Photograph of the Day – Kerbside


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  • Oracle

    This is just completely piss-poor.
    I am stunned at your lack of ability, unquestionably you have no eye whatsoever for photography and should consider another hobby.
    If I couldn’t take my camera and go and shoot images better than the horrendously boring nonsense supplied by you as resident photographer of Slugger I’d give the fucking camera away!

    You really need to go back to photography school or to spend a few days on-line revising what real photographers are actually supposed to do!

    The saddest part of this affair for the whole community is that you received not one but two grants from the Arts Council…. Well shame on them!
    Obviously the Arts Council is bursting at the seams with fuck-wits with no grasp of reality and no consideration for the wasting of valuable funds.

    I’m sorry if find this offending but I’ve tried to tell you less frankly on other photographic posts but you either weren’t reading, were too arrogant to accept criticism or were just too stupid to understand.
    Anyway you’ve persisted in supplying us with nothing, so I thought I’d give you something in return.

  • AR

    If? *IF* he found that offensive? And people think I’m nasty!

  • Oracle


    There’s no interesting, thought provoking, humorous or indeed local historical content in the end product, there most certainly is a huge deficiency in the willingness to accept this fact though.
    I have no wish to see photograph of the day removed, I consider it to be a brilliant concept and a fantastic addition to Slugger, it’s the never ending supply of arse wiping material that we’re be offered as intellectual content that I take great exception to, the photographs are just plain dross that are being posted.

    It’s lazy photography just snapping without thought and hoping that one of the many will be interesting afterwards, if it isn’t interesting through the lens the button shouldn’t be clicked.

  • AR

    Ah, my fault really. I’ve had a sheltered life and never heard an oracle turn the air blue.

  • Oracle


    Perhaps I was a tad precise

  • joeCanuck

    Oracle’s rant is an obnoxious example of man playing. If he doesn’t like any of the photographs, he should understand that it is not compulsory to view them.
    Keep going Moochin Photoman; there are many of us who appreciate your unpaid work.

  • Neil

    Likewise Joe. If this place decides to cater for the taste of one or two people, it’ll swiftly become a ghost town. If only universally enjoyed things were allowed, where would that leave your beloved TUV Oracle?

    If you don’t like Moochin’s photos don’t bother clicking, unless of course someone is holding a gun to your head, which one might think was the case from the unnecessary strength of your post.

  • Oracle – it’s a pretty good portrait of one side of life in working class East Belfast. At least it made you think … and react. That makes it successful art. I’m sure Mick will allow you to guest post a picture if you’d care to submit one!

  • Oracle

    I don’t think either of you two are worth debating with if you’re only too eager to gorge on dross without complaint.

    “the reasonable man adapts to a changing world, the unresonable man forces the world to adapt to him, therefore all progress is achieved by unreasonable men”

    George Bernard Shaw (may not be word perfect but close enough for the message)

  • Oracle

    Not a bad idea Alan if posters sent in photos as a selection, could only be an improvement.

  • joeCanuck

    I think you should go back to bed and get out the other side. Maybe a couple of aspirin might help too.

  • Oracle unquestionably you have expressed your (anonymous) opinion without any subtlety but such is the nature of the internet and slugger.
    I have my own quibbles as regards the arts council but this is not the time or the place to air them.

    You say further on that this photograph has

    “no interesting, thought provoking, humorous or indeed local historical content in the end product”

    consider this then.

    Tower street, located off the Lower Newtownards road has no play area or green space nearby. Should they wish to go to the Pitt Park playground, kids firstly have to cross the road then run the gambit of perhaps getting their “pan knocked in” by the Pitt Park kids. I know of several parents around the area who won’t let their children cross the road to do so. You should also bear in mind that one side of the road is a “UVF area” whilst the other is UFF which plays its own part in how the local children interact during their recreational time.
    The photograph is a snapshot of life and is intended to be viewed as such. You may drive past and see that and think nothing of it but there are issues at play that are perhaps too subtle for you to understand. The reality of this situation is that the children around here DO have to play on the street.

