Wolfie’s inspired by your photographs, Man.

I’ve been humbled by my exposure to the portrait photography of the great Man Ray after that exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery (until 27th May) and also a little inspired too. I bought the excellent exhibition catalogue which has full page plates of all the exhibits. Looking at them I wondered if I could learn a thing or two from Man Ray. The problem was finding glamourous enough subjects for my own portraits.

What about Teddy, I wondered.

Teddy, 2013

Did I capture his essentially quixotic character? Do we feel his ennui? I’m not sure. Maybe Snakeman would make a more interesting photograph.

Snakeman, 2013

I think I have expressed his disdain with that fine profile but there is also a hint of his melancholy nature and maybe the threat of a poisonous bite.

An essential portrait for my own exhibition is, of course, Wolfie.

Wolfie, 2013

I tried to illustrate the existentialist pain in Wolfie’s cri de coeur. Wolfie, like all of us, is calling for love’s consolation.

Looking at these, my latest portrait photographs, I thought there was something missing. Something that reflects the mood of those famous Man Ray photographs. Then I realized what it was. Oh yes, everything looks better in black and white.

Teddy, 2013, (black and white)

Snakeman, 2013 (black and white)
Wolfie, 2013 (black and white)

Looking at the monochrome images of my closest friends, I had to admit that Man Ray was on to something but then I remembered that most of his pictures were taken before the days of colour photography and then I looked out of my window at my cherry tree that has just burst into glorious blossom. Sorry, Man, I thought, but I can’t possibly photograph that, or my new tulips, in black and white.

Cherry Blossom, 2013

Tulips, 2013

One final portrait for my gallery: my trusty Canon camera, the Canon EOS 400D, that I bought in Hong Kong in 2008 when my life turned digital . What would I have done without you, old friend.

Canon EOS 400D, 2013

Self-Portrait With Camera, 2013

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