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.

Signs of Life

Signs of Life is an ongoing study looking at the impact that we as humans have on the world around us.  It will focus on many areas and its possibilities are limitless.

The first phase concentrates on what we leave behind.  The contents of tables in cafés, restaurants and service stations.  Whether it is our expectation that someone will clear it up or simply careless pollution.

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24 Redbridge Grove

Art Photobook number four is a bit more personal again and revolves around the miniseries ‘24 Redbridge Grove’. 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.

‘24 Redbridge Grove’ contains images from my paternal grandparents family home over 10 years after Nan had passed away and shortly before Grandad moved from here to residential living. 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 binding

Again with its personal nature I wanted my father to see this work for himself before it being published.

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.

Verne High Angle Battery – Portland UK

Originally built in the 1800’s to defend against a French invasion, the Verne High Angle Battery sits on top of Portland in Dorset next to HMP The Verne.

Although heavily modified during both World Wars, the layout and many of the earlier engravings are still present.

The battery sits at the top of the hill which overlooks Fortuneswell on the Island of Portland and features the remains eight gun emplacements and a small series of tunnels which would have been used to munitions storage.

The site is entirely open to visit but be aware that there is a large amount of broken glass around so its suitability for visiting with dogs is questionable.  The tunnels in particular have a lot of broken glass in them.