Hill on Photography

'If a camera could capture poetry, this might well be what it would look like' -
The Guardian.

Real Britain Postcards Exhibition and Event at Brighton Biennial

Uncovering a lost episode in the development of British social documentary photography, this exhibition explores how the Co-Optic group attempted to establish an authentic representation of 1970s Britain.

By 1974, documentary realism had a special prominence in English television, film and photography.The Co-Optic group laid claim to combine the new ‘independent photography’ inspired by US examples, with the style and forms of 60s photo-journalism.

The Co-Optic group included then emerging practitioners Martin Parr, Daniel Meadows, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen, Nick Hedges, Fay Godwin, Paul Hill, Ron McCormick and Gerry Badger, driven by the organisational skills of fellow photographer and entrepreneur, Stephen Weiss.

This exhibition, curated by David Alan Mellor, celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Co-Optic group’s Real Britain postcard project. It draws on the Co-Optic archive, featuring original prints donated by the photographers, as well as prints from the Real Britain postcard project.

This will be the first public showing of this material from the Co-Optic archive; it includes photographs, posters, newsletters and ephemera related to seminars, exhibitions and events organised by Co-Optic, alongside the Real Britain project: a two-part edition of twenty-five photographic postcards.

Presented in partnership with the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex. Curated by David A. Mellor.

Dorset Place Gallery, University of Brighton, 6 Dorset Place Tues 28 Oct 6.30 – 8pm Curator David Alan Mellor discusses the exhibition Real Britain 1974: Co-Optic and Documentary Photography with Francis Hodgson and Co-Optic Member Paul Hill. £5/3*


Was Henri Cartier Bresson a ‘street photographer’ ?

In our interview with HCB in Dialogue with Photography he said he wasn’t a photo reporter but ‘a surrealist’. ‘Street Photography’ seems to have recently become a genre like the meaningless ‘travel photography’.
Where you are when you photograph and what you point the camera at is only the start. It’s the approach and what you wish ‘to say’ that matters (see Approaching Photography).Once you create fallacious categories you then have to establish ‘rules’( British are the best at this) and theories (French are best at that) that become straight jackets. Surreal, conceptual, visceral, spiritual, polemical, personal etc seem much more appropriate to me.

Alan Griffiths who runs the excellent Luminous Lint website responded thus:

Interesting Paul - I’m open to the idea of adding ways of slicing through the information I have on Luminous-Lint and your approach “Surreal, conceptual, visceral, spiritual, polemical, personal etc ” might be a way to do it. I don’t think we need to remove ways of approaching photography but I do agree that we need to add different ways of examining it. The more the better as long as they illuminate and enrich the subject.

Photoforum, QUAD, Derby Autumn 2014

With Federica Chiocchetti
7 October, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, The Box, £5 (£4 for members/concessions)

Unable to be explained by science or the laws of nature, the supernatural relates to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe. When it comes to photography, allegedly the medium that mechanically reproduces what we tend to call reality, the supernatural tends to be associated with the ‘unphotographable’. Since photography’s inception in the 19th century practitioners have experimented with all manner of ways to show a reality beyond appearances. Federica Chiocchetti will explore the history as well as some contemporary works of ‘supernatural photography’ in this informative talk.

Federica Chiocchetti is a PhD researcher in photography and fictions at the University of Westminster, the founder and director of the photo-literary platform Photocaptionist.com, a writer and independent curator.

A Personal Journey
4 November 2014, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, The Box, £5 (£4 for members/concessions)

One of this country’s most influential photographers and teachers, David Hurn of Magnum reveals all in what he is calling ‘a 60 year self indulgent meander through friends and photograph whilst at no time suffering from malnutrition’.

Born in the UK but of Welsh descent, David is a self-taught photographer who began his career in 1955 as an assistant at the Reflex Agency. He gained his early reputation as a freelance photographer with his reportage of the 1956 Hungarian revolution, but he eventually turned away from coverage of current affairs preferring to take a more personal approach to photography.

