It took me a long time to recognise this scene I captured some forty years ago. By the style of the houses and the lie of the land it could almost be any West Yorkshire valley, but the chapel on the horizon eventually provided the clue as I think that is Blackley Chapel near Elland.
Friday, 30 March 2012
Another of my 1960s photographs of the East Coast fishing town of Bridlington. This one features the old fishing harbour and the Sailor's Bethel which was a non-conformist church catering for the welfare and spiritual needs of fishermen and sailors. The building is still there but is now known by the less picturesque name of The Harbourside Evangelical Church.
Thursday, 29 March 2012
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
I have a feeling that I might have featured this photograph before - I certainly included it in my Calendar a couple of years ago. Anyway, this is a re-scan so it doesn't count, and anyway, it is one of my favourite images of that period. Brighouse, West Yorkshire, mid-1960s.
Tuesday, 27 March 2012
Scanning again : I must have taken this photograph back in the late 1960s and I have a feeling that it was taken in Brighouse. The devil is in the detail of course : note the advert for Mackeson Stout at the top of the alley and the abandoned pair of boots. There is a story there .... somewhere.
Monday, 26 March 2012
Sunday, 25 March 2012
Back in the 1960s I was given my first ever (and probably my only ever) professional commission as a photographer. Alan Yates, a local Halifax trade union stalwart, had a member who had been knocked down by a bus at the bottom of Salterhebble Hill. The union was fighting the case and wanted a photograph of the scene of the accident. There'd be "summat in it for thee" I was told, so off I went with my camera to record the scene. This is one of the negatives that resulted. At the end of the day, I never got paid - but I was left with a priceless record of empty roads, cigarette adverts, and pubs still open.
Saturday, 24 March 2012
You can't beat a gasworks. If it's the kind of day when the birds aren't posing and the rural landscape looks idiotic rather than idyllic then you can't beat a gasworks. You can keep your landscapes, your seascapes, your still lifes, and your pretty seaside holiday snaps: for me, you can't beat a gasworks. You just wander down those smoke-filled drives, clamber over those poison filled pipes and compose your shot. And remember, remember : no naked lights.
Friday, 23 March 2012
The Sheffield firm of Abraham Spafford & Co. came into being in 1858. They specialised in the manufacture of scythes, saws, knives and agricultural implements and continued in business until the second half of the twentieth century. By the time I took this photograph in the 1980s they had gone the way of so many local manufacturers and no doubt the building has now been replaced by a car park or a supermarket.
Thursday, 22 March 2012
York railway station, taken just over 10 years ago. I started taking digital photographs about twenty years ago but the first eight years or so of files have been lost or fallen through the gaps between computers. But from 2000 onward the files are fairly well catalogued (and thoroughly backed-up) and as I allocate file numbers by month and year. So with a file name 2001.08.01 I can be fairly sure that the photograph was taken in August 2001.
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Just scanning some old negatives. I can probably pinpoint where this is (on the moors between Hebden Bridge and Oxenhope) but I am less certain about when I took it (possibly thirty years ago). If I go back today nothing will have changed : but the colours might be less Autumnal.
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
This is from the same set as yesterday's photograph and was taken from the top of the same block of flats. The camera has been turned around 90 degrees to the north and captures the houses that seem to create a set of stone steps up Walkley Hill in Sheffield. By chance I happened to pass through this part of Sheffield again earlier this morning and I can confirm that my vantage point of thirty years ago is now long gone.
Monday, 19 March 2012
I took this picture in Sheffield thirty years ago. The street immediately in the centre of the picture is Addy Street in Upperthorpe. You can just make out part of the Upperthorpe Hotel at the bottom of the picture and the Scarborough Hotel is the circular building in the centre. The last time I checked, both were still open! I took the photograph from the top of a block of flats and that is long gone. Our first house when we lived in Sheffield was in Oxford Street which would have been visible in this picture if it "wasn't for the houses in-between"
Sunday, 18 March 2012
The last of this short series from Liverpool. This is a picture of the famous Liver Building reflected in the still waters of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. I felt that the shot needed a little movement. Fellow Old Git member Jeff provided it with a perfectly aimed beer bottle top.
Saturday, 17 March 2012
This is another photograph taken during my visit to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool on Thursday. It is a photograph of part of a painting: but is it a photograph or a painting? Is it my work or the work of the artist who painted the larger canvas? If I take a photograph of St Paul's Cathedral is the resulting image mine or Christopher Wrens? I have no answers to these questions, but I do enjoy pinpointing parts of other peoples images when I go around galleries. Maybe this makes me an art thief: maybe I don't care.
Friday, 16 March 2012
From old photographs to new ones: this one was taken yesterday during the Old Gits Luncheon Club day out in Liverpool. We were in the Walker Art Gallery looking at the John Moores Painting Prize Exhibition. It features a painting of a figure looking through a window with a photographer taking a picture over his shoulder. "That would make an interesting photograph", I suggested to Steve. An even better one, he pointed out, would be a picture of a photographer taking a picture of someone in a picture being photographed by someone else. He was right.
Thursday, 15 March 2012
This is from the same set as yesterday. The hill overlooking Halifax is Beacon Hill; where they used to light the beacon to warn the townsfolk of invasion by the French the Spanish, Lancastrians or the taxman. Even though it was probably forty years ago, looking back at the strip of negatives I can remember the walk and remember the dry stone wall which seemed to make such an impressive dividing line between nature and industry.
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
There are few things more therapeutic than scanning old negatives. It is not just the scanning but the process of getting rid of the tiny scratches and dust-spots of thirty or forty years of storage. And this process allows you to re-examine the original image in detail and re-discover whatever combination of light and dark, whatever mixture of textures, attracted you to release the shutter all those decades ago. This picture was taken in the 1960s on the hills overlooking Halifax.
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
On the spur of the moment I thought I might give the Picture Post Blog another outing. The philosophy remains the same : here the emphasis is on the image rather than the words. The images are all from my own collection but they may be current ones or re-scans of photographs I took up to 50 years ago. Don't feel you have to comment, just look and - hopefully - enjoy.
FOUND 1 : The joy of found photographs is that, whilst they provide a visual superstructure, you are free to construct your own backstory ...
2014.09S.21 : Night in Manchester - Scanned 35mm B&W Negative. (Circa 1985) It could be thirty years ago and it could be yesterday....
Carte de Visite : Studio of Harold Brown, "Artist & Photographer", Jamaica Road and New Kent Road, London (Colours by Photos...