Foto 5 Live and Uncut

A blog of Photography experiences



What went wrong?

architect dscf7498

This is not your usual photographic post but I feel with all the political turmoil out there in this country I feel propelled to put my views to this blog.

What went wrong?

Before I go any further and maybe your time to to turn to another blog, I am an unashamedly Conservative voter – Always have been and always will be! Also I voted to Remain in the EU – more about that later.

So who to blame? I suppose you could look at David Cameron the Prime Minister of the time that called the EU Referendum – Remain or Leave the simple question. Well we all know that 52% voted to leave. Why? I think the main reason is that the leaver campaign (The Brexiteers) latched on to the immigration ticket in a huge way and bolted on the belief that The UK was a strong enough country to go it alone and build, trade deals around the world control, develop our own laws, keep our sovereignty and currency without having the bureaucracy of the EU telling us to do something different or even pay more. The ‘Remainers’ and quite honestly in my opinion at the time sensibly thought, yes it costs money but it is a fantastic trade association to belong to. London as the central financial city of Europe was ideally suited to serve the EU and of course the UK. Plus, industry in the Midlands was thriving. The complaint almost by everyone was who to believe, where are the facts people were saying no-one is telling the truth. Well the facts were there but people didn’t ready the right publications for the truth rather to stick with newspaper hype and campaigners views. In my opinion this EU ref. became a sort of no confidence vote in our Prime minister David Cameron and to be honest he should of stayed away from the debate as in the event of losing there was no where else to go for David and family, but pack the cases and leave No. 10! In my opinion if he had stayed out of the argument he would of been able to keep the PM job thus saving us all from an early election (back to that later) and steer the country through a Brexit negotiation.

So the Referendum is done a new Prime Minister elected by the Tory party and ‘Brexit is Brexit’ (honouring the peoples choice) we are told! Or so it seemed. Mayhem ensued as the ‘Remainers’ maneuvered, to dismantle the referendum and call it into question. Court cases were opened up as the Government were questioned over their right to call Article 50 without debate in Parliament! All this did was delay the calling of Article 50, as our new Prime Minister Theresa May grappled to control yet again the in-fighting of the Conservative party and fend off the Lib-Dems (and their total disregard for the peoples choice) plus having the SNP trying to put a spanner in the works by trying to create a negotiation platform for themselves to remain in the EU! What a mess! And the EU started to berate us as we showed no real cohesion. The EU member states at this point seemed to change tack and become very arrogant and showed clearly to me that they were  going to make an example of the UK, for fear that other states would decide to leave as well. Plus we would have to consider paying a penalty if we wanted to leave!

Time for the UK to stand their ground and for me to change my opinion! Fed up with EU arrogance and the belief that the UK people had made their decision whether it was 52 51 or 50.5 % they had spoken and they wanted to leave the arrogant control of the United States of Europe. Remember one thing at this point – and it is worth noting – of the UK’s commitment to the Europe in both world wars, we as a nation (admittedly with some help from our cousins over the pond) came to the saviour of our continent. So many countries didn’t want to or have the expertise to fight against a tyrannical country. Small thanks now as we as a country have decided in our best interests to go it alone. Frankly the  EU is run by a lot of Presidents, Chairman’s and committees, that only have their own interest to heart. I’m happy that we are leaving now.

And so back home with all the wrangling’s of what to do and how to do it, Theresa May stuns us all and announces ‘as she wants a clear mandate’ a snap election! WOW! Well with 49% to 29% Poll, in favour of Conservative over Labour who wouldn’t. Now I don’t think this was to create a major landslide of Tory seats as we have seen this before with a Thatcher government, a seat majority of over 100 becomes overkill and un-democratic

archdscf1632almost ‘Steam roller’ like, so a 30-40 seat majority would of been ideal. Also a fact which many had decided to ignore is that as the Brexit negotiations are set to finalise in 2019 its the same year as a general election would have to be called! Potentially a major stumbling block with a small majority as continued Tory in-fighting and opposition objections would be at a height. It could of created a major issue to finalising any possible agreements – So I think it made sense.

What the Tory party didn’t count on was a resurgent country wide left wing attitude – especially the young – always rebels at that age! – and a man that had been campaigner all his life – Yes Jeremy Corbyn (The Pied Piper)… Hated by his fellow MPs and some union leaders on the basis that it would all end in doom and gloom for the Labour party at this election. We even had calls for a snap labour leadership contest. No The Pied Piper stayed true to his word and work and went to the streets. From that moment it all started to unravel. Theresa May made the mistake of not entering into open debate on the TV. Theresa that was your front door to the people! Instead you left it to your Home Secretary to hold the candle for you. She did a good job but you would of wiped the floor with all of the others.