    As such it is a record of May 11th around 3pm when 2 children were seen to be sitting on the kerb talking and sharing sweets with each other.

    Now which part of that isn’t a social document, thought provoking and of interest?

  • Cheers Joe

  • joeCanuck

    Very well said. The photo spoke to me. I thought initially that it was a kid waiting for other kids to get out of school to have someone to play with. And no-one, of course, wants to play with Samson or Goliath anymore.

  • Oracle


    maybe Joe just matbe

  • June 76

    Actually it’s not a bad photo at all. Might have cropped the building on the left a little more but for the most part, with the little house in the centre, it is well framed. The tree in bloom contrasts with the ugly crane and the child does have a sad, solitary look about her.

    I’m no Oracle but I’d be happy to have it in my collection.

  • June 76

    On reflection Oracle; are you David Vance? I’d hate to think that there might be two of you out there.

  • Mick Fealty


    I’m happy to let legitimate criticism stand. None of us are fainting violets. Least of all Moochin.

    If you are going to enter the role of art critic, then please spare us such precise and lofty terms as ‘piss poor’ and tell us what you really think. No really, I mean it.

    That way the rest of us can be certain you’re making a criticism, and not just venting spleen. In the meantime, I suggest you read the commenting rules at the bottom of the front page (I think we probably need a link on each commenting page too, just to keep the play the ball not the man rule in consistent sight).

  • norniron

    ugly crane ?

  • That’s about the most charmless comment I’ve seen here in a long time. Oracle, if you had even an ounce of the wit or insight that you imagine that you have, you’d find a way of saying what you think without making yourself look like such a nasty piece of work.

    And it’s quite a good photo as well I reckon.

  • anna29

    Well I would never profess to being an “art” critic far from it, but I am very conscious of what I, as an observer like to view. With this in mind I have to say that for me this is a very thought-provoking snapshot of life in inner city Belfast and leaves me with a miriad of questions…in my book that is a “success”…but what do I know?

  • Oracle,i have to agree with you, although strongly worded you got your point across.

  • June….. unusually for me as i favour the full frame, get it right in camera method, i did crop the photo slightly on the LHS and a little along the top, to leave all of the tree in but i take your point that i could have perhaps cropped it a little more.
    Taking photographs of children is fraught with issues of privacy and there are actually two children in the photograph, (you can just make out a little of other other childs pale blue top) but i felt this was the best of the 3 photographs i took to depict this scene (and the subtle issues around it)

  • Elvis Paisley

    moochin, i hope you’ll take the following deconstruction (for what it’s worth) of this photo in the spirit of constructive criticism in which it is intended. for the record, i offer it from the perspective of having a professional interest in photo-journalism.

    on first look at this image it’s not easy to determine what you wanted it to say. to me it said inner city east belfast is quiet and safe enough for a child to be able to sit on a kerb – i didn’t notice the second child until i took a closer look second time around.

    from a compositional point of view it suffers from the lack of an eyegrabbing subject. the portrait aspect has left the centre of the photo somewhere around the where roof meets sky, which isn’t in focus. there’s too much sky and while it’s a dramatic one that’s kind of incidental to the street scene. the kids aren’t in focus and there is nothing evident which pertains to their character, so they appear to be incidental too.

    the only clue to the subject matter is in the one-word title and that conveys no emotional impact.

    here are a few suggestions for you to take or leave as you will in regard to how you approach photography and how you might have taken this particular image differently.

    firstly, from your reply to oracle’s unnecessarily spiteful comments, i note you consider yourself as a social documenter. it’s vital to provide a context with any concept. your explanation of the territorial problems of the area is valid, but surely could have been included in the original post.

    secondly, if you’re making a comment on the kids having to play on the street, then THEY are the focal point, it’s their story and it is to them the viewer’s eye should instantly be drawn.

