30th December, 2010

Ashes to ashes,
dust to dust -
our slightly dodgy cricket team's been well and truly sussed.

19 year old Ricky Ponting - back when life was a bit more fun.
Photograph by Andrew Stark

With apologies to anyone outside Australia, England, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, or the Caribbean (have I forgotten anyone ???) ... rest assured normal transmission will resume shortly.

By the way, in this photo taken at Bankstown Oval during 1993 Ricky was standing in front of the pavilion, and behind the pavilion is a road - ie street photography, yeah ?

Just Who is Top of the SP Heap?

28th December, 2010

The Director of the London Street Photography Festival, Brett Jefferson Stott has brought to my attention the powerful British bloc’s unfurling of an inaugural International Street Photography Award (which I’ve nicknamed ‘The Frank’) – an extravagant endeavour to find “the world’s best street photographer”.

It's also the surname of a guy who headed west from Switzerland many years ago. 

A glitzy ceremony is planned, somewhere down in the hazy shadows of Big Ben, right round the corner from a tube station or perhaps a red double decker bus route (you know, in London) … A gala occasion where penguin suits and bling shall intermingle much chilled chardy and that natural street wise swagger.

Now before I progress, please be aware that ‘The Franks’ do contain a light tinge of exclusivity about them as they are only open to street photographers with 30 quid to spare (works out at about the equivalent cost of a hundred foot or 600 frames of TRI-X) however by way of a softener, a 28.95 pound Blurb book voucher is promised by the organizers to all entrants. A thousand big ones to the winner and no doubting there’ll also be a shiny little trophy to set off even the drabbest of suburban mantles.

'The Franks' promise to be even bigger than the Logies
Interestingly my local Woy Woy SP bookie, Bruce ‘the garfish’ Feggans has tabled a surprisingly informed market, twiddling the knobs of his odds board to within a sprocket hole of common sense. Matt Stuart has been installed as his early favourite at 5-2 which is probably bad news for the sharp eyed Englishman given that ‘the garfish’ has lost a motza recently laying both the Poms in the Ashes and the third Fockers flick at the box office … Trent Parke appears to be great value at 7-1 however a recent conversation with the insightful Adelaide streetie Phill Hunt (who likes to bend the elbow alongside Trent at their local, City of Churches watering hole) shed an eerie safelight glow upon the betting confusion that surrounds Trent whose work tends to hopscotch these days in and out of the parameters of absolute street photography … whether or not the judges see it this way is really anybodies guess, and at this succulent price he could well be worth a little flutter. 
The odds of all who featured in Street Photography Now are shorter than a grommet’s left shoe lace whilst the entire iN-PUBLiC site is shorter again at elevenses or tighter, excepting for Nick Turpin who has assumed a judging role

I’m certainly not the Simon Cowell of  iN-PUBLiC”
                                                                          – Nick Turpin … HCSP November 2010.

Without wishing to appear in anyway misogynistic (I struggle to spell it, let alone live it): Narelle, Melanie, Nitsa & Shazza from Toongabbie have been mentioned earnestly in recent dispatches on the Hard Core Punters Forum (Shazza has been mentioned in a wholly discordant context).

Dougie Wallace shapes as a good roughie at 25-1, whilst Aussie Trent’s Magnum stablemate, Bruce Gilden is firming by the day after drawing the extreme inside barrier …

So go to it people. Raid your piggy banks an either thrown your lens cap into the ring, or bet London to a brick on one or two of your thoroughfare trundling faves …

And to anyone who is seriously in the frame to win this, the first ever ‘Frank Award’ – here’s a brilliant example of just how informative and philosophically enriching a well constructed acceptance speech can be -     

                                 and the winner is …

                                 For more information on the Award - check here

The Wynyard Grizzle…..Merry Christmas to All

23rd December,2010.

Tis the season to be jolly and jovial and …

Well anyway, I was out photographing in the city yesterday, just up from the Wynyard ramp when the following exchange took place between –

    the fun loving,
    ever smiling Nowhere Man (NM)
    the podgy thirtysomething
    with the fulsome monobrow (PM).

Picture if you will - a modern day cave man standing near a curved wall, in front of which a steady stream of seemingly placid Sydneysiders flow back and forth like the frothy and usually quite wet, Bondi tide.

PM … (using a joltingly aggressive tone)
             Why ya takin pitchers of me ???

NM… (squinting toward the annoyance before using a condescending tone)
             I’m not mate. I’m taking photo’s of the city…
             Now being in the city as you are, who knows you may
             well feature in the odd picture or  two …

PM … Stop takin me pitcher!

