Regular Reflections – December 2

Reading: (limited because of Xmas chaos)

  • Started Train your Gaze fascinating information and would like to find time to work on the exercises
  • Carpe Fucking Diem by Elina Brotherus, a tale of sorrow, loneliness and despair, bookended by sections of life. Favourite image – the blossoms, white against grey, (? cherries). How can you reveal yourself to others so nakedly? No words, none needed.


  • BP portrait of the year at the Scottish National portrait gallery.
      • A documentary about what makes a portrait – worth seeing, talks about the guilt a painter feels for exposing the sitter to the public, and how the sitter feels for being exposed, how the judging was done – it doesn’t have to be crystal clear, its often the things you can’t figure out, how people feel when they have been shortlisted, the intensity of painting
    • Seen this most years but this will be the last time up here because been withdrawn from the calendar because of links with the oil industry
    • Favourite image – 3rd prize – Quo Vadis? By Massimiliano Pironti. Oil on aluminium. Magic picture that looks so real you want to stroke it. He says vanitas like effect of open window and hot water bottle referencing passing of time.
    • 2nd favourite – Girl without a pearl earring – Bas Nijenhuis – apparently someone the artist met in the street and asked to paint.
    • Also Openings Thomas Ehretsmann – monochrome acrylic on wood of a girl, shadows and doors – reminds me of Woodman images
    • Travel award portraits – fascinating series by Robert Seidel about travel the length of the Danube.
  • Scotland’s Photograph Album, the McKinnon Collection
  • Oscar Marzaroli at Street Level in Glasgow
    • Wonderful images of Glasgow
    • Favourite is the Golden Haired Lass
    • Interesting contrast between his images and the Annan ones taken almost a century earlier, both showing children from the slums, the later ones only slightly cleaner than the earlier and several others in between such as Bert Hardy.

Scottish OCA Group meeting:

  • Started by seeing the Oscar Marzaroli exhibition as above, excellent exhibition, beautifully hung, images stand out against new colour of walls (calendar obtained)
  • Discussed at length the problems with focus, the need for a plan, a beginning, middle and end, possibly even using a GANT chart! Actually do things, even if not directly relevant to get your mind working.
  • Think about using a photographers Playbook type approach to make you do work you are uncomfortable with and stretch you.
  • Get feedback – who from? not just friends and family but outsiders
  • Could we do a group art show?
  • For the future – think about how you would die a proposal, time-limited and budgeted. How do you value your time?
  • Consider
    • Dora Marr exhibition
    • Jonathon Owens pictures
    • The Extended Mind at the Talbot-Rice gallery
  • Discussed the zines we experimented with
  • Need to consider use of flash within portrait photography, especially if inside.


  • Flowers – to make a New Year’s card. I haven’t taken any for ages and found it surprisingly difficult to get back into the groove
  • The photoshop play to make the card


  • Working on contacting a group of ASD people, reasonable interest gained from local support group – but no actual meetings planned to the New Year. 


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