Whenever I don’t know what to take a picture of, I tend to take a picture of rocks. Point the camera at something without trace of human interference. Texture, process stilled in time. Then I look at the picture and think, I like it, but this is a bit old hat, isn’t it? But I keep on doing it. So I made all these pictures into a slide show.
It’s Mount Olympus, 1994; Point G, Bamako, Mali, 2004; river Niger, near Bamako, 2004; Constantine Bay, Cornwall, 2004; Hackney, 2005. Shown in Unhuman.
This was fun – full set here. There was an entirely different story to be told at the Hippodrome, too, as when we first visited there, was a riding lesson for little French girls in progress, complete with their steely-casual mothers. But neither of us wanted to do something about expats. I was quite pleased with my pictures. Some of them got taken by BBC online for a horribly compressed gallery, with quotes from Lara’s story (and a weird headline about “desert horse-racing”. Bamako’s pretty hot and dusty, but not quite a desert). I also sold two to a photo agency, but they’re not here, as they chose the most boring ones. They always did.
Probably the high point of my short career as a photojournalist. It was 14 May 2004; Gadaffi was in Bamako for a summit meeting. I spent all day at the airport, one president after another to be photographed. I left my hat at home, and being out on the tarmac most of the time got a very burned head. I think this one went on the cover of Jeune Afrique.
(This picture is held by AFP – click here to visit their site.)