Notting Hill 1995

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1985 Peter Marshall 95-8-20-63_positive_2400

Notting Hill was in colour for me in 1995. Although I’d taken a few colour pictures in earlier years, this was the first year I decided to work entirely in colour – except for a few frames finishing a black and white film in one of my cameras.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1985 Peter Marshall 95-8-21-70_positive_2400

I’ve never really gone back to look at the colour pictures I took in earlier years – something now on my ‘to do list’, as the black and white interested me rather more. But I think I had been encouraged to cover the event in colour by one of my potential clients – not an actual commission, but a suggestion that they might be more interested in colour, and I’d thought it would be interesting to try and see if I could do the kind of things I’d already done in black and white.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1985 Peter Marshall 95-8-11-47-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1985 Peter Marshall 95-8-11-37-positive_2400

It wasn’t of course the first time I’d worked in colour. I’d taken colour pictures for as long as I’d been involved in photography, alongside black and white, but generally of rather different subjects. I’d switched from using colour transparency to colour negative film ten years before I took these pictures, but still hadn’t really worked out a good system for dealing with the work. At first I’d had everything trade processed and getting enprints. It’s a good system for the occasional film such as holiday snaps, but when you get thousands of them it becomes a little difficult to organise.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1985 Peter Marshall 95-8-15-57-positive_2400

By 1985 I was developing my own colour films – along with the mainly chromogenic black and white films I was also using which could be developed in the same chemicals. Making contact sheets from colour negatives on colour paper was a little more difficult because I had to work in total darkness (or virtually so) and colour filters had to be used to expose them. The results were often not very useful, unlike those from black and white, and selecting images from them was rather hit and miss.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1985 Peter Marshall 95-8-18-55-positive_2400

Last week I digitised every frame of all 18 films I took at carnival in 1985 – around 670 pictures – batch processing the results to give a roughly balanced image, discovering quite a few pictures I had previously overlooked. Around a third were worth further processing, and after eliminating some near duplicates and a further round of culling I was left with around 140 I felt were worth adding to the album Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s. The colour work begins on page 3.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1985 Peter Marshall 95-8-18-60-positive_2400

None are great pictures, though I think all have some interest. As a whole I felt they backed up my decision to work mainly in black and white in other years. But while some are similar to my black and white pictures, others do show another view of carnival.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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