Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Irish food.

If you ask anybody on the planet which is the best food, they'll happily wax lyrical about the French, Italians, Greeks, Indians etc etc etc.
If somebody mentioned Irish or British food, you'd be inclined to picture them wearing a straitjacket, slobbering dementedly in a padded cell.

It is, after all, unthinkable that a sane person would ENJOY eating bland, stodgy, fatty slop!
But I think you'd be wrong...

Good, wholesome, fresh food, much of it organically produced, is my take on Irish food. Think about this. A veritable treat for visitors to the Emerald Isle is the local food. A full Irish breakfast, sausages, rashers of bacon, a couple of fried eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, maybe a potato cake, toast with REAL butter, all washed down with a cup or two of Barry's tea, laced with milk and sugar. Just the thing to get you sorted before heading off for a morning's sheep shagging or hill walking on a grey, rainy day.

Stop for lunch in some secluded spot. A crumbed ham and red cheddar cheese sandwich on soft, fresh white bread with a nice crispy crust on it.

And a steaming bowl of Irish stew for dinner, nice lean chunks of mutton with the freshest vegetables that God ever grew, or perhaps a creamy fish pie, with prawns and cod and salmon smothered in cream, nestling snugly under a crust of creamed potato topped with melted cheese. Yes, I hear you shriek. But its FULL of calories. A heart attack on a plate!

Maybe so. But it all tastes bloody good. And the odd bit of hill walking and chasing sheep around the bog in the rain works off a calory or two...

And give me a nice pint of Guinness any day over a glass of poxy, pretentious red wine.

The frogs, eyeties and ass bandits could learn a thing or two about cuisine from us Paddies!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Rules are laid down for the guidance of wise men and the obeyance of fools.

Any half decent photographer will be familiar with the "rules". But to become a good photographer one needs to be able to break the rules.

My new exhibition will be at a size of 12 X 16 inches rather than my usual 12 X 18 inches. This will make the photos more square, which will not be as pleasing to the eye, but I don't really give a toss. It will suit ME because I can buy four frames for the same price as three this way.

I'm shooting for two exhibitions and two books as well. They'll probably not sell, but I really don't care. I'm doing these things to share my visions. I've cancelled a third book, as it seems to be close to impossible to find models who are willing to push the boundaries to create something DIFFERENT. No point in dwelling on that! Book cancelled!

I'm going to try to put more grit into my work. Up to now I've been trying to make models look "pretty". I don't think women are pretty all the time. I'm going to try to uncover the more sinister side to women.

That should be an interesting project...

And it should break a few rules too!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Photography and critique...

A photographer recently told me that her work was slagged off by another "well known" photographer. The two eventually met, and the slagging turned into a compliment as soon as the critic realised that he was speaking to a good looking young female. This is the actual secret of dismissing a lot of online critique...

On the internet, certain people think that they are high class photographic gurus, and nobody's work is as good as theirs. They feel that they have a God given right to pooh pooh other's work. They will be unstinting in their condemnation of another's work, simply because they CAN be. They can be as rude as they like without fear of recrimination or a well deserved kick in the teeth.

Now, the truth of the matter is that NO photograph is impervious to critique, as any half witted critic can find SOMETHING to take issue with. If your photo is technically excellent, it can be asassinated by a well aimed missile targeting lack of artistic merit, and, indeed, vice versa.

I have often seen people denigrating the work of others who are unknown to them, and changing their tune after meeting in the flesh. There are countless incidents of people on "networking" websites forming cliques, and banding together as "keyboard warriors" to bash some poor unfortunate whose work or style is "different" to theirs.

A common factor in online critique is jealousy. Somebody takes a good photograph which addresses an issue where another has difficulty, and the envy factor goes into warp drive.

You'll not often find a "professional" photographer slagging off another "professional" as that could start a turf war. But you'll sometimes find "professionals" slating amateurs, even though an amateur's work is often of a higher standard than a pro's. This is most likely because pro's very often only have a certain sized cake to share out, and if more amateurs turn pro, then the slices of that cake become a bit smaller... That ensures the absolute MINIMUM of encouragement!

Don't get me wrong. OBJECTIVE critique can be a very useful tool in improving your photography. Thats how we can learn and get better.

But the important thing about critique is to keep a level head about it all. Don't get discouraged. If YOU like your photo, it's probably very good! So keep plugging away, keep learning.

But just remember...

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT PHOTOGRAPH. And there is no such thing as definitive critique. Because people differ...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Rasher sandwich...

Much has been written (and more said!) about the joys of a good old Irish rasher sandwich. (Bacon sandwich, to you philistines from far off shores!).

There is a certain level of preparation to this art form.

Firstly, you must go to your kitchen and light your grill. (If your grill is electric you should not attempt to use a match to light it - you'll burn your fingers).

As your grill heats up, you should select at least THREE perfect rashers of bacon from your pack. If you bought your rashers from ANY major supermarket chain, you are already fighting a losing battle! Only buy rashers from tinkers or chancers - they're too stupid to try to con you into buying rashers cut from piggies loaded with water. You might just find a DECENT rasher from them.

Place your rashers CAREFULLY on your grill pan. Insert grill pan under grill. Cook until sizzling. Then turn over (the rashers, not the pan). And cook other side until sizzling.

In the meantime, cut two hunks of Kelly's small loaf (fresh). Butter liberally with REAL butter (none of that Low Low shite). According to taste or sexuality (Lesbians and Homos like sauce), apply your chosen sauce to the BREAD!

Evenly spread the rashers (still sizzling) onto the bread. Apply the upper part of the sandwich. Turn off the TV and the radio. Tell the wife / girlfriend / dog etc to go away.

Munch and enjoy...

Isn't that BETTER than sex?

Perfect photos?

I really don't think it can be done. If a human being has a camera in his or her hand, and attempts to take a "perfect" photo, I think that it is physically impossible to take a "perfect" photo.

Take the "maestro", Ansell Adams.

That fecker needs lessons in focusing!

And he is the benchmark to which I must aspire?

As a photographer I am therefore definitely FUCKED!