Refugees Welcome

February 9th, 2016

September 12 was an important day in British politics, possibly a turning point we will look back on, the start of a new era on honesty and straightforwardness, though we still have a while to wait to see if a decent and principled man can survive as leader of his won party for long enough for the electorate to be allowed to pass their judgement. It certainly won’t be easy, with not only the Tories and most Labour MPs keen to preserve the status quo, along with the entire mass media baying against him. But even though our newspapers have recently been judged as the most right-wing in Europe, if he begins to look as if he may win, some will change their tone. Its always more profitable to be on the winning side, even if it rather sticks in your throat to be so.

My main concern on September 12 was not however with the Labour Party leadership – in which I didn’t have a vote, never having got over being thrown out of the party as a member of a Labour student organisation that was ‘proscribed’ back in the 1960’s, although I did briefly photograph one of the victory parties – and wrote about it here earlier.

Zita Holbourne of BARAC with one of her artworks showing a boat full of refugees

Also taking place was one of the larger protests that London has seen for a while, the Refugees Welcome Here national march. The plight of refugees, mainly fleeing from war-torn Syria and other areas of conflict and making their way across the Mediterranean, facing hardship and death had captured the attention of the British people.

It was of course the pictures and videos and stories on TV in particular, but also on the press that had made us aware and awakened our concern. The stories were dramatic and shocking enough to gain extensive coverage, enough to overcome the continual drip-feed of anti-refugee propaganda which usually fills our media. The continued and systematic use of the words ‘migrants‘ and ‘immigrants‘ rather than ‘refugees’ or ‘asylum seeker’s, the ridiculous, sloppy and inaccurate use of the term ‘illegal immigrant‘ (or even the shorter ‘illegals‘) and the hysteria whipped up over migration statistics and stories which should be about the failure of our government to provide support for local authorities where these people settle rather than blaming them.

Then we have a whole raft of racist legislation – the setting up of prison camps like Yarl’s Wood and Harmondsworth – and raids on shops, offices, restuarants, stations and streets by ‘border police‘.

Although tragedies reported by the media brought a positive response from the British people, our government was largely unmoved. As I wrote “More than 50,000 people of all ages from across the UK marched through London to show their support for refugees facing death and hardship and their disgust at the lack of compassion and inadequate response of the British government.”

Maimuna Jawo a refugee from Gambia and from Women for Refugee Women wearing an ‘I’m a Refugee’ t-shirt left Gambia to avoid having to take over when her mother, the local FGM ‘cutter’, died.

Before the march there was a rally and I photographed all of the speakers – including the Liberal Democrat leader, London’s MEPs for the Green Party and Labour, and representatives from various groups concerned with refugees. Two of the speakers, Zrinka Bralo of Citizens UK a
and Maimuna Jawo of Women for Refugee Women had come to this country as refugees.

I photographed the front of the march, and walked with it for a few hundred yards before stopping an photographing others as the march streamed past, filling the wide carriageway of Piccadilly. It took an hour to pass me by and then I rushed to the tube to get to Westminster, one stop away, where the march was heading. I arrived just before the front of the march, which must have been around a mile long.

I took a few pictures as the front of the march went in front of the Houses of Parliament, and a friendly steward let me in to the area in front of the banner, but I had to work very close to it as otherwise there were too many people in the way. I’d have liked to have the banner clear to read, but it wasn’t possible.

Another rally was starting, along with some celebrity speakers, but I decided I was too tired to cover it and sat down for a few minutes to eat a late lunch on a wall on the other side of Parliament Square as the square filled up. By the time I left it was pretty full, with people still coming in – and many others like me deciding it was time to go home.

Rally Says Refugees Welcome Here
Refugees are welcome here march
Refugees Welcome march reaches Parliament

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East from Gravesend

February 5th, 2016

The third new book I’ve produced this year is the final volume of the series along the lower Thames in the 1980s, East from Gravesend.  As well as my own walks out from Gravesend to Cliffe, it also has pictures from a couple of earlier visits with a small group of photographers further into the Hoo Peninsula and on to the Medway and the Swale.

All of these pictures are taken on the south side of the Estuary in Kent, and it was a few years later that I ventured much to the east of Barking along the Essex coast, with the exception of another outing with the same group to Canvey Island. So for the moment there are three volumes of my Lower Thameside series, but perhaps as I work through my many folders of contact sheets and negatives there will be more than cover the north bank.

