INSPIRATION NOT INFORMATION

I attended a wonderful discussion on May Ray last night at the National Portrait Gallery between Philippe Garner, International Head of Photographs at Christie's and Martin Barnes, Senior Curator of Photographs at the V&A.  The event was hosted by Curator of Photographs Terence Pepper, who is also responsible for the absolutely stunning Man Ray Portraits exhibition there.  I learned that Man Ray's re-discovery of solarisation (see my digital attempt at this below) was as a result of his muse Lee Miller switching on a light in the darkroom when she felt a rat run over her foot while he was exposing a print.  I used to experiment with solarisation as a student but found my flashgun as a light source much more satisfactory, even if my results weren't.  I'm not sure that Man Ray would have approved, but so far I haven't had the opportunity to ask him because I've never been able to find his grave in the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris, even with a map. The exhibition continues until 27 May.  Earlier yesterday I stopped off at the Sony World Photography Awards at Somerset House, where I took this photograph.  Unlike Man Ray, I'll guess that none of the contributing photographers will be remembered in 100 years but nonetheless it's worth a visit, until 12 May.