<<< o >>>time gap bar 66 comments + add yours

If this gets as many comments as my last two shots I'll eat my camera ;-) Seriously though, this is another of my attempts to capture the seedier side of Blackpool. As such I guess it's more of a documentary style image than a serious piece of art, and it's not the best sort of shot to put on a blog – by which I mean that I don't think that this sort of shot has much impact when viewed in isolation. At some point, I'll have lots more of this subject, and I suspect (or maybe, hope) that when viewed together the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts. Or maybe I'm making excuses for a shot that I know doesn't have anywhere near the same impact as the last few I put up. Who knows ;-)

Anyway, feel free to tell me what you think.

shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
3.32pm on 27/11/05
Canon 20D
EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
aperture priority
C1 Pro
3x2 + fylde coast + urban
comment by Annabel at 08:39 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

AS you say, it's a documentary shot... Nothing really arty about it at all. Might I say it's fairly average? But interesting!

comment by djn1 at 08:48 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

Annabel: yes, you may. I might not entirely agree with you but you're more than welcome to say so ;-)

comment by Bryan g at 08:48 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

the angle of the picture tells the story. a flat shot of this scene would have little to no life to it. I like it

comment by nick at 08:49 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

comment it up, folks! david, i call your bluff!

comment by Victor at 09:03 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

definitely not as striking as your last shots, but this one has some values i like besides the documentary; if you squint your eyes and try to see it more like color masses it's rather interesting, almost a diagonal mondrian :) strange shot for chromasia, but i like it

comment by Mark D at 09:10 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

I won't judge if it's artistic or not, but it is interesting. First, what's with the name of club? Maybe it's because I'm used to seeing signs for American strip clubs in which the name is anything but subtle. Anyway, I'm not sure I understand the Time Gap. Is it because you'll lose all sense of time, like a blackout, or is it that they expect a crowd of dirty old men to appreciate the time gap between themselves and the young ladies? Should I visit the gypsy palmist before going to the Time Gap to see if she thinks it's a good move? Or perhaps I wait and ask the palmist how to explain my blackout at the Time Gap to my wife.

comment by m at 09:13 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

I'd eat your camera too! But not mine ;-)

comment by SteveO at 09:13 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

I dont find the picture itself that interesting to be honest, the thing i do find interesting is who the hell goes to get their palm read these days, can people seriously make a living doing that?

comment by Richard Hollingworth at 09:38 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

You right, not as impactfull as some of your shots. However, If you know something about Blackpool or have been for a Stag/Hen night. Then this picture re-paints a thousand memories-good or bad.

If I could be so bold to suggest a project. B@B landladies. Such a rich tapestry.

comment by Jamey at 09:42 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

I have to say that the shot itself isn't great but I do think you've done a sterling job (as always) with processing. How did you get that slightly blurry, warm lighting?

comment by ROB at 09:44 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

Just read SteveO comment about palm reader. I have been sitting here with the photo open and the comments down the left. To be honest I had not even seen the Palmist sign...now what does that say about me.

comment by Geoff at 09:44 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

The only thing that struck me about the photo was the nature of the neighbouring businesses. I thought "who would go through the door on the right, to throw money away to some charlatan that proclaims to read the future, and who would go throught the left door to have their sexual drives massaged by pretty women?"

Somehow, I think the door on the left gets much more business :)

Not bad Dave, but we are viewing it in isolation remember. These pictures have to stand on their own.

comment by David at 09:48 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

I have to say that what i really see in this shot is in like 40 years or somthing that it will define our time perhaps. Im not sure but i am looking forward to seeing the set and what else you come up with.

comment by Jay at 10:11 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

While I don't love this specific shot, I like the nature of it more than the pier shots. I like the solution of tilting the composition to fill the frame. I think straight on this wouldn't have been nearly as interesting.

comment by RustyJ at 10:39 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

I am always curious about shots like these. Is that Rooms from 40 pounds? I like this photo as much for what it doesn't show as what as what it does show. With all the doors so close I wonder it the Time Gap is upstairs, downstairs or on the main level? Is the Palmist up or down? Who lives behind those windows? We don't see the roll down doors here in Vancouver either. At least not that I have noticed. Perhaps I should go to an equally seedy area here to see? Take some pics.

I like this photo, the angle, the colours... I do know I will definitely have to go to Blackpool to see the area when next I visit my sister in the UK. To see the coast line as much as the store fronts. I was looking at Google earth and typed in Blackpool, UK. Please tell me what Coral Island is! It looks like a prison from 1584 feet up!!!

Thanks David.


comment by Mark (4x6) at 10:43 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

I can't agree with you, David, I think the shot is very much photoblog material. The two previous shots are striking and require skill, but we see a lot of those night shots on blogs. Today's shot, though, keeps my interest quite some time. Interesting and paradoxical. How can a "Palmist" be taken seriously when next to a strip club? :)

Great shot, in my opinion.

comment by merlinphoto at 10:50 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

seedy is right, I like it, I also like the way it's angled , the content is interesting, colour is great. looks like your blog is getting pretty popular!