As with most of my recent publications, this is published as a PDF and the digital version has ISBN 978-1-909363-18-2 . Blurb will also print you out a copy if you are feeling rich. The PDF gives you an instant download for £4.99 while the print copy is a ridiculous £29.95 plus post. I have a few copies available for my UK friends, and will hand one over for £25 or post it to any UK address for £27.00* – faster and cheaper than ordering via Blurb and their courier delivery.

There are several great advantages to publishing as a PDF. Most important to me is image quality. Assuming you have a decent screen these pictures are more detailed and have better contrast and density range. Blurb do a decent job of printing, at least on the premium paper that I specify, and while it is better than some of the photographic books on my shelves (particularly some of the older ones) it certainly doesn’t compare with good duotone or quadtone printing.

Cost is an obvious advantage, and publishing digitally cuts my costs considerably. If you assign a print publication a UK ISBN, then you are obliged legally to deposit a copy with the British Library – UK National Library. I’d be happy to do that, but if they request it, you also have to send free copies to the Scottish and Welsh National Libraries, and also Oxford and Cambridge universities and Trinity College Dublin.

When I started producing books, these other libraries didn’t get round to asking for their copies, but they now appear to be more organised, and after I spent around £250 on their copies and carriage for a couple of books I decided to go digital.

Its perhaps surprising that our national library doesn’t appear interested in digital publications, although they do have these in their collection. But they have never responded when I’ve sent them copies of the PDFs and have not added them to their collection.

As usual there is a preview of the book available, including over half the pictures in the book. Click on the icon to make it full-screen and enjoy:

I’ve written two previous posts about my own walks from Gravesend to Cliffe while I was preparing the images for this book – quite a while ago,
North Kent 2 and To Cliffe which have more information about the work.

*Contact me from this page to be sent the further details needed to place an order, which can then be made either by post including a cheque or by email and bank transfer.

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Arms Fair

February 2nd, 2016

Looking back on a busy few days in September when activists protested against the DSEi arms fair held in East London.  When you see reports of wars, atrocities and killing around the world, there is a very good chance that at least some of the weapons involved will have been sold at this event, which is said to be the largest arms fair in the world which takes place here every two years.

In the week before the arms fair took place, activists held a number of protests and tried to stop lorries bringing exhibits to the arms fair. The first day of protests. DSEi Arms Fair protest Israeli Arms Sales, concentrated on the sale of arms to Israel, and the sale of arms by Israeli companies who trade on the fact that these arms have been ‘battle tested’ in the various attacks on Gaza.  In my picture police talk with protesters who have stopped a lorry carrying a military vehicle and climbed on to it. Eventually police persuaded the protesters to allow the lorry to continue.

The following day was a day led by faith protesters with a DSEi: Pax Christi Vigil which was followed by a Catholic Workers Funeral

procession and service, which ended with them occupying the road to stop traffic. They continued to block the road for quite a while until police finally forced them to the pavement, with officers picking up and carrying the mock coffin.

Later that day a small group of Christian campaigners, Put Down the Sword, made their way to the other entrance to the former dock site including the centre where the arms fair was being held and blocked all traffic for around an hour before police finally dragged them away.

I couldn’t attend every day of the protests at DSEi, as other things were also happening that week in London, but three days later returned for Refugees Welcome, Arms Dealers NOT, where protesters dressed as and alternative Border Force again moved onto the road and stopped traffic going into the arms fair, moving back to the road a number of times after police dragged them off.

Of course, these actions didn’t prevent the arms fair, and attracted very little attention in the mass media – arms sales are big business and big businesses fund much of our media through advertising for their less lethal products. But they did make clear the opposition many feel to the arms trade and the way it profits from the conflicts that it fuels around the globe.

While the arms fair was taking place there were further protests. As on previous occasions local people opposed to it organised a procession to lay a Wreath for Victims of the Arms Trade. There is high security around the actual event, and the bridge across the dock is closed and the group walks in procession around to a point on the opposite side of the Royal Victoria Dock to lay the wreath on the water.

Also on the same afternoon, a group of Kurds came on the same route to say Stop arms sales to Turkey and some dressed in fake blood-stained white shrouds staged a die-in on the dockside opposite the fair, in view of those attending and visiting the naval display in the dock.

