The raison d'être of this blog is to review quality books, music, photography and other content that is seldom brought to our attention by the mainstream media.

The title EV+1 is photographic jargon for Exposure Value plus 1: increasing exposure by one stop from the metered value. Photographers use exposure compensation in order to obtain a correct exposure, when the light meter's averaged reading would be incorrect. Like a photographer allowing an extra stop of light to reach the film, I hope to shed a little light on a few under-appreciated gems.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Chema Madoz

The work of Spanish photographer Chema Madoz is astounding. Every image reveals an inventive mind that thrives on visual incongruities and puns. His images instil a sense of wonder in the viewer; one is repeatedly left with the thought: how ever did he think of that?

A seemingly infinite imagination accompanied with a mastery of minimalist composition, seamless integration of unlikely elements and humour characterise his work. One repeatedly smiles at his wit and is awestruck by his anarchic flights of fantasy.

The humblest piece of equipment in the photographer's kit is usually the imagination. A mind that can dream beyond the obvious, question the nature of things; a mind that is curious enough to look closely and to return to a subject repeatedly, evolving a philosophy of seeing and interpreting, refining a concept to conceive the most succinct way of representing an idea, has the qualities to produce a great body of work. Chema Madoz clearly has these qualities and so has achieved an originality and clarity of vision rarely seen.


Born in 1958, Madoz is based in Madrid. He studied in the photographic workshops of the Fine Arts Academy of Madrid and studied Art History at the Complutense University of Madrid, also undertaking photography courses at the Image Teaching Centre.

His first solo exhibition was in 1983. Since then, he has won several awards: the Kodak Spain Prize (1991), the National Photography Award (2000), the Higasikawa Overseas Photographer Prize from the Higasikawa PhotoFestival (Japan) (2000) and the PhotoEspa├▒a Award (2000). He has been widely exhibited internationally and his work is held in many public collections such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Museo Marugame, Hirai, Japan; and Museo de Bellas Artes de Buenos Aires.

He has compiled several books (many available only in Spanish), but those on a budget wishing to have an introduction to his key images will be attracted to the small Chema Madoz Biblioteca Photobolsillo edition, priced at NZ$19.39 (including freight) at The Book Depository.

Chema Madoz website blogzine

All images © Chema Madoz.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Gwynne Dyer: Climate Wars podcast

Gwynne Dyer is an author, journalist, broadcaster and lecturer on international affairs, with a Ph.D. in Military and Middle Eastern History from the University of London.

This 2009 CBC radio series in three fifty-five minute episodes is an adaptation of Dyer's 2008 book Climate Warson the geopolitics of climate change.

The premise is that firstly, over the course of history, we have always populated to the limits set by our regional environments; secondly, when an environment's limitations threaten the survival of a community, we have always raided other communities before we have starved – for people will do anything in preference to watching their children die.

But this book and podcast are not based on alarmist theory: it is founded on the well-established scientific evidence for climate change. The science is laid out, along with the reasons for climate change denial. Case studies are then made of regions at risk and likely scenarios of resulting political breakdown and conflict. 

Over the next century, global warming will first destabilise regions that are resource-poor. Pakistan, for example, depends upon the Indus River, the world's largest contiguous river system, which first passes through India – which, by treaty, is entitled to not a proportion of this water, but a set volume. The Chinese Academy of Sciences has found that many Himalayan glaciers feeding such rivers are losing mass at a rate of 7% per year. Eventually, the failure of summer glacier melt will cause protracted droughts. As the flow diminishes, Pakistan's proportionate share of this water will decrease before India's share does – which will destabilise the region. But that's just Pakistan: in total, one to two billion people in the Asian and Subcontinent regions depend upon glacier-fed Himalayan rivers. Furthermore, grain production is now flat-lining – at a time when we are looking at world population peaking at another two billion people, around 2050.

Pressure from climate change will make mass migration inevitable; but the less environmentally-challenged migration destinations will be wanting to safeguard their viability, as crop yields shrink: India has already built a fence along the Bangladesh border. As a last resort, when faced with insurmountable environmental pressures, nations will prefer to risk war, over death. While our governments pay lip service to addressing the issue, military strategists in The Pentagon and around the world are assessing regional destabilisations that may arise from climate change.

Options for carbon-neutral energy are examined. Bio-deisel from marine algae looks promising, as it contains 30-60% oil and so is easily refined. Also promising is a report from MIT scientists that there is untapped geothermal energy, which could provide base load electricity in many regions which can find 200°C rocks 2km below ground level – hot enough to boil water. (Another potential energy source, the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor, which promises to be much safer and more practical than the prevalent Light Water Reactor, is unfortunately not mentioned.)

We are fortunate that this crisis has come about in an age when there are viable alternatives to fossil fuels; however, there remains a lack of political will to move away from them. The discussion of this inertia leaves one feeling pessimistic about crucial changes to our energy infrastructure being implemented in time to avoid tipping points – after which, getting the climate back on track will be much more difficult, or impossible. 

Whatever we do now, we are committed to another forty years of warming, due to the time lag between atmospheric composition and temperature. It is very likely that we will be left with geo-engineering as a necessity, in order to buy time; this could also lead to conflict. Devising fair strategies for all countries to reduce fossil fuel use is essential: 'contraction and convergence' is discussed, a strategy by which the rich countries, who produce most of the greenhouse gasses, reduce emissions faster than the developing countries.

This is the most comprehensive summary of climate change and its implications that I've heard – reinforcing the conclusion that now is the crucial time for our governments to embrace carbon-neutral energy. 

Only a groundswell of popular opinion will force the world's democracies to implement a transition away from fossil fuels: please encourage your friends to listen to this important series.

[Climate Wars podcast

Climate Wars book reviews

Gwynne Dyer is one of the few who are both courageous enough to tell the unvarnished truth, and have the background to understand, not misrepresent the inputs. This book does a superb job of detailing the emerging realities of Climate/Energy. These realities are not pretty. -- Dennis Bushnell, Chief Scientist, NASA    [Read more …

Friday, January 4, 2013

EV+1 news

Due to illness I've had to take a break from this blog for the last year, but I'm hoping to resume regular posting this year. 

Richard Smallfield