Slowly but surely the promises that The Pied Piper offered to the country gradually caught on. The final ‘coup de gras’ was to offer the students free tuition – Umm in 5 years time, I think the students missed that bit! Labours manifesto ‘all accounted for’ they said. Yes it was but where was the money coming from – Increased income tax set just above MP’s salary(!), Pensioners, savers and invested funds and dividend income payouts… Capital Gains Tax to you and me! Mmm Plus more borrowing it was obvious. The Pied Piper and his band had created a ‘new’ Money Tree – problem was their policy of ‘hope’ was  – Hope we can find that tree. ‘For the many not the few!’ they stated – A stolen and twisted slogan from WW2 Winston Churchill, architect dscf7489

“Never have the many been so thankful to the few” after the Battle of Britain – Yet another example of Britain standing up for Europe! Even though the Tory party announced a very strange Social Care (potential) Policy in their manifesto, which was largely misunderstood, the writing was on the wall that the Tories might not get that majority they wanted. No, Theresa May’s failing to stand up to The Pied Piper (Corbyn – incase you have forgotten) in open debate was her failing. Why she did that I just don’t understand, she has the beating of him, even now, every time in parliament with sensible argument.

So the small majority was lost and now we have a minority government which has just signed up to a working relationship with the DUP. That’s not really a problem as the DUP generally vote along with the Tories in any case. What we are seeing now unbelievably is a case of the Labour Party thinking they are a government in waiting! – Umm no 44 -40% is a loss 318-262 is a loss for the Labour Party who came a distant second. And if you think about it Theresa May has her mandate… More people voted for her leadership than The “RED” Pied Piper. Better the Labour party to prepare for decent opposition. Me thinks! Over the coming months we will see more posturing, photo opportunities, increased social media activity campaigning and using events to propel the Labour party in our faces. More promises that cannot be kept and living in HOPE that they will somehow turn it round. Meanwhile Theresa May and the government can now concentrate on the Brexit negotiations and stand firm against EU arrogance. Of course there are other issues that we have to come to terms with and to get the answers to ie Terrorism and the tragedy at Grenfell Towers. Thats not to mention that there will be other situations that arise in the coming months.

Monaco Japanese Garden (X-E1 -720Nm)

But I’ll say this… The Pied Pier and his Labour party threw everything but the kitchen sink at the last election. They have nothing more to offer the next time round. The Labour Party live in a cloud cuckoo land of ‘Hope’ and will continue to look for that money tree! For the Tories next time round they will have the answers and hopefully Theresa May will step up to the plate and will enter into the open debates, using the TV as the front door to the population.

A little note to the students. We all as young people go through a stage of open rebellion – it is understandable. Today’s youth will not be familiar with the images of Communist countries and empty shelves in the supermarkets – I’m not saying that would happen in our democratic country, but the history of The Pied Piper and his close Marxist followers in the Labour Party want to create a society that has been proven not to work. You cannot borrow to invest you cannot create jobs for all and somewhere down the line we all have to learn to live with in our means. There is no money tree. People have to pay for want they want and that includes tuition fees at the universities and colleges, otherwise where do the Uni’s and colleges get their money from. If the fees were to be curtailed you could see some Uni’s and colleges closing down! Right now thats not what we need. Maybe though there is room to change the way student fees are paid.

But one thing for sure in my opinion is I think that the Labour party have had their day and the Conservative party will have the right approach next time. For now its let get the Brexit negotiations done by holding firm and yes if it means walking out the door and leave the Arrogant EU states to fend for themselves then lets do it.

Finally, do not be swayed by unaccountable promises that will be thrown at you over the next few years. Labour’s manifesto did not add up (it was accountable but not factually secure on where the money would come from). Labour will say what you want to hear and not what realistically can be achieved. They will drop the defence of our country (Trident and the armed forces), like a ‘red hot poker’ in the belief that they have the nouse to negotiate. (That includes despots and terrorist groups). I really don’t think so in this day and age!


The saying is that ‘The grass is always greener on the other side’. I can assure you from where I stand it is not and you can’t have your cake and eat it!

The Pied Piper will lead you all down to the river of No Hope!



Street photography! A re-think.

street_12-04dscf0147Street photography has never been so popular. Everyone has a camera with them these days, even if it is only a smart phone. Going to work or simply out for a stroll there are great photo’ opportunities of sights, especially in the major cities; fellow commuters going to work; a sunrise; a sunset; an incident, architecture or even yes a homeless person or a busker!

