Wednesday, 27 February 2019

1775 : History Sticks To The Inconsequential

Whenever I get a new camera - in this case a new Smartphone - I can't resist taking a few photographs just to see what it is like in various circumstances. The subject matter of such shots is entirely inconsequential - it is whatever happens to be there in front of me at the time. Last night, Bradford Road in Fixby just happened to be there at the time. When I look back at such "test photographs", they are always some of the most interesting from a historical perspective because of the randomness of the subject. History sticks to the inconsequential like iron filings on a magnet.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

1774 : A Prospect Of Halifax

Halifax From Prospect Street (c.1970) Alan Burnett

You could base a whole town planning conference around this photograph, or keep a classroom of kids occupied for a month. What colour is the Town Hall? How many mill chimneys are there? Why the large-scale demolitions? I must have taken the photograph in about 1970, just as work on Burdock Way was being started. When I enlarge the photograph and look at the individual streets - many of which are now long gone - it is like a trip down some winding memory lane. We used to queue up to get our Co-op Divvy up that street, and I used to walk down that street to meet my father at the factory gate. There is the story of the first part of my life in this photograph.

Monday, 25 February 2019

1773 : Unnatural Events In Downtown Huddersfield

I am no animal expert, but that doesn't look like a deer to me. If it is, it is the most unnatural deer to trot around the deer parks of Huddersfield. And whilst we are talking about unnatural, this photograph was taken in February when the weather is supposed to be cold, dark and dismal. Something is very wrong with the world.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

1772 : Some Final Thoughts On Cruise Ships

10 From The Caribbean : 10. Some Final Thought On Cruise Ships

They are big, they are not particularly beautiful, and they dominate the landscape. They deliver hoards of tourists, who flock up and down the main streets like mill-mucky pigeons on an outing to Harrogate. They turn travellers into tourists and then tourists into trippers. 

All this may be true, but so what? At least they sail away rather than leaving a permanent blot on the landscape like some concrete-posh boutique hotel. At least they allow people, who in the past had to be satisfied with a week in Skegness, a chance to see some of the wonders of the world. They may be phoney structures, but they are full of real people who are just as entitled to a couple of weeks in the sun as any landed lord. And this particular cruise ship - the MV Britannia seen here at St Vincents - facilitated a lovely holiday in the Caribbean, so my last photograph is dedicated to her.

Friday, 22 February 2019

1771 : Looking Good In Barbados

10 From The Caribbean : 9. Sunbury House, Barbados

Sunbury House is an old plantation house on the island of Barbados. The grounds are tropical, the interior is full of period furniture, the story of the house, its owners and its workers is fascinating ... but it was the curious collection of old spectacles, optical equipment and cameras that attracted me most of all. Anyone can collect postage stamps or china pots, but it takes a certain type of character to collect such things as spectacles.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

1770 : The Pitons, St Lucia

10 From The Caribbean  8. The Pitons, St Lucia

I have visited St Lucia on a number of occasions, but last month I went to the south-west of the island for the first time and saw the magnificent Pitons. My photograph shows the peaks of the two volcanic plugs - Gros Piton and Petit Piton - and the town of Soufriere. Soufriere used to be the capital of the island, and the Empress Josephine of France was once a resident.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

1769 : Around The Nets

10 from The Caribbean : 7. Around The Nets

This photograph was taken on the island of St Lucia, at a little fishing village called Anse La Raye. Like one of the earlier photographs in this sequence, I was drawn to the sculpturesque feel about the scene. It was a few days before I met up with my brother - who is an artist and sculptor - so it was probably his influence. Shapes, angles, movement - all the things I like best in an image.

Monday, 18 February 2019

1768 : Reflections On Martinique

10 From The Caribbean :  6. Reflections On Martinique

A reflection of the Cathedral of Saint Louis in Fort-de-France, Martinique. The cathedral is the seventh church on the site - the previous six were victims of natural disasters, including fire, earthquakes and hurricanes. The current church was designed by the great French engineer, Gustave Eiffel, and has so far survived over 120 years. It is unlikely that the glass fronted building at the other side of the town square will last that well.

Monday, 11 February 2019

1765 : Picture Posts

10 From The Caribbean  3. Picture Posts

A series of posts off the Caribbean island of Bonaire mimic an art installation. Impressive as they are, they cannot compete with the way the coral reef photoshops the tropical blue of the sea.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

1764 : Bonaire Colours

10 From The Caribbean  2. Bonaire Colours

We moved from Curacao to the neighbouring island of Bonaire and there we found houses painted with the kind of palette used by tropical fish, and tropical fish relaxing in the shadows of seaside houses.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

1763 : Shopping In Curacao

10 From The Caribbean : 1. Shopping In Curacao

The first of a short series of photographs from my recent trip around the Caribbean. This first one was jumble of straight lines and natural curves in a shopping centre in Willemstad on the island of Curacao. Somewhere amongst all those lines and curves are a couple of relaxed shopkeepers.

FOUND 1 : Walking With Confidence

  FOUND 1 : The joy of found photographs is that, whilst they provide a visual superstructure, you are free to construct your own backstory ...