Tag Archives: Robert Hackman

Photo Projects In Progress – Lucy Phillips’ pinhole camera project and Phillip Reed’s In Between: dispatches from China

I thought that I better try and catch up over the weekend, so today’s post points to a couple of Projects In Progress, or (PIPs), that may be of interest. One is a participatory pinhole project and the other an ongoing collaboration between two identical twins, Phillip and Anthony Reed. The post is also linked by the fact that the two share the name Phillip(s). So it seemed appropriate to twin them for this post.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting photos by Vikram Kushwah who I’m happy to hear picked up the Photofusion AMPS 10 Public Vote for his series Ofelea. According to Photofusion gallery coordinator Carole Evans, click to see her blog, it was a narrow win as Kushwah pipped Oliver Woods to the post by just a couple of votes. More tomorrow, till then…

Photographer Wendy Pye emailed me recently with a link to Phillips’ facebook page. She wrote: “I thought you might be interested in this project. Lucy Phillips, who specialises in pinhole photography, has created the project and is asking photographers to take a photograph of what cannot be seen. I think it’s a lovely idea. Just did one this morning…”

When I said that I would like to take part in the project, she emailed her on my behalf. Lo and behold, a week or so later, a padded envelope arrived from Phillips with the contents below.

What cannot be seen, contents, © Miranda Gavin

My very own Matchbox pinhole camera is ready to go, it’s just a question of what, where and when?

See the facebook page as Phillips’ reveals the process of the project. Perhaps Phillips could match up with Rob Hackman of the Matchbox Gallery?

I also had an email from photographer Phillip Reed who won the Hotshoe/London College of Communication award 2010 which is given to an undergraduate photography student. Reed has been assisting since finishing his degree in photography and is now in China for three months where his identical twin brother Anthony lives.

As well as working on his own projects, he is also collaborating on the ongoing project In Between with Anthony who has a fine art background, teaches English – he has been there for close to four years – and speaks Mandarin fluently.

© Phillip Reed blog post, Shanghai, 2010

And if you were wondering, as I was, whether the number of twins varies across different cultures and how people in China respond to them as identical twins? This is what he said of his initial impressions:

“There are the same amount of twins across all cultures, apparently,” he writes. “Twins in China wear the same clothes, do the same things… They can’t believe we live apart and have slightly different clothes/interests. People find it hilarious that Anthony can speak to them in Mandarin and I can’t!”

Phillip will be sending me dispatches, which I will be posting on a regular basis, while he is in China. To find out more, follow the link to his blog/visual journal.


Brighton Photo Biennial curator Martin Parr video from the press tour and some photo fringe encounters

A few pix from last week’s visit to the photo festival in Brighton where I chanced upon a novel approach to exhibiting using garage doors to create spy holes, a Matchbox Gallery (an organisation that assists photographers in promoting their work to galleries, publishers and the imaging industry) box hidden behind a door which had been photographed earlier and then circulated via twitter for someone to find using the GPS tags on the photo, and one final pic my return to London in the rain.

A quick thought, I have noticed a strong showing of night photography during this festival, not only in Alex Bamford‘s work seen through the peephole, but also in Wendy Pye and Ellie Davies’ bodies of work, see previous post, as well as the wonderful work by Alejandro Chaskielber and Esteban Pastorino Diaz  featured in Parr’s, A Night in Argentina show.

Alejandro Chaskielberg and some of his work

The short film snippet I shot and edited together, all very rough as I was hand holding the iPhone and it registers the slightest movement. Those in the know have braces/supports to help keep the camera steady. The following podcast features Parr showing us around Alec Soth’s show, the co-director of Fabrica talking about converting the space and a quick glimpse of A Night in Argentina. The video is 6 mins long.

Les Rencontres Arles 2010 – A Photo Stroll on the Night of the Year with the Pink Rhino – Day 4

Thanks to photographer Rob Hackman of the Matchbox Gallery (more later in the week), for sharing these wonderful photos from our Night of the Year stroll.

