How do you photograph a funeral?

In British culture we seem very averse to showing emotion or embracing and remembering that part of our life – death.

On this topic, one of my university lecturers spoke of a time she was asked to photograph a Sikh funeral. Despite her reluctance and the families persistence she eventually did. The purpose was not to document a families pain but to celebrate the life of the departed.

I feel British funerals, whether they’re agnostic or Christian, are not yet at the point of being open to the presence of a camera at a funeral.

Today we say farewell and lay to rest Joan Stevens. Joan, being my wife’s nan who practically raised her, was also my children’s last surviving great grandparent. Being something of a hobbyist florist, my mother-in-law wanted to prepare the flowers. This became a family occasion and a chance to start celebrating the life we will gather to remember later today.

10 Paignton Avenue

Art Photobook number three is a bit more personal and revolves around the miniseries ‘10 Paignton Avenue’. This series of images is part of an ongoing, but not yet published, photo essay, ‘Life Death and Photography’.

The overall goal is to study the human temporality and the role photography has to play in our memories and our experience.

‘10 Paignton Avenue’ contains images from my maternal grandparents family home shortly after their deaths and before being sold. The images look at the signs of a life that was as well as a home greatly in need of some TLC and new life.

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Next up the binding!

Given the personal nature of this weeks book I wanted to give a copy to my mother and do it before the publishing of social media posts. Although a series of images she had seen before, seeing them again in this formation was definitely different for her

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Taking inspiration

In my world as a photography teacher we have recently begun the GCSE Externally Set Assignment or exam wherein one of the featured starting points was ‘Texture’.

Taking inspiration from the theme itself and the artists listed I took along my macro kit for this weekends dog walk. Below are a few of the shots from this photo walk.

Portland Castle

Portland Castle was part of King Henry VIIIs plan for defending England from French invasion.  The move was away from the classical huge scale castles and towards strings of defendable positions which were strategically placed to create crossfires and killing fields.  The castle at Portland was built during the mid-1500’s to create a crossfire with castles in Weymouth across the harbour.

Like many defences, Portland Castle was built to repel a French invasion which never came.  The structures use for storage during both World Wars means that it only ever saw real action duringt the English Civil War of the 1600’s where it was captured by the Parliamentary forces.