It’s black, it’s white

Amateur Photographer is having another black and white issue — apparently black and white needs special issues what with it being some form of alien photography.

Anyway, the icon this week is Don McCullin whose “West Hartlepool 1963” is posted above. I hadn’t realised just how varied McCullin’s work was (and is) but a quick google is very revealing.

And here‘s the transcript of an interview with John Tusa.

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Good night … bad photos …

Walked around London a bit last Friday and found myself running across various happenings that cried out for the camera – and somehow managed to come back with nothing decent to show at all.

First up, at Charing Cross stumbled across what looked like a flash mob strutting their stuff. Camera out of bag — and managed to cock up the settings so by the time I was ready I got the retreating group and a crowd of folks taking picture. Top drawer.

Next … the National Gallery Picasso exhibition is sponsored by Credit Suisse. And they would like you to know about it. After dark they are projecting Picasso onto the building’s facade. I had a go … but … ah well, click on it if you’d like it to see it large …

Then there was some line skaters streaking down Regent Street. Missed those entirely.

I did at least get a shot of some mad bike rally/protest/celebration going on at Oxford Circus that was bringing traffic to a standstill. The small version is at the top. See it large here.

And then I took a shockingly useless pic of a busker.

That sound is my head repeatedly hitting the keyboard.

Taking Liberties, British Library

I know the British Library is an august institution of which we should all be proud, not least now it’s housed in shiny blandness at St Pancras. I also know that magna carta did not die in vain I also also know that this photo taken in 2007 (see large here) is potentially illegal thanks to yet another civil liberty encroaching law.

But more importantly I know that Taking Liberties is a tedious waste of space. Draining the life out of any discussion of civil liberties by showing a procession of documents but without really explaining any of the controversy or fights surrounding them. There’s too much here as well – covering centuries without useful contexts and wrapping it all in interactive votes designed to make you feel you have an opinion that counts — the answers to the questions, multiple choice, are themselves essay length so only the worthy will respond.

Only at the very, very end with a small exhibit about ‘free speech versus causing offence’ does it begin to feel challenging, thought provoking even. But the display focuses on the Oz trial without a dodgy Danish cartoon in sight – the safe option is taken and steady boredom maintained.

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