Workin’ on Livin’, Workin’ on Leavin’, Workin’ on Leavin’ to Live

by diarmuidmcdonald

I left Manchester. It was a fast two years and was getting faster each day. Another day I might take the time to explain why I left, but not today. From a photography perspective, I had finished my project It’s Hard to be a Saint in the City and handed my prints over to the guys at the Real Camera Company for the exhibition. I might continue this project once I return to an urban environment, as there are definitely some weak photos in that set, but we’ll have to wait and see. I had grown sick of the mediocre street photography that Manchester seemed to be producing in abundance. I am sick of watermarks and bokeh, the poorly composed non-events that become Facebook sensations. Lack of content heralded by a mass without substance. Selective colouring. Digital playgrounds. A broadband folk-hero and an ISO fetish. 1’s and 0’s. ‘Nice street shot’. ‘great street scene’. Like Like Like.
I have become a photo snob. Maybe this is a good thing
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The sun seems to shine in the south, and London is very pretty in the daylight. I have met some really great photographers recently, some have had a bunch of exhibitions, others carried hardcover portfolios still smelling of new book. Feeling like a minnow among whales I chain drank tea and suppressed my hangover.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Bruce Gilden during his book signing at the Photographers Gallery, but it was all a blur.
It’s been a strange few weeks; walks through woods, 120 film, coffee shops in London, and bus stops in Southampton.
I look at the sea and feel a knot in my stomach.
I wonder how many Whales there are?