Friday, 25 February 2011

3 days to go...

The end is just around the corner - in 3 days the gallery opens it's doors and the exhibition is on! I'm really looking forward to it now - after a concerted effort yesterday, all 31 pictures are framed, looking good and ready to go. Artist's biography written, title and price list complete, custom labels on the back of all the frames, business cards made. 

The show has given me a real impetus to get on and do something with my photos - the fallout over the next few months will hopefully be a few more exhibitions, more online exhibitions and updates at (soon to be going through some changes, but that's another story...), keeping my photo books up to date, adding more content here, including lots more pictures both from way back and hot off the press, and of course taking more and better photos.

The feedback I get from the show could be very interesting - I'm at the two private views Monday and Tuesday and in the gallery Wednesday and Thursday, so hopefully someone, somewhere might have an opinion on the photos for me! Whilst the show only covers one aspect of my photography, some of my favourite images are in, so it will be a good time to get some other eyes on the work.

I'll put some pictures up here next week from the show and the private views, and they'll be a full online catalogue at

What was planned all along to be a quieter month at Paul Clifford Images didn't turn out that way, so with so much commercial and art work to this month, it's been a February to remember. I was hoping March may let up, but it's not looking that way. I'm extremely lucky to be photography-based in both my work and play, and I absolutely wouldn't change it - certainly not the being busy part! - but a rest would be nice...

So I'm all ready to go, confident today, a little nervous about my first private view on this scale - we'll see what happens. Hopefully I'll see some of you there, and if not, I am in the gallery Wednesday and Thursday too. Thanks for reading - the entries are still getting hits, so I know you're out there...

Details of the show and private views -
The gallery is near Oxford Circus tube - here's a map - google map / bing map

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Official invite up

Here's the official gallery invite for the exhibition and private views - gives you a chance to see some of my fellow Photography Collective members work!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Lows and the Highs

Moments of feeling absolutely sick with nervousness, close to tears when I look at the ‘stuff to do’ list with less than 2 weeks to go, alternate with blasts of sheer excitement seeing each scan as it comes in, images looking so much richer and vivid than I’ve ever seen them before.  

My heightened emotional state is probably contributing to just how much I am enjoying working with my images. Reconnecting with shots I pushed the button on as long as 18 years ago is making me fall in love in the whole process of photography all over again.

There are always tiny specks and scratches that remain on the negative even after cleaning, so I need to zoom right in to repair them onscreen – the automatic scanner version of this process just isn’t good enough for me. What this means is that I am examining every shot in tiny detail. And it’s the detail that’s capturing me. This shot for example…

1093 - Trinidad., Cuba, 2001

the way the tiles fit together…
 the number over the door…
 the little drain under the step…

all the little human touches are breaking my heart.

I often wonder why I take the pictures I do, lately I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I think part of it is looking at these little things that become part of architecture, taking a building from the perfection of completion, and humanising it with these little events and modifications and wear and tear. It’s been said that people don’t feature in my photography, but to me humanity is all over a shot like this. And it’s the wonder of photography that lets me bring it all back on a piece of film, and now onto a print in a gallery, the location frozen on film for 10 years and counting.

So, to sum up, the worst thing about producing all the scans and prints myself is how long it takes, and the best thing is… how long it takes.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Framed and Alone

Spent a good long time in the framers today. I'm having 21 frames custom made, so it's a considerable investment. This will give me a nice set of high quality frames for future use, now I'm back on the art scene and hopefully going to be showing my pictures a lot more. Just looking at one of the test images mocked up in a mount with a frame corner was great, I can't wait to see them all framed up! Visited the gallery today too - ironed out a few issues and had a good look at my space to be.

Strange to think that in 2 weeks and 2 days the pictures will all be on the walls, sleeping alone on a Sunday night far from home waiting for their blast of public attention. Over the week of the show, more people will (hopefully!) see these pictures than ever before. That's one of the most interesting things about having the exhibition, these pictures have been giving me and a few other people joy for the last few years - now they're going out on their own...

Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Final Selection

In advance of going to the framers tomorrow, I now have my final(ish) selection of images for the show. Three sets of pictures - around 30 in total. It's turned into a big show for me and I'm getting very excited.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Photography Collective

Through most of 2010, I've been meeting and working with 5 other photographers as the Photography Collective. The Collective was created by Susan Johnson Mumford - you can read all about her here.

Over the year we've all learnt from each other and our work in preparation for the two gallery shows next month. I'm pleased to say I really like all the work going into the shows, they'll be a link here soon so you can learn a little bit about the other photographers.

We've just had our last meeting pre-exhibition, so the next time I see most of them will be at the show hang. Less than three weeks to go! Getting nervous of course, but everything is in hand. On the flipside I'm also getting very excited about seeing all the work in place.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Exhibition Preview!

So, the scans and test prints are looking great - here are the first four, from the 'Door and Window' part of the show - the prints at the gallery will be much bigger, so you'll be able to see all the little details that have been fascinating me all day - the light bulb fitting over the door, the elusive contents of that dark room, the odd little unit on the wall, the tiny little square windows.

172 - Ironbridge, UK,1995

1614 - Clare, Ireland, 2004

2208 - Mexico, 2007

2387 - Riga, Latvia, 2008
I've been showing a whole load of pictures to a whole lot of people over the last few weeks, to help me with my selection. It's not an inclusion democracy, but it has been very useful to decide which ones absolutely have to go in, and seeing which ones were universally ignored. It surprised me to find that the last two images above - 2208 and 2387, were far and away the most popular, I hadn't expected that! Good to know I can still be surprised by my own photography.

Full details of the upcoming show at

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Negs in my hands

A good day today - with the show hang just three weeks away, I've had to put everything aside for a day and get to grips with my negative scanner.

There are a lot of pictures in the show that currently only exist as 6x4 prints and colour negatives. My job today is to get one or two of these digitised to a quality I'm happy with, and run a few test prints. Having been unhappy with prints and process so many times, I've now brought everything in house so I can complete it all myself.

Going well so far on a technical level, the film grain is looking a little different as digital grain, but still nice and crunchy as it should be. On another level, it's great to be looking at these older pictures in such great detail, seeing them large for the first time, and seeing the full frame rather than the cropped 6x4s I got from the labs first time around, back in the 90s! Even cleaning and handling the negatives is something I'm enjoying, haven't not done it in such a long time.

Having gone through a fairly lengthy selection process, I'm now looking at the pictures for the show with a renewed confidence in my work, and it's nice to be spending time with these pictures. I can't wait to see the show!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

All work and no play

So it turns out it wasn't the best week to start - incredibly busy with paid work, very little time for my art photography, exhibition prep, or this blog. Frustrating, but paid work always has to come first - being self employed, it's mentally impossible for me to turn work away, so here I am at midnight after a loooooong day dreaming of art but processing images of offices!

It occurs to me that for a photo blog there is very little (read: no) photography here as yet. That's the way it'll stay for now - guess it makes the blog unique in a small way. Lots to come I promise, in the meantime, look at the long un-updated - soon to spring back into life I also promise...