The Kiss

 

The Kiss One of the images from Barlife now showing at HIPhttp://www.davidmorrisphotographer.com/exhibitions.xhtml
The Kiss. Milano

The Kiss

This photograph was unexpected. I wasn’t in the bar for long which was dark and noisy and held not much promise. It wasn’t until later that I realized I had captured something special.

A sudden moment of passion, and human existence is caught in an instant; I didn’t know how I felt about the image, it isn’t the kind of photograph I would set out to capture.

I like the intrigue of the composition, the kiss dominates, but the couple close to us also have an unfolding story, and then there is someone alone on the edge of light.

What’s the story here?

Grab your opportunities while you can my friend and, do it with passion, be Italian, or remain on the outside, an observer like the figure in the shadows.

You might have an opinion of photographing people in public places?

I would like to hear it.

http://davidmorrisphotographer.com/whistle/index.php/2015/10/16/your-rights-to-take-photographs-in-public/

Some Barlife images now on show at The Gallery Norfolk 60 St Giles, Norwich and also available from the Bircham Gallery Holt

More Barlife images here:                                 http://www.davidmorrisphotographer.com/porfolio_index/Barlife_index.xhtml

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Living in apartments

Living in apartments : Naples An image from Barlife exhibition at HIP
Living in apartments : Infrared photograph

LIVING IN APARTMENTS Naples

We booked a cheap room at a big rambling hotel that had seen better days a few streets from the railway station in Naples.

Edward Hopper would have approved; a vast mortuary of a room with a wrist-slitting ambience, it held a huge angular bed whose wafer thin blankets held not a shred of comfort.

If you booked in here feeling depressed, you wouldn’t make daybreak.

Outside on the streets it was teaming with rain. It felt like the opening frames of Blade Runner.

Abject poverty, dark alleyways, an air of menace, rubbing shoulders with stunning architecture and some of the friendliest people in Europe.

Neapolitans you feel, have life by the throat.

The Italians cross their roads at any point of their choosing, with the casual air of ‘you dare and try and run me over’, while their drivers respond gratefully with, ‘thanks, I think I will’.

An infrared camera caught the mood of what we saw. Everywhere you looked there was a photograph, either waiting to be taken, or about to happen.

I’m going back

Some Barlife images now on show at The Gallery Norfolk 60 St Giles, Norwich and also available from the Bircham Gallery Holt

More Barlife images here:                            http://www.davidmorrisphotographer.com/porfolio_index/Barlife_index.xhtml

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Alone together

Alone together : an image from BARLIFE now on show at HIP http://www.davidmorrisphotographer.com/exhibitions.xhtml
Alone together : Milano

Alone together

There was a time when everything rocked, you talked to everybody, and everybody talked to you. Your life follows a rhythm just like a bar; there were the noisy times, the good times, the times you made and met all your friends, and then before you know it your little run of luck is through.

Now it is a quiet time. The end of the night.

Time to check your money, and wonder what is left.

Some Barlife images now on show at The Gallery Norfolk 60 St Giles, Norwich and also available from the Bircham Gallery Holt

More Barlife images here:                            http://www.davidmorrisphotographer.com/porfolio_index/Barlife_index.xhtml

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The Night

The Night : Milan One of the images on show at HIP http://www.davidmorrisphotographer.com/exhibitions.xhtml
The Night : Milano

The Night

This affects me like one of Edward Hopper’s paintings; bleak, lonely and lost. There is human contact somewhere here, something will happen. But what? The posters on the wall at odds with the reality of existence, all they hold are false promises.

Some Barlife images now on show at The Gallery Norfolk 60 St Giles, Norwich and also available from the Bircham Gallery Holt

More Barlife images here:                            http://www.davidmorrisphotographer.com/porfolio_index/Barlife_index.xhtml

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Interiors

Interiors one of the images on show at HIP http://www.davidmorrisphotographer.com/exhibitions.xhtml
Interiors Milano

Interiors

I don’t know what there is to detain people in this photograph. Absolutely nothing is going on. Blood red walls, an empty bar, a door open in the street opposite. Edward Hopper could be quietly painting this scene, there’s nothing here and there’s everything.

Via Savona is the street that runs just outside the window, it’s a lively place, full of exciting bars, which seemed to add to the loneliness of this interior.

I waited patiently for someone to come in, to take a seat, order a drink, give a sense of scale, add the warmth of humanity.

If you were feeling alone, facing up to our ancient dilemma, ‘what’s the point of existence?’ this was not the place to ask the question.

I waited a bit longer.

No one appeared.

Some Barlife images now on show at The Gallery Norfolk 60 St Giles, Norwich and also available from the Bircham Gallery Holt

More Barlife images here:                            http://www.davidmorrisphotographer.com/porfolio_index/Barlife_index.xhtml

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The girl in the yellow trousers

The girl in the yellow trousers Milan Now showing at Hull International Photography Gallery
The girl in the yellow trousers Milano

The girl in the yellow trousers

This is the same girl as ‘The girl who never smiled’ in the previous post. When I got home to England I realized I had a special image, I determined on my next trip to Milan to track her down and show her the photograph.