But recently on my show (and this one in particular Photography ‘Live and Uncut’ with Scott Kelby), I have discussed the art of street photography, and comments have been raised, such as… Is there a need? Will it survive? What’s it for? Does it tell a story(?) oh! and ‘God’ for bid… It’s a sneaky practice really – come on Paul! In addition, I have noticed on the many social sites, especially Facebook, Flickr and Instagram, the consistent posts of what can only be described as ‘boring’ street photos (of which I have to be honest, I’m guilty of posting as well) – You know the type? The passer by; The old lady with shopping bags; The pretty girl etc. etc. These photographs and discussions have made me think.

My argument against it being a sneaky practice and its necessity, is that ‘street’ or should we say ‘documentary/social’ photography is not only a worthwhile practice but an essential one, as it documents life as it is today. You’re seeing fashion, style and behaviour of today… Imagine in the future when people are looking back on our society say 30 -40 years from now and there are no photographs to be seen! There maybe the videos yes, but looking at a photograph to me is that little bit more special. (I can’t put it any other way). To think, from where we are now in 2017, not being able to see life in the early 1900’s through the war years or 1914-18 and 1939-45 not to mention later wars and atrocities as well as the study of social activities and fashion, would be a huge lost gap in our lives and history, if those photographs were not available. So to put it that way the street/documentary image making is an essential genre.

img10But, what is happening today in this digital and social networking age we live in, is the insatiable appetite to record(photographically) anything and everything we see and post it out there, simply to get a like or a plus of the foodie, the pet, or some behaviour photo, which to me has no meaning an no Art creativity. What is more, we are seeing images posted by ‘the’ street professional photographers of today, which many are not looking to expand and improve their own work but rather to throw out to the networks the same old style of image making; I suppose it could be said of their reasons not to change, is that these images have got them noticed in the first place and they use social media to demonstrate their ‘skill’ to enhance their career for presentations, workshops and/or tutorials!

So how can we go about making street photographs in a different and more meaningful way? How can we create Art? Firstly look for photographers that are consistently looking to improve their work each time they venture out! Then sit down and look at your images and consider long and hard about the images ‘you’ are producing! How many of you (photographers) actually take the time to look at your work critically? How many of you look to yourself to improve on your previous work? How many of you set an assignment or mr_street-1204project? I bet nearly 99% of you reading this ‘blog’ probably don’t attempt any of the above! Photography is like riding a bike once you have done it, you know how to do it in the future. But you should be looking to compare the art of photography with say golf or playing a guitar; to get better you have to practice (nearly every day) and if you want to compete you have to be aware of your faults and look to correct them. Basically it means picking out the bad parts throwing them away and starting again! There are many sportsman that have done just that… Dedication got them to the top of their chosen profession. Why should it be any different for you and your photography. Because as photographers if we don’t look to improve on our previous work we will post the same old boring ‘stuff’ to the social sites. Which is why I think many onlookers of street photographs get bored with it and start to look on the negative side of our genre. Onlookers will start to say and ask those questions I mentioned earlier, its sneaky, and what’s the purpose of it, does it tell a “story”? By the way, I don’t think a photograph has to tell a story all the time, but at the least, be great and enjoyable to look at. There are many photographs of street scenes that I would love to hang on my walls at home, I might add more by others than by me!

Maybe we should start to look at taking photo’s in a different way. Should we look to be more open and not be timid or embarrassed about what we are photographing; show people what we have or are taking. Photographing by candid means of buildings and then appear to ‘chimp’ the image when actual factlonwalk_1215-8497 taking the ‘real’ photograph of someone or something right in front of us or another way pretending to text on the mobile phone as we take images with a camera IS the ‘sneaky’ side of street photography, which I feel is letting the genre down.

How about checking first if its OK to take a shot rather than after. Make conversation, ask the person to carry on naturally, talk about what they are doing as well as what you are doing, tell them what assignment and project you are working on. All these things I’m sure would improve your photographs and make you feel a little more easier with your self making street photogarphs.

We can’t be a Bruce Gilden, a Saul Leiter, an Henri Cartier-Bresson or even a Martin Parr. Study their work of course and use it as a reference but, if you attempt to be like them and ‘copy’ their style, then believe me you will fail! Dramatically…

Only be satisfied with your work for that last given event or time. Never be satisfied with your work! Continue to strive to improve on your last shoot. Otherwise your images will be become stagnant, boring, and you will lose followers of your social sites and eventually you will lose interest in the wonderful Art of Street Photography.