NM… You’re not listening pal – I’m not. I don’t even know you.

PM… (momentarily glancing behind)
            What’s so f**kin interestin bout that wall anyhow???

NM…Mate. Who the hell are you? I ain’t discussing my
           wall fetish with you – why should I?

PM…Stop takin pitchers of me, freak… or I’ll f**kin bash ya!

NM…Why so paranoid pal? You some sort of fugitive or something?
            Hey, maybe I should be takin your pitcher
            (pitcher pronounced as if by a freckle faced eight year old with dodgy front teeth)

PM… (striding forth he brushes past the photographer, delivering a half hearted shoulder check, mumbling)
            (before continuing on down George St, toward Wynyard)

An earlier shot in front of the Wynyard wall.
Photograph by Andrew Stark
Tis the season to be jolly and jovial: the season of earnest reflection; good will to all men, women, children and of course - furry marsupials.
May I take this opportunity to wish all my fellow street photographers and those who stumble upon this blog - a very Merry Christmas…and let me share a pertinent little ditty by the brilliant Aussie singer songwriter Tim Minchin by way of magically crystallizing the occasion

Mr Anon Shoots Good Ole Sydney

 21st December, 2010
A bloke with a snazzy hat, two wooden posts and a well pouched mate 

With distant parallels to Vivian Maier and John Maloof all the way over in Chicago, comes the story of a car boot sale and its unexpected windfall from Narrabeen High School on Sydney’s northern beaches. 
Just another Saturday arvo in the burbs 

Local photo journalist John Grainger was out doing a wee bit of bric-a-brac shopping when he stumbled upon a tatty box housing 14 rustic rolls of processed negatives – over 200 images revealing Australian life from the 1940s & 50s taken by an anonymous snapper … the only clue to his identity, a single, slightly off focus self portrait taken into a distant mirror.  

Mr Anon
Being a photographer himself and with an old school ability to hold negs up to the light, Grainger immediately grasped the nostalgic worth of the booty.

The famous Sydney amphibious tram - seen here in two minds
And equally, being a photographer himself, Grainger haggled like a hard working foot soldier on a basic wage. The boot salesman crumbled, settling for a fiver and the chuffed pressy rushed home to scan Mr Anon’s entire historically pertinent portfolio – acknowledging later that, “it would be good to find the family who owns them” 
Bronzed Aussies in antique sluggers.

A News Limited led search has been unfurled in the week before Christmas …

Wise Words Indeed #2 – Raymond Moore

17th December, 2010.

Many photographers are as equally eloquent of thought as they are in capturing the most mesmerizing of street images. One such sidewalk snapper, or perhaps he might more accurately have been described as a country lane capturer - was the late Raymond Moore. During a splendid 1968 interview with Creative Camera the brilliant British photographer unfurled the following Wise Words Indeed…  

“Light, from the gentle and persuasive to the harsh and strident, is the magical communicating agent, without it, all in life and the photographic print is black.” -Raymond Moore

Raymond Moore

“Cartier-Bresson, Boubat, Eugene Smith among many others still seem to me to have used photography to create essentially photo-images, yet devoid of the gimmickry, technical and otherwise fashionable - this month’s model – approach. One feels a basic honesty and integrity that is missing from a great deal of today’s work.”   - Raymond Moore

Raymond Moore

“Technical matters are relatively unimportant. I use the camera I am happiest with, and that can produce the type of print I visualise; superb definition and ultra fine grain may be far less convincing than a grainy blur” - Raymond Moore

Raymond Moore

“The meaning and message lie in the photographs, it’s a visual matter and it cannot be translated into words. To me, they sing and celebrate life, or should do, and life is the extension of the person taking them. It’s the photographer’s uninhibited reaction to the moment that counts, not premeditated images culled from the stale air of the past. One of the greatest dangers is self-conscious originality; to try and be original is a sure way of not being. An empty self, childlike and uninhibited, is far more likely to make a truly original statement.”                         - Raymond Moore

Raymond Moore

Recent Offerings #2 – half a dozen moments from domesticity.

 14th December, 2010.
 She is an emotional and physical whirr: a storyteller, a songbird and a lounge room gymnast.
 Lexie.T. turned eight just recently.

Photograph by Andrew Stark

Photograph by Andrew Stark

Photograph by Andrew Stark

Photograph by Andrew Stark

Photograph by Andrew Stark

Photograph by Andrew Stark

Happy Birthday sweetheart,
from the annoying Mr Poo Poo Head with the camera.       