He became an associate member of Magnum in 1965, and a full member in 1967.

In 1973 he set up the famous School of Documentary Photography in Newport, Wales. He stepped away from this role in 1989 and has since been in constant demand; lecturing and leading workshops around the world.

Open Session at Photoforum
2 December 2014, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, The Box, £5 (£4 for members/concessions)

We would like our Photoforum regulars and newcomers to share their photographs at this Open Session..

The session will be led by photographer, author and teacher, Paul Hill, but these sessions are about you and your photographs. The work may provoke lively discussions about the issues the pictures raise. Who knows? But you will certainly have the opportunity to ‘expose yourself’ in front of an informed audience of fellow practitioners and enthusiasts, and get the sort of feedback that may help move the work forward, or even get it published or exhibited.

If you want to show your work (maximum 12 images - as files or prints - to give an opportunity for discussion), please contact Paul in advance at paul@hillonphotography.co.uk


Bargain Offer !!


 We are offering copies of the hardback version for £ 9.95 plus £ 3.80 P&P on a first come, first served basis whilst our limited stock lasts.

 If you are interested, please email: paul@hillonphotography.co.uk

 ' Every serious photographer should read it'  - The Royal Photographic Society Journal


Photoforum - The Future

As you may recall there was discussion at a recent FORMAT Photoforum meeting about how the forum could be developed. An outcome from this was that a number of people generously volunteered to participate in a steering group.  This group has now met and a provisional programme has been developed. This is focused around three core areas; regular programme, additional programme and an annual project. Further detail on these is described below.
Regular Programme – a monthly programme of forum meetings. These will happen for 10 months of the year with a break around Christmas and another in the summer. The meetings will host talks and presentations reflecting the interests of those attending the forum. It is proposed that a rough annual programme would include; two headline speakers; six talks and presentations by photographers, publishers, curators and similar; and two open sharing events for forum members.
Additional Programme – this is activity that could be facilitated through the forum. It would reflect the interests of members and capitalise on opportunities that arise. Types of activity could include; group critique sessions; exhibition visits to other cities; master classes with visiting photographers; workshops on editing and sequencing; or a day shooting in a specific location. It would be open to forum members to propose ideas and for others to ‘opt in’ if the activity was of interest to them.
Annual Project – this would be a distinct strand of activity providing focus for forum member activity during the year. For 2015 it is proposed that this take the form of a group exhibition. This to be thematically linked and timed to coincide with the FORMAT Festival in March 2015.
Please give us your thoughts
We would welcome your feedback on the above proposed programme. In particular your responses to the following three questions would help us greatly in our planning.

  1. If you could choose three speakers or topics to be included in the Regular Programme, who or what would they be?

  1. Is there an activity or workshop that would be of interest or value to you in the Additional Programme?

  1. Would you be interested in participating in a Format Photo Forum group exhibition in March 2015?

Please can you let us have your feedback by 16th June 2014. We look forward to hearing from you. The next FORMAT Photoforum meeting is on 24th June 2014. This will be an open session, welcoming regulars and newcomers to share their photographs to fellow attendees. This is an occasional event that extends our version of speed dating with images – 5 X 5 - into an evening of showing your photographs to other photographers from around the region, led by photographer, author and teacher Paul Hill. For further information or to book visit: www.derbyquad.co.uk/exhibition/format-photoforum <http://www.derbyquad.co.uk/exhibition/format-photoforum>
Please direct any feedback to this email address!
Many thanks,


Michael Sargeant
Exhibitions Assistant

QUAD & FORMAT International Photography Festival
QUAD | Market Place | Cathedral Quarter | Derby | DE1 3AS | UK
T:  01332 285489 / 07720 763775  E:  michaels@derbyquad.co.uk <mailto:michaels@derbyquad.co.uk>  W: www.derbyquad.co.uk <http://www.derbyquad.co.uk/>