The Kurds say that Turkey sponsors ISIS both by turning a blind eye to its military operations against the Kurds and active support in supplying arms and refining and smuggling large exports of oil from ISIS held oil-fields that bring millions in to fund them.

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Woolwich to Darent

January 26th, 2016

I’ve been taking something of a rest from photography for a few days, partly on health grounds, with some minor issues meaning I don’t feel up to carrying a heavy camera bag around or standing around for hours, and that’s given me a chance to get a few projects finished.  Included among this are three books, the first of which, German Indications, I posted about  a few days ago.

Also now completed is Woolwich to the Darent, the first of three books on an extensive project which I mainly worked on in 1985-6 in Greater London and North Kent in the industrial areas along the shore of the River Thames and the estuary. You can see a limited preview above which shows around half the book.

As usual I recommend the PDF version, both for its better reproduction and rather more sensible price. You can also download and view it more or less instantly, while print orders take a week or two to be produced and dispatched by Blurb.

When I talked with some of the management of Blurb a few years back, I suggested they should look up more cost-effective delivery for their books, particularly for small orders, but they don’t seem to have done so. I don’t yet have any print copies, but I will be selling them later for those in the UK at £25 plus £2.00 for postage.

Those with long memories may remember some posts here where I shared a few of the pictures from this back in 2014, Around Erith, 1985South of the Thames, North Kent 1985: Rosherville, and Gravesend & Rosherville 1985.

The title has turned out to be a little misleading. There are no pictures actually taken in the town of Woolwich, though there were a couple in the original set, which got eliminated from the final version. Back when I took the pictures a large area of the riverside east of the town centre was still occupied by the Ministry of Defence and not accessible to the public – and I think there were still notices prohibiting photography around it.

But Woolwich – since 1965 a part of the London Borough of Greenwich – used to include the whole of the Royal Arsenal site, the eastern part of which by the time I went there was Thamesmead, already a large estate for London’s overspill. On some of the older maps that I looked at, the whole area was still left blank in a rather pointless attempt at official secrecy as  German maps in WW2 and cold war Russian maps showed considerable detail! But even the modern maps for parts of the area open to the public were not too reliable, with some paths not shown and others on the maps fenced off.

Today things are different, with the Thames Path Extension now going all the way to Crayford Ness. It makes a pleasant walk or cycle in good weather, although there have been quite a few changes, and I’ve been back a few times taking pictures – including some in my Thamesgate Panoramas, which really does start at Woolwich, but goes on rather further east to Gravesend.
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Transparency Woes

January 23rd, 2016

My trans-hate is directed solely at colour transparencies – such as this one which I took – I think – in 1984. I’ve almost always hated colour reversal film, though my earliest experiences with it, photographing an attractive young lady in a blossom-filled peach tree in my back garden were positive (though I rather hope none of the images survives) but, like that early romance, my romance with Agfachrome and Kodachrome was brief.

I wasn’t then a photographer. I had a camera and could afford to put perhaps one or at most two films a year through it – enough for a few holiday snaps, though sometimes one film would stretch to a couple of years. I didn’t have a projector, but my stepmother did and produced various out of focus and arbitrarily framed images largely of ageing relatives in their back gardens as well as a few or my father in the middle distance in front of a beach or cliffs (and he was handed the camera for a few similar if slightly sharper images of her) which would be projected as ‘entertainment’ at some family events.

The technical quality of the images wasn’t entirely her fault, as the Boot’s camera she used wasn’t the most capable of instruments. My own, a Halina 35X, long admired nose to glass at the local pawnbrokers (it made it there a year or two  before the 1959 given as the date of introduction in the web article),  and which had been bought with several years of saved pennies from my inadequate pocket money, was far more advanced, and did quite well until I dropped it in the lake at Versailles.

Paris image after pre-soak in the lake at Versailles before processing

Ten years later, when I finally dragged myself away from being an impecunious student and got a full-time job, one of my early purchases was a cheap Russian camera, a Zenith B. The B I think stood for ‘brick’, but while it was crude and chunky, at least (unlike their rangefinder I also tried) it had a reasonably accurate viewfinder, and most of the Russian lenses were decent copies of the German lenses whose designs had been a part of post-war reparations. Along with the camera I also bought a cheap Russian enlarger that folded up into a large box, some black plastic sheeting, plastic seed trays without holes in the bottom and a Paterson developing tank and converted first our spare bedroom and later the kitchen into a makeshift darkroom.

