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

Creative Photography Open Exhibition

Ilminster Arts Centre will be hosting Creative Photography Exhibition 2014 as showcase of photographic work with examples of diverse and experimental processes.

The exhibition will run from August 25th to September 13th open daily. Sam Burton of ‘zummerzet photography’ has three hand printed black and white framed prints featuring some Indian portraits of ‘Downtown Hyderabad’. All work displayed will be for sale and its a great chance to pick up an absolute bargain with much of the work being hand printed onto black and white paper.

For more of Sam’s black and white work click here

We look forward to seeing you all at our exhibition and workshop in September for more information visit here

Venue address is – The Arts Centre at the Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, TA19 0AN – 01460 55783

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

TRAVEL – Hyderabad – India

Culture clashes cannot be more extreme than an Indian-English marriage. It was a privilege to be present during the actual night (most of it) and the dress rehearsal and some of the traditions that take place before a marriage. There was an interesting compromise of traditions on both sides, making a fascinating selection of photos taken in Hyderabad, India and put the icing on the cake of yet another truly epic adventure to the great nation of India.

The love of firework and bangers were, as suspected, present in the proceedings and due to tradition and culture there was no ‘And now you can kiss the bride’.












The stadium setting must have been on the speakers and words were echoed through the speakers making it very hard to hear with strong accents included in that mix. The rich display of flowers, lights and lavish seats was something to behold.

Meanwhile as the outside ceremony continued, cameramen moved around cables snaked across the ground in all directions in a way that would have horrified UK’s health and safety officials! There was so much activity, people moving around and so on, during the actual marriage ceremony; it was so very different to the silence of the ‘special moment’ in most English marriages. As this went on the biggest bats I have ever seen were performing a fly past over the celebration. Dinner was served to the special guests and family at 1.30am after everyone else had feasted. We were even entertained with a slightly intoxicated policeman, who told me that he was a policeman and pointed to his badge, and said ‘I’mm apooliccemannn’.!

At around 3am in the morning we returned
home, I was able to stay in the bride’s house, which provided an interesting point of view of the traditional proceedings. The following day was spent taking some guests to the famous fort Golconda and exploring the famous, busy city.We returned to a slightly colder and much damper England, along with its peaceful driving conditions. 


TRAVEL – Coimbatore – India

It was good to catch up with the orphaned children again; last time I was here was a year ago.

They were all very proud of their new, nearly finished, orphanage and were keen to help in any way they could, moving sand, brick and also singing to help the builders along.

They all seem to be doing well, some have left to either go back to a parent (some are semi orphans) and others have moved out to their own rented house after getting a job.

As always, happiness and joy fills the air and makes you realise what really matters and what you really need to make you happy. Here are a few photos of the children, staging and posing as usual.

As I write, in 2014, they are now in the new orphanage and life will be slightly more comfortable with running water, working toilets and beds!

Images below
Left –   Last time I was at the orphanage I produced a card with Prakash here he proudly holds a copy. Cards are available on the main site under shop.
2nd image down –   One of three brothers Cuberdy helps transport some cement he is the middle man, both his mother and father have died.
3rd image down –   Two of the youngest girls at the orphanage, with major bed-head! At around 7am, Cogle on the right and Diva on the left.
4th image down-   Vodiville, walks back with some of the other children from school, with his TIN TIN bag! Every day is an adventure, he suffers from heart problems, he also cannot write due to his thumbs not being connected with the rest of his hand apart from a thin bit of flesh.
5th image down-   Vodiville, its morning shower time!
6th image down-   A parting gift, some photos for the walls of the new orphanage, kindly sponsored by donations.
7th image down and below-   These last scenes are taken down town in the heart of the city, the BAZZAR

TRAVEL – Jaipur – India

We arrived in the thick of night, the train was a slow stopping train and, as we left Agraover an hour and thirty min’s late, we arrived into Jaipur very late. We were again asked when we alighted at Jaipur if we needed a taxi, but fortunately our friendly driver was waiting for us. We piled into the old Ambassador, one of India’s famous legends of a car. With the bang of the doors we were off, and with the throaty sound of the engine warming up, we flew down the dark lanes of Jaipur.

The hotel was a real Indian gem, perfectly themed, fit for the Royal Raj. Its claim to fame is, it’s going to be used for the filming of the next ‘Best exotic marigold hotel’. The following morning we took a auto for the day exploring the Pink City which was a little bit of an anti-climax.  However, the Palace with its lavish doorways and decorative building style was well worth a visit; the image used on Lonely Planet guides front cover is taken here at Jaipur’s city palace.



The city struggles to cope with the large volumes of traffic trying to squeeze through its ancient archways and streets. On the way to the tombs our auto nearly took the head off of a camel as we raced in front of the camel and its rider. The area is well known for its camel fairs. Fortification lines the surrounding hills;

I would imagine it’s similar to the Great Wall of China – just not the same length. When we arrived at the tombs we were the only ones there, making it very strange from the busy street of the city below. It’s a beautiful complex of tomb memorials but is obviously off the beaten track for most tourists.


The climb up though the pass through the mountains and gateway to Amber is most impressive; the view of Amber Fort is something to behold with the lake below.  There is a second fort above the main fort with the small tower nestling in the valley, surrounded on every side with an extensive wall. After the steep hill climb the palace is full of amazing photographic opportunities from its impressive arches, gateways and rooms, which fill this heavily defended and luxurious palace. A secret passage way leads to the second fort.  This is a mile or so uphill, and if you’re on your feet all day and in the Indian sun, this maybe just a little too much!

t you get an auto for the day this is the point they may wish to take you to buy gifts, it may be interesting but they will push for a sale. Be a hard barterer, they may say it’s their only sale but it’s not! The right price is around 75% less than what they first quote you; the more of a tourist you look the higher the price!

We returned back for a great meal at the hotel’s sister hotel. I cannot rate it more highly and it is a definite must to stay there if you are in Jaipur.