Chris Sutcliff

Artist Man I am

Photo

14th Nov 2017

Camera Practice 5 – Portrait

Amy agreed to be my model without knowing that I had never directed a model before. It turns out that is quite a difficult skill to just wing on the day, so I didn’t know where she should look or how she should look or how long anything was going to take. She stared into the sun too long because of a certain shot I wanted to get and was reduced to tears. She might not be my model again.

I think this will be my last camera practice post. I’m sort of getting the hang of it all now, and not just because I figured out how to make backgrounds go blurry. My current issue is editing. Apple recently did an iOS update that made photos take up less space on your phone, unfortunately this also meant that they did not format properly on my site. As I can no longer upload photos here from my phone, I cannot use Apple’s pretty good editing software to get the images looking good, nor can they be sent here from my Instagram account. It’s a bit of a pain in the arse. As an interim remedy, I am uploading the pics from my laptop, but it is not an amazing piece of kit and the editing software in the photo folder is basic, to say the least. I have a friend who believes he can get me a decent package that has been ‘borrowed’ from the internet, so it should be all good again soon.

With that in mind, my next photo uploads to this site should be honest to goodness attempts at actual photos that actually look good, otherwise you’re doomed to endless posts of me pratting about making rookie mistakes that both offend and embarrass all my readers. If you’re even still here.

by Chris
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14th Nov 2017

Camera Practice 4 – Holiday Snaps

Don’t you just hate it when people show you their holiday photos? What a grotesque and self aggrandising display, a total lack of respect for anyone else’s time and energy. We don’t give a shit about YOUR holiday, that’s why YOU went on it and we fucking didn’t. Anyway, here are mine.

At the end of each day, just as the sun starts to set and the rough seas of the afternoon are calming in readiness for the evening, the women of the village come to the sea to fish for octopus. They use hand lines that they throw out into the bay and then reel straight back in, over and over again, pacing up and down the seafront to cover the greatest allowable area. I followed this lady to the point of looking weird and creepy, taking shot after shot while I adjusted the shutter speed like the hapless novice I am. Eventually I got this image of her silhouetted against the sunset in mid-cast and was super impressed with myself. I ran over and showed her immediately, she seemed utterly perplexed that this was a thing worth getting excited about, which I suppose would happen if you did it every day. I then ran up to her friend and asked if I could take a picture of her too. She gave me a look that suggested I should just piss off instead. Not everyone likes a giddy hippy camera twat getting all up in their face. No sir, they don’t.

by Chris
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28th Sep 2017

Camera Practice 3 – Derelicts.

Burnley has been undergoing a fairly rigorous regeneration period of late, owing to many things but most notably the success of the football club and the opening of a rail link to Manchester, making it a proper satellite town that people can finally find on a map, or at least want to. Where there used to be derelict properties like this on almost every street, now they are being repurposed and recycled as flats, coffee bars and trendy offices for start up businesses. Whilst I obviously welcome this new lease of life, I’ve always had a fondness for buildings in this state; broken, empty and etched with the ravages of time and neglect. They are much more interesting, characterful and real than whatever they ultimately get turned into. I will miss them when they are all gone.

It is still exciting taking pictures of them though. It’s amazing how shifty and threatening people seem to be when you’re in a run down part of town with a camera. Especially when that town is Burnley. The facades have all been polished, sure, but in the cracks and the shadows the residents remain unchanged. I’ve learned to take pictures quite quickly, and then bugger off.

by Chris
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24th Sep 2017

Camera practice 2 – Barriers.

There is a security fence around my block of flats, more specifically it encircles some waste ground opposite my flat where another building was going to be until their money ran out. There is nothing there but scrubland, and traces of concrete foundations and waste water pipes. I couldn’t tell you what the razor wire is protecting, or whom it is protecting against. I don’t know if the additional security deters thieves from accessing my estate, or if it makes us look more attractive to them.

Whatever it is for, it is secure.

The Leeds to Liverpool canal also wraps around half my estate, snaking south out of the town and then heading west towards Blackburn, which always makes me feel sorry for it. It is very much like a moat. My second line of defence. Another barrier. The photo is the reflection of the motorway overpass on the canal surface. I nearly fell in whilst taking it.

Keep smiling.

by Chris
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18th Sep 2017

Camera Practice 1

My first decent practice attempts with my new camera, starring some people I don’t know in a pub, my mates beard, and a road I like to stand in the middle of so that cars don’t have to try too hard to hit me.

They were shot from the hip, and are part of my continued efforts to not rely on the auto settings of the camera, I’m trying to do it all properly like. I did take some colour shots, but they looked like they could have been done with any old camera, so black and white is my preference by a country mile. And speaking of country miles, I didn’t really get anything interesting from the landscape shots, so it would seem I also prefer people and interiors. By which I mean the pub. I prefer the pub.

Uploaded straight from my iPhone as a jpeg, because I don’t have photoshop. So the quality will just have to be whatever.

Enjoy?

by Chris
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