lo-fi double exposure collab / fomapan 100

I really enjoy collaborating with other creatives and making something together. It’s something I always want to do more of, whether it’s music and video, mixed media or photography-related.

Back in November 2021 or thereabouts, I shot a roll of Fomapan 100 in my janky Harrow camera, and then sent it off to my photography bud Norbi Whitney (forever on the move, but in Berlin at the time) so he could double expose it in his Holga. A nice little lofi film collaboration.

Previously he’d sent a roll of Ilford FP-something to me, which I had double-exposed over here in London. The results were a little lacklustre/hit-and-miss though, so while shooting the Fomapan roll, I tried to take some notes to help him compose his shots. Me being me, I lost track of which frame was which at some point, but generally-speaking I think the notes helped yield a higher number of satisfying shots, as evidenced in this really cool video he made of the results. I’m also including a few of the shots here. I really recommending giving him a follow. It took absolute ages to complete this collaboration, as he ended going on tour for a couple of months, and we only just completed it in the third quarter of 2022, but the results are totally satisfying, so worth it. 🙂

arresting images // eyes open

I wrote this at the end of last year, but fell ill, and never shared it at the time. Returning to it now, and feel it’s worth sharing still. 


As a photographer, I like spending some time at the end of year to look back at images I took throughout the course of the year. On the analogue side, as a reminder of 1] how new film stock I tried performed, 2] new locations I discovered, and 3] how I (and different vendors) did on the development and scanning end of things. I’m pretty self-critical of my work, and this year I really struggled with inspiration at times, so I’m always surprised when I look back and see images I’m actually pleased with. My camera was a major companion this year, at times when I often wanted to avoid people. 

On the mobile/digital side of things, I like looking back at things I’ve seen and done; things I forgot about, in amongst the reams of mundanity. There’s something grounding/reassuring about still images alongside the video collages I create throughout the year, which people seem to love, but give a slightly skewed image of real life. It’s such a human desire to share things; visually (and verbally). It’s interesting to me looking at images I took on my phone of things I thought were interesting, beautiful, funny, ironic, depressing, baffling, anger-inducing, etc, and wanted to share. Versus the images that were just for me. A moment, place or thing I wanted to remember. 


This morning I was reading the NY Times’ “The Year in Pictures” article. Seeing images taken by Lynsey Addario, Mstyslav Chernov, Tyler Hicks, and others highlighting the realities of the war in Ukraine, reminded me of the emotions they evoked when I first saw them earlier in the year. I often found myself abruptly crying watching the news, and seeing their photographic reports in print and online. They continue to produce images that are truly arresting. 

Elsewhere, the Atlantic’s “Week in Photos” (now sadly behind a paywall), with its often highly evocative pictures, used to be a stunning reminder to me of “something happening somewhere”. A weekly reminder of how big (but also small) the world is. 

The most moving photographic exhibition I visited this year was the (ongoing at the time of writing) Chris Killip retrospective at the Photographers’ Gallery in London. His ability to capture the human condition, and the melancholic beauty of different communities is just….wow. How do you gain this kind of trust? And capture the vulnerabilities. They are the kind of pictures you can stand in front of for a long time. And look into eyes that speak whole sentences. I’m in extreme admiration of his work. 


Recently, a realisation came to me as I lay awake in bed one night, thinking about something I saw earlier that day and couldn’t push out of my mind. There are things I’ve seen throughout the year that I never photographed, but that really stuck with me. Arresting images in my own realm.  


A couple of weeks ago I was standing on the platform at my local overground station. It was bitterly cold. My toes hurt inside my shoes. A train to a destination other than the one I needed pulled in. Through the window of the carriage directly in front of me, I saw the edge of a sleeping bag, and realised someone was lying across three small seats near the door. The train pulled away again after a moment, but the image stuck with me all day. I couldn’t stop thinking about them, waiting all night for the train to start running in the morning so they could be somewhere warm and safe after a bitter night. The vulnerability of sleeping in public. And the many empty homes in my city. 


In late autumn I took a day off work to meet a friend for a photo walk; they’d got their dates wrong in the end, but I didn’t mind it too much. The sun was out, and it was a pretty mild and glorious day away from the confines of a desk and computer. Light cascaded off tall glass buildings, and people with coats flapping in the light breeze behind them looked like tiny caped super figures in amongst them. I happily walked around for several hours. My mood was high entering the station to go home. At the top of an escalator to go underground, I was confronted by a scene of a man dragging a small child by the arm. The kid was evidently terrified of going down the escalator, and was trying to grab at something to anchor herself to. He painfully dragged her onto the escalator, angrily shouted that she was being “stupid and embarrassing herself” and, terrifyingly, to “just wait until we get home”. It was spit-flying level rage. There are lifts at this station. No one said anything. I didn’t say anything, and hated myself for it. This scene stuck with me for many days. It pains me hugely to see adults behaving in a violent manner towards children. I still think about a group of kids being unnecessarily berated by their mom at a market I visited years ago. Years. And I still think about the pain on the one little boy’s face.  


