Don’t get your Mark Pinders mixed up.

On my last post I initially linked a photograph of the burlesque performer Constance Peach to the wrong Mark Pinders website i.e. this Mark Pinder not Mark P who photographed Constance but according to his website specializes more in web design. Very unprofessional and embarrassing…

But every cloud has a silver lining and it seems I’ve stumbled across someone whose work I find really interesting (and may even going to swap a piece of work which is very exciting). I have decided to look at and write about some of my favourite images by Mark Pinder but I hope you visit both their respective websites (so click Mark P and Constance Peaches facebook profile too if your over 18) to get a good idea of who they are and what they do.

Mark Pinder is a professional freelance photographer covering many genres including documentary. He writes he’s

been in the industry over twenty years specializing in current affairs, news, social issues, TV production stills, business and the visual and performing arts

but I’m going to choose three of his photographs that highlight great portraiture.

Those of you who have followed my blog will know I am very interested in portraiture in its broadest sense, and this includes photographic portraiture sparked by my successful entry into Tate Moderns Street or Studio competition.

A contemporary portrait and example of photo reportage by Mark Pinder. Image copyright © and all moral and intellectual rights are asserted by the photographer.

Being a photographer concerned with capturing current affairs will on occassion put you in challenging situations. I believe a skilled photographer is someone who comes away with an image that not only documents an event but says something about the people involved and captures the mood or feeling.

This image grabs your attention it is direct, confrontational, humorous and complex probably like the individual it focuses on but most certainly like the situation. It raises questions.

Im not sure if this is a group of neo-nazis parading, perhaps white power skinheads judging by their ‘no remorse’ badges… but it is clear that the central character is playing up to the camera and its perhaps easy to laugh at his expression and not recognize the unfounded and disturbing nature of this individuals beliefs. Is he laughing with us or jeering at us?

I am more certain that the photo doesn’t make the subject evil, in fact it humanizes him and his younger friend above his shoulder, making you appreciate that this is a complex problem. Why do some young people, men in particular, get drawn towards extreme and racist beliefs?

This image could be compared to the series by David Hoffman that I was pointed to by Brenda Burrell a photographer and blogger who writes The Photography Pages. David Hoffman’s photographs are terrifying… they’re all pretty horrible but those facemasks are horrendous. Hoffman (in a Facebook conversation) is quite dismissive of how difficult and unpleasant it would be to photograph the EDL “Naah, they make it so easy. Shooting fish in a barrel.” Interesting to compare how they have stylistically treated similar subject mater…

My next image choice  could not be further from the previous portrait. It is gentle and almost has a retro 1950s feel thanks to the squarer composition, reminiscent of medium format, and the inclusion of a misson Tyne and Wear flying saucer. I think my love of sci-fi in the 1990s influenced this choice greatly! I love that the group are not concentrating on the saucer in fact everyones gaze points away in different directions. This would make a great shot to publicize the event at which it was taken.

A group portrait capturing a family group 'in the moment' walking past the Tyne and Wear UFO. Image copyright © and all moral and intellectual rights are asserted by the photographer.

Pinder’s photograph puts me in mind of Katy Crebbin‘s collages where the gaze of two viewers is direct whilst those on the beach are unaware of the astrological phenomenon… both share a sense of humour.

A collage created with found imagery depicts a comet speeding across the night sky whilst onlookers marvel. Image copyright of the artist Katy Crebbin ©
Image copyright of the artist Katy Crebbin ©

My final image choice is the piece below.

Portrait with two focal points by Mark Pinder. Image copyright © and all moral and intellectual rights are asserted by the photographer.

Often in photography A-level students are set a project about decay  because it gets them to look beyond the obvious and to question notions of beauty. I like washed out colour and that the composition has two focal points, the gnome and the gentleman. The depth of field means the gnome is in clear focus but because the gentleman in higher in the photo and he is set against the lightest area, the sky, so the tonal contrast and his gesture make him the primary focus.

I guess to summarize these photographs by Mark Pinder‘s photography I would have to say it is subtle, creative and thought provoking. I’d highly recommend any teacher or A-level photography to look at the work because I think the images give us lots to talk about from a technical perspective and the subjects are diverse and stimulate conversation.


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