Colour Lee/Lea

Well not just black and white, I’ve also been taking a look at the colour transparencies that I made in the Lea Valley in 1982 and 1983. I put these on line a while ago, but there were one or two technical problems that needed a little sorting.

Looking back, I can see that the pictures are rather a mixed bunch (and yes,  a couple crept into the Lea Valley from a little way away –  at least one from the West India Docks) but I mean more in terms of approach than the subject.

© 1983, Peter Marshall

This rather abstract image is the rudder of a barge on the Lea Navigation

© 1983, Peter Marshall

While this is rather different in that the subject matter is quite clear, but it’s also clear that the picture isn’t really simply about what is actually depicted.

© 1983, Peter Marshall

This is another one that I particularly like which I don’t think I’ve put on this blog before, and it shows a bit of what is now the Olympic site.

These three are all from 1983, and there is another set from 1982. Clicking on my name at the bottom left of any of the pages takes you back to the home page of the River Lea site.

Some of the images are not quite the right colour. These were all scanned rapidly on the Epson 750 (using the Epson software) and its hard if not impossible to get some of them right. There is a very nasty purple in some of the shadow areas that can’t really be removed. Probably I could get a better scan on my negative scanner, but in a few of them the colour has perhaps aged a little badly. They were taken on several different films – the picture immediately above is clearly taken on Agfa film while the top two were not. I made dupes of a number of these images and I can’t always tell which was the original.

I switched to colour negative film (except for a few jobs where I had to submit transparencies) a couple of years after this, and looking at some of these reminds me why.  But there are a few here that I’ve been able to resurrect with a little help from Photoshop – such as this barge on the Thames not far from the Lea:

© 1983, Peter Marshall

It isn’t perfect, but a lot better than the original slide, thanks to a great deal of jiggery-pokey in Photoshop, some of it not done quite carefully enough.

Middlesex is of course the right bank of the Lea (its left is Essex) and visually the image connects with another in the group

© 1983, Peter Marshall

which I’ve always connected with a Man Ray image inspired by a phrase from Lautreamont’s Les Chants de Maldoror : ‘As beautiful as the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table’ . He wrapped what was possibly a sewing machine in a sack and rope, while I found a giant one ready-made on a lorry at Three Mills in Bromley-by-Bow. But unfortunately no Lee Miller every emerged for me there from the Lee.

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