Saturday, 31 May 2008


Image : Rhys Jones, April 2007

A close encounter with a curious animal on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path.

Thursday, 29 May 2008


Image : Rhys Jones, March 2008

It is interesting what we all see in a photograph. Points of interest are different in everyone's mind. The point of interest or 'Punctum' as termed by Roland Barthes in 'Camera Lucida' is what he believes makes a photograph memorable or irritating.

What are we doing by taking a photograph ?

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Brief Encounter

Image : Rhys Jones, February 2008

I think it is interesting to take photographs from outside a window looking in. It is not possible to be an intimate part of everyone's world and it is often the case that we just glimpse something for the briefest moment or take notice almost by accident.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Hay Festival again

Image : Rhys Jones - 'Over the Shoulder' taken at 2007 Hay Festival

Next week-end I'm going to the Hereford Photography lecture given by Don McCullin at the annual festival at Hay-on Wye. As way of preparation and to try and learn something, I've found the attached transcript of a BBC interview between the photographer and John Tusa.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

A St Pancras Feeling

Images : Rhys Jones, April 2008

I made a visit to St Pancras International station recently on a wet evening at the end of April. It has been a while since I was last there. A lot of building work and disturbance to the original structure of the station shed and the hotel has taken place with the arrival of the Eurostar terminal in November 2007. I was struck though by a sense of atmosphere in the older parts of the station. The new concourse was full of people buying gifts, pulling luggage, gathering children and making ready to board the 'trains de grande vitesse'. Set quite apart, cathedral-like and with a sense of the spiritual, were the hidden parts of the station structure - the magnificent roof, the solid iron-girders and the passage ways. In this quiet part of the station stands a brass statue of John Betjeman, the poet, writer and broadcaster who did much in the 1960s to bring about the preservation of the station when others were for pulling it down. Betjeman stands looking up at the roof with the same awe that one would give to any of the magnificent churches and buildings to be found in the city of London. That part of the station had 'a quiet walk in the City of London on a Sunday' feel. An atmophere anyway! The Paul Day brass sculpture 'The Meeting Place' stands in this part of the station. As Day says himself when interviewed by the BBC 'it needs to look like it was always meant to have been there'. For me, though, it doesnt. It feels out of place and not at all the place where people would want to meet. People meet a few floors underground at the moment and this statue cuts a very lonely appearance.

There are as many opinions about this piece of public art as there are days in the year. Maybe it needs to be visited again in a few months time.

A Monody

Image : Rhys Jones, April 2008

Monody on the Death of Aldersgate Street Station
John Betjeman (1906-1984)

Snow falls in the buffet of Aldersgate station,
Soot hangs in the tunnel in clouds of steam.
City of London! before the next desecration
Let your steepled forest of churches be my theme.

Sunday Silence! with every street a dead street,
Alley and courtyard empty and cobbled mews,
Till “ tingle tang “ the bell of St. Mildred's Bread Street
Summoned the sermon taster to high box pews,

And neighbouring towers and spirelets joined the ringing
With answering echoes from heavy commercial walls
Till all were drowned as the sailing clouds went singing
On the roaring flood of a twelve-voiced peal from Paul's.

Then would the years fall off and Thames run slowly;
Out into marshy meadow-land flowed the Fleet :
And the walled-in City of London, smelly and holy,
Had a tinkling mass house in every cavernous street.

The bells rang down and St. Michael Paternoster
Would take me into its darkness from College Hill,
Or Christ Church Newgate Street (with St. Leonard Foster)
Would be late for Mattins and ringing insistent still.

Last of the east wall sculpture, a cherub gazes
On broken arches, rosebay, bracken and dock,
Where once I heard the roll of the Prayer Book phrases
And the sumptuous tick of the old west gallery clock.
Snow falls in the buffet of Aldersgate station,
Toiling and doomed from Moorgate Street puffs the train,
For us of the steam and the gas-light, the lost generation,
The new white cliffs of the City are built in vain.