Black and white was then what serious photographers used and I spent much of my non-working time immersed in its chemistry, mainly keeping the colour transparencies for my holiday snaps. Before I set up my own darkroom, black and white had been an expensive option, but with 100 ft rolls of bulk film and box upon box of outdated paper it was now almost free (if not always in perfect condition.)

I’d retained an interest in colour, but now that seemed rather expensive although I fortunately won a decent-size block of Kodachrome in a competition – and that included processing. But otherwise the costs seemed high. I flirted briefly with Orwo – East German colour film based on the 1930s Afga patents at its orginal Wolfen plant, but found its strange purplish shadows and uncontrollable repulsive.

Also rather cheaper than Agfa or Kodak films were those produced in Italy by 3M/Ferrania and sold under various other names as well as the makers. When this also became available in bulk lengths I found that Paterson tank could process it (if not always quite perfectly with the aid of cheap third-party chemicals) and began to take more colour transparencies.

But apart from the vagaries of processing (and cheap commercial processing wasn’t always too reliable either) the limited ability of the transparency film to cope with anything other than flat lighting often disappointed. By then I’d move onto and Olympus OM1 and that had reliable through the lens metering, but it was still too easy to get over or under exposure, and with high contrast subjects empty black shadows were inevitable.

Colour print film was more forgiving in terms of exposure, but the cost of printing was high and it was considered unsuitable for reproduction. Outside of social photography, few serious photographers used it – clients demanded transparencies. It was largely an amateur medium for snaps of family and friends (though too expensive for cats and meals to feature much at that time – they had to wait for digital to take over) and the products available reflected this, not least in their relatively rapid fading and discolouration.

It was Fuji who changed this – at least so far as I was concerned. Their research led to longer-lasting dyes and purer colour in their negative films, which Kodak had rather neglected. Perhaps because they failed to give me a job when I went to Harrow for an interview when I first graduated as a chemist. They told me it was because they didn’t think I was interested enough in photography, but I felt it was more my working class background – photography back in the mid-1960s was still largely a middle-class hobby and Kodak management in the UK certainly reflected that.

Photographers of some note in the 1980s began to produce colour prints that excited me, and I found many were working with colour negative film. So in October 1985 I changed to Fuji colour negative films and paper for my personal colour work. After that date if I took a colour transparency it was because I was paid specifically to do so. Fuji’s lead also prodded Kodak into action, and later I found Kodak negative films I could use, though mainly I stayed with Fuji, and when I set up a colour paper processor in my darkroom it fed exclusively on their paper.

A little over 10 years later came another development that changed things for me, when I bought my first film scanner. With the possibility of supplying digital images from colour neg there seemed to be no reason ever to use transparency film again.

My problems with slides don’t stop there. Good filing systems for slides were expensive to set up, and whereas with negative materials you could label them on the negative filing sheet or contact sheet, slides required individual labelling. For projection they had to be in slide mounts (and at best in behind glass) but the mounts covered the edges of the images and usually they had to be removed for printing.

I never had the space, the money or the time to set up a good filing system for my slides. Only a minority ever got labelled, and over time some of that labelling on the slide mount got lost as slides were unmounted and remounted – sometimes in the wrong mount. Slides removed for projection didn’t always get back into the right filing pages. Although not completely chaotic, my slide filing system is certainly a mess.

In making German Indications I spent several days searching through for one particular image of a German factory building, but without success. I made a low-res black and white scan of it from the print (which is also now missing) in 1997 but that print was made in 1986 and I think the slide has been lost since then.

You’ll have to imagine the colour as I only owned a black and white scanner in 1997

Having to send slides – the original image – out to clients or for processing was always a slightly risky business. If they were to be reproduced in print they were often returned with fingerprints across them – print technicians were often rather careless especially I think with 35mm transparencies which they rather looked down on. Sometimes slides did get lost or badly damaged, and although I did get some compensation it was never more than nominal.

The image at the top of this piece certainly shows a barge in sail on the River Thames, but where or when I can’t now be sure. The folder the slide was in says 1984 and that seems likely, but the background could be a sand and gravel wharf almost anywhere on the lower Thames. I suspect from the width of the river (I think I was probably standing on the riverbank rather than in a boat) it may be at Greenwich, but despite this I’ve used it as the frontispiece – and the only colour image – in my other new book completed this week, Woolwich to the Darent – more about which in another post. It just seemed a picture that seemed to fit with the atmosphere and mood of the river and the book.