My Gallery

comment by Adrian Hudson at 11:07 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

I want to see you eat your camera. Shame you wont be able to take a shot of you doing it!
I like the juxtaposition of the two different premises.

comment by mark at 11:08 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005


I have to say Mr. Nightingale, you really know how to keep your viewers on their toes ;-)

Personally I don't think it captures anything of the 'seedy side of Blackpool'...but then I do agree that perhaps as part of a collection it will.

One thing I can say is that it shows your usual skill at using colour, you really do bring the most of things. Oh and I agree with Steve...palmists? AND with Mark...next to a strip club!!??

Hmmm....perhaps it REALLY DOES capture the seedy side of Blackpool after all...

comment by djn1 at 11:19 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

Victor: yes, I like the graphic quality of this one too.

Mark D (and everyone else): palmists are quite common in Blackpool – I can think of at least four or five of them – and guess it's just part of the town's tradition. As for it being crammed up against a strip club: again, this isn't unusual. Like a lot of UK seaside resorts Blackpool has changed and developed over the last hundred years or so. What remains though is a lot of the Victorian buildings such as the ones shown here.

Jamey: duplicate the image, blur it, and set the blend mode to overlay or soft light.

Geoff: yes, they have to stand on their own in the sense that there's one per day, but they should also be viewed as part of a larger project if appropriate. Admittedly, if you don't stop by every day, or don't read my descriptions and comments, then it would be much more difficult to get any of that across.

RustyJ: Coral Island is an amusements arcade.

Adrian: I have several cameras so it might be possible ;-)

comment by Martin at 11:34 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

Hey David...
I checked your pics again and again and....again.. Just to find out how you do this pics or how you change them to give them such a brilliance ... And I cant find an anwer. Your pics inspire me, I think of them when I shoot by myself.. Sometimes I get frustrated..
I am thinking about shooting in RAW as you do... Has this an effect on the colours ? Or only on the sharpness ?`
Thank you soo much, David.

comment by neutral at 11:36 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

~30 more comments and then we want to see a picture of you eating your camera!

comment by dcr at 11:38 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

Why be so apologetic? "PC" content issues should not be such a concern.

comment by djn1 at 11:42 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

Martin: typically RAW images are softer and less saturated that jpeg's, but because they convert to 16bit TIFF's they're much more amenable to being manipulated in photoshop without appearing overly degraded.

neutral: perhaps I should add a couple of words to my description: If this gets as many comments as my last two shots PUT TOGETHER I’ll eat my camera ;-)

comment by mark at 11:45 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

"What remains though is a lot of the Victorian buildings such as the ones shown here."

erm....sorry Dave but this image doesn't actually show that at all so I'm surprised you mention it.

comment by djn1 at 11:49 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

mark: I would guess that these buildings are at least 100 years old, hence my comment. Sure, they're not recognisably Victorian, but I bet they're from around that period.

comment by mark at 11:53 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

Sorry Dave...didn't mean to come across so negatively/confrontational.

I'm sure they are, it just seemed that you were using the age of the buildings as a means to exagerate their use nowadays...ie, to to highlight the seediness.

Probably just me reading into it too much though. Like I say, hell of a jump from the winter landings ;-)

comment by djn1 at 12:01 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

mark: no worries. I guess that what I was trying to say – and this isn't evident in the shot – is that these buildings have a history, and I find that interesting in itself: the ways in which the usage has changed such that they're know a lap dancing bar and a palmist. I know nothing of the actual history of these buildings, but I suspect that they had a radically different use originally.

comment by Sean (Random Panderings) at 12:11 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

Well I think that it's interesting that the shutters are down on all of these shops. I'd love to see these light by night with a slow shutter...

comment by matthew at 12:17 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

you have a great eye, however i think your talent lies in your photoshop abilities. the color in your shots is always spectacular. they could almost be paintings.

comment by mark at 12:27 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

Hey....maybe not.

I strongly suspect Blackpool has always been a seedy dive ;-)

I just wrote a lengthy paragragh on your site, relating to how it fits in the 'blogosphere' but then deleted it....I may email it to you if you don't mind...

comment by djn1 at 12:29 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

mark: yep, send it along.

comment by Clive Mannerly (peter cohen) at 01:15 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

It is a little-known fact that, in addition to its' many other capabilities, the EOS 20D is engineered to be completely edible. Flavored lightly to a sashimi-like subtlety (although far more crunchy in texture than most sashimi of course), the 20D is generally best enjoyed with a small dab of wasabi in each bite, although those from the less equatorial climes (Blackpool, England for example) often prefer them "au naturel" in order to savor the discreet tastes of blackberries, currants, and chocolate. The only unpleasantness this reviewer records however, is that an hour after consuming a 20D you're usually quite hungry again. Some would count the hard to chew nature of the glass another problem, but this is most often not any sort of difficulty for Internet Blogger types (who are always well accustomed to swallowing down all manner of indigestible sharpnesses).

