Apologies for my excessively long absence from this blog. A considerable amount has happened in the last 12 months, including a significant 40th anniversary since I started to earn my living from photography.

In January 1975 I started work as an assistant to a portrait and wedding photographer in Newport, Monmouthshire. Burnicle Studios was founded in 1894, and was built on the very top of a building as a daylight studio, originally with a glass roof, as electricity was a new invention! Of course, things had moved on quite a lot by 1975, but there was still some of the Victorian posing paraphernalia hidden in the cupboards. My fingers were either covered in oil, from my unreliable old motorcycle, or stained brown from the print developer when I “batch processed” endless dozens of black and white photographs.

Policeman at the site of an IRA bombing in Newport 1976

Policeman at the site of an IRA bombing in Newport 1976

The above picture is from around this time, when the IRA decided to bomb the Gor Ray skirt shop in Newport!

Eventually I realised that I wanted to become a commercial photographer, and spent 2 years at Swansea studying advertising photography, but more of that in a later blog.

Punk 1979

Punk 1979

The "General", John Frost Square, Newport

The “General”, John Frost Square, Newport

 

Congratulations are in order to Ian, and his brother, with whom he has started The Uncommon Ground Coffee Roastery in The Royal Arcade, Cardiff.

Ian was with me for 7 years until december 2014 and became an integral part of Pinegate, and I sincerely thank him for this shared time. His work was superb, and he is one of the most genuine and likeable people that I have known.

I know their business has started well, and deservedly so as they serve an excellent coffee. The cafe has a great atmosphere, and is the perfect place to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of shopping.

 

Incidentally, the Photo Expo at Arles last year was a real highlight for myself. it featured an exhibition by David Bailey, who inspired me into photography with his 1969 book, “Goodbye Baby and Amen”, a saraband to the Sixties. I still have my original copy, which, because I looked and read it so much, is no more than carefully and lovingly assembled collection of  loose pages. Of course I bought his latest book, which shares the same name as the exhibition, ” Stardust”.

David Baileys' "Stardust", Arles

David Baileys’ “Stardust”, Arles

Two women,some of  David Bailey's early work.

Two women,some of David Bailey’s early work.