Throwback Friday #142 ‘Chromatophores’ (2023)

Today’s Throwback Friday is a short one, only as far back as a matter of weeks. For The Kick-About No.73, inspired by cephalopods, I made a short film, prompted by an octopus’s ability to change the colour of its skin. A bit of research later, and I had a new word in my vocabulary – chromatophores – which are muscle-controlled pigment cells.

As a starter-for-ten, I went about producing some chromatophores of my own on a white bathroom tile and some Sharpie pens, and after that, I went about producing a great many photographs of this self-same square tile under a shifting pattern of reflected light. Ultimately, these photographs were compiled as moving image, and from there, I went about producing the final visuals for the film itself. Not so much low-budget then, as no budget, but that’s the pleasure of the Kick-About and the opportunity to make things happen ‘by the seat of one’s pants’.

Throwback Friday #140 ‘Bust, Barcelona’ 2015

Don’t quote me, but I’m pretty sure I tool this photograph at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in February 2015. I mean, I know I took it back then, during a pretty wonderful student field trip to Barcelona, but I’m not 100% sure in which museum I was at the time. What I remember much more clearly about that visit was the weather, which was wonderfully warm and sunny, and the food, and the irrepressibly upbeat company of all those bright young things.

Throwback Friday #138 ‘Centaurea’

More old-school 35mm flower photographs from the early 2000s or thereabouts, celebrating the gorgeous blues, pinks and purples of centaureas, and here, served two ways: the first being an image of the field cornflower, Centaurea cyanus, and the second, Centaurea montana, or perennial cornflower. Both press my buttons and produce an impatience in my January bones for a lovely blast of heat.

Throwback Friday #137 ‘Cornus kousa’ 2007/8

A welcome reminder of what is to come as we trudge through January… As with many of these horticultural photographs, taken back in the day on 35mm, I have no record of the when or where of their original provenance. If pushed, I’d say these images of a flowering dogwood were likely taken at the arboretum at Mount Ephraim, Faversham in late Spring c. 2007/8. You can’t appreciate it from these close-up images, but when this tree does its thing, it’s smothered in these showy bracts, making for a demure, yet rather spectacular sight.

Throwback Friday #135 Albert Street, December 3rd

Not throwing back too far this week, only as far as last weekend, which saw ‘the great switch-on’ of the Albert Street Christmas lights. This year, we inherited a much longer stretch of icicles, hence the festive wrap around of our little end-of-terrace house. There were homemade mince-pies, mulled wine and, this being Whitstable, a bitterly cold wind blowing in off the sea.

Throwback Friday #134 Grasses at The River Slea

I can’t date this photograph exactly, though it was taken at some point in the early 2000s, but I can tell you where I was when I took it: somewhere along the banks of the River Slea in Lincolnshire on a winter’s morning. Looking like one of those heraldic banners, I was obviously drawn to this surviving crisp of grass and snapped it using my old 35mm camera.

Throwback Friday #133 ‘Rhus typhina’

These photographs of the glorious foliage of a Staghorn sumac tree were taken in the garden belonging to my late grandmother at some point in the mid-2000s – can’t remember when exactly, though I remember actually taking the pictures themselves; walking down the flight of enclosed concrete steps that led down from Grandma’s first floor flat and out into the garden at the back, where this tree opened out from a small central bed like a festive umbrella.