The first Liverpool Comic Con naturally appealed to me. I’ve been to a few before. London in err… 2007? Toronto in 2006. I took photos. I took bad photos. Jaunty angle boring photos, which got huge traffic at the time. So I was tempted to visit the Liverpool Comic Con but I was concerned it would be overflowing with people like me from 2006. I realise that I need to find my own unique voice and angle, so the thought of hanging out with lots of other photographers all fighting for the same photo at an event like this really isn’t appealing. I’m sure you’re all beautiful snowflakes but there’s no point in everyone shooting over each other shoulders for the same photo.
Morning Gloryville is an event that takes place on the first Wednesday of the month at Constellations in Liverpool. It’s basically a morning rave from 6:30am till about 10am. A morning rave. Crazy. Constellations is right next to a school so when some kids are wandering into school going “Ugh its too early.” there are people bouncing out of a rave filled with more energy than your average star. It’s a great contrast.
I was too young for raving as it developed in the early 90s. I do remember my cousins talking about places like the Paradox. I didn’t get it. I was perfectly content playing Elite 2: Frontier and Street Fighter 2 on my Amiga. I missed out on raving the night away and photographing it all.
For the past few years I’ve enjoyed making a series of portraits at Liverpool Pride. This year was no exception, even with the rain. I was equipped with a newly purchased Hasselblad 500cm and set to work. Due to the rain I shot 4 on my Fuji X100s as I was a bit over-protective of the Hasselblad, which when you think about it is silly. The Hasselblad has no electronics whereas the X100s is filled with them. Anyway. It was good fun and great to chat with people.
The X100 photos are the last 4. The rest are Hasselblad. There’s a bit of a light leak issue but I’ve got a kit on its way from Italy to correct that. Only about £6 and its an easy fix. Even at f/4 the depth of field is crazy. I thought these were all in focus but it seems that medium format is very unforgiving. You absolutely have to nail the focus, even at f/4. Tricky when the viewfinder is reversed so your natural instincts to correct the composition are the wrong way around. I was saying to my wife this morning that I think the blad is now my favourite camera. It just feels so mechanical. It’s a joy to use. The viewfinder is exceptional and the photos are very very nice. There’s an acceptance of film. Digital I always try and perfect in post. Film I try and perfect at the scene because when I see the print/scan thats the photo. With digital I’m always adjusting shadows, highlights, whites, blacks, clarity, exposure, white balance, etc in Lightroom. I love this camera and can’t wait to use it more. Anyway, less nerd talk more photos.
I visited Tebay Service station last summer to do a photo essay on the UK’s only independent service station. I loved it there. How often can you say that about a service station? Great locally produced food and drink. You can enjoy a burger from a bbq and take in the landscape that the burger once walked around on. It’s fantastic.
While I was eating my burger I noticed an interesting mix of people stopping by. So naturally I asked people if I could make a photograph of them. I met people from Manchester to Poland to France. Some were heading north to Scotland to see friends and some were stopping by to stock up. Quite a few didn’t have any clue that this place existed, just as I didn’t a few months before. The idea of an independent service station is kind of crazy and yet makes perfect sense. Anyway, here’s some of the people I met.
The 4th Liverpool Pride March took place on Saturday, 3rd August. It was a lovely summer’s day filled with colour, sunshine and superheroes. That was the theme this year, superheroes. Armed with my camera I went to talk with the costumed crusaders to find out why they were there and who their superheroes were. Great to see the Lord Mayor Gary Millar, who can be seen marching in my photos from 2011, and his partner lead the procession through town.
Full series and prints available on my archive site.
Tomorrow night, as part of an incredibly epic LightNight, my Look/13 exhibition “Leaves” opens at LEAF on Bold Street. I’m excited, nervous and incredibly grateful to LEAF for allowing me to do the project in the first place as well as exhibit it there as part of the Look photography festival’s parallel programme.
So what is Leaves? A year ago I was sitting in LEAF just taking in all the different people there. It’s like a goldmine of interesting characters and I just had to photograph them. I approached LEAF with the idea and they loved it. So one day in February I turned up with a light and a camera and set to work. I chose the spot at the back against the deep blue wall and created a mini studio. I was there from 9am till 6pm talking to people and making photographs. In all I made 40 portraits and met a lot of lovely people, as can be seen in the Leaves gallery.
I’ve spent the past few months producing portraits for the new It’s magazine by Liverpool Vision. It’s looking great and you can read it online.
Every year the Egg Run sees thousands of bikers journey from New Brighton to Clatterbridge Hospital to raise money for children’s ward. Traditionally Easter Eggs were delivered but in recent years they’ve received over 3,000 eggs so they prefer donations. In 2008 they have raised over Â£25,000 for the kids and the run grows year on year. This year over 12,000 bikers took part. I spoke with a few.
Mr. T. Toner had a unique bike and a great spirit. He’s from Wavertree and plans to race his Piaggio around the TT circuit.