#streetphotography, #art,

The Launch of The Fall (A new Magazine)

I was delighted to receive an invitation to attend the recent launch party of The Fall magazine.

fullsizeoutput_bd8In this day and age its surprising that some entrepreneurs would get together to create and start up a new photography based magazine. But this is no ordinary ‘Photo’ publication. The Fall, is not your usual ‘how to do it better’ photo periodical. There are no instruction sections; Seasonal projects; book ideas; and the dreaded ‘biased’ camera and lens reviews… How refreshing that is! It could even be considered a book rather than a magazine.

Why The Fall? F=Fashion; A=Art; L=Literature; L=Lifestyle….  The Fall could be considered a photographers GQ. Its all about great articles, great location shoots and stunning Photo projects with expert photographic direction. At 288 pages large there are no advertisements – which I’m sure will change in the future; for how can a magazine of such design survive. If you’re interested in fashion, lifestyle and portrait photography it has always been considered to study the various publications such as GQ, Esquire, Vogue, InStyle, and Tatler. The Fall can join that illustrious list, as it offers the photographer opportunities to get inside the photo shoot or project. With projects by photographers named on the front cover and others such as OriolKeith, Roberto Aguilar, Mahaffey and Lambrechts, plus the intuitive and considered articles by writers WassPerry and Pierce,  The Fall is a must buy for any photographer both professional and amateur alike, who should consider adding this to their periodical subscription list.

On my show “Photography Live and Uncut” (here’s a link to the live show), this week the photographic director of the magazine, Alex Lambrechts, (a top fashion and lifestyle photographer in his own right) will be joining me to talk more about The Fall, its background, his role and what they’re looking to do in the future.

The Fall has established its brand, lets hope the publication continues to produce quality articles and stunning images as this first edition has.

by Griffo

Late night shoot with Medium format. by Paul Griffiths 6th Jan 2017

Just before Christmas I went out for a late afternoon walk with my Yashica D (medium format) camera. Using Ilford XP2 400 rated at 800ISO this time, I was looking to see how the film and camera for that matter would preform in low light.

Agascreenshot-2017-01-06-14-41-17in, overall which this second roll of film, I’m quite happy with the results from the film and the camera. I was expecting the images to be underexposed and was pleased how my light-meter (an app on my iPhone – myLightMeter Pro – for £2.95) gave me the results that I was looking for. The results show very little grain (noise in real terms).


It’s definitely a process of image making which I’m enjoying and intend to use more especially on the street. Even though the camera is reasonably large especially when compared to up to date mirrorless cameras (generally the choice for street photography), I didn’t experience any public issues using it, in actual fact more of a look intrigue at me using what appears to be such an old camera,  which in truth it is!

There were eight from the twelve exposures that I am more pleased with. Probably 3 would be keepers!



Here I was looking to get the classic walker by with the theatre illuminated boards behind. Ive tried to edit in Lightroom to gain a little more exposure on the walker-by.






The classic silhouette. I like the way the wet pavement reflects the light from the backdrop which has it happened was a rolling screen of advertisements for the cinema. I waited for both the walker and the screen to be white. This would be a keeper!





One of my favourite places to visit in London at night time is Piccadilly Circus. I suppose it’s the closest thing we have to Time Square, New York, but that said using Mono film I was looking to create a silhouette scenario again with some form of a classic London interference. I think this image is almost there with the London Bus just coming into the shot on the left side. I maybe clutching at straws here, but the image is very close to what I was looking for.



The Dresser. Another attempt at catching the passerby, whilst using the background light-source from the theatre bill boards. For me there is just enough intrigue in the shot. Bright lights, dark streets and theatre goers. Another keeper.




As you can see from the images here, there is no problem pushing Ilford XP2 400 to 800 ISO next step would be to see how it handles at 1600… Will I get more grain (noise), I would expect so. But loaded in the Yashica D for now is a roll of 120 Acros 400. By all accounts this is a clear favourite for film photographers these days. I’m really looking forward to using that next time. The camera? Well it handles beautifully. It definitely slows me down which is a good thing, which has in-turn helped me when using my Digital camera’s… Focusing? Although, shall we say is a little ‘fuzzy’ when looking down through the viewer, is really straight forward. Shooting with a square format is not one that I have used before but have found that to be enlightening, giving me a tighter area to concentrate on.

Here’s to the next time – Yashica D with Acros400 – can’t wait!


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