Blakemore trivia


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Blakemore trivia

29 Dec 2020 8:09AM   Views : 398 Unique : 295


John Blakemore is an interesting photographer, largely absent from the interwebs: he’s just that sort of age that it wasn’t around for him or others to document most of what he’s done.

I had the privilege of a three-day course with him in around 2006 or 2007, organised by Colin Westgate. Two days were devoted to looking at and talking about photographs: but the first was spent on each of us hand-making a small photo album. At that point, Blakemore (noted for the precision and perfection of large-format images, beautifully printed) was exploring the use of colour enprints in handmade albums and booklets.

This is an example of the ‘what do you do after being George Best?’ problem. If you are exceptionally creative, it’s not enough to go on doing the same thing over and over again. It’s important to find new worlds to conquer. And so Blakemore was spending the effort on finding things to photograph, and unifying them through putting them together in a small and unusual format.


It’s probably true to say that not everybody would see the work Blakemore was pursuing when I met him as anywhere near as interesting as his classic tulip images – but art has to satisfy the maker as well as the consumer. Are those uncomfortable words (maker, consumer) in this context?

It’s also true to say that John Blakemore is a subversive soul: untroubled by the values that afflict many of us. My favourite story from those three days was about the company that contacted him with a major commission: they wanted him to photograph India, and the budget would easily allow six weeks’ shooting on location. He declined, explaining that he had an ongoing project to photograph a stretch of a Derbyshire stream. Six years, and continuing… Not a good match of expectations, and a wise photographer avoided a conflict.

My homemade book is unused, nearly 14 years on from manufacture (another dubious word, in the context?) – but my wife and I have decided what to do with it: pressed flowers on the right pages, and poems or quotations on the left side.


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dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
29 Dec 2020 8:11AM
Give yourself a treat: seek out a couple of Blakemore images on the web and enjoy them. He's a superb craftsman, and his pictures are very beautiful. If you can find one of his books at a price you can afford... But it...

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