Conflict Time Photography – Tate Modern

Conflict Time Photography

Don McCullin perhaps the most well known conflict photographer of the 20th Century was featured more than once, a poignant print of Don’s was right at the end entitled The Battlefields of the Somme, France 2000. It summed up the mood after all the fighting; what was it for – a field? There we have it, captured in time, a peaceful French field as if Don’s own way of signing off the exhibition was PEACE.

Kurt Vonnegut was featured at the start. Kurt was in Dresden in WW2 and from the horrific experience of war he finished every text and essay with the word: ‘peace’.

For what might have been forgotten, the collection brings together some of the true horrors of war, especially the Atomic bomb. Matsumoto Eiihi ‘Shadow of a soldier remaining on the wooden wall of the Nagasaki military headquarters’ 1945 is among them. Indeed it is a negative in itself, the brightness of the explosion has burnt the guard’s shadow onto the wood, both capturing a moment in time for future passers-by to comment on the truly unbelievable image.

The image on the front cover of the leaflet for the exhibition is by Shomei Tomatsu depicting the Japanese’s helmet abandoned on the broken floor. Another telling image is the watch, smashed, broken and stopped at 11.02 – the time the atomic bomb went off, when time stood still.

It’s not all in the past; each room is takes you in time further from the event, from moments later to a century on at the end. A beautiful, haunting photograph by Luc Delahaye at the beginning of the exhibition from the Iraq war captured just after the US had bombed had a great impact; the dust falling, grey, chaos, a crumpled tank, rubble everywhere – it was like the taste of explosives was still in the air, indeed a recent event of the wars still continuing.

A thought-provoking set of images by Simon Norfolk was worth a careful observation; the layers of war visible and a relatively recent Victory arch left to decay with the rubble surrounding it.

I would strongly advise a visit to the Tate before the exhibition finishes. For more information check the Tate website.

Time, Conflict, Photography’ runs at the Tate Modern until 15th March 2015, tickets £14.50/£12.50. For more information, please visit the gallery’s website.

Mayor of Taunton opening Photographic Exhibition

Its been a busy few weeks and we are nearly there…

Films have all be developed now and printing is underway in the darkroom, the launch night is being finalised on Friday 19th September at 19:00 and is to be opened by the Mayor of Taunton with a short speech by Paul Conibeare, the West Somerset Railways general manager. Alan, the Steam Driver and Actor will also give a short speech.

Local press, photographers and local artists have been invited to event, we will also have the mobile darkroom up and running which will also be available for viewing on Saturday 20th. If you are interested in coming on Friday the 19th please get in touch and we will try to squeeze you in!

A reminder that the photographic darkroom box will be in operation on 19th September at the Launch and on September 20th from 10am-4pm

sam post 7-8-14

We look forward to seeing you all at the event which runs from September 20th – October 5th, open 10am-4pm daily.More information can be found by clicking here.

Exhibition Print first

Above is the first handprinted print awaiting to be framed.

Below are the final films hanging up to dry.

Developed Film2

Developed Film

Black & White Photographic Exhibition – September

Sam Steams Back To The Future
As part of Somerset Art Weeks (SAW) 2014, Sam Burton of ‘zummerzet photography‘ and a member of Exposure47 will be using Black and White film this exhibition will be exhibiting ten darkroom handprints which show a glimpse into the life of England’s Longest Steam Railway. The images show a typical day enjoyed by a steam locomotive driver. Burton, who is passionate about traditional techniques, used a medium format camera and black and white film to be in period with the subject. Alan ‘the driver’ has already achieved fame in advertising campaigns for companies such as Aldi and is the ‘face’ of ‘REAL’ crisps and was very excited at being in Burtons project.Links to Aldi advert and ‘REAL’ crisps.

In keeping with the period theme of his project Sam Burton will explore Victorian photographic working methods and then evolve the images with the latest technology during the launch of his SAW exhibition that begins September 20th 2014 at the Bishops Lydeard Station Museum.


During the infancy of photography in the mid 1800s it was common practice to use mobile darkrooms; usually a horse drawn carriage blacked out and fitted with a safe light panel for illumination. The photographer would load his camera plate; make the exposure and process on location. Sam will be using 1950s version of the Victorian view camera with the public invited to take part by having a portrait made, Sam will develop negatives in wet chemistry and participants and spectators will be able to watch the process take place. This practical event will open take place on 20th September.

