Posts Tagged ‘1990’

Notting Hill 1990 Colour

Sunday, August 29th, 2021

I’d forgotten when I wrote yesterday’s post that I had actually taken some colour pictures as well as the black and white of Notting Hill Carnival in 1990. I was then working in colour with colour negative film and I think the colour in some of these images is a little on the drab side. I think I found them less interesting than the black and white.

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-96-positive_2400
Notting Hill 1990
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-5-positive_2400
Notting Hill 1990
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-84-positive_2400
Notting Hill 1990
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-4-positive_2400
Notting Hill 1990
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-10-positive_2400
Notting Hill 1990
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-1-positive_2400
Notting Hill 1990
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-43-positive_2400
Notting Hill 1990
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-28-positive_2400
Notting Hill 1990

As usual, clicking on any of the images will take you to a larger version in the album, and you can also browse the other images in it. You can find colour from other years in the album as well, though in a rather strange order as I found them.

Notting Hill 1990

Saturday, August 28th, 2021

This weekend should have been Notting Hill Carnival. But not this year thanks to Covid. I’ll post instead a few pictures from earlier years over the next few days. The first time I photographed there was in 1990, and I was only taking pictures in black and white.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1990. Peter Marshall 90-822-44_2400
Notting Hill Carnival 1990
Notting Hill Carnival, 1990. Peter Marshall 90-822-63_2400
Notting Hill Carnival 1990
Notting Hill Carnival, 1990. Peter Marshall 90-825-52_2400
Notting Hill Carnival 1990
Notting Hill Carnival, 1990. Peter Marshall 90-826-24_2400
Notting Hill Carnival 1990
Notting Hill Carnival, 1990. Peter Marshall 90-822-35_2400
Notting Hill Carnival 1990
Notting Hill Carnival, 1990. Peter Marshall 90-828-45_2400
Notting Hill Carnival 1990
Notting Hill Carnival, 1990. Peter Marshall 90-818-46_2400
Notting Hill Carnival 1990

These and more are from my album ‘Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s’ and clicking on any of the images above will take you to a larger version in the album, from where you can browse the rest of the collection.


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.


Clean Air – 1990 cyclists and 2019 XR East London

Monday, July 12th, 2021

Cyclists protest, Whitehall, Westminster, 1990, 90-11c-14
‘Let London Breathe’ – Cyclists ride down Whitehall to a Trafalgar Square rally – November 1990

Back in 1990, I rode with hundreds of cyclists from the London Cycling Campaign and others protesting about the terrible air quality in London from Battersea Park to a well-attended rally in Trafalgar Square. Following the rally, some MPs raised the issue in Parliament.

XR East London marches for clean air – 12 July 2019

Almost 30 years on there has not been a great deal of progress – and the statistics now show almost 10,000 excess deaths per year in the city due to air pollution, and untold misery from various respiratory conditions, some crippling. In 2019 XR East London met at Bethnal Green on Friday 12 July to march to Hackney behind a banner ‘The Air That We Grieve’, calling for a rapid end to the use of fossil fuels.

Much of the pollution comes from road traffic, and the already announced end to the sale of new trucks, vans and any other combustion-powered vehicle from 2030 onwards will do a little to improve air quality, but existing petrol and diesel vehicles will continue to be used for many years, though we may see more stringent ultra-low emission zones to restrict their use in cities.

But although the switch to electric will cut down pollutants such as nitrogen oxides as well as reducing climate changing carbon dioxide, it will still leave other harmful substances such as particulates from tyres and brakes in the air. And the carbon footprint is only lowered so long as the electricity used to charge those car batteries comes from truly renewable generation.

Cleaner air in cities also needs us to move away from the car to more eco-friendly means of transport – such as public transport and bicycles. Even electric scooters and electric bikes also have a part to play.

Better public transport means more trains, light rail, trams and buses. The simplest and most cost-effective solutions are probably more dedicated bus lanes and bus-only routes, and giving buses greater priority in traffic. Many years ago I cycled in French cities where buses had priority and motorists (and cyclists) had to give way whenever they wanted to pull out from a stop, and changes like this to our Highway Code and traffic rules would make a difference.

In 1990 cyclists were calling for 1000 miles of dedicated cycle routes through London. We do now have some ‘cycle superhighways’ and ‘quietways’, although many of these – we are now supposed to call them ‘cycleways’ – still involve sharing with often dangerous traffic. Progress is still slow, and there is bitter opposition from some interest groups, particularly black cab drivers.

We need too an overhaul of London’s taxi system, with rules still made in the days of horse-drawn Hackney cabs. I’ve often stood at bus stops in the City waiting for my bus, held up by traffic while 20 or 30 or more black cabs drive by, the great majority of them empty. A move away from ‘ply for hire’ to smartphone based systems summoning a cab from a nearby taxi rank would hugely cut both congestion and pollution in the centre of London.

More at XR East London marches for clean air. You can click on the black and white image above to go to the album with more pictures from the 1990 cyclists protest.


As always I was travelling around London on public transport (I sometimes bring up a folding bike on the train) and as the march neared its end I boarded a bus in the opposite direction back to Bethnal Green where I took the tube back to Holborn, then took the short walk to the University of London’s Senate House, where exploited outsourced workers were holding a noisy protest after the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor Wendy Thomson had failed to reply to a request to meet them and discuss their grievances. You can see more about this at IWGB welcome new Vice Chancellor.


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.


More Carnival 1990

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

A few more colour pictures from Notting Hill Carnival in 1990 – there are more on page 5 of the Flickr album.

