80:8 Photography : Video : Sound : Bands : Portraits

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Sigh…this time last week…

Ah, Croatia, sunsets and boaty things with two hulls….Cavtat / Croatia : You’re luvverly…..


Behind the screen

And coming soon, “Climbing a landslide” with Jason Kyrone.


Daring to step out of the comfort zone…

..Can take some considerable bottle. Especially when that step is one that plays with image and (stereo)type. Good then, that Jason Kyrone had no qualms or inhibitions. This photo is in the tradition of many a rock photo, edgy, playing with image and twisting it a little. More to come from Mr.Kyrone in the next post. And I love my £50 Canon 50mm 1.8! Lit with a 50W bulb!




Here be pixies

Well, we’ve been here before but if any location is the personification of the word ‘Verdant’ then this is it. Roughting Linn Waterfall in Northumbria.

If I wasn’t:

A) Vegetarian

B) Living in the 21st Century

C) Scared of peyote cactus and other shamanistic shenanigans

I would have gone back to my pagan roots, donned a cloak of twigs and whirled in the way that dervishes do whilst worshipping the root and branch. Instead, I whipped out the Canon 5D, slapped a jet black ND16 filter on it and took this shot. A beautiful place, quiet and affecting.



Undiscovered Talent / Here’s one @JasonKyrone

Missed opportunities are the worst things in hindsight – when kicking yourself is an excuse for lack of boldness. JK should not be missed.





Bedu Policeman / Wadi Mousa / 2008

Desert eyes. That parched, merciless light burnt  into the retina. In the eye, encapsulated, the sun’s bleached heat. This is a Bedu policeman, patrolling the sandstone steps up to the monastery in Petra.


Movie review / 3 – Her

This is a movie which has created much excitement recently. As a depiction of a digital near future world it is exceptional – everything from the clothes, the dreamy, creamy palette of orange, beige and white – through to even (my god!) the soft furnishings and the characters mode of speech is detailed, astounding and believable. It is a perfect world. On a personal note though, if high waisted brown trousers are part of the future, then I’m afraid count me out.

Quick plot summary before I forget: Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) is going through the final stages of divorce and installs a new operating system on his computer. The new OS is artificially intelligent, voiced by Scarlett Johannsen and he falls in love with her/it. The ‘her’ or ‘it’ part of the story is of course the key factor here, as we ponder on the nature of love and it’s acceptability throughout the film. Spoiler alert – ultimately the relationship fails as Scarlett (who is now in love with 250 other people) and who has possibly developed into a new kind of nebulous life-form disappears off into the ether in order to find herself. So far, so LA.

So, let’s cut to the chase. I’ll be honest. The movie bored me stiff. Here’s why.

The world created by Spike Jonze is an absolute tour-de-force. It has a kind of “brave new world” vibe except without the sense of underlying malevolent power and control. It is a perfect world as mentioned before, however, the thing is though it’s all so insufferably polite, thoughtful and liberally intelligent. Everyone seems to be perpetually discussing relationships, emotions and feelings, so much so that society seems to be in one big group therapy session. I felt the characters or indeed the world had absorbed so much “Soma” (possibly piped in to the air supply) that there was a sweet smelling narcotic fog between me and the action. While the acting was fabulous, I felt disengaged in the way I feel when shopping for a duvet cover.

Personally I couldn’t give a stuff for Theodore. In fact, the only time I felt really engaged was when Theodore’s soon to be ex-wife showed up to sign the divorce papers. Here we had some true emotion on display, as she by turns ridiculed the relationship and used it as evidence for Theodore’s issues in their own marriage. Now I know this scene was very much a cipher for intolerance…But it was the only time when I felt I was actually watching other human beings being…human. It was a welcome blast of emotion in an otherwise airless and stifling film.

Maybe that’s the point of the movie – that we humans in the future world are so dehumanised by our digital world and insufferable niceness and understanding towards each other, that actually an OS is more human? Dunno – but I freely admit, that for me this type of deep meaning does not a movie make.

Going back to “Brave new world” again, I guess I longed for the introduction of a savage, someone or something that could break this crystalline structure of studied perfection.

There was so much good stuff here though – the design, the cinematography, the colour palette, the acting, the idea…But ultimately, I was completely disengaged and emotionally detached from the whole affair. Again, maybe that is the point?

By day the hot sun fermented us

“and we were dizzied by the beating wind. At night we were stained by dew, and shamed into pettiness by the innumerable silences of stars.”

Very true. I’d guess it was around 90+degrees when this was taken. The breeze was hairdryer hot, the dust & sand like furnace ash. 



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