For When Snowed In and/or Other Moments of Captivity: Recommended Reading List Part 1

Snowed in Window


Seeing as we're about to enter a new ice age I thought it might be a good time to share a list of recent reading material.


Before you browse the list I have to confess that I'm actually a slow reader. In the time it takes me to read a chapter, my wife will have completed an entire book. It was a recent audio book subscription that reignited my thirst for books. Many of the books on this list have been listened to rather than read. None-the-less the books below have all impacted on me in some way or another and that's why I wanted to share them...


1. The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert MacFarlane
I’ve read this before and loved it. It is one of the most influential books on my photography and I quote a section from it in my artist statement. It was the first book I ordered on my new Audible subscription and listening to it was like recharging my creative batteries! Continue reading For When Snowed In and/or Other Moments of Captivity: Recommended Reading List Part 1

Book of The Month: Lost Words, Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris

Lost Words, Robert MacFarlane


This month's book is a timely book of spells, full of magic and charm.


Yes, I know this is normally a "photo book" feature but I recently bought this stunning publication for our kids (as I keep having to remind myself!) and I absolutely love it.


The book features poems in the form of spells, written by top-notch author Robert Macfarlane, which are accompanied with a very generous portion of spellbinding and absorbing illustrations, courtesy of Jackie Morris.


The title reflects the loss of connection between people and nature, between children and the wild. The book hopes to rekindle this dwindling connection and revive a passion for our own natural worlds.


I had a girlfriend once who found my need to name and label every natural encounter both perplexing and, I suspect, frustrating. "Why do you have to put a name to everything? Would you enjoy the experience less for not giving it a name?" These are questions that have lingered with me over the years.


May be, this book has brought some finality to those questions. Having the words to describe and name an experience, gives it roots. Words help make that experience grow, they make it harder to forget, easier to share. Sharing often leads to caring and maybe in caring we might be able to save not just words but the wildlife entangled in those words.


It's certainly my hope that this magical book will inspire our own children to seek out wild experiences and help give them the words to share and care for them.


Reading Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane


Reading Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane  

Photo Book of the Month: Hide That Can, Deirdre O’Callaghan

Hide That Can Book by Deirdre O Callaghan


This month's photo book is a throw back to a time before photography was mainstream. Before camera phones had arrived and before documentary photography was overshadowed by this thing they call "street photography".


I bought the book after seeing Deirdre O'Callaghan's 'Hide That Can' project on the walls of the V&A museum. I was instantly drawn to the way she composed her photographs and the way she represented the characters in front of the camera. It is a book a often draw reference from.


Much of the contemporary documentary and street photography I see in the media today seems more invasive, more sensationalistic and maybe more opinionated than ever. What I love about this book is the sense of honesty, sensitivity, modesty and objectivity that flows throughout the collection of photos. And that's why I chose it for August's Photo Book of the Month! See more of the book and O'Callaghan's work on

Photo Book of the Month: Casey Orr’s Saturday Girl

Saturday Girl, Casey Orr


June's Photo Book is a vibrant celebration of young women and their expressions of individuality. I bought this book from the exhibition at The Gallery at Munro House (an absolutely wonderful spot with a stunning Cafe next door!). The "book" has the feel of a broadsheet weekend supplement except bigger, more weighty and with no adverts!


Continue reading Photo Book of the Month: Casey Orr’s Saturday Girl

Photo Book of the Month: magnum°

Magnum Photo Book Montage  

magnum° - published by Phaidon

  Be warned; all who enter this photo book will weep tears of both joy and sorrow.   You will laugh at the wit, admire the beauty, despair at the horror, jump back with shock and dive-in with optimism. This book is a collation of every emotion that could be experienced from looking at a photo. Some photos you will want to look at again and again, some photos you will want to forget. But all the photos are unforgettable. Continue reading Photo Book of the Month: magnum°

Photo Book of the Month: Laura El-Tantawy’s Post Script

Post-Script photo book by Laura El-Tantawy "Standing in the Shadow of the Pyramids,
The beginning meets the end.
Here I choose to my bury my most valued possession,
In a place I once called home." - Laura El-Tantawy


I came across Laura El-Tantawy's work at last year's Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize exhibition at the Photographers' Gallery. Although El-Tantawy didn't win the prize, for me, her work was the most engaging, topical and compelling of all the other shortlisted works... By a country mile.  Continue reading Photo Book of the Month: Laura El-Tantawy’s Post Script

Photo Book of the Month: Tessa Bunney’s Järvenjää/Lakeice

Lakeice, Tessa Bunney - Photo Book of the Month   Play the word association game with me and if you say Bradford, I'll say Impressions Gallery. I can't visit the city centre without a trip to this special photography gallery.   So when we recently traveled to Bradford registry to record the birth of our newborn boy, of course I dragged the family to check out the gallery's latest exhibition (Kurt Tong's 'The Queen, The Chairman and I'). After checking out the exhibition I took the customary browse around the book shop. Continue reading Photo Book of the Month: Tessa Bunney’s Järvenjää/Lakeice

January’s Photo Book: Byker Revisited

Byker revisited by Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen in book of the month

Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen's Byker Revisted

If you were a child of the 90's you might already be aware of Newcastle's Byker District. Maybe, like me, you also reveal your age by referring to ITV's most celebrated duo as "PJ & Duncan" too!

Whenever I'm in London I always try and visit one or two galleries. Actually, that's true of most paces I go! But back in November I down in London and keen to checkout Tate Modern's new extension aka the Switch House. While doing so I stumbled upon several photos of Byker, taken by photographer Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen.

Continue reading January’s Photo Book: Byker Revisited

Photobook of the month: In No Great Hurry

In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter May's photo book of the month is actually a DVD rather than a book(!). This is largely because Saul Leiter books are very collectable and many are pretty much unaffordable!  I bought this DVD last year, and for me it's just as inspiring as the best photo books in my own collection. Continue reading Photobook of the month: In No Great Hurry

Photo book of the month: Women, Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz, Women Photo BookEarlier this month I shared a photo in my post for International Women's Day . For the March Photo Book of the Month, I thought I'd continue in the same vein with Annie Leibovitz and Susan Sontag's book 'Women'. Continue reading Photo book of the month: Women, Annie Leibovitz