Let Them Eat Cake

December 11th, 2010

Today marks an exciting milestone in the life and times of Blog Nowhere Man … for it was on this very day during the very preceding month that our wordy electronic bulletin first kicked off its curious existence. Sepia toned good times filled with tremendously vibrant memories of that morning we hot wired the net before charging from the Vulture Street end with spangly spinnaker fully a flutter, heading with vim and a damp cloth toward the mixed metaphor horizon of just up beyond Darlinghurst.

Our first 30 days have captivated the discerning sidewalk enthusiast
Photo - Andrew Stark

And so without any further a do, in an act of due reverence, please let us all be upstanding whilst I crank up the phonograph for a bit of a low key, celebratory derriere wigglea one, a two, and a one two three - chicka boom, chicka boom, chicka boom – boom…

Now with the jiggy nonsense out of the way …may I suggest before I proceed that you resume your seats and just let me open by way of clarifying an odd discrepancy regards the archives tab. For if you gaze attentively towards your right you will notice a September reference for the initial post: please be rest assured this is some sort of blog furphy and the initial utterance of the Nowhere Man was hurled clumsily out into the stratosphere on Remembrance Day, November 11th, 2010. 

Golly gosh! And haven’t we experienced the full gamut of peaks and troughs in an emotion charged 30 days … or was it 31? And as the future greets us like a mid Feb heat haze dancing thickly atop the spinifexed tundra of the Minto Mall car park, we pay tribute to all who have sampled our fare (lookout punters – delusion has taken hold as the royal ‘we’ kicks in).  With an extra special ‘hooray’ for our exclusive brace of followers … the two ‘M’s’ – Mel & Mike; for living as we do in an era where genuine blog followers are harder to snare than Conger Eels when using week old damper and a rusty hook. Borrowing from the Jonestown experience, I ascertain that one must look after the ones one is lucky enough to have won over…and with this in mind I gave our original follower a rather sensual back rub this morning: a wholly spontaneous act that can’t of course be assumed or assured in subsequent Nowhere Man/Follower contracts (sorry Mike).

It’s been fun, and who knows what the future holds … for the streets, they are littered with photographers; the net, well it’s absolutely chockers with blogs – and so it’s onward and upward I say … hell, just one more month and we’ll have done two!             

The iN-SToRE Book Review #1 ... Istanbul by Andreas Herzau

                        7th December, 2010

Like most serious minded thoroughfare trundlers -
I do so love a good monograph.
Sadly however my perilous fiscal foreshortedness forces me to fondle such visually lush trinkets on a purely temporary basis, and always from well within the three walls and big glass window of some austere, clinically air conditioned inner city bookshop… under the watchful gaze of CCTV and his ever vigilant, knuckle cracking soldiers on foot … Welcome to the Nowhere Man’s ongoing series of badgered and quite a bit harassed Book Reviews… Book Reviews done in store in which the period of time estimated between first choosing a book off the shelves, and whence my notepad and biro are ultimately kicked violently from my person is on average … a hard boiled  90 seconds. This week I had a rushed look at …       

Istanbul by Andreas Herzau. 

Now without any shadow of ambiguity this is a truly beautiful looking publication of almost 100 images – most of them are in colour and yet with just a smattering of greyscale mono’s the representation manages to keep a stylistic dinosaur such as myself quite perky.

Having never been to Turkey I can safely surmise that in this fine collection of photographs Andreas has totally nailed it – nothing has ever said Istanbul more boldly to me than did this impressive book throughout the minute and fourteen seconds I had allotted me to check it out (very vigilant store detective at this particular store on this particular afternoon).

Istanbul - Andreas Herzau ...
made me think of Lartigue

 I did pick up that Andreas has a street style leaning more toward documentary than it does ad hockery. Although I might add that I’m not terribly sure you can staple 80+ images of one place together and not claim to be documenting in some shape or form. Nowhere Man remains fittingly no-where on this point… as of course he does on so many facets of contemporary existence.  

Istanbul - Andreas Herzau ...
no, not the pigeon shot but this is a cracker

 Well beyond my assisted eviction – two of the books images stay fresh in my mind …there’s this picture featuring an out of a focus young woman’s face, a face which quite possibly is the most beautiful facade God ever grew eye brows upon and the feel of the pic reminded me instantly of Lartigue (this isn’t terribly unusual however as I often think of the great French boy wonder – you know at bus stops, washing up the dishes, checking the mail box etc …).  The second sticker for me was this high class pigeon shot, which if you kind of squint your eyes a bit and view it with a head tilt can almost be deemed fit to rival Matt Stuart and all the great pigeon photographers throughout the ages: fanciers who have specialized with tenderness in imagery of the great flying rat, a true urban staple of all cities throughout time.  