Trains / stations actually seem to be the location of many of the scenes that have stuck in my mind. It’s an unspoken rule on public transport in London, that eye contact is to be avoided at all costs, but it’s still a good place to observe people. Especially when they are engaged in whatever on their phones. Or in conversation with companions. Watching the dynamic between pairs or groups of people is fascinating. On a recent journey it seemed to me that most couples I saw seemed so very disconnected; maybe reflective of the gloomy time of year we are in. It reminded me of the following video. Of course we observe people only for a little while, but it was quite striking to me in the moment. 

On another train journey a month ago, on my way to meet a friend to visit a market in Rotherhithe, a guy collapsed in the seat in front of me. Shirt half open, looking like he had just had the best and most salacious time. For some reason his face stuck with me for a few days, smirking at some message on his phone, tucking a silver chain back into his shirt. So oblivious to everyone else. Why do some faces make more of an impression than others? It’s something I sometimes think about, whether some people notice us more than others, in a city where it’s so easy to feel completely invisible. Where sometimes you actively want to be invisible under the gaze of thousands of CCTV cameras. Constantly observed. 


In my time in London, I’ve made many hundreds of journeys along one specific section of the Tube, where the train, if the sun is out, is reflected in the windows of houses alongside the track. It creates the impression that the train is snaking through these houses; I’m sure I have an inspired haiku somewhere that I wrote about this image many years ago. As the houses flick by, I sometimes think of the individual people in them, and each of them having their own life. Multiplied by millions and we all rub shoulders in this city. Each with our internal narrative (or music turned up loud drowning it out). Each with our own dreams, thoughts, feelings, responsibilities. Invisible but seen. Seen but invisible. 


Many other, somewhat more transient images also made me pause in my tracks this year. A coat with its pockets turned inside out, splayed like a felled body on a cold side walk. An abandoned backpack with two toothbrushes next to it, like two dolls abandoned by a kid gone off to watch cartoons. A kid’s glove caught in a rose bush. Many notes on lamp posts, walls, shop windows, bridges; bits of graffiti ranging in tone, from outraged, accusatory, middle fingers up to humour and also, on occasion, pure delusion. The words on the street.


I wrote a few months ago how I felt that I’d become disconnected from my local environment. I feel that things have come back into focus for me to a degree. I look, see, think, feel. I’m still overwhelmed sometimes. Images by the likes of Lynsey are so necessary. We cannot, and must not be blind to what is happening in the wider world. Something is happening elsewhere. Be aware, be horrified, be compassionate, talk about it. 

Life is also happening around you though. Do you see it?   

winter sun // feb 2019

This is the 2nd roll of film, I’ve put through my dad’s old 1986 Chinon CP-7m. The first was one was a bit of bust, because I was just messing about, and the pictures came out so overexposed I thought the camera might actually be broken. This time, to eliminate “user error”, I kept it safely in “P” mode and got some not too shabby results. It’s a brick of a thing to carry around, but I think I’ll be using it more from now on. Film on this occasion was my favourite Kodak 400 Gold. Slightly grainy, but safer in the changeable light conditions in London, I feel. Damn, I love the winter sun.












on behalf of my fellow dawdlers

Recently I was late meeting a friend for a social appointment. We were going to attend some free drop-in music improv events, but we had missed one by the time I arrived. I explained that I had dawdled on the way there, trying to take a picture with an old bellows camera someone had given me some 15 years ago. He seemed annoyed (rightly so, I guess). And I had to accept that the light being “just so” and “I’m experimenting with” was a poor excuse for lateness.

Anyone who’s walked anywhere in the/a city with me will have experienced me lagging behind, stopping to read notes on lamp posts, or to stare up at the sky or down at the curb at some non-obvious thing. Or to take pictures of random things like abandoned paper cups or dirty phone booths. I’ve had “we need to put a leash on you” and “you’re like a toddler wandering off” said to me. I’ve missed trains and busses (so many trains), because I stopped to look at or photograph something..

On behalf of my fellow dawdlers. And daydream wanderers, sorry, I guess. I don’t know how to explain what the world looks like to me. Or how the camera only half captures it.

But this is the picture that made me late. Taken with a rusty, dusty, 1951 Kershaw Eight-20 King Penguin using Ilford HP5 film.


split cam / film 1

Results from recent experimenting with a new toy cam I acquired recently. Very basic plastic camera called “split cam”. I bought mine at the Photographer’s Gallery in London for £7, but I’ve seen them go for as much as £30 on “gifts” sites. Don’t be a dummy and pay £30. I was too impatient to fill a whole roll before developing. I’m pretty pleased with the initial results. Let me know what you guys think. Do more?






Cjackie8-R1-16-16 (2)

Cjackie8-R1-17-17 (2)

Cjackie8-R1-20-20 (2)