Owen Smith

mickyates Candid, Coursework, Critical Research Journal, Event, News, Photography, SSWeek1, SurfacesStrategies Leave a Comment

I occasionally shoot events for local groups, often political. This weekend, Owen Smith, the Welsh MP, was talking to Bath for Europe on ‘Can We Stop Brexit?’

Fun shoot, though reasonably easy to execute. He’s an animated speaker, and the light at Widecombe Social Club was very good.

I enjoy environmental work, though this turned out to be almost a formal portrait shoot, against a lovely simple background.

For such events, I never use flash, trusting instead in the ability of the Leicas to manage ambient light. My weapon of choice is the SL, with the Vario Elmarit 24-90mm zoom, at 800 ISO. The SL is fast, and the VE is as sharp as any prime lens in these situations. Manual exposure, though I find the AF very accurate. I usually underexpose a half or full stop, to make sure I have the highlights.

Quite pleased with the results, as was the Client, which is the most important thing.

Owen mentioned that he wanted some shots to give to the lady who designed his t-shirt …

Like most photographers, I make choices from the Lightroom Library. This time, however, I also decided to create a few contact sheets and look at things ‘the old fashioned way’.

Fun to do, though I am not sure it improved the results!

Ghosts, Traces & Stories

mickyates Aftermath, Art, Cambodia, CambodiaFMP, Collage, ContextualResearch, Coursework, Critical Research Journal, Genocide, Photography, Portrait, Project Development, SSWeek2, SurfacesStrategies Leave a Comment

I am looking for ways to tell today’s story whilst also bringing yesterday’s in front of the viewer.

Anyone who has visited a Genocide Museum, anywhere in the world, will find comments in the Visitor’s Book to the effect that ‘this must not be forgotten’. Whatever reason we visit, paying our respects and acting in witness and remembrance go hand in hand.

Yet too many entries in the Tuol Sleng Visitor’s Book note that the visitor really had no idea what had happened.

The events were ‘hidden’ at the time, and overtaken by other Global news. There was no social media to get the story out.

And, frankly, whilst the Government faithfully ‘remembers’ via the official days in the calendar, the Genocide is still to some extent pushed to one side, for complex political reasons. I continue to see this as Unfinished Business.

I have been researching ways to ‘do’ aftermath photography, and am intrigued by the idea of ‘traces’ of what is left behind.

I have also been re-visiting some of my artwork.

Dusty & Cilla, 1966

I didn’t know it at the time, but an example of ‘appropriation’.

More of my work from that era.

Delft, 1982

Painting / Drawing

This module (Surfaces & Strategies) also puts front and centre the challenges of presentation.

Collage might be an answer.

Images that combine the hidden, yet educate. Images that portray Sarath and others, yet also bring the traces into sharp focus, literally.

And blending media.

Work in progress.


Herschdorfer, Natalie. 2011. Afterwards. London: Thames & Hudson.

Ristelhueber, Sophie & Mayer, Marc & Ladd, Jeffrey. 2009. Sophie Ristelhueber: Fait (Books on Books). New York: Errata.