I enjoyed this publication immensely and despite our fleeting one night stand kind of relationship would recommend it heartily to all-comers.

Recent Offerings #1 … a fresh photo or 7 from ‘Down Under’

4th December, 2010.

Just as it is with the Ugandan King Baboon Tarantula who survives on a low carb diet of one hefty insect a month, The Nowhere Man snaps his nutritional fare quite sparsely. Worthwhile ocular interpretation has always been a personal challenge (as has seeing stuff), even more so as the years have tumbled by and that unremitting clutter of life has fuzzed significant intent.

Sadly, despite the addition and attention of copious rolls of black electrical tape I must also report that Konica has begun haemorrhaging internally and every sixth or seventh frame is now being lined by unwanted stalactites of light…

That being said – the streets continue to be free to enter and both the Aussie weather and my state of mind remain clemently balmy with only the barest hint of a pre dusk low pressure change.

Photo - Andrew Stark

Photo - Andrew Stark

Photo - Andrew Stark

Photo - Andrew Stark

Photo - Andrew Stark

Photo - Andrew Stark

Photo - Andrew Stark

Photo - Andrew Stark


Woy Woy Shed Update – She’s Alive !

 3rd December, 2010.

Fantastic news just in from the Woy Woy dig.
A survivor has been pulled alive (as opposed to the rarer form, the non alive survivor) from the twisted rubble of the asbestos riddled shed.

Jeanette. P., the family matriarch of the previously assumed “deceased family” has been located safe and well, living in the sprawling western suburbs of outer Sydney. And whilst the sheds traditional owners – The Gunnasiouxya People have decided to re-enter the fray, usurping the Nowhere Man’s right to contact said survivor – it is believed a legal letter has been drawn (personally, I’d have typed it but a little charcoal sketch is always nice), enunciating to the general effect – and in laymans speak – “Howdy Jeanette, we’ve got yer family albums. Would you like em back?”  

Now I was greatly comforted by the news. And a certain sense of satisfaction washed over me as the disappointment of Wednesday’s local court appearance momentarily pushed up the beach toward the surf club car park of my potholed mind. My charge of breaking into the ramshackle shed had been fast tracked to appear so as not to clutter the Court roster leading into the Woy Woy Spring Carnival.   
It had been a horror week, as I’d been forced to fight like a marzipan sausage in a fat farm to preserve my freedom and just to top it all off, the Aussie cricket team in battle with the old enemy looked about as potent as low fat icing sugar- England 1- 4000 in their second dig! And so, with sweet toothed similes spinning wildly atop the dessert tray like an amphetamine addled Doogle, gyrating the roundabout most magical… let me recount both the closing statement for the defence and the crushing judgement handed down by Koolewong’s Local District Court circa just the other day … 
“And in closing your honour…
 I do concede that I have flaunted the law and yet only your honour, for the higher moral principle.
For that, yes I am guilty.
Reuniting loved ones in the stern face of bureaucratic bloody mindedness.
For that, yes your honour, I am guilty.
Break and enter; balderdash your honour … I put it to this court that if I were to kick in the flaming door of a burning bungalow and pull to safety: women, children and men folk alike… that I would in fact be hailed a considerable hero. Would I not be fated with ticker tape and free produce all the way from the
Blackwall Road roundabout right down towards Ettalong Surf Dive & Ski ?
Of course yes I would.
I put it to your honour that a lit match illuminates much statutory inconsistency; ‘Break n Enter’, drinking bevvies and smoking Cubans with an appreciative throng at the charmingly quaint Null and Void Arms whenever a higher humanitarian cause aligns motive.
I implore this court your honour to embrace a larger, more encompassing, spiritually lush picture in determining this spurious case … thank you.”

“Mr Nowhere Man, you watch a lot of television. 
Would I be right ? (chuckles from the court)
Yes, well…  you claim to have broken into said shed upon hearing screams for help radiate from behind the padlocked door – and yet the family you claim to have rescued transpires to being little more than old photographs haphazardly aligned in each of two albums.
This court views self righteous acts undertaken by lone wolf street photographers in a very dim, uprate your TRI X three and a half stops kind of light.
I must conclude that you are somewhat of a buffoon Mr Nowhere Man and I hereby impose a 12 month suspended sentence. In addition you shall be required to recompense The Gunnasiouxya People all costs pertaining to a suitable lock and a brand spanking new shed door.

… Next !”