German Indications

January 22nd, 2016

One of the reasons I’ve not posted here for a few days is that I’ve been busy finishing a couple of books, though there have been other issues. But the preview above shows you about half of one of the new books, best viewed at full screen by clicking the symbol, so that you can actually read the several pages of text.

When I showed this work in 1986 it had around 30 images, 11 in colour, and the same set of nine texts that are now in the finished work. In 1997 I posted a version of it on the web, but as I only had a black and white scanner, the images were all black and white, though some I later replaced with colour versions.

The book now has 29 images in black and white and 39 in colour, and contains all except one of the original set – one transparency has been lost. The images were a similar size to that at which they appear in the printed book, and those in colour were made on an Agfa direct reversal paper which I used to try and match what I saw as the Germanic mood of the original scenes. All have been re-scanned for the current publication and are closer to the original transparencies.

Like much of what I photographed, that paper was past its best-before date and gave the images a rather gloomy and melodramatic character. The black and white images were also printed on a German paper, Agfa Record Rapid, then my favourite black and white paper, though in later years after it was reformulated to remove Cadmium it was never the same.

Now it would be easy to print out the texts in high quality at a suitable size, but back then home computers only knew dot-matrix printers. I typed out the stories using an electric typewriter for clarity, but they were really a little small for the exhibition wall. I found a few typing errors and other minor errors when getting them ready for this version.

As usual, I recommend the PDF version of German Indications, ISBN 978-1-909363-16-8, which you can download from Blurb immediately for £4.99. There is also a print version available from Blurb – and I will shortly have copies available for UK addresses at a little less than the Blurb prices, probably at £27 inc postage.

Take a walk with me

January 17th, 2016

Take a walk with me through a London, much of which has disappeared or changed dramatically” it says in the introduction to my set of pictures in the web site London Dérives, and the walk starts at Cousin Lane in the City of London in 1974 with an L plate and a couple snuggling together on the steps overlooking the Thames, and ends around 190 pictures later in Rectory Gardens, Clapham in 1983.

Some of the images from this set were published in my book, London Dérives – London 1975-83 and still available on Blurb (or direct from me to UK addresses only.)  On Blurb can also download a PDF of the book, which has the advantage of being considerably cheaper at £4.50 and having better quality images and being on your computer within minutes.

The blurb on Blurb states:

London Dérives
ISBN 978-1-909363-08-3

“People well know that there are gloomy quarters and others that are pleasant. But they generally convince themselves that the smart streets give a sense of pleasure and that the poor streets depress, without any nuance. In fact, the the variety of possible combinations of ambiances, like the solution of chemical substances into an infinite number of mixtures leads to feelings as different and as complex as arise from any other form of spectacle. “

Pictures from numerous walks “without goal” through London in the mid 1970s and early 1980s which aimed to capture some of the nuances of that city.

Mario Cravo Neto

January 15th, 2016

One of the minor disadvantages of living just outside London is the time and expense of getting to events taking place there. I have to make an effort to go to events such as tonight’s opening at Autograph of photographs by the late Brazilian photographer Mario Cravo Neto (1947-2009), and I just don’t have the time – and unless I’m up in London for other reasons its often hard to persuade myself to do so for openings. But I will certainly find time when I’m in London before the show ends on 2nd April 2016 to pay a visit to Rivington Place in Shoreditch, London.

One of the things I most enjoyed doing and which I thought was most important when I was employed to write about photography on the web was a series of articles of photography in various countries around the world, in part to get away from what appeared to be the assumption of many that the only important things happening in photography – at least since the start of the 20th century – were made in the USA. (Not that I neglected the USA, and I also wrote extensively about American photographers, particularly those involved in the New York Photo League, some of whom I felt were being forgotten.)

And although I wrote about photography in various countries around the world, in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australasia, the backbone of my series was the countries of Central and Southern America, which I tackled in alphabetical order. Brazil thus came fairly early in the series, which followed a fairly standard pattern, beginning with and introduction to the country and what I could glean about the early history of photography there (French-born inventor Hercules Florence living in the Sao Paulo region was apparently using a camera before that Mr Talbot at Lacock) and continuing on into the 20th century and ending with a short text about post-war and contemporary photographers. I wrote about around a dozen from Brazil, including this paragraph:

Mário Cravo Neto comes from Bahia, and his work incorporates references to the voodoo religion of that region, using indigenous people as actors holding objects often of ritual significance. He trained a sculptor like his father before turning to photography and his work shows a strong, tactile appreciation of texture.

