Week Notes 017 — W/E 30 July 2023

  • No shoots booked — the first clear week in a couple of months. So nice to get time to clear up all the admin that was pushed aside in order to meet deadlines.
  • Celebrated the flexible schedule by taking Monday morning off. ‘Swimming’ lesson with Baby first thing, then off to a baby friendly screening of Barbie at the Barbican. Joyful carnage on screen and off. By the end, there was a line of parents against one wall flinging their babies around in mystical patterns to encourage them to sleep. I enjoyed the film itself: it wore its cleverness lightly, and its dumbness proudly. Great lines, sharp outfits and incredible set design.
  • The bulk of the week was spent choosing images for my new site and sequencing them. I’m getting really close — just waiting for some display issues to be resolved. I feel like my work has progressed by a step change in the last two to three years — and I can’t wait to share it and get back out on meetings. I’ve mostly replicated and expanded on the structure of my current site, and I’m working on a ‘Places’ category to encompass some travel, cityscape and interiors work. I need a ‘Street’ category for the personal section of my site too, now that I have enough work to fill it out.
  • First time out with my wife sans baby on the weekend. My mum and sister wrangled the baby while we went to see Groundhog Day at the Old Vic. I’m allergic to musicals, but I thought it was brilliantly executed. The handling of the daily reset deftly conveyed the frustration of the protagonist and the surreality of the premise, while evolving enough not to bore the audience. Maintaining forward momentum in a story about going in circles is a hard task and I was impressed with how it was handled. Tim Minchin’s writing was acerbic, raucous and raunchy in equal measure. The leads were charismatic, but I didn’t feel the chemistry between them. The set pieces and inventiveness more than made up for the lack of passion though.
  • Back to using kettlebells for simple and functional workouts that are easy to fit in when I have 15–30mins spare. Lots of press ups and bodyweight squats in the gaps too.
  • My favourite browser, Arc, has reached v1.0. I’m very pleased for them as I have been using it for months now and it’s become an indispensable part of my digital life. I love browsing websites full screen, copying URLs with a keyboard shortcut and being able access anything I need in secs using their multi-context Command Bar. I’ve used all the big browsers and this is the first one that feels like it’s doing something new. Arc has ditched the waitlist, so I encourage everyone to check it out.
  • I’ve discovered Underdog Electronic Music School’s excellent YouTube channel and have been making my way through his videos. He has a real gift for teaching concepts in a clear and concise manner. I found him through his breakdown of Fred Again..’s key techniques and thought his Music Theory in 29 Minutes was by far the simplest explanation I’ve watched of the basics of a confusing topic.
  • I really enjoyed this Conversations with Tyler interview with Noam Dworman on Stand-Up Comedy and Staying-Open Minded. He’s the owner of the Comedy Cellar and it was interesting to hear his take on how comedy is changing and evolving.
  • My photobooks are on the bottom of our bookshelves, next to the play mat (a terrible idea, but that’s another story.) When the baby is occupied chewing on whatever has fallen into her clutches, I’ve taken to dipping into some favourite books. I used to make a song and dance of sitting down with a photobook — waiting for good light and uninterrupted time. As a result, I rarely looked at them. Now, because I grab and browse when I have a spare five minutes, I’ve spent more time with my photobooks than I had in the last year. Exiles by Koudelka is the one that I keep returning too. The ground he covered and the variety of scenes that he witnessed are mind-boggling. And this doesn’t even speak to the incisive eye with which he captured them. On these recent flip-throughs I’ve appreciated the classics like the angel on the bike or the rocket man, but also fallen in love with pictures that I didn’t even realise were in the book. He is a master of mood, light, and layering. I can’t wait to read more about the life behind the pictures in The Making of Exiles which also awaits me on the shelf.