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Monday, 01 August 2022


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Mike, this, for some rather unclear reason, leads me to think about - and miss - the goode olde days of the 50s through to the mid-80s, when I still saw professional photography as an amazing career, well worth the efforts required to get anywhere, or even simply to survive.

I know that I also make a somewhat as misty connection with digital as harbinger of widespread decline and fall in both the art and the profession. I think much of it’s to do with innocence, and the widespread lack of communication during the pre-Internet era. In Britain, in Europe - France possibly an exception - there were no photography-specific galleries one could visit: I took all my aesthetic photographic education straight out of the pages of Vogue and PopPhot’s two Annuals. I guess it did me no harm, got me thinking commercially, and saved me wasting my precious time and rapidly vanishing youth on stuff such as today’s notions of conceptual photography, which for me, is one gigantic art world scam.

Best of all, in my era, it was essential that I learned how to print in both black/white and in colour. I believe that to have been key to understanding the basics of getting the exposure right in the camera, still the best way to do it today. If somebody else prints your stuff, how can you ever know how well or poorly you exposed? All in all, we oldies were damned lucky to have been around when we were.

I mostly agree with British conventions in the use of English. But “holiday” is an exception. They refer to their annual leave from work as their “holidays” whereas North Americans tend to use the term “vacation”. I’m pretty sure the term “holidays” is derived from “holy days”. Thus, in my mind, time off for Christmas or Easter would be holidays, whereas annual leave for rest and revitalization are more accurately referred to as vacation; where you have temporarily vacated your post at work.

Nice post, which I remembered more or less from way back when. But a bit weird to see Jim Hughes presented, his answers to questions included, as if he was still alive.

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