 Yes I know it sounds bad, but just stay with me.

 I found her in this bar a year later. She was busy writing copious notes; I think she was an artist. She wore the yellow trousers for practical reasons; Milan was suffering a series of torrential downpours.

I showed her the photograph I had taken the previous year, I was worried, I thought she might be angry, but she wasn’t, if anything she seemed flattered, and agreed to sit for this portrait.

We exchanged email addresses and I sent her copies of both photographs, but never heard from her again.

Such is my luck with women.

And the time I saw her smile?

She asked the barman for hot water and sugar, it’s something the bar staff will sometimes do to help people stay in a bar a little longer when they don’t have much money. Being a gentleman he obliged.

She smiled and the room lit up.

Some Barlife images now on show at The Gallery Norfolk 60 St Giles, Norwich and also available from the Bircham Gallery Holt

More Barlife images here:                            http://www.davidmorrisphotographer.com/porfolio_index/Barlife_index.xhtml

 

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The girl who never smiled

 

The girl who never smiled Milan
The girl who never smiled Milano

The girl who never smiled

I’d seen this young women in the Navigli area of Milan, she was very striking looking, but I never saw her smile, not the once.

Well OK, maybe the once.

I’d tried to photograph her in a café a few days earlier, but she realized what I was doing, picked up her bag and stormed off. Then she came into a bar where I was drinking. I thought I won’t get another chance like this, but I had my back to her and I couldn’t risk turning round

I held the camera up back to front and fired blind, checked the framing and fired again. I was expecting an out of focus badly composed image. This is what I got.

The sax player was a gift.

What makes her so melancholic? She has a beautiful bone structure, and the confidence to sit at a bar without a drink unconcerned by what anyone thinks, including the barman. She looks like she wouldn’t suffer fools gladly, her aloneness is fortress strong.

Some Barlife images now on show at The Gallery Norfolk 60 St Giles, Norwich and also available from the Bircham Gallery Holt

More Barlife images here:                            http://www.davidmorrisphotographer.com/porfolio_index/Barlife_index.xhtml

 

 

 

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A girl in Bruges

A girl in Bruges
‘A girl in Bruges’

A girl in Bruges

It’s this interaction of eye contact, and body language that fascinates me. In bars we are all watching each other, you wonder what the story is, what’s the narrative? You look for the clues. You are inches away from finding out, this isn’t the street, it’s a bar, talking to strangers is acceptable.

In the ‘A girl in Bruges’, there’s a man in her life, you can just see the edge of him on the left hand side. He hasn’t got her undivided attention has he? My wife said perhaps he’s a photographer – cruel.

But what is going through her mind? And look at those long elegant fingers. The girl behind her getting ready to leave also echoes the expressive nature of the hands. Maybe these are the hands of a musician – or a dancer? People I’ve shown this photograph to have different ideas about her relationship to the man opposite and her possible occupation. What is certain is, everyone loves to speculate, to have an opinion, this is what we spend our life doing; wondering about the people around us.

 

 

 

 

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An old Spaniard contemplates the night

An old Spaniard contemplates the night : Santander
An old Spaniard contemplates the night : Santander Spain

An old Spaniard contemplates the night

We were in the back streets of Santander, the rain had been coming down in a deluge, the night was dark and hot. The old Spaniard stared out into the street watching those who dared the rain. He hadn’t been in the best of moods, he’d lost some money in another bar, but now he was calm watching the night, lost in thought. He looked like a fighter; a fast car went down the street, crashing water on to the pavement, his gesture to the insult was swift and uncompromising I wanted to capture the interior of the bar and the street scene outside, it meant doing a ‘stitched’ shot. I thought I could do this without the Spaniard noticing.

I was wrong.

We can fight or we can drink
We can fight or we can drink

 

 

 

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Girl Talk

Girl talk Milan
Girl talk : Milano

Girl talk

The times I’ve asked Italian girls in bars if it’s OK to photograph them, and could they just ignore me and carry on as if I wasn’t there. ‘That’s perfectly OK’ is often the reply and then they proceed to do exactly as I asked; I tell you it’s depressing beyond measure.

In England if you ask people to ignore you and they agree, their body language tells you otherwise. You know they are faking it, pretending that you are not there, while all the time wondering if they are looking good in the shot, or thinking what the hell is this guy up?

Our sense of other people is primitive, a vital defense mechanism. We need to know if what we see is real or deceptive, a friend or a foe? We are clever at recognizing what is true and what is false, we have to be our survival depends upon it. False emotions show in photographs, we know when people are faking things, which is why photographers prefer the candid photograph, the raw unguarded moment. It’s a constant problem, do you ask permission before you take a photograph and risk losing the moment, the truth, or do you steal?

Nothing to worry about here with these two as you can see, they are perfectly natural, as far as they are concerned, I’m gone, I don’t exist.

 

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