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-31-positive_2400

This was the first year I went to Carnival, and set a pattern I followed in most years, taking the train from Hammersmith to Westbourne Park station, arriving around the middle of the day, before things really got going then walking along to All Saints Rd and photographing around there and Talbot Rd and the surrounding streets.

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990  90c8-04-11-positive_2400

Later I’d walk up Portobello Rd and under the Westway and take pictures in the north of the area where the streets were less busy and I could still move around. I found the procession route in the south of the area very crowded and impossible for my kind of photography.

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-14-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-25-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-2-positive_2400

I think all these colour pictures were taken on the Sunday – Children’s Day, and that on Monday I worked only in black and white. Most of the pictures I made of the actual procession were on Ladbroke Grove.

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-3-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-5-positive_2400

If you want to look at more, and at those from later years you can go to page 5 of Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s. Clicking on any of the pictures above will also take you to a larger version in this Flickr album.


Carnival in Colour 1990

Sunday, September 27th, 2020
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-96-positive_2400

Though I think my best pictures of Notting Hill Carnival were in black and white, most years until I moved to using digital cameras I photographed there in both black and white and colour. By 1990, when I first photographed Carnival, for colour I was exclusively using colour negative film.

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-40-positive_2400

I could process colour negative film myself, and by this time much of my black and white work was taken using Ilford’s chromogenic films, at first XP1 which had been introduced in 1980, then XP2 which replaced it in Spring 1991, which was designed to be processed in the standard C41 chemicals used for colour neg, though Ilford still produced its own specific processing kit just for the black and white versions.

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-7-positive_2400

While it was simple to contact print black and white negatives, producing these in colour from colour negatives was rather more difficult, and it was only after I’d squeezed a colour paper processing line into my diminutive darkroom in the mid 1990s that I began to do so. Even then, getting reasonably correct colour was a problem.

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-50-positive_2400

Before that time, I sent away my colour films for trade processing, and being a little short of cash mostly that meant using cheap non-professional processing labs, paying for processing and printing as 4″x6″ enprints. The film processing was fine, but the printing varied from good to a rainbow range of colour casts and variable contrast. Eventually I found a cheap postal amateur service that was reasonably consistent and still cost only around a third of my local pro lab.

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-21-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-92-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, Notting HIll, 1990 90c8-04-1-positive_2400

Now I’ve digitised most of the colour negatives from the 1990 Notting Hill Carnival, and have found them rather more interesting than I expected. Having them in digital form makes it easier to work on the pictures as I could when making black and white prints, with some dodging and burning where needed.

There are a few pictures in this post, and I’ll put at least one more set from 1990 on here in another post, but if you want to look at more, and at those from later years you can go to page 5 of Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s. Clicking on any of the pictures above will also take you to a larger version in this Flickr album.


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.


Notting Hill 1990

Saturday, August 29th, 2020
Notting Hill Carnival, 1990. Peter Marshall 90-821-51_2400

Were we in normal times, today I would be thinking about going to Notting Hill tomorrow for the first of two days of Carnival. Much to my surprise I find it was eight years ago that I last went, having been on holiday away from London several years, and deciding the weather wasn’t really right some others. But perhaps I’m just getting old and was finding the music and the crowds too much some other times. At least this year I don’t have to make a decision.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1990. Peter Marshall 90-822-63_2400

The Notting Hill Carnival’s origins are in a ‘Caribbean Carnival’, an indoor event organised by Claudia Webb in 1959, the year after the Notting Hill race riots. The first procession was an impromptu one in 1966 from a neighbourhood street party, but it was in the mid-1970s that in began to be a major festival with a large attendance. But heavy-handed policing led to battles between mainly Caribbean youth and the police, luridly reported by newspapers and broadcast media which made many of us reluctant to attend the annual event.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1990. Peter Marshall 90-820-14_2400

August was in the 1980s was also a month when I was often in Paris and it was only in 1990 that I decided I had to go and photograph Carnival, and was both deafened and exhilarated by the energy and joy of the event. For the next twenty or so years – with a few exceptions when I was out of the country or crippled by injury – I photographed the event, at first mainly in black and white but later on colour film and then digital.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1990. Peter Marshall 90-822-64_2400

I’ve just spent a day putting my black and white pictures from the first ten years I attended, starting in 1990, onto Flickr. Some of them have been seen before in a number of group shows, including one in Notting Hill itself. I had a small one-person show at the Museum of London in the late 1990s, and put some on the web at Fixing Shadows, one of the first sites showcasing ‘straight photography’ on the web. This led to a 20 print portfolio with comments by George Mentore, published as ‘Notting Hill in Carnival’ in Visual Anthropology Review in 1999. I also showed the same number of prints in ‘English Carnivals‘ at the Shoreditch Gallery and Barbican Library in 2008, and later in the 2018 Café Royal volume, ‘Notting Hill Carnival in the 1990s’.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1990. Peter Marshall 90-828-45_2400

But for the Flickr album, which now contains 260 photographs, most of them published for the first time, I went back to the contact sheets. Most of those early years I went on both the Sunday – Children’s Day and the Bank Holiday Monday, probably averaging around 300 exposures on each. Probably a total of over 6000 images. But some of those were in colour, a few panoramic, so the 260 are from perhaps 4500 black and white frames. They include quite a few I wonder why I haven’t shown them before.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1990. Peter Marshall 90-824-13_2400

Technically they are quite varied, including some I’ve carefully balanced and retouched for publication and others that are untouched raw scans. Not every picture is critically sharp, as I was often working with no time to refocus and sometimes while in the middle of dancing crowds and concentrating on emotion rather than technique.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1990. Peter Marshall 90-818-56_2400

All the pictures in today’s post are from my first year at Carnival in 1990, when I think I was just beginning to get into the subject. More from 1991 and later to follow.


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.