    thirdly, as a social documenter you should be offering a perspective and decide on whether you want to tell the viewer what you think or to ask them what they think. offering ‘a snapshot of everyday life’ is a cliche, if something strikes you as poignant, or provokes any kind of emotional thought in you it’s your duty to convey that in the resulting image. whether you want to ‘tell’ people or let them decide for themselves how to react is up to you.

    for this scene – time permitting of course – i’d have tried permutations of the following set-ups.
    a landscape (horizontal) shot.
    close-up of the kids, preferably including the expressions on their faces, but not necessarily (if their activity is more striking, for example)
    black & white shot – the dark sky would help make this more atmospheric
    using the H&W crane as an internal frame within the photo
    shooting from below the level of the kerb

    clearly not every photo opportunity affords the luxury of enough time to line up the perfect shot, but the more one practises experimenting the quicker one will get at deciding what works and what doesn’t in any particular scenario.

    for me, social commentary is about capturing people. and capturing people is about recording their reactions and/or emotions to their surroudings. if the photo is about the scene rather than a person or people, don’t feel obliged to add anyone to try and humanise the context.

    the hardest part with people is being unobtrusive. sometimes a camera can be a powerful catalyst for people, empowering them to react, but usually it is (or quickly becomes) a distraction. candour does not come cheap for snappers.

    of course, in this day and age, the implications of photographing kids in public makes the job even more difficult. i’m not sure “it’s okay, i’m a social documenter” will always wash with the general public.

    finally, moochin, keep getting out there and taking shots. i’d encourage you to read up on and/or talk to other photographers and how they go about making their shots work.

    instinct is everything and practice will help develop that.

  • Oracle


    Thanks for the moral support, feel like that 33 year old wino from Nazereth who had to offer himself up for crucifixion to get his message across.

  • joeCanuck

    Jesus, Mary and Saint Joseph as me ma would say. You poor victim. My namesake, JC didn’t impale himself on the cross. Mind you, I believe he was too mouthy for some folks.

  • chewnicked


    I appreciate the background info. on the territorial divisions either side of the Newtownards Road. A bit more subtle than a shot of kids in the new housing estate at the bottom of the Newtown, playing in the shadow of St. Matthew’s Chapel

  • Elvis,
    Your use of the phrases “professional interest” and “Snapper ” leads me to think that your probably a local ‘hack’.
    No matter you do raise some interesting points though you neglected to talk about leading lines and the rule of thirds but much of what you say is true. You also neglected to mention that which every tutor/teacher has told me as regards photography…”Rules are made to be broken”
    As regards the sharpness of the photograph,i will quote Henri Cartier Bresson “Sharpness is a bourgeois concept”
    As regards reading up on photographers, my creaking and groaning bookshelves speak to me regularly.
    I’m out on the streets most day though i’m currently concentrating on an exhibition (approx my 40th) which i have noticed is having an affect on the composition and content of my normal street photography as it is all being shot through the viewfinder of one camera with another camera as the resulting photographs are square in format.
    I welcome interested and constructive comments and yes i was perhaps too sparse with the description but i left it deliberately vague to open up a debate.
    Given that i’m only into my second week here on slugger i will perhaps ruffle a few feathers as regards the content of the photographs i blog which is fine but i won’t be playing to the gallery and i will continue posting the sort of shots i think should be seen and that i think are worthy of a wider audience.

  • Moochin,

    I think you have to reach a point where you just ignore begrudgers. I know it’s a pain in the neck but they just make themselves look small-minded – most of the readers of this thread know which side of the argument is buttered properly.

    Keep up the work – it’s a really good new dimension to the site.

  • Thanks Paul and point taken but i felt Elvis’s comments deserved a reply if only to show that i’m not some amateur with a camera and that i do have an in depth knowledge of my chosen profession.
    And i’ll leave it at that