It’s the Night of the Year at Rencontres Arles 2010 and we head for the evening projections taking place in the streets and courtyards just off the town square around the amphitheatre. Along the way, we come across the Legendary Pink Rhino – this is the year of the pink rhino, previous year’s logos have included a cat, cockerel and cucumber. We do our tourist-in-Arles photo shoot and get our intrepid photographer Hackman to snap us aboard the beast. As 2am approaches and we head home, we spot the rhino heading towards the water…

Want to See and Read more?

Seven Tips for entering photo competitions

Photographer Robert Hackman who featured in an earlier post about The Matchbox Gallery, kindly sent me these tips for entering competitions via email, saying, “Hope this of some interest to your readers”. It would be great to compile a Photo Competition Tip List collated from a variety of sources. If you have some points to add, please comment so that your tips can be shared via this blog.

Here are Hackman’s tips:

1. Be selective with the competitions you enter. Make sure that the exposure/prize is beneficial. For example, being selected by an organisation/gallery with a similar aim/agenda as yours will enhance the work. It could also help promote the issues you want to address, depending on the work.

2. Prepare well ahead of time. Make a note of competition deadlines that interest you in a diary. A rushed presentation and selection of images is a waste of time.

3. Be realistic. Entering competitions takes time and money so only enter those that you feel you stand a decent chance of being shortlisted for. Years ago, when I knew less about this industry, Marjola Xhunga and myself entered the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize. We were competing with people with far more experience and, of course, we were unsuccessful. We wasted a great deal of time and energy preparing for the competition. However, don’t refrain from stretching yourself and ‘lifting your game’.

4. Beware of rights grabs. Read the small print. Some competitions try and steal your copyright. Don’t even think of supporting such competitions. These types of competitions are normally aimed at the less rights-concerned photographers and ‘weekend’ snappers, so you will probably not come into contact with them anyway. However, don’t get complacent -remember to read all entry terms and conditions.

5. Be organised. Keep a folder of all the images and text that you enter into a competition. This way you have a reference of what was sent, where, and when. And, if you decide to enter a similar competition, it gives you a starting point – you can copy the text and review the images. It could help you make clearer decisions in regard to a possible re-edit. Furthermore, occasionally submissions get lost by the competition organisers. If they contact you and ask you to resubmit, you will be able do it immediately as you already have everything you need in the appropriate folder.

6. Remember to keyword. Make sure all of your images are correctly and thoroughly keyworded. Only then can you make sound decisions for editing.

7. Don’t get disheartened when unsuccessful. Remember, there’s a lot of great work out there also competing, and also every judge sees things differently. You gotta be in it to win it.

Pocket-sized Photography – The Matchbox Gallery in Arles


Matchbox Gallery, Photo: © Robert Hackman, 2009

Robert Hackman’s Matchbox Gallery is an unusual and rather clever promotional tool. While many photographers in Arles were lugging around laptops, box portfolios of prints and ‘dummy’ books with business and postcards at the ready, Hackman was carrying a pocket-sized solution. A matchbox sleeve containing small cards featuring his Bunker Albania series “examining the reuse of these bunkers today”. (From his website: Albania’s ruling communist regime built 700,000 military bunkers as a defence against invasion). His Matchbox Gallery functions as a way of introducing his work and also allows people “to look at it at leisure” – something gallerists, publishers and editors may well appreciate at busy festivals. Hackman wanted to make an impression, “especially in Arles where people are seeing so much work” and created a Victorian sleeve design so as to “relate it to things that are collectable; to evoke a feeling and perception of those times”. However, the mini gallery doesn’t replace having a portfolio of prints – it piques interest and allows for a follow up.

Most of Hackman’s work is shot in Albania – he has worked there for a number of years and is married to an Albanian journalist with whom he collaborates on projects. Two of three photographs he submitted to Foto8’s second annual Summer Show have been selected and will be on show at the Host Gallery, London for its 2009 Foto8 Summer Show Opening Night Party on Friday 25 July. Gallery manager Harry Hardie gives a sneak preview of the hanging of the show on the Host Gallery Blog. The summer show runs from 25 July – 8 September. One of the images is from a series, Energy and Chaos, shown here, while the other is from an on-going personal project focused on Roma culture.

Wedding dress shop in Bathor, Albania.

Wedding dress shop in Bathor, Albania, © Robert Hackman