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Roger Mayne Article and Exhibition

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by SXH, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    There's an article in Sundays Observer review section concerning him. It's a bit gushy towards his daughter (who is being interviewed) but quite informative. Another interesting looking photographer I'd never heard of!

    The article is here and the exhibition of his work is at The Photographer's Gallery, London*, from March 3rd to June 11th.

    The online article has a slightly different selection of pictures from the paper version.

    * possibly not a lot of use to those in the provinces. ;)
    Zou likes this.
  2. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    You're right, London isn't a lot of use to those in the provinces. :p

    I think I might have seen his work before, but not 100% sure. Sadly more than half of the images in the article turned out to be adverts.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  3. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Absolute Beginners!


  4. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    A lot of his stuff comes under the heading of "Come back in a few years and it will be interesting", that we use from time to time in Appraisals for street shots of no immediate interest. Can't really think why he values a hopelessly out of focus shot of a teddy boy and girl though, other than eventual historical interest. A good shot it assuredly isn't.
  5. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    Personally I think there's a nice sense of menace and suspicion in the photo coupled with a pleasing lack of sharpness :)

    A pity Roger's no longer with us to give us his take on it (his obituary), but I think he was doing what all street photographers do, merely recording his own history.

    In the photo below I could have been one of the wee boys climbing on the lorry, it's something I remember doing at roughly the same time, though not in Glasgow.
    There's a copy of this in the National Gallery of Scotland's photography collection, by the way :)

    Children around a lorry, Cowcaddens, Glasgow (1958) by Roger Mayne
  6. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Indeed, which has precious little interest at the time, but can be far more interesting than anything arty in later years. Possibly the only genre with real lasting value one might argue. But I wouldn't put him in the first rank of exponents.
  7. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    I agree - and your "pleasing lack of sharpness" comment interests me greatly.

    In this era of ubiquitous high-performance photographic equipment, rather contrarily, I find that I'm increasingly tired of pin-sharp photographs. I abandoned habitual sharpening in PP some years ago. When selecting a lens, I no longer concern myself with its sharpness performance - I'm far more interested in its 'rendering' characteristic.

    This burgeoning aversion to absolute sharpness applies, not just to my own photographs, but to any that I might happen to view. I suppose that 'sharpness fatigue' might be a good description. I'd be interested to know whether any others feel similarly.
    AlanW likes this.
  8. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    I believe the comment might have been ironic?

    The oof in that pic is not soft focus, or intentional, it is just a mistake due to the subjects coming forward, as can clearly be seen by the sharpness behind them. If he could have got it sharp, I'm sure he would.

    I don't think people can claim great kudos for cockups, even if some like them..
  9. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Yes, you're right, but you'll note that main content of my post was more general. I probably should have started a new thread for it, rather than risking de-railing this one.
  10. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    What?!!! Are you being accused of Threadism?

    How dare they!!!!!
  11. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    Perhaps there was a trend in the 1950's for out of focus subjects, here's two examples from Robert Frank and William Klein


    I've taken quite a few similar shots but usually when someone has walked into the frame just as I pressed the shutter, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't :)

    As Saul Leiter remarked, sometimes the mistakes are more interesting.
  12. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    You might well be right. I experimented with a few recently too.But given the equipment they used, changing focus in that half second would have been impossible, so maybe it became a recognisable (if unavoidable) creative device? It is still done with extraneous people, but not usually with the main subject.
    Intentional: https://flic.kr/p/smt75c
    Cockup: https://flic.kr/p/v8dLwN :)
    Hell, I don't know, decide later: https://www.flickr.com/gp/rovingmike/55Towq
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  13. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    Oops! There was another photography based article that I would have mentioned had I not only just noticed it (needed some paper to wrap coffee grounds for disposal - ah, the ephemerality of newspapers!). Actually, a review of the Wolfgang Tillmans exhibition at the Tate Modern (until June the 11th).

    From what I've seen, apart from his portraits, he appears to be one of those who takes random pictures and then fits a 'concept' to them. I could be maligning the man - it may be jusrt the reviewer talking bollards!
  14. lfc1892

    lfc1892 Well-Known Member

    Yeh OOF subjects can often be intentional in street. It can work nicely and add a sense of mystery but it HAS to look intentional. Not sure if it does on the shot from the exhibition as noted by Mike. Looks like a technical error.

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