Attempting to be slightly more prepared for the course tomorrow than I was last week. Most other people had brought images either on disc or paper ready to fiddle with. One had brought her laptop. I had brought a notebook and pencil and was feeling pretty chuffed for thinking of that.

So this time I have some images split into layers and already doctored somewhat as a starting point. Choosing them was a nightmare. I haven’t got the slightest problem pressing the shutter but this is a whole new deal and it’s, like, pretending to be proper art. Eeek. So I’ve been left in an agony of doubt and indecision all week.

Today I bit the bullet. God knows if they’re suitable or what they’ll look like but here they are.

First up we have the chair. Taken in Venice in 2005 when I was arts correspondent for the BBC World Service covering the Venice Biennale, on the terrace behind the British Pavilion waiting (with some trepidation) to interview Gilbert & George. They were utterly delightful and charming and, since mine was the last interview of the day, we sat and drank and chatted for ages. Possibly the loveliest interview experience of my career although there are many to choose from.


Next up we have “by the sea”. This image was made to illustrate the poem Say by George Szirtes published at qarrtsiluni. Coincidentally I also interviewed George Szertes during my palmy arty days, but unfortunately over the phone. That was a lovely interview experience too. This picture was suggested as a candidate by the lovely (multi-talented) artist F.

by the sea

This image, “fishnets”, has nothing to do with my former, distant life. It’s my foot and my friend R’s hand one sunny morning under the little round bistro-style ironwork table in their sitting room. Actually I suppose that since R is a journo and I used to work with his partner H it probably does have something to do with the past. But then everything does.


Finally we have “scream” which is making its third appearance on these pages. Originally taken with snap-buddy Neha in Epping Forest it was reworked for the spooky trees edition of the Festival of the Trees. Here it is again with a layer of red inserted.


The colour could be anything I fancied, it’s a single layer and the hue can easily be changed in photoshop. The printing ink is black and we’re only making single plates but a layer of colour can be added using the chine-collé technique by which a coloured layer printed on a lightweight paper is bonded between the thicker print paper and the ink during the printing process. Or there could be no colour at all.

Right. Mustn’t forget to make a packed lunch in the morning. And go to bed early tonight. Absurd how over-excited I get about this. And how exhausted I am afterwards.

4 Replies to “Photo-etching-fiddling”

  1. Wow. Yes. show us the results. But don’t suppose they are more like art than your earlier productions — not all the photoshop in the world will improve on your eye, though I suppose it maight make the results look more like something people would be happy to pay for, which would be a wonderful thing.

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