Mike Chisholm is a man obsessed, and the Twiglog salutes him.  He is well-practiced in the English art of self-deprecation, but no amount of wry humour can mask his deep-rooted and serious fascination with water.  Not the portentous water of crashing ocean waves, mighty waterfalls or chocolate box alpine lakes, but with the moods and ever-shifting subtleties of small watercourses and their surroundings.



It probably helps that he lives and works not far from my parents’ house in the south of England, and that the streams and aquifers he loves are the same ones I paddled in as a child, but there is more to it than that.  Chisholm’s observation is of the long term kind, built up over many years and yet still fresh enough to be able to see the unique in the familiar and to pay attention when seeing the same place for the ten thousandth time.

It certainly helps that his photographs have a wonderfully attractive, abstract quality.  There is a simultaneous sense of shapes and colours in two dimensions, and a series of layers and collapsed-together image planes in three.  Given the complexity of the scene, and the camera’s mad insistence on seeing all things equally, the coherence of the finished presented photographs is a wonder.  I suspect that his long term commitment to a few well-loved places is one root cause of this coherence.



He recently started a blog, Idiotic-hat (www.idiotic-hat.blogspot.com).  Anyone who can combine morphic resonance and Kelvin vortex atoms in a single post has to be doing something right.


  1. Mike Chisholm says:

    Hi Struan,

    I was taken aback when the hits on my blog more than quadrupled yesterday (93 hits!), and knew something must be going on somewhere … I was even more taken aback when I googled up the two sites that seemed to account for the traffic, and found your generous words on my work. Suddenly it all made sense… The identity of my Swedish fan is revealed. Thank you — it’s much appreciated.

    I’m struck by your work, too (I particularly like the set “Gaels”) and your interests (curiously, my friend the photographer David Gepp also has an interest in Goethe’s colour theory) — I think we probably have some very similar interior wiring. I look forward to visiting your blog and site regularly in future.

    Best wishes,


  2. Struan says:

    Hi Mike, and welcome. I am sorry that your Swedish fan turns out not to be Swedish, but you can’t have everything. I would like to take credit for your hit rate increase, but I suspect I only deserve a cousin of a credit: wood_s lot (see the sidebar) picked up on my picking up, and he reaches an order of magnitude more eyeballs.

    Before the hubris gets too inflated, I should say I am reminded of the story of the history professor I once met who was proud to have found a way to double attendance at his lectures. The student was served a glass of sherry, and the following week brought a friend.

    Thanks for your comment on my work. Goethe is interesting for being wrong and right at the same time. He also writes quite well :-)

    I enjoy your photography, and your writing, and look forward to more of both.