins of quartz through contorted strata of rock. I briefly studied geology many years ago and I still like the language; Ordovician, Silurian, Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Cretaceous… They are simply names to identify the age of […]


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