It’s rather brief but to the point, though I might also have commented on the richness of both his black and white and colour work, but I did also make links to any web sites where his work could be seen, though in 2000 these were few. Things are rather easier now. There is a set on  Lensculture for the Autograph show, and an extensive web site on the Project ‘Black Gods in Exile’ with work by him and Pierre Verger, another photographer who featured in my article.

D5 or not D5?

January 14th, 2016

We can get some idea of the quality of the extreme ISO pictures on the new Nikon D5 from some sample image by Leon Ostrom of Randorn in a post on PetaPixel.

Not able to take away any images on a memory card, he photographed a series of test shots on the Nikon stand at CES 2016, then photographed the results displayed on the LCD screen on the back of the camera, both showing the full frame and a magnified detail, at Hi-1 (ISO 204,800) to Hi-5 (ISO 3,280,000).

Although these are only pictures of the image on the LCD screen.they give a very good impression of the possibilities of the camera, although the actual images could be greatly improved by appropriate noise reduction in post. Most impressive is the quality at Hi-1, which of course drops off as amplification increases. Hi-2 (IS0 409,600) looks to be usable for many purposes after noise reduction, while higher ISOs are distinctly emergency only.

Its a remarkable achievement, and one that makes me lust after the D5, though it isn’t a feeling I can sustain for long given the price and weight of the camera. But certainly it does make me hope for better high ISO and more affordable and lighter new models from Nikon. Even going back to DX with the D500 might be an option.

It also is a stark reminder of the ridiculous nature of the arithmetic ASA system. which was incorporated into ISO along with the much more sensible logarithmic DIN scale, where a one stop difference is an increase in 3, which makes it much easier especially when the ASA numbers get astronomical.

Back in the days of Tri-X, it was a 400/27 film (though we actually often rated it differently depending on which developer we were using and how we liked our negatives.) But its a good starting point for thinking about film speeds, and my starting point for this little table (more about film speeds for geeks on Wikipedia):

400	27
800	30
1600	33
3200	36
6400	39
12800	42
25600	45
51200	48
102400	51
204800	54
409600	57
819200	60
1638400	63
3280000	66

Either using this little table (or being able to divide by three) you can see that Hi-2 gives us a 10 stop advantage over Tri-X (or 8 stops over Tri-X pushed a couple of stops) which is certainly not to be sneezed at.

With the D700 and D810 I’m now working with, the practical limit I find is around ISO 6400 – so the D5 is performing at around 5 or 6 stops down the scale better. The D4 and Sony A7SII both claimed 409600 in 2014, so the D5 claims 3 stops more than them. It does seem pretty remarkable.

Vivian Maier – Digging Deeper

January 13th, 2016

I was about to post this as a comment to my post last week, Vivian Maier Still in Hiding, but then I thought people often miss the comments, so instead this short post.

On yesterday’s Lens Blog I read a summary the first part of Digging Deeper Into Vivian Maier’s Past with the second instalment promised for today and probably there by now. Its a summary of a longer feature on the Vivian Maier Developed blog, where you can also read Part 2 – A Life in Pictures.

The researcher, Ann Markswho has no background in photography and started researching Maier only after seeing a documentary about her life — has learned a great deal about Maier’s family history“, some of which had also been uncovered by the sources in my previous piece.

It amplifies what was already known about her background, and the confirms the speculations about the closeness of her link with a photographer: “From early childhood, Maier spent a significant amount of time with a woman named Jeanne Bertrand, who worked as a professional photographer, as well as other positive female role models” and throws a great deal of light on what was a rather disturbed life. And I await today’s second part with interest.

What it won’t do is tell us any more about her as a photographer, and for that we will have to await detailed studies of the whole of her work – which appears to have been kept together by her tenaciously while she was able to do so – rather than the selected examples that we have so far seen. The second part does give some insight into how her photography developed, although unfortunately at least some of the illustrations there appear to be reproduced at the incorrect aspect ratio.

So far I remain unconvinced that she was anything more than a very capable and talented photographer able to imitate the styles of others. My question if there was a real photographic ‘Vivian Maier’ who had something distinctive to say remains unanswered.