themes

There are a number of themes that have long fascinated me and that I continue to explore, at the moment mostly photographically. Some have persisted longer than others and they have all waxed and waned a bit over the years but at some point I usually return to investigate one or more of them further...

So I frequently find myself coming back to the dilapidation and dirty, ramshackle jumble of old, often abandoned industrial buildings and sites that have evolved haphazardly over the years… or by contrast the tightly organised complexity of modern industry.  The quirky unpredictability and wonderfully eclectic non-design of folk art and vernacular design.  Old shop interiors, markets and displays of goods and wares… The flashy decoration and brashness of the fairground.  The seaside where nature and the vulgar exhuberance of the leisure industry mingle uneasily together.   Handcrafted lettering on walls, shop façades and other signs.  The simple pleasure of a landscape caught at an atmospheric moment.  The beautiful, organised chaos of garages, workshops, studios and other places of work an individual has created for themself.  The often bizarre and ideosyncratic contrasts thrown up by urban life.
 
Whenever I can I organise a trip to what looks like might be a promising location to see what I can find there and this may lead to a dedicated gallery of shots. Other times I assemble a collection of images from various shoots that somehow seem to have a common thread to them

a year at scheveningen

Year-at-Scheveningen

During 2019 I often found myself enjoying a bike ride up to Scheveningen, the beach resort attached to The Hague. I was fascinated to see how it changed month by month and decided to take panorama shots of the beach from the same spot every time I was there. It’s amazing to see how the beach and skies change from the deserted winter-time scenes, including the enormous (and in 2018 controversial) beach bonfire, to the arrival of the cafés in March, the tourists in July, August and then back to the quiet times of Autumn and Winter when Scheveningen is a favourite spot just for the locals.

collections

It is intriguing to note how often common characteristics appear over a wide range of locations, items and situations. Similar in appearance and function yet often surprisingly different in execution and detail. Here are some collections of similar things found in all sorts of different places.

Brickbuilt_silos

brick-built silos

It’s interesting to see how early, brick-built silos have often been added to as new construction methods have come along. The small brick originals become dwarfed by the concrete and, later, steel-cladded extensions around them…

Factories

factories

Factories in one form or another have become a permanent and familiar part of our environment. As technology and ideas have changed so too has the design and appearance of these bustling places of manufacture...

Workshops

workshops

How fascinating the wonderful organised messiness of workshops is! These places of work somehow seem to perfectly strike the right balance between improvisation and method. No esthetics or 'design’ here...

Lodges

lodges

For the site manager, security guard, director or others: the ubiquitous (small) houses, booths and offices at many industrial sites. These are some of the ones I've managed to capture before they disappear...

Factory_doors

industrial doors

Sometimes large and imposing, sometimes small and discrete, sometimes metal, sometimes wooden, sometimes hinged, sometimes sliding. This is a collection of some industrial doors I've come across over the years.

warehouses

warehouses

Many of the magnificent warehouses built during the 19th and 20th centuries have gradually been repurposed for modern use. Here a collection of some examples together with some who's future is less certain...

Lorries_from_1974

lorries 1974

In 1974 I spent an enjoyable day shooting tanker-type lorries for an illustration job I had been asked to do. So for the lorry-lovers here is a collection of some classic but often rather scruffy golden oldies.

Concrete_silos

concrete silos

The new technique of slip-forming concrete meant that silos could now be built taller and more quickly than their brick-built predecessors. Here a collection of some interesting examples, both old and new, I have found.

shopfronts

shopfronts

On our highstreets shopfronts come and shopfronts go but some seem to go on forever. Sometimes chic and classy, sometimes down to earth, here is a small collection of some I've snapped over the years.

shop_fascias

shop fascias

The fascia is perhaps the most important element of a shopfront, the place where the name of the establishment is proudly displayed. Here a small collection of the many I have recorded over time.

displays

displays

How goods can best be displayed by the ordinary shop owner or stallholder is a fascinating study of unsung vernacular design that deftly employs the feeling of abundance to attract customers. Here are some examples...

faded_wall_ads

faded wall ads & signs

I'm always on the look out for any examples of hand-crafted lettering. Sadly, with the arrival of the billboard there has been a steady decline in the number of painted wall ads that can still be seen...