Try the EOS 20D on mango-salsa toast points for an interesting diversion.


Clive Mannerly
Times Food Columnist

comment by Rob at 02:07 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

This one doesn't do much for me, but as always excellent saturation. I bet in context with the others it will have more impact. However, I am logging in for the sole purpose of seeing the capture your 20D takes as it goes down your esophagus!

comment by Judi at 02:38 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

As always, Mr. Nightingale, your photos are a pleasure to view. This one, it brings out memories and known seen things and on. Commonplace is never oridinary in your photos. Magic flows thru them. Too much compliments for ya? owell, go ahead and keep it up because for some reason I keep liking what I see. Thank you

comment by EJ at 03:30 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

I laughed. An evening view, to an evening out view! Controversy is great, isn't it? Keep up the good work! www.evan7.com

comment by flying cow at 03:38 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

what if i want to see hot nude men only :P

comment by flying cow at 03:40 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

by the way, can we see the original shots of the last 3 surreal pics please......

comment by dimensionaltrend at 06:05 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

you made a bad photo into one that is a little more palatable and good job with the post processing, as usual. good saturation of colors, but i think this shot would look better if it were straight, or maybe black/white. the previous shots were great. ever thought of selling a calander of your shots with seasonal pictures. i think you could do it! every bit helps in coming closer to buying that EOS-1Ds Mark II j/k. the equipment doesn't always make the photographer though. you're doing a glorious job keep up the superb job

comment by coa at 07:26 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

I must ask everyone who commented this photograph in negative connotation: What could you get more (in terms of art) from this theme. When you take shot of such common street facade, and make it so "mondrianistic" (as someone noticed) in terms of colour and composition, that is exclusively photographers skill. Well done david!
P.S. Sorry for bad english... :-/

comment by chinna at 07:36 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

it made me think about the guys who visit these 'seedy' joints. it exposes their insecurities-that's why the crystal gazer is ideally situated, maybe. i cannot expect more from a picture.

comment by pierre at 07:54 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

well I like it, especially how you framed it.
I just wish there was more of the closed metal curtains, but it already works very well as it is.

comment by Budi at 07:55 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

For me, It's one of the type of shots that "sometimes 'bad' places turn into good photograph" beside of nice angle and catchy colors. The shot has told the story about that place well. I still like that :)

Dave, don't eat your camera. Just send your 20D to me ;)

comment by matt at 08:55 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

The angle makes it, I like the colours but its not as good as the fantastic shots yesterday, but then, I dont think its trying or needs to be.

good work as always.

comment by Jessyel Ty Gonzalez at 09:04 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

I kind of just want to comment to we can see you eat your camera. I think it would only be fair...

comment by Ben Archer at 09:34 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

Stick to what you are good at Dave!

comment by Christoph at 09:43 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

I enjoyed looking at the previous photographs.
Now I enjoy thinking about this small piece of nightlife still sleeping in the early afternoon.
There are so many things coming to my mind.
I like it because it makes me think..

comment by cj at 10:21 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

Much better than the dull,over processed, ficticiously coloured pictures of the pier.

Which just goes to show you can't please all of the people all of the time......

Seriously, I like this. The use of colour is excellent. The framing is very well judged - you've sliced a picture out of life. The angle manages to add something without being a gimmick. The documentary content is maintained without losing the pictorial content. I think many cameras could be walked down this street without being used with the artistry that you have achieved. Thanks for posting this picture.

comment by rosa at 11:32 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

Dave.. this picture wasn't one of my favorites, sorry.. you're right, certain pics, like 'and the rain come down', do have much greater impact.. btw I also want to see you eat your camera =) if we could see a picture of that, i'm sure it would create a tremendous impact on us all =)

comment by riqo at 11:55 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

I don't understand why you choose to post such a picture when you say yourself it doesn't have its place among the others on this blog (I agree with you). I like many of the pictures in your blog, but this one is, to me, neither arty nor documentary. To be documentary, it would deserve to be part of a series and not have this angle which looks like an easy effect which doesn't add anything to the picture. That's my opinion.

comment by Lately at 12:22 PM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005


This doesn't live up to your usual standards - what's going on man?!

As the right honorable Ben Archer said, stick to what you're good at!

comment by regularjoe at 02:02 PM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

One day an artist. The next a journalist. Kudos to you for having an open enough mind to explore your camera and experience the full range of the medium.

Now eat...mmmm camera...

comment by Future B. at 02:07 PM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

Never commented here before, but I check out your blog everyday. You take really incredible photos.