Venue address

Gauge Museum, Platform 1

Bishops Lydeard Railway Station

Bishops Lydeard



Dates & Times

10am to 4pm

The exhibition will be open for view every day from September 20th to October 5th. I will be at the venue on 20, 21, 24, 25, 27 and 28 September and 2, 3, 4, and 5 of October.



Follow signs for A358 and once you get to Bishops Lydeard follow the brown signs for West Somerset Railway at Bishops Lydeard, the station is not in the village itself but is off the main road. The exhibition is in the Gauge Museum on platform 1.

For more information look at our blog

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Event Kindly Sponsored by ‘The Golsoncott Foundation’

The Golsoncott Foundation

Winter in Somerset

Some may think that Somerset is closed or goes into hibernation in winter. This year, more than ever, due to the flooding, many will think of only the peaks of Exmoor rising above the floods, but it’s far from closed.

Ancient traditions and culture continues, the controversial hunting groups populate the hillsides and valleys with their coats and the faint sound of the horn is heard as the hounds leap around.

Work continues on the fields with the daily activities of supplying fodder for the farm animals, and particularly affected are the below sea-level areas where livestock has had to be rescued. Lights illuminate the sky for miles around and the 24/7 pumping continues to try and alleviate the continuing doom which has been an unwelcomed Christmas present for many.

Since the New Year, communities have been cut off and stranded as the waters continue to rise. This area of Somerset has not been its usual peaceful self, instead it has been turned into the UK’s largest pumping area with the Dutch pumps now installed. Wildlife has been woken early this year; rather than by the warmth it’s to the sound of generators and the rushing of water.

Winter in Somerset is all about preparing for the Summer;  it’s regenerating the soil, planting life which will only be seen later in the year. But also for many it’s a time of cleaning, renovation, building and organising for the tourists – but some will find it hard to make a go of it this year. For some, they won’t be home for a year once the waters recede. But for the most, the smoke still rises from the chimneys of ancient stone wall cottages, the work continues, the muddy boots are in the house, a glass of cider in the weather-beaten hand, apple crumbles for dinner.

These photos were taken in Winter of 2013/2014. Link to photos of Somerset Flooding see this link

Abergavenny Food Festival, 2013.

Every year, for one weekend, the town of the Welsh valleys goes back to its roots as an historic market town, with stalls lining its atmospheric streets and music and good scents filling the air. It’s the famous Abergaveny food festival and for an all day pass of around £10 you have the freedom to explore a vast array of food types from fish to veg to meat.

Here are a few photos to document this popular, culture-rich event. If you have an event you would like to be photographed for the website or for use in promotional leaflets please contact us at

As you ascend the main street, songs and gigs are taking place with the peaceful, jolly sound of a flute.

Local produce is a key part of the event with many farms and businesses represented from rural areas, including some real characters. To add some spice, cooking demonstrations take place in the old Market hall and even the odd celebrity is waiting to sign a book – if your not distracted on the way with the hugely photographic cakes and breads in the hall.


The castle is another area of the festival, which has a very idyllic location with views over the valleys and stalls surrounding the old castle keep. If you’re into documentary photography this is an ideal location to

capture the live atmosphere and vibrancy of a rural community filled with the hussle and bussle of a nationally famous festival. Dates for 2014 are:

20-21 September 2014


There will be a welsh cake or two to keep you going!

Click on Abergaveny food festival to go to the official website.


This is an extract from abergavenny events website about the food festival ‘Probably Abergavenny’s biggest event, the Abergavenny Food Festival attracts visitors from all over the country. A programme of culinary events are spread out across a number of venues in the town, with demonstrations from top chefs, specialist exhibitors and various entertainments. Described as the ‘Glastonbury of Food Festivals’ (Carole Cadwalladr, Observer Food Monthly), this festival just gets better and better. Expect to try out all kinds of food and drink samples from local and unique suppliers, and definitely expect to be taking plenty home with you!’

RPS – Exhibition 156 – Somerset

Visit the exhibition at The Museum of Somerset, Taunton between 11 Jan – 8 March 2014.