Anyway, one thing I think that is interesting about this image is the way it makes the frame appear to be crooked, both on your archives page (with the thumbnail) and even at the main photo page. Interesting, at the very least, the way the angle affects the eye's perception of surrounding elements.

comment by John Washington at 02:47 PM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

As others have said - this image looks out of place amongst most of your other work which tends to be atistic.

The judgement of the image is perhaps being made in comparison to the other work but I still see it as a valid image which does exactly what you have suggested.

You have made the point that this image would be best viewed as a series, which I totally agree with. However that shouldn't stop anyone from posting such documentary type work especially if it something that has personal meaning.

I really like this image a lot. Everyone will agree it isn't chromasia but it is good in its own way.

comment by neutral at 03:40 PM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

okay. so enough of the 'camera eating' talk. i'm sure you'll gonna have to do it sooner or later. ^^

tell us about the region. i can see the windows are sealed (can't remeber the word) with those.. metal.. things. why? is this a part of the town where you have to buy 10 locks for your door and look over your shoulder all the time?

questions, questions, questions.

comment by Aperture Priority (Wyllys) at 03:46 PM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

Certainly, there is alot for the eye to focus on here, the signs, the colors, and the tilt of the shot. IMO, the tilt makes the shot, without it, I think it would just be a very average signs of some seedy shops.

comment by Bai Guang at 04:52 PM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

I think that you're losing your touch:
I was very impressed with some of your previous works, such as your children, architecure, and scenery. There was one with your pretty girl child looking down that I especially liked. I also favored the ones with modern buildings, and sky sceneries. Now, all I see is a mixture of solid colors (which is still okay), and uninteresting proportions and relationships between objects, since now I only see "flat" surfaces. All the visuals in the previous posts are not as breathtaking as before, even though they are still good compositions. Now, I'm only fourteen, and maybe not be taken into seriousness by you, but I take photography in high school and I know that some of the feelings of your photos are more toward the "shallow side" of the scale of photos you've taken in the past. Please don't take this comment as an offense, but rather as a suggestion from a past admirer.

comment by Emerald at 06:08 PM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

This photo does differ greatly to some of the past ones however I like that, if they were all the same surely people, and dave would be a little bored. Liking the change alot :)

comment by djn1 at 08:19 PM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

Thanks everyone.

flying cow: you supply the "hot nude men", I'll photograph them ;-) And yes, when I've got a bit of spare time I'll try and sort out posting some of the originals of the previous three shots.

dimensionaltrend: yep, I've thought about doing a calendar, but have never managed to get around to it. Maybe next year.

Ben (and lately): no disrespect, but that's terrible advice to give anyone.

As for eating my camera ... err ... well ... ;-)

comment by John Washington at 09:17 PM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

Bai Guang: I don't think that the fact you are 14 comes into it, you seem very articulate.

It's an interesting point you make, and it perhaps highlights an issue that we all face. I don't want to be accused of speaking on Daves behalf (again) but I can relate to my own situation, which is that I know that my strength lies in getting complete strangers to allow me to photograph them at close quarters.

The problem is though that my aspirations are that I want to be good at other areas of photography, and the journey to that 'other' photography might take time.

It all boils down to personal taste as well. You think that dave is losing his touch, but I think he is maturing and starting to take on something different which might take time to develop.

It's hard isn't it.

comment by seriocomic at 10:41 PM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

Good to see you mixing it up, I guess you could take shots of that pier till the cows come home, but shots like this really make you think about color, contrast, angle, composition, texture and message (if any) - something that your average landscape/beach-scene can have trouble delivering.

I really like the angle, the different textures and subtle shadings you have got in this shot shows how the light can produce so much variety.

Actually this comment was all crap - I just wanna see you eat your camera.

comment by nogger at 10:52 PM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

I can appreciate what you're trying to do here, I think, but this one and the poster one just don't work for me.

I think this one http://www.chromasia.com/iblog/archives/0501232055_clean.php
or maybe this one
work a lot better at giving that "seedy" feel.

Which may or may not have been deliberate. Or maybe I'm just not getting it?

comment by djn1 at 10:57 PM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

nogger: you're right, in one sense, the two images you mention do convey the "seedy" feel in a more immediate way. I guess this is something that I'm still experimenting with.

comment by sam at 01:12 AM (GMT) on 17 December, 2005

eat up.. i hear canons can be quite tasty :)

comment by Klaas at 12:27 PM (GMT) on 17 December, 2005

Arty photos can be nice but also a bit shallow. Documentary is in the end perhaps more interesting? Anyway, like your site & leave comment for first time to see you eat that 20D...

comment by m at 03:16 PM (GMT) on 17 December, 2005

I'll eat half if you want! I thought this picture was rubbish. Obviously it was either the content or people wanting you to eat your camera that made the difference ;-)