The Exhibition of 115 framed prints will tour the UK in 2013/2014, showcasing a wide range of genres and styles of photography, with contemporary prints being shown alongside traditional work – from the artistic to documentary, from portraiture to natural history. For more information about the International Print 156 and to view the selected exhibition online, take a look at the competition website Entry to the International

Print Exhibition is open to everyone, whether you are a professional, student or amateur photographer and you can enter the new competition now until 18 March 2014! Submit your images at -

See more at:—somerset#sthash.3A8UHacg.dpuf

Dawlish – Storms

Dawlish has been one of the top news stories over the last couple of days, here as some photos taken  on Saturday of the repair work going on, network rail working shift work in-between the tides and rough sea. Many houses are still evacuated along the stretch where the seawall is no longer. To protect these houses old containers were placed in front of the exposed section and filled with ballast and stone to try and keep the power of the storms and waves from further erosion.

Just round the corner beach huts are left battered, broken and smashed, as if a mini devastating tsunami has washed over them.

Below is a gallery of photos taken on Saturday, one was taken before the storm as a train passes the famous section of railway line.

Royal Garter Ceremony – Monday 17th June 2013 – Final

Royal Garter Ceremony – Monday 17th June 2013 – Final 

There was a buzz in the air as we ascended the steep street, with Windsor castle overshadowing. Security checks: blue tickets entering the chapel spectators with green tickets went up the street.

We found our designated spot surrounded by top hats & fancy clothes, with the sound of the Heathrow planes roaring overhead.

The armed guard marched down lining the route. The band could be heard ascending and passing the gate on the outer wall, the sound rising as they got to the keep for the appointed time of the procession. The chapel doors opened as people slowly queued to go in.

An American accent rose above the general conversation he was a descendant of a Knight of the Garter. Another man weighted with medals explained each one.

Most were silent, waiting, looking; clutching a card invite, inscripted ‘the most Nobel Royal Garter Ceremony’. To remember the day it was time to buy a programme as they waited, a search for the money in the 3-piece suit, as they try to distinguish under dark sunglasses or spectacle between the £5 and £20 notes.

BOOM BOOM; the triumphant sound of the brass bands making their way from the Keep on the hill. It was at this point two stern men with policemen walked by and a thumbs up was acknowledged between them and each police officer.

The atmosphere ecstatic; the noise of voices zero. With the ceremonial music was echoing within the fortress the main gate closed. One band marched beside us, the other marched on past, flags were waving, and cameras were on fire with a great clamour to see the oldest Royal Ceremony in Britain.

With the music still pulsing round the grounds the men with the stick wings passed followed with the Knights of the Garter, to whom belong the Queen, Prince Philip and Charles and others. A cheer rippled down as the queen at the rear was spotted, along with the whisper was ‘look how short she is’. For the first time she was flanked with her son Charles and grandson William, as Philip was still recovering from being in hospital. They were followed up by the beefeater.

As they entered St Georges chapel a fanfare could be heard and the service commenced. This also started the long stream of cars for the members of the garter and other dignitaries as well as the Royal coaches. It was also a rest break for the bands and officers although those who lined the route remained vigilant.

We managed to negotiate a place across the other side to get a good view of the carriages coming round the corner.

The guards and the band then returned for duty, once again a ceremonial atmosphere was created and the gallop of horses could be heard. The leading coach carried the Monarch with the heir to the throne. One small voice nearby shouted ‘there’s the Queen’ and you could see the smile and look from Prince Charles and the Queen as they share the priceless moment of making a little persons day. They were followed by the other Royal Garter Knights, and then those who where not part of the Royal family followed in the chauffeur cars. The Chapel guests were waiting to cross over and after along wait the gates were opened and Windsor’s streets were filled with dresses, hats and a flurry of movement.

More information: 


More photos of the event see Jason’s Blog:

Garter Ceremony Windsor Castle 17th June 2013

Crowds gathered yesterday (17th June) for the Garter Ceremony held at Windsor Castle yesterday.

It is the most senior and oldest British Order. The patron saint of the Order is St George, this ceremony happens yearly and members of the Royal Family including the Queen are present.

Prince Philip was not present as he has recently left hospital. The rain held out and the Queen with Prince Charles on one side and he Duke of Cambridge on the other walked into St Georges Chapel. They returned by horse and carriage to the castle.

Full Gallery photos to be uploaded on the 3rd July.


More information about the ceremony: